Two things I had forgotten

Two things I had forgotten:

  1. How busy a new job can seem (especially when previously you’ve been working out your notice/unemployed and particularly when you then step into one that has a deadline just three days away)
  2. How different the atmosphere of a new office can be to what you’re used to (in this case: very very quiet indeed)

And for some reason the new job has given me a Blackberry.  The laptop I can understand, but a Blackberry??  Rather embarrassingly, I tried to get it to do stuff by pressing the screen.

Blackberries don’t have touchscreens.  Apparently.

Cycling rediscovered

Millie riding her bikeMillie rediscovered her bike yesterday, which had been in the shed for over a year. You may recall that she learnt how to ride it without stabilisers and then immediately lost interest. But something reminded her of it yesterday – and, since the weather is unseasonably mild for February, we pulled the bike from the depths of the shed…

Remarkably, after just a few minutes of practice Millie was hoofing it round West Woodside like a pro. This was one of the reasons we moved here in the first place, because it’s a quiet little pedestrian square that’s exquisitely safe and free from traffic.

Upon waking up this morning Millie declared her intention to “do a bit of dancing then go out on my bike again.” And that’s exactly what she has done, ably assisted by Amber on her scooter.

I’m actually blogging this using the tablet, sat on the top step of our front garden, waving to the girls every couple of minutes as they come round.  Us Bexley Carters are living the suburban dream, baby!

Family of DJs

I’m in my bedroom listening to Africa Brasil by Jorge Ben; Amber’s in her room listening to the Nyan Cat song on her new CD player, and Millie is in her room listening to All You Pretty Girls by Jim Moray. Over and over and over again.  She occasionally leavens the mix by playing Fame or Nellie The Elephant.

Don’t think that I’m complaining – far from it: they’re all decent songs, and things could be a lot worse.  I have a vague plan to catch the girls’ music taste now and innoculate them against awful manufactured nonsense like Glee or that little Beiber fellah.  Things are going pretty well so far – they love a mix of reggae, punk, disco, folk and crazy Japanese pop. 🙂

Note, “catch their music taste” doesn’t mean “make them like what I like”, it means expose them to a whole range of different musics and traditions so they can make their own minds up as to what they like best.

I am going to try pushing them towards ’70s experimental German rock, but don’t get your hopes up…

With a little help from your friends…

I was so proud of Millie tonight that I sat her down and told her about it.  Don’t get me wrong, we always praise the girls if they’ve done something good or well, but tonight it seemed worthwhile sitting the girl down and making a fuss of her.

Millie had a friend over to play after school tonight – something we haven’t done for a while because, well, she just wasn’t very good at it last time – tantrums ensued, we were embarrassed; it just wasn’t worth the hassle so it was decided some time ago there would be no more friends round till Millie was older.

Tonight’s visit by one of Millie’s very best friends from school went much better.  It helps that the child in question is almost supernaturally polite and clever.  Seriously.  He used the word “reciprocate” in conversation this evening and was dazzling both Amber and Millie with magic tricks.

Despite this cleverness – or, more likely, because of it – his mum happened to mention that he’d been bullied a little bit at school recently, but that Millie, his best friend, had stood by him.  She hadn’t personally seen the bullies off – nothing quite so brave – but did have the self-confidence and loyalty to stick by her friend.

After he’d gone home I sat Millie down, gave her a big hug and made sure she knew exactly how proud we were of her.

It’s a small thing in the grand scheme of things, but if you can’t help your friends when they need it then what kind of friend are you?  It gave me hope that we really are bringing up our kids the right way. 🙂

Oh, and I visited my new employer today to sort out some paperwork and found out that they want me to start on Monday.  Having seen my new boss and new office in a non-interview context I can honestly say that I’m looking forward to starting on Monday. 🙂

New job expectations

It’s going to be nice to get back to work on Monday (fingers crossed…) but do you know what I’m most looking forward to?

Yeah, obviously, the money (and pay rise) will be good

And yes, the job and the company sound pretty cool.

But mostly I’m looking forward to rescuing my lovingly assembled collection of t-shirts and other fashion items from the wardrobe of oblivion.  Let me explain.

Prior to my last job I never had to wear a shirt and tie to work.  Over the years I’d assembled an ostentatious array of casual wear that I was proud to be seen in – that really expressed my tastes and who I was.  Primarily a unique collection of t-shirts, that included bands, nerd in-jokes, superhero logos and others I made myself, coupled with similarly bright cardigans and unusual shirts, and some jumpers that owed a slight sartorial debt to Star Trek – I loved them all. 🙂

But my last job demanded that I wear a shirt and tie every day.  Even when I developed my own “rebellious” work style of all black with a ’70s tie it felt like such a waste.  All the rest of my wardrobe, lovingly assembled over the years, had to be squeezed into the oh-so-short weekends.  Inevitably, some of it hasn’t been seen since 2010.

But going to work for a young, dynamic and modern company hopefully presages a new “fashion” renaissance.  Call me shallow, but I’m really looking forward to rediscovering my wardrobe, as well as some new clothes. 🙂

&c. &c.

Not much of interest to report, I’m afraid.  My previous stint of unemployment at least had the novelty of being a sort of postcard from the edge, but this time I’m not signing on or claiming any benefits because I’m awaiting a contract to sign and to start my new job on Monday.

Both myself and the Lovely Melanie are holding off celebrating the new job until I get the contract to sign and am formally invited to turn up to work on Monday, but it’s supposedly a done deal so I’m not chasing any other leads at the moment.

Oddly, Southwark Council still haven’t gotten back to me about the job that I interviewed for last week, which is odd considering they promised a response on Friday, then amended that to Monday…

Just as well I’m not desperately holding on to get that job, eh? (I’m not, but if the other job had gone tits up I would be!)

Gaming slobSo, nothing to report from here in employment limbo.  I haven’t been out much at all; instead days are spent reading and playing unhealthy amounts of Skyrim.  Yesterday’s routine was broken by my having a shave for the first time in a week.  Oh, and I went down to the village to pick up a parcel for the Lovely Melanie.  Whoop!

Hopefully I will be at work Monday because my social skills are atrophying as I sit here alone at the computer.

Leave it too much longer and I might forget how to have a proper conversation.  At least I have all of you wonderful blog-readers to talk to, right?