Tag Archives: london

Changing perspectives

The newest piece of news is that I have been offered a permanent job with Natural England! Each time I’ve thought I might blog this something has changed, either in real terms or at least in our thinking about it, which has complicated things. I applied for two jobs, one where I am now (East region) which I would do from Cambridge still, and one in the South East where I would work from Reading, and in the end the one we have gone for isn’t the one we started off thinking we wanted. Funny how perspectives change.

I was offered the South East job before Christmas, told them I’d think about it, and then interviewed for the other one. Having really disliked the second interview, to the extent that I wasn’t sure I wanted that job anymore, we began re-evaluating our previous assumptions, looking at the logistics again. It’s interesting when something happens that changes your perspective, you see all the possibilities which you were blind to before. When we’d thought about it previously, we had pre-conceived ideas of what would be the best, and therefore saw all the problems with the other. This one small change allowed us to look more carefully a second time, and see that the South East was possible, indeed in some ways preferable.

What was to start with awkward and annoying (that the first interview was for the job I didn’t think I wanted, so I had to wait for the second interview) was actually quite fortunate. When I returned to work I found out I hadn’t been offered the other job anyway, which was fine, I didn’t want it by then. But if I had been told that beforehand, then the South East would have felt like a second best, even if we later saw the positives in it. Or, if I’d been offered both, then we might have stuck with the East region, and not have seen what we had missed. As it is, I’ve never been less upset by being turned down for a job, I’m looking forward to starting the new one and having some new challenges (my current job has stagnated a bit of late) and to moving into a nicer, larger flat with a spare room for visitors! Not so much looking forward to the actual moving bit though!

I don’t start till early March, so I can finish my current contract, and so we have time to find a new place, pack up everything and move across London. At least this time we’re only going down the road in comparison to the last move! One of the big advantages to this move is that we will stay in London and therefore keep the connection to our church which we have begun to feel at home in, and also where we will be getting married (in fact, we’ll end up closer to the reception venue after we’ve moved, which is handy!). This opens up all sorts of cans of worms in terms about wanting to stay versus wanting to leave, how long we need to stay, when and how we want to move away etc etc. But as I keep being told, we can only worry about so much at a time. This doesn’t stop me worrying, but I can at least try!

PS Responses to comments on the previous post will follow, lots more to think about there!

News

All sorts of other stuff has happened since I last posted, I’ll maybe get around to that some other time. Right now, I have a sermon to write, but I’ve been meaning to post this for about a week..

I’ve spent a fair amount of time hanging about in London since I finished work, partly for the purpose of finding us somewhere to live.. which we now have 😀 😀 😀 After much slogging round the streets of north London wearing myself and the soles of my shoes down, we’ve managed to get ourselves a rather nice little flat in Tufnell Park, in Camden. It would have to be the first one I looked at as well wouldn’t it?! But that aside, its very exciting. Its a lot more spacious than most for the same price range, due to it being an ex-council flat in a not very inspiring large block, but the area is nice, quiet and green, and very close to Hampstead Heath. There were estate agent photos, but I think its been taken off now, but we’ll get some once we’re settled.

Now begins the manic-ness of organising and trying to ship me and all my stuff down the country.. so far we have a van and a merry (or at least willing) group of helpers. This Sunday is my last service in Shrewsbury, so once the sermon-writing is out of the way, the packing shall begin in earnest.

Excitement, madness, occasional panics about practicalities, and just wanting it all to be done, but definately excitement still. I’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve said ‘one day..’ I don’t think its going to sink in properly till we’re there together surrounded by boxes and realise neither of us is leaving to go home..

Lovely weekends

Despite having spent quite a few weekends in London now, we seem to have mostly had ‘stuff to do’- before Christmas this mostly involved Christmas shopping. The last two weekends were the first we’ve had there since Christmas, and we’ve made a start on the ‘going places and seeing things’. You see, I don’t really know London, so I wanted to get out to some of those places I’d always heard of but never seen.

Last weekend we had a lovely wander over a snowy Hampstead Heath, with proper wintry weather (he thinks I’m a bit mad to love winter so much!). We walked and talked, stopped to sit down, and walked again when we got cold. And warmed ourselves up with cream tea in a little cafe on the way home. After church on Sunday we had a mad lunch of Dim Sum with a friend of mine, no idea what we ordered but it tasted good!

This Saturday, yes the 14th, we’d decided to make ourselves a scrummy dinner (rather than paying someone else for it), and so Saturday morning was spent happily mooching around looking for random ingredients- the favourite being a wonderful organic hippyish shop with nuts and seeds and all types of tea in big jars 🙂 Although apparently there are no chives in Camden just now. So now you know.

After the shopping we headed out to Greenwich for the afternoon, to a lovely pub for lunch (with very yummy beers), and then a wander through the park and up to the observatory. With my fix of science geekery we then wandered back down, past the maritime museum, to wend our way home.

The evening was spent in a contented kind of organised chaos as we tried to work out whether the carrots needed soaking before the aubergines had finished being pressed, how to tell if the sesame seeds were toasted sufficiently, and how on earth we would ever use the ‘small’ bunch of parsley we had bought! The end results were definately rather yummy, with the aubergine fritters and bread and butter pudding being the highlights.

Our Sunday lunch date cancelled, we headed to have lunch near Trafalgar Square, and had a wander around the national gallery. A pleasant discovery was an exhibition of the impressionist painter Sisley’s time in England and Wales, in which we learned that he was married in Cardiff and spent his honeymoon on the Gower. His paintings of Langland were rather special.

A rather nice valentines weekend in all. And no hint of the stress of booking restaurants, dealing with stroppy waiters, or long queues in sight. Sorry bimble.

Checking in

Wow. Well here it is, brand new wibsite. Kinda feels like I should have something particular to say when posting here, at least for the first time.. sorry, no such luck today. I kinda just wanted to post to check it out!

Anyway, I’m sure some things have happened that are blog-worthy.

Since the last post I have;

-been to stay with the parents for a weekend with Chris, and bought a sofa. Well, ok, he did the buying of the sofa, and we don’t have it yet. And there’s the small matter of us not actually having a place together yet either. But hey, it was nice and comfy, and reduced, and its the first thing we’d decided we need when we do.

-preached another service, this time in a ickle methodist chapel outside of Shrewsbury, middle of farming country where I was warned that post-service conversations can be about pigs. Something tells me Oscar Romero wasn’t really the bit they latched on to. Although there was a young couple (NB this is rural methodism, for ‘young’ read 50’s) who were *very* enthusiastic- obviously something different went down well in some ways

-been to London (not for an interview!) at the weekend, done some Christmas shopping (woo hoo, get us!), been to visit a friend of mine who I’ve not seen for ages, and generally relaxed. Oh, and got a little freaked by a cat in the pulpit on Sunday. Slightly odd when the guy walked in with it, and the mewing made the rememberance day silence a little interesting. But when it was happily sitting on the pulpit while we had tea afterwards, I was a little concerned.

So there we are, thats me. I’m still here, promise.