I’ve just written a very long entry about my interview and the ins and outs of it all, but decided that there was such a lot of soul-searching and gut-spilling that I didn’t really want public that I have kept it but made it a for-my-eyes-only thing, and I’m afraid I’m just going to write a shorter entry here for general consumption.
So, in short: I had an interview yesterday for a health visiting job in an exciting place (am a bit tired and emotional so photos will have to happen another time). I loved the place, but also am more sure now that I don’t want to spend my life as a health visitor, plus the particular place is quite remote and there wouldn’t be that many opportunities for HD, or many for me other than as a health visitor. So I found myself hoping they didn’t offer me the job, so I wouldn’t have to make a decision! Unfortunately, they didn’t play along and went and offered me the job, much to my surprise (having been out of practice for so long and having not ever lived or worked in that type of environment, and having fluffed a couple of the interview questions). A pretty sleepless and troubled night followed, and once I got home today and talked things over with HD I made the decision to turn down the job offer. I really hope I’ve done the right thing. After months of HD trying and neither of us having anything else on the horizon, turning down the job looks on paper like a reckless thing to do. But I had hardly slept for a week worrying about it, and ultimately, amazing though the location was (and it really really was), there were too many cons along with the pros for me to be entirely happy to accept it.
Our current situation is basically as it was. I have a job application at the university, which I will hopefully hear about soon. There are some health visiting jobs in Glasgow I will apply for as a stop-gap (as although I don’t want to do that long-term, it will be fine as something to tide us over if we don’t also have to worry about a big move, getting the Stately Pile in a fit state to rent out, etc). One (preferably both) of us needs something really quite soon though.
Thanks to Auntie Doris, who has just been on the receiving end of an enormous whingeing screed of streams of consciousness from me, the rest of you don’t need to read me whining and moaning. She does have her uses, you know!
What else to tell you? The temperature in my office got up to 30° today, so I gave up and went to the gym instead – I thought if I’m getting sweaty and bad-tempered I may as well be sweaty and bad-tempered whilst actually achieving something, as I’m not convinced my brain ever got out of 1st gear. While I was there I watched the final set of the Williams-Dementieva Wimbledon semi-final (hooray for machines with TV), what a fantastic match that was. I’m glad I’d finished by the second semi though (Williams-Safina) which sounded from the scoreline like it was so one-sided as to be utterly uncompetitive. I predict a Williams winner 😉
I’m having another thesis-related existential crisis (it seems to happen every chapter), though having managed to draw a couple of spider diagrams today I have (for now) decided I know what my thesis is about. This is today though, tomorrow is an entirely different day and I may well have forgotten the point of it by then. I’m getting quite frustrated with it – the stuff I’m writing for journals etc feels like it’s so much better than the stuff I’m writing for the thesis. It’ll be good when it’s all over! By the way, if anyone is in a praying/good vibes/candle-lighting/etc mood, next week a decision will be made about whether or not I can have an extension. I’m working on the assumption that it shouldn’t be a problem (according to my department) but until I hear for sure I will remain a bit anxious about it. If I don’t get it I am, to put it mildly, screwed. If I do get it, then I will feel much less stressed about taking time out to apply for jobs (I’ve got a few applications which need to be in in the next week or so).
Ooh, good (ish) news – I have an interview in a couple of weeks for one of the Open Uni courses I applied to tutor on. As I understand it it’s pretty competitive, but it would be good experience if I could get it. I’ve also (at last) completed my nursing study hours (did I tell you that already, I can’t remember. Actually I think I probably did) so am just waiting for my friend to send the reference back and then I can see about getting some nursing work. Unfortunately I discovered the other day that the nurse bank for Greater Glasgow isn’t recruiting for community nurses at all, but just for certain acute specialities (that I don’t have any experience in, or any desire to work in), which got me a bit despondent, but I’m thinking instead about applying to NHS24 (the Scotland equivalent of NHS Direct south of the border – it’s a nurse-led phone service). Not that I’m desperate to do that either, but it could be something to keep me going for a while till something more suitable turns up.
Tomorrow we are treating ourselves, as what with poorly cars and writers’ block and no jobs etc we could do with a treat, and are going to the Dr Who exhibition at the Kelvingrove Museum. Can’t wait! (will take photos, unsurprisingly).
At work the area outside my office building is being dug up (and has been for seemingly ages), and so for some time I have been working with a backdrop of drilling, which I have usually been able to zone out. Over the last week though, the workmen have multiplied, and as well as the ones on the ground more have appeared on the roof of my building. I’m on the top floor, so when they’re walking around with their hobnailed boots it sounds like a herd of wildebeest migrating overhead. Today they started drilling.
By lunchtime I was nearly crying I was so frustrated as it was absolutely impossible to work, or even think – it really sounded like they and their pneumatic drills were in the room with me. I thought I was being melodramatic, but I went for a coffee with a friend who has an office on the same floor as me, and she said the same thing. Unsurprisingly, we will both be working from home tomorrow.
In other news, I heard today that the article I wrote a few months ago (based on the paper I gave at Helsinki) has been accepted for publication by the reviewers and editors, subject to some revisions. This has been a really big boost to my confidence, particularly as the comments were pretty much what I expected and in line with my own evaluations of my work. They are also similar to the kinds of things my supervisors say about my thesis, so it at least also gives me some confidence in their advice as well. I need to do the revisions by the end of August, and providing that’s OK it looks like I shall have something published in an edited volume at some point next year. I’ve also had some positive comments about the draft article I finished last week, so all in all I’m feeling like I’m on the right track, more or less.
I hate Microsoft Word. Especially its evil corrupting tables.
After a friend’s suggestion I downloaded Open Office at work. To start with though, although it was downloaded and installed it refused to open, so I’m afraid I got so frustrated (having spent the best part of the morning fighting (and losing) with Word) that I went and got some cake. Mmmm cake.
This afternoon Open Office deigned to open for me, so I worked all afternoon. Then I saved my document. Then I realised I needed to work a bit more on it, so I opened it again, to find that it had become Read-Only. I was really fed up, and about to leave the office, so I thought I’d save it to my flash drive to try and figure out what was wrong, and work on it later at home. It point-blank refused to be saved to the drive, telling me I didn’t have the appropriate levels of authorisation to do this (what???!!!!! argh), so I thought I would email it to myself and pick it up that way. Only the file was too big for any of my email accounts to agree to attaching it to an email.
Pass the cake.
After really really really struggling to get up this morning, so getting to work an hour late, I found that my PC didn’t want to work. It’s the one I’ve had since starting the PhD, so isn’t the newest, but shouldn’t be packing up just yet. Fortunately the nice IT man managed to sort it out (I’m not sure what he did, and I’m not entirely convinced he did either, but it works so I’m happy enough).
This afternoon once I’d got back into my stride with work I managed to knock an almost full cup of tea over onto my keyboard (and desk, and me). I think most of the tea has drained out now, but when I tried typing with it just gobbledegook came out (no comments about the usual stuff I type please!). Hopefully it will dry out overnight and be back to normal by tomorrow, otherwise my redrafted thesis chapter and conference publication thingy might be quite entertaining 🙂
Tomorrow is the study day, I’m looking forward to it but am feeling a bit unprepared. I think cramming is the order of the day this evening.
I surely can’t be the only person with a very attractive paper cut to the top lip from licking envelopes? It happens every single year. Ow.
The window has been fixed today. I know I’ve said this before, but I can’t believe the difference between this time and the last time I tried (and, for ages, failed) to get a smashed window fixed after my last London burglary* – then it took I don’t know how many phone calls and rejections and whathaveyou to even get people to quote to replace it, whereas this guy in Glasgow sorted out everything in just a few days. Note to Glasgow people: if you ever need a glazier, I have someone I’d be glad to recommend.
HD has a job interview tomorrow. Prayers appreciated.
I’m getting stupidly anxious about stuff again. Work and money-related, mainly. I’m sure if I wasn’t so tired all the time I’d handle it better. I’d blog more interestingly as well.
* I mean, that my place in London was burgled, not that I was a burglar in London.
This is the 2nd week of my half-and-half weeks – first half of the week UpNorth, and the second half DoonSooth. To be honest, I’m knackered already, and starting to beat myself up – I need to organise my time better, I need to be more disciplined, blah blah blah. But I also need to sleep! When HD left this morning I thought to myself “I’ll get up in a minute”, and the next thing I knew it was 9.40! So I was stressed out already (I have an extension to some work that was supposed to be in on Monday, but we have rearranged it so I submit it tomorrow, but even that’s stressful and too soon!), but I also had various errands that needed doing. The most pressing one was sending my driving licence off to the cop shop (sigh – my first ever penalty points). I wandered down to the post office, to find that it was shut (great), and was also out of all the food that I needed. The world is so against me! After that I needed to phone the conveyancing company who are sorting out my remortgage, but all I got (on an 0870 number, so megabucks) was occasional muzack punctuating a lot of loud interference. So I have emailed instead, and (of course) got no response yet. This is quite important – for some reason they are saying they are going to advance me more than £8,000 more than I’ve asked for or want (what financial crisis? Lend it to people who need it! Gah.), AND as if that’s not bad enough, they keep spelling my name wrong. Grrrr. I’ve never had much luck with conveyancers – when I bought my shared-ownership house in London the housing association’s solicitors drew up the plans and got one of the boundaries wrong, and when my solicitors pointed this out they told them to just tippex it out and redraw it in the right place! Honestly – the world is full of numpties.
What did cheer me up though was last night when I got here. My sister-in-law is doing a 2 day course in London so is staying here as well, and she was telling me that whenever they see Jodie Kidd on the current series of Strictly Come Dancing, my nieces (who are all old enough to know better) all say “Look, it’s Jackie!” OK, so it’s not as impressive as Angelina Jolie being mistaken for Rosamundi, but it made me laugh. It’s like looking in a mirror, obviously 😀
Life is a bit mad at the moment, apologies for the less-often-than-usual rate of bloggage. We celebrated our one month anniversary yesterday (HD reckons it is therefore a luniversary – whoever would have thought I’d marry someone even more pedantic than me!) by going out for a curry – I think it’s the first time that I’ve eaten at that particular restaurant where I’ve managed to finish the meal and not have to ask for a doggy bag. Twas very nice indeed.
Today I went to the hospital for a physio appointment. I haven’t yet blogged about our honeymoon, but suffice to say I had a comedy fall during it and did some damage, and although I’m no longer walking like Herr Flick of the Gestapo, it’s still not right and I have two appointments for next week as well. Hopefully they’ll sort me out as it’s starting to get very tiresome.
HD’s job situation still isn’t sorted out. We had some bad news about that today and so it is back to the drawing board yet again. I was meant to go to a Celtic Connections concert with some colleagues tonight, but I just came home instead because I was so wound up I wouldn’t have enjoyed it. I just can’t believe that we seem to be finding some really great jobs and then the employers turn out to be idiots.
My w*rk is manic. I am getting really stressed about my thesis and the fact that I’m giving a conference talk in March. I’m sure it will be alright on the night, but I can’t think about any of it without stressing. Teaching restarted this week too, I wish I enjoyed that more. I have to do it, as that’s how my PhD fees are paid, but I find myself really resenting the time it eats out of my PhD.
Oh yeah, and I think I’m coming down with Man Flu. Again.
However, on the plus side we’ll have a new niece or nephew to get to know very very soon (imminently in fact), so that’s cool.
Another week would do, I guess. Although that would put the wedding back a week, which wouldn’t be good.
At some point this week I have to:
*listen to lots of my fieldwork interviews again
*read lots of articles and book chapters that I’ve discovered
*go to London and have a hen night!
*pay for the reception
*pay the church
*order a wedding cake
*go to two boring meetings at work (well the one I’m chairing will at least have cake, so I suppose it’s not all bad)
*tidy the Stately Pile and clean it prior to Best Man and other mate of HD staying over at the weekend while I’m away (I guess it might be more appropriate to tidy it afterwards, but I don’t want them thinking the flat is a tip. Ahem – perish the thought)
*finish my book for book group next week
I will read books and stuff on the train to and from London. But the other stuff will have to get squeezed into the next couple of days, which will be interesting.
Someone (of this here virtual parish actually, though I won’t out her here) made a comment on my facebook profile about remembering the stresses and suchlike of planning weddings, changing jobs, and combining lives – and there was something about that phrase “combining lives” which has kept bugging me in a must-remember-to-blog-about-that kind of way. On Saturday night, as we were sitting surrounded by boxes and thinking about ordering pizza (in my defence, I didn’t have much in the way of vegetables and, more importantly, there were so many boxes on the kitchen floor it was a bit awkward getting to the cooker) HD’s brother-in-law remarked that he couldn’t imagine what it must be like having someone move into your living space (he’d always had flatshares and whatnot before he got married, so has never lived on his own, unlike HD and me who have both lived on our own for ages). I thought about this for a bit, and I think that given that our relationship has always been a bit odd in that we’ve always been living at different ends of the country, or even further away for much of this year while I was away doing my fieldwork, that the thought of him moving in has been something I’ve been looking forward to much much much more than I’ve been angsting about sharing my space. The long-distance thing has meant that at times it’s really been such an effort, for both of us, that the being-in-an-enclosed-space thing feels like a luxury rather than a source of stress. What has stressed me more (or maybe not stressed so much as been on my mind more) is the fact that, because of my job and my funding I’ve not been able to be at all flexible about which bit of the country we live in, so it’s he who’s had to give up home, job, and all the other familiar stuff, in order to move up here and fit round me. So that has made me feel quite responsible (especially with his job here going tits-up), but also aware again how lucky I am to have him – I know not many guys would have been happy about me disappearing for 5 months and may not have waited, but not only that, to give up so much more to come here is something I don’t want to take lightly or for granted. Here is someone I’m proud to combine my life with.
The only bit of combination that’s really not going to happen (yet anyway) is that of our CD collections. We have completely incompatible systems (mine’s the right one, obviously!) and to fit in with his would be more stress than I can be doing with 🙂