Friday, 27 April 2001

Old News - Newsletter April 2001

Today it is my turn to be the sick person coughing and sneezing in the internet cafe. I caught another cold the other day which is taking ages to go (I'm sure I got it from this place to begin with!).

I am still unemployed - it's been a month now and the charm has worn off. I am also out of money and am spending my tax savings. And no, I don't have any other savings apart from some Unit Trusts doing really badly! I've spent most of the last 2 years out of work and done some serious international travelling, which has used up my money as I made it. I am currently 2 months in salary arrears, and I can't afford to pay myself. Nice. I am starting to look at permanent roles now, as the contract market in London is really bad. I went for an interview on Wednesday for the shift-work job, and they rejected me - wah! Been feeling a bit flat about that, as I'd thought the interview (1 and a half hours thereof) went well, and got all excited about it, only to be turned down. I think my last workplace is trying to get hold of me, but I'm not that desperate!

The new flat is nice. It's very quiet, and I have painted the bedroom a warm yellow and got new bed linen in the same colour so it's warm and cosy. The lounge I have painted a warm peach, and it has changed the whole atmosphere. The whole flat was painted a pale cream, which is OK, but dull and boring and in this climate you need warm bright colours. We're not meant to change anything as the place is rented, but I don't care any more. If they object when I move out I am happy to paint it back to cream. I have also put up a couple of heavy duty shelves in an alcove in the lounge. It's kind of in a dead space behind the door, and I have moved all our boxes of hiking, skiing, camping etc gear out of the bedroom and into the shelves, which has also made the bedroom feel a lot more welcoming. Mountain Man keeps his bike below the shelves too, and it is a very handy space. I have got an extendable shower rail set up in front of the shelves, and now I just need to get some material for a curtain to close off the storage area.

I am going to put up a heavy duty shelf in the bedroom next week to act as a desk, and then I can move our free standing shelves onto it and set up my printer etc, which at the moment is in the lounge. I found a stack of abandoned chipboard cupboard doors outside against the building, and have been salvaging them as my shelves. I guess they're not wanted as they are out in the rain and starting to go rotten. It's a lot easier than trying to get a proper desk, and will be way easier to move. Now I just have to find a wall unit for the TV and books!

The flat has a little flower bed in front of the lounge windows where I have planted out all my geraniums and they are looking very happy. I am growing all kinds of patio and hanging basket plants from seed, which I will plant into the flower bed and into window boxes when they are big enough. It's been fun watching them germinate and slooowly get bigger. Funny - everyone thinks a 'basement flat' is below ground with no windows, and I keep having to explain that we're just sunken by a foot or so, and get plenty of light in the lounge. The bedroom's a bit gloomy as it faces an alleyway, and that's why I've painted it bright yellow! We haven't used the garden yet as it's still quite wet and cold, but I am really looking forward to summer and having a private place to lie in the sun, and to have braais and sundowners!

I am going to dig out my drawing things next week too I think - it suddenly occurred to me that I could be doing drawing in all this spare time rather than moping! I also joined a gym on Monday, and started a diet (all this hanging around at home has piled on the pounds!) so I am taking advantage of my free time while I still have it. Now all I need is some hot weather so I can tan, and I'll have the housewife thing down pat!

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