The soul destroying thing that is job searching

I have been wanting to write this rant for a bit now. But, as weeks turned into months, I had a phone call. From a job agency. And suddenly this isn’t a rant any more. I think. Maybe it still is.

So, over the weekend I received a job alert on my email, a job (I thought) I was suitable for, in Bridgend – rather than in Cardiff or Swansea. Bridgend is such a short drive from us that it would be a dream to find a job there. So I applied. And I got a phone call from the agency the next morning. I spoke to the lovely lady and she said she was going to forward my cv and get some feedback the next day. So I waited. And waited.

And the next day arrived. She rang and said it was a ‘no’. But somehow rejection didn’t feel that bad. It was miles better than having your cv ignored, to be honest. She said they were looking for someone with Revit and with a more technical portfolio, and that mine was very design-focused because I’m a designer. She said she would let me know if anything else became available.

Now, I know rejection is not nice nice, but what I really mean is, now I have things to work on. Before, I was just thinking I am not good enough, not worthy of a second glance, or a phone call. Now I know that, even though I am not a good fit for this particular job, there must be someone out there who would like a design-focused person to join their company. And I have booked a Revit course too, so hopefully that won’t be an issue anymore.

But, yes, job searching can be soul destroying. Hopefully it won’t be for long.

(Good luck to everyone out there on the same boat 💐)

And I am just going to leave this bit of motivational Hanson here for everyone 😉

Five loves ~ February

I know. I know I am late. Half term makes everything late, right? And my website took a lot longer than I expected to be ready (and it’s still not 100% there but it’s now live and you can view it here – recommendations appreciated 😀 ) but here I am!

Last month – well, January – I wrote about going back to normality, this month was all about work. I worked really hard to take everything that was in my head and turn it into reality. Now I just need to get actual paid work out of it, but that’s for March to sort out. So, here’s what February brought us:

1. Adobe Illustrator + my Wacom tablet

Like I said, work. I needed a logo for my new business. I didn’t like any of the pre-made stuff I found – everything seemed very generic and I wanted something me. I unfortunately have zero money to pay a proper designer to do it. So I got myself on YouTube, bought myself a little graphics tablet and used the trial version of Illustrator to create my logo and a few of the graphics on my website. Now, I am not saying I am a professional graphic designer – I am very much not! – but I achieved what I was imagining, so I am really pleased with myself.

2. Beach day!

I know I have already mentioned the beach last month and I suspect the beach will feature very, very often on these lists. On half term, the weather was beautiful and we drove down to the beach, but so did everyone else. We didn’t have change for the car park at the top of the cliff – a fiver! – so we drove back home and braved the muddy path through the fields. Took us about 30 minutes and it was oh. so. worth it. By the time we got to the seaside we were peeling off coats, as it was a scorching 11ºC and daughter even ventured into the sea (some boys were wearing shorts, we are not that Welsh yet). We also went up to the castle ruins up the cliff and she said it was the best day of her life. And not a single pound was spent. It seems amazing this happened in February, considering all the snow I am currently staring at. Looking forward to being able to it more often.

3. Whittard of Chelsea

Also on half term, we ventured to the local shopping centre for a day of shopping, as the little one finally seems to be outgrowing the 6-7s. I had very recently read on a very popular mums’ forum that the best hot chocolate ever was Whittard’s peanut butter one and it got me curious, so we went in. The regret for never having ventured before was instant. So much delicious looking stuff! We managed to come out with only a pot of hot chocolate (white chocolate + raspberry), some instant tea, a tea infuser and the best green tea ever on the face of the planet earth: passion fruit + mango infusion. Amazing stuff. Can’t wait to go back for the creme brûlée hot chocolate and some more fruity niceness.

4. Coco + Showcase Nantgarw

One of the only let downs of the move so far have been the local Odeon. Expensive, with ridiculously small seats, small aisles, generally cramped all around. I know we were terribly spoilt by Reading Showcase, which had the most amazing reclining seats and was cheaper than the Odeon in Maidenhead. So we decided to make the trip to our most local Showcase, which is in Cardiff and we are glad we did. It’s not a dissimilar distance from us than our old Showcase and, even though it doesn’t have reclining seats *sobs*, it is much more comfortable than the Odeon – people can go past you without you having to get up and there are no elbow issues with the surrounding seats. And the film, what a beautiful, lovely film. Even if the subject is a bit heavy, I just absolutely loved it.

5. Flowers

In the old house, I would always buy flowers for the house from the supermarket when I did my weekly shopping but I had stopped since we moved. Valentine’s Day brought it all back as my lovely husband bought me the most lovely bunch of flowers and when they were gone, I decided to replace them with daffodils. I have to say I was slightly disappointed when they opened and were not yellow but they so are beautiful.

March has already started eventfully, so I am expecting to have a hard time picking 5 next month – and I really hope so! Onwards and upwards! 🙂

Photo sources: Showcase Nantgarw.

The house search ~ update #1

We have now been in Wales for two months. We still haven’t viewed a single house. Why?, you ask. Well, I think it is well known that the market sort of die around Christmas times and slowly picks up again towards Easter. There is not much on the market at the moment, there are two houses in the village that I like but are a bit more than I would like to pay for them – one of them has been on the market since May which I think, after our previous experience, means that they are not willing to accept lower offers. They haven’t dropped the price either. I still think we should go and view them at some point.

In the neighbouring villages, there are only new builds, some of them with crazy prices, as in, I might as well have stayed in Berkshire if I wanted to pay or even had 3/4 of a million pounds for a 4 bed. And I am seriously unwilling to pay £375k for a Barratt David Wilson home, I mean, that is what we used to live in and the quality leaves a lot to be desired, if I am honest.

So this is where we stand at the moment. I wish our landlords would decide to sell their house, I would be so grateful not to have to move again!

Pausing for a moment…

I have tons of stuff to write. Really, there is so much inside my head, bursting to come out, that sometimes I wonder if I should just write a book (no, I shouldn’t is the answer). However, I really really need to get some proper paid work at the moment, so I really really need to work on my professional website and try to get my name out there, instead of focusing my time on a blog very few people read. 🙁

Now, I know blogging is a proper job for so many people, and I am not dismissing the power it has, but I am not a natural self promoter and I need to focus on one thing at a time. I am still going to try and publish a couple of times a week to keep it going and, hopefully, in a few weeks’ time, I will be ready to get this blog going in full swing again. 🙂

Please don’t go away my two readers <3

Things I will miss from Berkshire ~ Tastes Deli

Yesterday I started a new series of monthly posts and mentioned I wanted a few regular features. Today I start a new one: Things I will miss from Berkshire. This one is a bit different, first because I don’t know how often it’s going to happen – I suppose as and when I miss them? – and second because I think I will eventually run out of things to wrote about. But, as much as we were looking forward to escaping from Berks, there is a part of me that will miss these little things that I won’t be able to find here.

I will start this one with a lovely little shop in the middle of Eton High Street. Once upon a time, L was a baby and I used to take her to swimming lesson at Eton College swimming pool. I then found out that this lovely little shop, called Tastes Deli, sold a mix for this very Brazilian thing called pão de queijo. So I started going there occasionally for my PDQ fix.

This was before I could drive and then Waitrose started selling the mix and started buying with my shop. Until one day, Waitrose stopped selling it. *Shock horror* So I went back to Tastes and, when I couldn’t find it on the shelves, I asked the lady at the counter if they stopped selling it. She said they did, but that if I bought the whole box (of 24!) she could order one for me. I said yes please and she ordered it. When I managed to go through 24 boxes of pão de queijo (it took a while!), I went to back to Karen and asked if she could order me another one – she then told me she was selling them again as other customers had also asked after them, so now I could buy my usual 2-3 boxes *hurrah!*.

This taught me a very important lesson: you, as a customer, are more important to the small retailer than to the big one and, if they can, they will go out of their way to help you. If you stop buying a packet of biscuits from Waitrose, Asda or whichever supermarket you normally shop at, it won’t make much difference to them, but if you start buying your biscuit from a small shop near you, it could make a big difference to them.

I have remained a loyal customer until we ran away moved and have already placed my first order online, but I will miss actually going into the shop and having a nice talk with Karen.

(When I was placing my order, I thought I would put a little note to say we had moved and we would miss her but then thought it was a bit silly as she might not connect the name with me and would be left wondering who the hell that was. I needn’t had worried: I got a message back shortly after asking “you moved!?!” – so I was left a little bit weepy to know that people care and feeling a bit like a twat for not telling her in first place.)

Anyway, I am rambling a bit now – but I am going to miss Tastes and Karen and will surely visit every time we go back to see our friends. And if you are in Berkshire, go and visit her and her wonderful shop full of wonderful and delicious things (and if you are not, go and visit the online shop!)

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