Thursday, 5 July 2018

More ch-ch-ch-changes...?


It's already July. ALREADY. JULY. Over halfway through yet another year and the potential for changes continues. I now have even MORE thoughts swirling about my head, thanks to a visit to Nottingham over the weekend to visit friends.

I went north (technically at least - Nottingham is more or less the geographical centre of England, but is situated in the area known as the East Midlands) to go on a ghost hunt in Sherwood Forest and visit my friends. I've known N since I was 16 when we started writing as penfriends. Fast forward 35 years and we're still in touch (he's one of about 4 I still correspond with 25+ years on), but this is only the second time we've actually met.

He & his wife, J, were wonderful and we had a brilliant time. The ghost hunt was interesting, if long (6 hours!), and we were thoroughly exhausted by the time we got home at 2:30. I have nothing to compare it to - other than what I've seen on TV and that's massively edited - so it was both what I was expecting and not what I was expecting. Ha ha! I certainly didn't see any ghosts; however, we did see a glass move (like a Ouija board type thing) and I definitely heard a couple of strange things. I also noted changed faces when we were standing around the Major Oak at the end of the night. This, however, could be due to tiredness and a mostly-full moon, but as this particular phenomenon didn't affect everyone in the circle, I can't be sure.

I'm a 99% believer in this kind of thing, so I really did enjoy myself. J wasn't keen at all, but I think is actually quite sensitive to this sort of thing, as she came over feeling quite sick during our final 'experiment' (the glass).

I do have some photos to upload this weekend although I didn't take all that many. N did capture some orbs around the Major Oak, but I haven't seen mine properly to notice if anything may have showed up.

So what does all this have to do with more changes? It's no secret that I'm bored at work. I'm torn between 'settling' for this job that I'm good at, that has been very good to me, is permanent, etc., etc., and filling my private life with more interesting things, or going off in a completely different direction entirely (again). 
  • School - but what school? What will I study? For how long? Where? How will I pay for it? When will I go? Part-time or full-time?
  • Moving - this has put a wrench in the works. I have a year to see where things go. If we're offered the opportunity to extend our lease, will I want to? Walking to work beckons, and I would prefer my own place. But the north...I love the north and the initial, tiny seed was planted when Jane and I hiked Hadrian's Wall several years ago. It has taken root after my visit to the Midlands. Cost of living is so much lower than in the south. But where? What would I do, the same type of work? Something different?
  • Savings - my birthday gift from Roomie E and the landlady, T, was a savings pot. You break it open when it's full (can apparently have £1000 in it if you put just £1/£2 in it over a year!), which is a shame as it's so pretty! Anyway, I decided last week what I wanted to do with it - take a falconry course. Random, right? There are schools dotted around the country and you can take various certification courses. They're about a week long and from what I can see, the programmes start about £400 and go up from there, depending on how far you take it. So, I am looking into this. As a potential career change? Hobby? Part-time work? Conversation piece? Who knows?? 
I have so much research to do about everything. The draw to the North is strong, not least because I could actually afford to BUY a place (depending on where I end up, of course, prices vary wildly).

It costs nothing to look, however, and I like having things like this do to. Feeling - and being! - more proactive about my life always seems to get me to the right place in the end. Even if it starts out as 'just for fun'...


T'Pol said...

You sound like you are a bit confused at this moment. If I were you I would give it a year before I spend any money on education or falconry or anything else. You have just moved. Let yourself settle down and see if you can find a better position at work with better pay and etc. during this whole year while saving your pennies. By next year, if you still have these feelings, go for it. By then you will have some savings too. But of course that is my opinion.

Northern Living Allowance said...

Hi T'Pol! This is my usual state of being, but I agree with you: I have to give it a year, mostly because we have a 12-month lease on the flat and I can't do anything before next June 1. There's nowhere to move to at work which I think is part of the frustration - I'm literally quite stuck where I am, unless I move jobs entirely. I am, however, going to continue to save my pennies and will make a decision on that when I open the container. But I do like having a goal or a project to work towards - perhaps the saving itself should be that? Thank you for your sensible advice xx

MW said...

Is there a reliable job site for the north where you can get a sense of salaries? If the cost of living is that much lower, it would be interesting to see how the ratios between earnings and real estate compare to where you are now.

For example, had I stayed in the city where I grew up, I could be making 50% more, but the cost of a starter house is now approaching 1 million. So I would need to be making many times more to be comfortable with a mortgage and down payment, not just 50%.

Whereas where we live, housing is between 1/3rd (me) to 1/2 of what it would be compared to the same city. So even though I make less, down payment and mortgage is affordable for most middle range income earners.

I think it would be an interesting exercise to potentially rule places in or out for long term sustainability.

jj said...

I for one, hate change of any kind. But you're expressing some things i am feeling too - in regards to being under stimulated, wondering what to do next. A year is a good amount to save and keep thinking about what is required for any next steps. It sounds like the North could be the ticket once you have gainful employment though, so that could be wonderful and exciting! good luck <3

Northern Living Allowance said...

Hi MW! That's a really good suggestion. It's easy to 'surface' compare with respect to real estate prices in estate agent windows, etc. but if I can't find a job with the same wage I'm making now (wages ARE slightly lower north), then I'm not getting ahead and a change would be futile. And I don't know the area, so not knowing that variable either makes it more difficult. Anyway, that gives me a place to start for sure! Thank you xx

Hi jj! Nice to hear from you. I used to hate change, but over the years have changed my tune. You can't avoid it so flexibility is key. I'm glad it's not just me feeling a bit frustrated at the moment. I think frustration is the proverbial 'crossroad' moment in which a decision needs to be made - too many options! As you say, a year is a good amount of time. A lot can happen in that time. Thank you! xx

Gill - That British Woman said...

We're originally from "Up North," which for us was Cumbria. I agree with T'Pol you so sound a little distracted at the moment. I am guessing things will settle down for you.

If you have time could you pop by my blog on Thursday as you will have a bit of first hand knowledge to add to my post. I am talking about WAY UP North in Canada and how to help the people who live up there. It will be published 6 am your time on Thursday morning.

Thanks, Gill

Northern Living Allowance said...

Hi Gill! I love 'Up North'. Have been to Cumbria (walked through it with Jane), briefly at least. Lovely! Yes, I tend to get in these random tizzies about things, but generally settle down after a bit.

I saw your post - terrific and so necessary! Costs for simple things like milk are extortionate and there is a desperate need for it all. xx

Jane said...

Hi Annie - Here I am trying to become a blogger once again :) The north does really lure in a person doesn't it?! I felt that the borderlands were a magical place - there's no other area quite like it. I think it's great to consider a variety of options for living and working and even education and hobbies. Often times I THINK I really want to do something (like watercolour painting, for example). I go and purchase all of the materials only to find I don't really like it at all! Then there was the summer trailer I bought after retiring which I turned around and sold after a month (at a loss, mind you!) because I'd rather use the $$ for travel...which I KNOW I really and truly love. Unfortunately (sort of) I'm interested in too many things but can only afford one or two. The same goes for you.
So take this year you've been given and really do a lot of research - it's good NOT to rush into any major plans which can just waste money - believe me, I know all about wasting money!! :)