Moving swifly along

Much has happened since I last posted, which is, in part, why my blogging has been so scarce, but here I am – to tell you all about it!

Firstly, I smashed the cars passenger side mirror. All I can say is: narrow roads, a lost tart in a huge white merc and oncoming traffic make for a smashed up  mirror.

image

Whoopsie daisy

In order to make myself feel less like the worlds worst driver (I also lost a wheel trim in the car’s first outer Maidstone trip – and the mirror of my Peugeot suffered the same fate when I smacked it against a pillar once. Okay twice.), I now drive around with an eye peeled for smashed car mirrors. I have deduced that smashing car mirrors is a fairly common thing in England (which is why all mirrors fold in?) – why else would Halfords have the pre-cut glass for most car mirrors precut and readily available?

In other news, I had my first real, live chav experience. Those bitches are scary as shit. Went to visit my sister for the weekend last weekend and, while tubing around Londom central, encountered an escalator, as one does, with a blond tart standing on the left hand side. WHO DOES THAT? Anyways, I curtly said “excuse me, please stand to the right”, which was reiterated by the tarts boyfriend.  What followed was a manifestation of poor manners, a possible inferiority complex or just terrible upbringing, but you could have sworn I told her that she was a grotty tramp with hobbit feet, because this chick went totally, well, chav on me. She started screaming at me, asking me who I thought I was, she screamed at her boyfriend (you stand to the f###en right, you d###head!!), that bitch walking down there deserves a slap on the back of the head, the one shaking her head (because I was. I was also laughing). We then left the escalator, only to be followed and mouthed off at again (something about a weirdo – assumingly because we’re not local), and then stomped off in front of us, still mouthing off about the fact that I asked her to move. My sister, actually, made us hang back a bit because we could hear her carrying on all the way down into the depths of the underground tunnels.

Sufficed to say, I wouldn’t want to be caught in a dark alley with broken glass around with that chick.

Most importantly,  I got a job! I start on Monday! Yay! Champage, champage for everyone!

I have been employed as a technical account manager at a Swedish-based company called Icomera, and will no longer be in sales! Whoop! Although, there is incentive to bring in new business, I will mostly be dealing with existing clients and assisting with technical matters. The company, in a nutshell, supply wireless infrastructure to the transport industry worldwide – so like wireless on national rail, or a greyhound bus? Yeah, thats it.

I will also have to pop over to Sweden for some training and to meet the people up there at some point in the foreseeable future – am rather stoked about this.

The only thing Im slightly apprehensive about is the fact that, from what I have seen, there are not many ladies in my office, and definitely none in my team. I am not the type of person who is daunted by such a thing, but, being a technical role to which I am very new, I will have some self-proving to do.

My last thought for the day: London has, finally,  lived up to its reputation – it is summer, it is raining, it is chilly.

image

Thatisall.

Just one little update

The fact that I have been MIA for so long will tell you how busy I have been.

In the few days since I last posted, I’ve been to numerous interviews, scheduled as many, been working part time, bought a car, took a little roadtrip into London,  experienced the “Great British Pastime” called “Parking” and decided to celebrate Jean’s 30th in Ireland with my sister.

I have a second interview tomorrow for a technical account manager role, which I am so keen on because of the fact that it is technically based and because I will have the opportunity to move out of sales entirely after a while, and should I wish. This, coupled with the degree of technical-ness thrills me endlessly.  Hold thumbs, yall, because they are, apparently,  super keen on me too.

Last week Wednesday,  we bought a little Ford Focus 1.8l to run around the countryside in.

image

Of course, I took a trip to Surrey for work on Friday, hot a pothole, and lost a hubcap. So annoyed. Also, while I’m talking about things that annoy me: Google maps is on my list, and so is the Maidstone road plan. I drove around for the better part of an hour trying to find an accessible petrol station today, because every time I saw one, I was in the wrong lane to get to it…and then the roads loop you around to the other side of town…while I was running on fumes. I sure  gave google maps a piece of my mind while driving ( F**********KKKKKKK YOU GOOGLE MAPS!!!!!!!! I screamed at my tablet).

Yesterday, we spent parking in Regent Park with a picnic and a frisbee, which was pure bliss. We strolled up Primrose Hill on the way home, which gave us a panoramic view of London,  which was so stunning. Spent the rest of the evening at my sister’s place chatting and nomming serious Mac & Cheese.

We also decided (well, actually Jean did because it will be his birthday) to trip up to Dublin, Ireland and spend a few days for Jean’s 30th birthday.  Totally excited for this, especially because we don’t need to get additional visas! Win!

Okay, I have to go and fetch the husband from the station.  Apologies for the lame post, I have no creative flair today.

*Skaam*

The fact that I have been MIA for so long will tell you how busy I have been.

In the few days since I last posted, I’ve been to numerous interviews, scheduled as many, been working part time, bought a car, took a little roadtrip into London,  experienced the “Great British Pastime” called “Parking” and decided to celebrate Jean’s 30th in Ireland with my sister.

I have a second interview tomorrow for a technical account manager role, which I am so keen on because of the fact that it is technically based and because I will have the opportunity to move out of sales entirely after a while, and should I wish. This, coupled with the degree of technical-ness thrills me endlessly.  Hold thumbs, yall, because they are, apparently,  super keen on me too.

Last week Wednesday,  we bought a little Ford Focus 1.8l to run around the countryside in.

image

Of course, I took a trip to Surrey for work on Friday, hot a pothole, and lost a hubcap. So annoyed. Also, while I’m talking about things that annoy me: Google maps is on my list, and so is the Maidstone road plan. I drove around for the better part of an hour trying to find an accessible petrol station today, because every time I saw one, I was in the wrong lane to get to it…and then the roads loop you around to the other side of town…while I was running on fumes. I sure  gave google maps a piece of my mind while driving ( F**********KKKKKKK YOU GOOGLE MAPS!!!!!!!! I screamed at my tablet).

Yesterday, we spent parking in Regent Park with a picnic and a frisbee, which was pure bliss. We strolled up Primrose Hill on the way home, which gave us a panoramic view of London,  which was so stunning. Spent the rest of the evening at my sister’s place chatting and nomming serious Mac & Cheese.

We also decided (well, actually Jean did because it will be his birthday) to trip up to Dublin, Ireland and spend a few days for Jean’s 30th birthday.  Totally excited for this, especially because we don’t need to get additional visas! Win!

Okay, I have to go and fetch the husband from the station.  Apologies for the lame post, I have no creative flair today.

*Skaam*

Progression

Things are moving along, slowly….

Jean is, officially,  employed at a company in Edgware (which is vrek far from where we are) as a contractor for 2 months, which could become permanent.  I’m sure he wants it to be permanent though. I am hoping to receive an offer from a recruitment company for a IT security headhunting position, although I have an application in with the first company I interviewed with, for a slightly more senior position,  which the chap I met with told me I would be more suited to. Holding all thumbs and big toes for that one.

Last week was spent at the Holiday Inn in Bexley doing an Inventory course for some part time work, which I would like to do – it was very interesting and far more detailed than I expected inventory management to be.
Friday, I was off to Bracknell in Berkshire for a second interview (refer aforementioned offer), for which I had prepared a power point presentation and the like. I was dying in my skirt suit, as last week was the hottest in Britain this year. The humidity was killing me – and there I had to stand, in my long red skirt and blazer, with leather heels on my sweaty feet. It was not pleasant,  to say the least.  I couldn’t bare to put my takkies back on for the train trip home, so I bought a cheap pair of plakkies (which are flip flops, for those not familiar with South Africanism’s)

image

Mooi skoene

When I arrived back in London,  I took a walk down to South Bank and lay on a shady patch of grass, while listening to the performers and buskers do their thing. It was such a relaxing moment.
I, then, caught a tube to Edgware to meet Jean for his trip back home….the long, arduous, hot, sweaty trip to the homestead, which met us with a massive electric storm. Although I was all for a walk in the weather, Jean was more apprehensive and insisted we take cover in our local, The Bull Inn, until the storm had passed. Poor judgement on my part and good suggestion on his because the storm that followed a few minutes later was rather spectacular.  East Farleigh was thrashed from top to bottom by wind, rain, thunder and lightning. 

image

Our local pub, The Bull Inn

My step dad picked us up on his way home from the British Open, after we had been exiled from the pub, due to closing time.

Yesterday, we took a trip up to Stonehenge. I wish I could, accurately,  explain how I felt standing in front of those rocks. All the years that I have known about them, what I have read about them, when we have spoken about them. The amount of history, the theories, the mystery…it was utterly a amazing and humbling. I’m not a religious person by any means, but I felt a connection to the history of Stonehenge, for whatever purpose it served.

* Edit: what is up with all the people jumping for pictures in front of the stones? I think I missed the memo on that one, but I did walk around shaking my head at all of them for being social media slaves** – because, you know, it’s cool to be quirky, right? Okay, thats my judgemental bit for the day done.

image

Stonehenge

image

Jean and I in front of the stones

We, then, teetered off to Salisbury (which is, apparently,  pronounced “Saulsbury” – get your language right, England) for a spot of tea (see what I did there!?! :D) at the King’s Head, followed by a stroll to the Anglican Cathedral, which has the highest spire in the United Kingdom.

image

The canal next to the Kings Head

image

Its a con-spire-acy!

image

The dudes on the walls freaked me out a little bit

Yesterday was one of the best days I have had. I can’t wait to have more like them….onto Castles next (and I don’t mean the beer).

Today…well, the hunt starts again.

**okay whatever, I’m a social media slave too, but I don’t jump.

The hunt for employment

Tomorrow marks 2 weeks that we have been in London town. I thought I’d be a little homesick by now, but I feel not an inkling of longing for Cape Town. Either I am not a homesick type of person, or we were just in the correct frame of mind when we left that both of us realise that there is no going back.

Of course, I do miss my friends and family, but the internet kind of makes it less terrible, because I still chat to them all the time.

The only non-person thing that I do miss is having a job. I miss working, people. You know when you are having the shittiest of shitty days at the office and you feel like burning everything to the ground? I long for those days. I long to wake up at the crack of dawn, put on my bid’ness shoes and my power clothes and march off, with the throngs of people, to the office, to make a buck or two and stress about the 500 unread emails that I’ve received from clients.
Okay, perhaps not the best description of a work day, but mine was always something along the lines. Stressful, but a stress that I thrived on.

As lovely as it is to wake up at 9am, do washing at my leisure, sip tea while typing a blog post with a view of English countryside just outside the window, it does get old after a while.

image

View of the countryside (read: a hedge in this case), while sipping tea

I’ve been for one interview this week and had three phone interviews – the gentleman that I met with on Wednesday was lovely, he told me that he would give me the job if I weren’t so overqualified (it was an IT procurement role), he said I should hang on as I would go far in London and that I was a very strong candidate that could, clearly, do my job well. He also gave me some tips for my CV. It’s not a job offer, but it certainly made me more confident about finding a decent job. One phone interview was a definite “No”, as I didn’t have much experience with the product and it was far more business development orientated than I have experience with. The other two were quite positive, and I am waiting for feedback on these.

Jean and I both have interviews on Monday morning,  on opposite sides of town, and then we have enrolled ourselves in an inventory clerk training programme for 4 days next week with my step dad’s company,  as a bit of a fall back option – to earn some extra cash in the side (if anything, to pay for the ridiculous travel expenses in and around London). Deity-bless my step dad – one of the kindest people I know, for he has helped me out a few times in the last few years and, always, of his own accord.

En route to my interview on Wednesday morning,  I caught the tube with husband and mom in tow,  as we thought we would have a day out together instead of all sitting at home. Mom and Jean hopped onto a packed train, with mom pulling my arm to get me on, but as Jean had his backpack on his back and this other bat had a massively large bag with her, I couldn’t get in far enough and was in line for a door crushing, so I hopped out. Just as my mom turned to do same, the doors closed…and there I stood watching my mom and husband whoosh away without me.
Thankfully, we had had an “in case of….” conversation 2 minutes prior to this, so they disembarked at the next station, and were waiting for me when I arrived 2 minutes later.

Speaking of thise tubes…they have no railing or any form of preventative barriers next to the track, so if there are enough people on the platform, piling up to get on the next tube, and you happen to be in front of the “queue” with the open track looming before you, it is very easy to, accidentally,  be pushed onto the tracks. I don’t know if it has ever happened, but, as I was standing in front of a crowd of people with the track looming in front of me, during rush hour, this is what crossed my mind. My palms got a bit sweaty. Won’t lie.

Well, that’s my week for you.

Oh, one more thing, I do miss something from Cape Town a lot…my cats.

Recount of week one

As you may imagine, we spent our first week doing what tourists do best – being total tourists.

My moms friend, Lance, picked us up from Heathrow last Saturday morning at 8am, after the easiest  immigration procedure ever. We were asked, literally, if this was our first time to the UK and how long we were staying for. Stamp and IN!
Lance took us on a driving tour through the city, showing us the mandatory tourists sights – Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Parliament, Big Ben, The Thames River, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square. All of which we saw again on Monday during our walking tour.
We then braaied at Lance and Adeles place with my sister and her boyfriend, Doctor Dave, who we met for the first time. After that, Lance drove us home to Maidstone, which is homebase at current.

image

Trafalgar Square

image

In front of Buckingham Palace

image

St. James Park

image

Coffee in a dark Alley

We spent the next morning in Bromley, which is a beautiful suburb (and somewhere I wouldnt mind living), then caught the train back to Maidstone and did some High Street shopping

image

Our local High Street

Wednesday, we walked into town from East Farleigh (our suburb in Maidstone) to Town, again, which was an hour and a half walk.

Thursday saw us back at Piccadilly Ciircus to open a bank account. If I never see Piccadilly Circus again, it will be too soon. We did, however, attempt the Tube for the first time – which was easy peasy, as far as I am concerned.

image

Kak-a-dilly Circus

Friday was the best day!  Caught the tube to Camden and met my sister, who was off to have a tattoo done.
The market – O.M.GEE!!!

I bought a beautiful vintage leather jacket for 10 pounds…oi, my luck. Along with two pretty frocks, a jersey, sunglasses and a tweed blazer for Jean. I could have blown so much money there, but instead, spent time milling in and out of stalls and shops.
We spent the latter half of the afternoon chilling under the trees in a park behind Camden Lock before we left to go back home.

Today, I lazed in PJ’s (as I am actually sick) and then went with the parents to Ikea in Croydon…..few words: HUGE and sore feet.

Tomorrow, we are off to pick up a bed bought via eBay (totally loving the eBay idea for furniture shopping – for when we have our own place. Quality stuff for less) and then to Blue Water Mall….in somewhere that I dont remember the name of.

Overall, I am digging the London vibe, as is Jean. We are both craving the stabilty of a permanent job though – which we are feverantly searching for.

Hold thumbs for us – no so much “funemployment” anymore.

En route

8 hours into the flight and I am bored to tears. I shall refrain from what series and movies for a while after this, as I have had an overload of Emirates “Entertainment”…..and only another  hours to go after our brief stop in Dubai.

Saying goodbye was terrible. My stomach started turning from the moment we left home, after having not slept well last night (which, I was hoping, would mean I could sleep on the flight, but after a 1 hour nap, Im WIDE awake…of course). Anyway.the butterfies calmed down after we checked in, but the tears started almost instantly.

As difficult as it was to say goodbye to everyone, it brroke my heart to say goodbye to my step mom and, escpecially my dad. I can still tear up about it now as I write this

Emirates has been decent thus far…some of food was over-salted, but iit wasnt the end of the world and they have, otherwise, made it as comfortable as an economy class seaat in a large noisy Boeing can be.

My cousin*** has meandered down from Business Class to visit, as have I, thinking I could stretch my legs. I couldnt. Not really.

Keep letting my mind wander back to Cape Town and think about how life haas carried on.

***My aunt, uncle and cousin ended up on the same flight as us for the first leg of their vacation.