2005-09-02: Brilliant

Brilliant. Not really, but that seems to be the word you just have to say over here. Yesterday a lady I talked to at a recruitment agency finished every sentence with the word, and managed to finish my answers with the word too. I should have known from when I heard Kelly saying it that was the word the British use instead of 'yeah' and 'but' and 'ya know'.

Edyta is settling in to her job. She expects to last till I start pulling in some decent money and then she will quit to go chase some work that she likes. It is a bit strange seeing my wife up and off to work before me, it used to be the other way around. Problem is when she wakes at 5:30 I am woken too, and I can't fall back to sleep because the sun is up by then.

I had an interview on Wednesday that seems very promising. I'd just walked out of the library after sending a whole bunch of job applications out and I got a phone call. I was free for the afternoon so I made arrangements to meet him at Twyford (which is near Reading, about 50 minutes by train. I didn't dress up to much, just slacks and a shirt because it was stinking humid day. I left a spare key in the backyard for Edyta to get into the house (she was at her first day of work) and then went to catch the train.

I'd carefully selected the trains and the routes. I was aware of the rush hour charge (about an extra ?12 through Reading) and thought I could make it to the interview, back to the train and then back again by 5pm, just in time to meet Edyta coming home. Then I discovered the the British rail network loves schedules as much as the Sydney one does. We had a fatality at some station towards London and that ended up cancelling services everywhere and making the running services late. I got into Reading and then had to ask what platform I wanted next (they only list the final destination for each train line, which means I haven't a clue what stops they make along the way). Just as the train was due an announcement was made that it was now at another platform. All of us that were waiting rushed up a bridge and down another to get on the crowded train.

Luckily the trip from their wasn't far. On the way out I went past a massive Oracle headquarters, a smaller Dell one and other offices for the like of Microsoft and HP. Seems Reading is the place to be for software. I got off the train at 4pm, half an hour late and about the time I wanted to be getting back on it to avoid rush hour. I meet the man I was having the interview with at the train station, jumped in his BMW and off we went to find a pub to have the interview at. The interview went well and I have another appointment on Monday (a business lunch, I feel like I'm being head-hunted).

Coming back was a planning disaster again. The trains were still running late. There were no ticket booths open for me to upgrade my ticket and I didn't plan on waiting till the end of rush hour at 7pm. So I sat an waited for the next train. While waiting several expresses went past. The trains fly along the tracks here. You knew they were coming because there is a boom, followed my a loud rush and then another boom. The wind follows them like a bullet and you a deafened for a second or too. I know I wouldn't want to be in front of one. Given the trains were still crowded I decided that no inspectors would be moving through the carriages and I was proven right. I got back to Swindon by 7pm.

My plans for letting Edyta in were perfect except for one detail. I forgot to check to see if the back gate could open or not. Turns out that it is rarely used and poorly fitted. Edyta, tired from her first day of work and frustrated that I wasn't able to welcome her home and have tea ready found the only solution for the door was to shoulder charge it. Luckily this worked and she also could manage to reassemble the door afterwards.

Thursday was moving day. I also had another job prospect turn up (see the Brilliant bit above) and I'm waiting for a call today about that one. But my main task was to lug all of that luggage we had brought from home and then Poland along the trains and up and down the stairs up one last hill and stairs. Easy I thought. Except I also had to add all of the Swindon purchases. It took me 2.5 hrs. of hauling stuff uphill and upstairs. I broke the move into 5 trips, so I didn't have to lift quite as much in each trip as our last move. But I stand by my guns of saying the next move I hire a car (or van for all the things we have) and just drive to the door of the new place. And then we burn everything before coming back to Australia.

Our small kitchen and laundry

I like the new place. It is cleaner, newer and fresher than the last dump we were in (no, it was literaly a foreign person dump). I thought the place was just the result of decades of neglect by tenants (renters are by nature a lazy lot when it comes to cleaning), however it turns out the place was all dressed up only a few months ago when it went on the market. In that time 2 or 3 girls turned the new floor into a sticky mess and managed to coat the kitchen walls in fat and grease.

View from our rear window

Edyta was hoping more for a country cottage with a rustic (run-down) feel to it and gardens and all the things you pay top dollar for, or live in woop-woop and have a car to drive to work with. For living in Swindon this apartment is okay. Except it has no TV. The TV from the other place was taken the night before by it's owners (who had only left it for Marie to use). Now the only TV we get is the noise that comes through the thin walls or floors.

Our room is top right

I've ranted on a bit to much here. I have a stack of things to do today (hopefully including getting a telephone and broadband in that) so I better be off.