Thursday, July 30, 2009

Royal Guest

Wednesday night is quiz night for Beans. Although he's been part of a team that consists of a couple of colleagues for just over a year now, the team itself The Crimson Knight* has been in existence for over 10 years now I'm told. The original member of the team was the department head of a large organization who earned the nic name due to his rather obvious liking for a wee bit o dram very now and then that eventually gave his face a ruddy hue. Said chieftain was also fond of keeping himself abreast on current affairs and thus found that the quiz night at the local pub was the best way for him to indulge in both of his favourite pass times! And so, a legend was sprung. Ten years later, members of the same team are still meeting at the same pub every Wednesday night for a round of drinks, laughs and to rattle those brain cells. The team is never more than 3 or 4 members at a time and attendance is by invitation only.

And so, you can well imagine my surprise when Beans asked me if I'd like to join him for pub night with the Crimson Knight last evening! Apparently, he'd told his team mates just how much I loved hearing about their weekly adventures and thought that it would be nice for me to see the action first hand, so to speak.

Pinky and the Brain were absolutely delightful individuals who made me feel very welcome. They confessed that they were just as curious to be meeting me as I was them. Again, mainly to assess what crazy person would move across the Atlantic just for Beans. (There is an alarming recurring theme to all of these meetings!)

The quiz itself was run by a very interesting personality who took his role as Quizmaster very seriously indeed and put together a top notch quiz each week. I'm happy to report that I was able to make quite a significance contribution to the night's answers and shone especially in the Bible round - reminiscent of my days as a Sunday school teacher!And then in the final GK round my knowledge of Jane Austen era literature also came in handy as I was correctly able to identify what is a Spinney!

We didn't win, but placed 4th out of 16 teams. Not a bad effort at all! Best of all, I was invited back. Now how's THAT for a Royal Summons?

*Name changed on request to protect the identity of the current team.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What a Difference a Day Makes!

Woke up this morning to a bright and beautiful and SUNNY G Town day. Like the rain clouds, the dark and brooding mass that had taken up residence over my head for the past few days seemed to have been blown away and I felt light and refreshed and ready (again) to take on the world of (un)employment!

So, what did I get up to on my very-productive-feeling-good-about-it day?

Started with a breakfast of a bowl of Kellogg's Crunchy Nut Clusters! Seriously folks, never underestimate the power of a great morning meal! And this stuff is awesome! Almost makes up for the lack of Honey Nut Cheerios in my life.
Anyway, started off with my usual routine of checking emails in the hopes that someone out there has realised that I'M the one they need to fill that wonderful job they have open! Not today, but that's ok. Was checking emails... but today, was different. The brilliant sunshine outside made me restless. What a waste of a day it would be if I spent it indoors at the computer. And so, I showed and dressed up - yes up. Scoured my suitcase for a pair of trousers and a shirt and actually brushed my hair and even dabbed on some liner for effect and stepped out into the sunny street.

First stop, Careers Scotland where I was told I would be able to get help with understanding the best route to take towards launching my career here in Scotland. A lovely man helped me out and in the hour that I was there, we discussed my CV and how I could tailor it to be more UK specific, the websites where I should be focusing my search, information on programs should I want to upgrade my skills and take some continued learning courses - and how I could potentially qualify for financial assistance and topped that off with information on volunteer opportunities in/around the city so that I could build up both my social and professional networks. Again, like a good breakfast, never underestimate the power of volunteering. That's how I got my first break in the T Dot when I started with YI all those many years ago.

My confidence suitably boosted and my mind bursting with the endless possibilities that we'd discussed, I left the centre a much brighter and happier camper than I'd been a long while.

With all that sunshine brimming both inside and outside, I didn't feel like going back to the apartment just yet, so I took a little detour down Buchannan Street just soaking in the spirit of the city as it bustled all around me.

And since I was there, thought I'd might as well get a few errands looked after.
  • Stopped into a phone store and made inquiries about getting a pay-as-you-go plan. Turns out Vodafone has a lovely deal on right now where I'd get the SIM card free! Cheers to that!
  • Checked in a couple of stores for Birkenstocks that I'd need for the Israel trip. Had meant to buy a pair before I left, and then life got in the way. Turns out that they're WAY cheaper here and so it all worked out for the best. Now own a lovely new pair that I hope to break in before the trip next week.
  • Found a Pound store and bought a bunch of odds and ends that I had been looking for.
Was on my way home when I stumbled upon a de-lightful little bookstore along Argyle Street on my way home and - NO, DON'T BE ROLLING YOUR EYES AT ME. I just went in for a look. OK, fine, so I bought something. But really, t'was a very useful purchase! A guide book on Scotland called The Broons' Day Oot that was a funny and novel guide to wandering around Scotland written in a most unusual style for a guide book! See... it was a USEFUL purchase indeed!

And, I'm just back home now typing this up for you, gentle reader - to whom I owe a great big "Thank You"
for helping me along with your guidance, helpful hints and even just "hang in there" comments that really mean so much to me. It helps so much to know that I'm not just spewing this into the vast depths of cyberspace! Also, I have to keep reminding myself that I CHOSE to be here, that I do have some money put away - so must not fret if I don't have a job right now, that I am earning a bit from the consultancy work I'm doing for my ex VP, that being on the same side of the world as Beans is lovely and what I've wanted for a long time now and, if all of the above don't make a difference, that I should focus on the fact that I am right now having the best sex of my LIFE - and plenty of it as well. Really, the unemployment is a little bump in an otherwise decent road!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Likes and Dislikes

After 13 days in G Town, I like:
  • Living the heart of a city. Everything is incredibly close and walkable
  • Living in the same city as my boyfriend. Its incredible not having to calculate forward or back in time before dialing his phone number, and wondering if I can afford the call in the first place!
  • Living in the same city as my oldest friend. We are discovering our friendship all over again.
After 13 days in G Town, I do not like:
  • The feeling of isolation each day as I am home alone looking up endless jobs online.
  • The fact that a lot of my day is now taken up doing mindless chores like dish washing and laundry.
  • The fact that planning the dinner menu is now the high point of my day.
If there is a job out there, please let me find it!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Honeymoon Days

My first week in Glasgow has passed in a blurry haze. If you're looking for details on the actual journey from the T Dot, see here. Beans and VBF and VBF's husband (VBFh) were all at the airport to greet me. There was a lot of hugging and kissing all around, after they'd finished pointing and laughing at me being wheeled out of course. Its all about priorities.

Beans' apartment is right in the city centre, just a 15 minute ride from the airport on the express bus. North American cities, something to think about eh? A hot shower and large serving of good Irish stew later and we were ready to head out to the pub. No, seriously - we had to. It was a friend's birthday and the gang was meeting at the pub for pints. As I sat there and looked around the table at the chatting, laughing, drinking group around me. Except for the change in faces and accents, I could still be back in the T Dot sitting around with the gang at one of our fav spots. A most surreal experience.

Beans had the next day off thanks to a very nice and sympathetic boss who understood that we might just want some time together after being apart for the past 5 months. Apparently she told Beans that he was no good to her if he were at work but his brains were at home. Beans insists she said "brains and balls" but I'm thinking not. In any case, whatever she did say, Beans was home and we did have a lovely time... ahem.... catching up. So many stories to share..............

I finally got down to working on Friday morning after the boy left for work - which is a 10 minute walk away. I could be as lucky when I finally find a job and place of my own! 5 straight hours of typing later, I was jarred to reality by the phone ringing and Beans telling me to come meet him and his colleague at the pub around the corner. Turns out that his company had decided to close shop early that day in honour of the Glasgow Fair weekend and the lads were celebrating with a little dram. Feeling like I truly deserved a break after my morning of hard work, I toodled off. Many hours later we staggered out of the pub, said goodbye to the lads and headed off to grab a bite in an attempt to soak up some of the alcohol coursing through our veins! And then since we were still in a tizzy mood we walked over to the Cineplex to grab the late night showing of Harry Potter 6 before getting home and crashing.

Saturday dawned much too early - but there was loads to be done in preparation for the birthday BBQ for the Short Angry Bastard (SAB). SAB's gf JellyCake showed up early (way early) with all sorts of food and drink goodness and we all got cracking with various preps. The guests started to show up around 2pm - each bringing more food and drinks - and the party reigned supreme until well after the sun had set on the city that night.

After the previous day's excitement, Beans and I had a well deserved lie in on Sunday. Really, we were trying to put off the inevitable cleaning that follows all good parties! Still, between the two of us (and the blessed dishwasher!) we'd gotten everything cleaned, shined and put away before settling down to a nice bottle of vino rouge and a DVD.

On Monday morning, we surveyed the colossal amount of left over food in the fridge and promptly invited SAB and JellyCake over for a post mortem BBQ lunch. Plans were made with VBF and VBFh to meet at the nearby bowling alley for a round or two later in the afternoon. Yours truly disgraced herself with multiple gutter balls in the first round, but improved considerably in round 2. I maintain that the first round was just a warm up..... the others didn't seem to be buying that! Ah, well!

And so, we are at today. Beans is back at work. I'm alone in the apartment with a cup of coffee sitting before the laptop starting on the long long long scan of the interweb in hopes of finding that one job that is out there waiting for me. Its bound to be a tiresome road, but the fact that I'm here, with Beans instead of being an ocean apart makes the prospect of the long days ahead all the more bearable. My toe still isn't healed, but I think I've found my silver lining at last.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Effective Communication 101

The scene: Facebook Chat
The players: A cousin and myself
The situtation: Talking about my move (like any other conversation happens these days!)

Cousin M: So what's all this I hear about you moving?

Me: Yup. I leave in a few days.

Cousin M: You're going to England? London right?

Me: No. Glasgow.

Cousin M: Where's that? Is it a city?

Me: Yup. Scotland.

Cousin M: Is that in England?

Me: (a little confused now) er, no... I'm going to SCOTLAND. Glasgow is a city in SCOTLAND.

Cousin M: Is that in the same country?

Me: Technically, yes.

Cousin M: So you're going to England then! Why didn't you just say so in the first place?

Me: Er, I have to go. Packing.... etc... you know. Bye.

2 days later. Same place. Same bat channel. Different relative.

Cousin C: I heard from cousin M that you're moving. All the best. England right?

Me: *sigh*............

Monday, July 06, 2009

Wanted: Vampire Assistant and Cauldron Makers

From being in recruiter mode over the past two months, I have now switched over to the other side of the fence - job seeker. Although the overall situation seems dismal at first glance, I have been finding interesting HR positions as well as some other interesting project coordination type roles.

And it also appears that even though organizations may be posting for fewer opportunities, the ones that are being posted are certainly, erm..... intriguing!

Take Project Manager - Scrum Master for example, which incidentally I first read as "scum" and thought that it could either mean mico-biological research or working in a law firm.

Or Heavyweight Senior Business Project Manager; would you have to submit your vital stats for this posting? And certainly, no Nicole Ritchie's wanted!

And then there's this position that is actually with Beans' organization - Clerical Assistant, Twilight Post which honest to goodness sounds like a vampire coven is recruiting!

But the one that took the prize was an advert for a witch (yes, you read right) at a tourist site in Somerset. It wasn't the job functions that made me pause - live in a cave, be a witch, do things witches do. It wasn't the candidate requirements either - must be able to cackle, cannot be allergic to cats.

It was the salary.

Apparently the going rate for a first class, live-in witch at a tourist site is an astounding 50,000 GBPs. I wonder if it is hazard pay for occupational inconveniences such as occasionally being hunted down by mobs of angry villagers and potential burning at stakes?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Teenage Angst Revisited

As if the stressors described in the last post weren't enough, today my entire family descended on our house for a Canada Day/Farewell to Me party. Thankfully although we had rain clouds that moved in and out all afternoon, the actual rain held off and we could enjoy the day out in the back yard.

Apparently my body is not liking all of these recent stressors any more than I am. I woke up this morning with 3 strategically placed pimples on my mug. Terrific.

All of my family took pics with me today. Me and my 3 new pals. What a great remembrance!

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