Sunday, 16 November 2014

What a week!

Cemetary near Winchester, where we went hunting for a family member.

I looked to see if I could find what this building actually is, but no luck. It looks to be churchlike and is obviously medieval, but that's the best I can do for the moment, unfortunately.

We visited the city about two weeks ago. My cousin is the genealogical whiz of the family (for my mother's side) and her search has led her all over the UK. One of our distant relatives is supposed to be buried in the cemetary, but it was a bit of a futile search, as we had no plot number or specific area. We spent about an hour or so looking with no luck, so will return at a later date with hopefully better luck. 

I hadn't been to Winchester yet, but it's quite a lovely city, from what little I saw. A medieval market town (so very expensive), but with a river - the Itchen - flowing through it. Definitely a place to return to. Plenty of buildings built in that random medieval way - not a straight line to be found!

I had a week off after finishing my job at the hospital. It feels like so long ago now, but was only two weeks! During my week off, I started my Nanowrimo project and did quite well - I got over 13,000 words written, which is not bad. Since last Sunday, though, I've done nothing.

I started a new job on Monday - ostensibly as a two-week temporary position, but really as a permanent one - and that's been keeping me stupidly busy. Not least because it can take me over two hours to get there! It's in a town called Chertsey, which is almost London (I would consider it Greater London, as it's just inside the M25). On a good day, it's a straightforward, fairly easy drive of about 1.25 hours, but otherwise it's a stop-and-go and can take much longer. To the point that after only TWO days doing this, I had to take a day off because I was so fatigued I didn't feel safe to drive (after coming home in the rain the night before too, which just makes things worse). I also ended up staying in town at a B&B for two nights so have now essentially worked a week for free. :O

My decision, therefore, is to find a place to stay during the week and then come home on weekends. I don't want the wear and tear on my car (or me!) and this seems the best for all concerned. I like my sleep, don't like driving at night (particularly in the rain) and hate that my days are now all work-related. I basically get up, drive, work, drive, eat and go directly to bed. It's only been a week and I feel like I've been doing it for months!

I'm sure it'll work itself into a routine eventually, but I'd still prefer to have a much shorter commute to be honest particularly if there are issues on the main routes. There are a variety of rooms available, most Mon-Fri, which are good to a point, albeit quite pricey. I'd prefer the option of a monthly rental that would allow me some flexibility of staying over on a weekend if I preferred or to leave Saturday morning and come back Sunday night sort of thing, rather than having to arrive Monday evening after work and then heading home on a Friday night, when traffic can be manic. Obviously I'd love a 5-minute commute, but I think that's a bit unrealistic at this point. So it means looking a bit further out, a little more driving but paying a bit less.

I did go and see one on Friday that was quite lovely, but a bit pricey for what it is. And it's Mon-Fri and having thought about it, I don't have enough money for a deposit + rent and I'd really like the option of staying Friday night if I wanted.

But I've just remembered that another staff member has a room she's desperate to rent near Heathrow for £400 a I think I've just solved my problem! It'll only be temporary until I can get my own place, or something more suitable, but it would solve my initial issue. I'll talk to her on Tuesday when she's in.

So far, though, I quite like the job. I've worked in a similar one (energy), the money is very good - and since I'm really focused on getting myself out of debt sooner rather than later, this is a good thing - there's huge potential for growth and it will ultimately lead to the next stage of my independence: having my own space to care for again (hopefully with pets allowed, as I'd love another cat or two). The town of Chertsey is very old - established somewhere around the 7thC! - and a mix of medieval, contemporary and everything in between. I haven't managed to explore it very well at all, although I have found the grocery store and the coffee shop (!), so I suppose that's a start. If I do move, I'd prefer to live south of the M25, still in Hampshire, somewhere between Chertsey and my cousin, so I don't have too much driving to do in either direction.

I'm exhausted from having to concentrate so hard on the road. There are hundreds of thousands of people on the motorway, speeding along, and I get really stressed out, although sometimes you can't tell that you are until you get to your destination and you unclench everything! :P I'm just not used to the speeds, amount of traffic and small roads yet, but it's getting there. I just like to make sure I'm well rested before putting myself behind the wheel that's all. Sometimes I am and sometimes I'm not as much as I'd like, which is why I erred on the side of caution last week and begged off (good thing my friend knows me).

So at the moment the only downside is the awful commute which will hopefully not be so much of an issue shortly.


Jane and Chris said...

You must visit's lovely.
I found the roads to be chaotic in the UK..I don't think I could drive there.
Jane x

Jane said...

Wow, what a whirlwind of activity! And you don't want to spend all your money on gas...err....petrol! Is the job permanent for sure? It will be great to get set up on your own again eventually if that's the case but I think somewhere partway in between the job and your cousin is the way to go for now.

its me, sam said...

I hope you find a place to stay soon! All that driving, yuck!

The Asian Pear said...

How's Nanowrimo working out for you?
I'm a wee-bit behind schedule myself.

Northern Living Allowance said...

Hi Jane - it's definitely on my list. Looked so pretty (I'm a sucker for a river running through anything, too). Driving is manic. Hoping to have less to do shortly! x

Hi (other) Jane ;) - yes, job is definitely permanent, and will definitely be looking for something mid-way, but not set up for that just yet, so need something in the meantime.

Hi Sam! - I do too. I'm exhausted, but finding, strangely enough, a bit of a rythmn, if you want to call it that.

Hi Pear - miserably! Have done nothing for two weeks. Not a paragraph or a sentence or a word. I think it's a bust this year. Hope you're doing better!