Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Moving, again


Back here I mentioned, vaguely, a skype interview for a job up in Denbigh. I got through to the "trial day" stage, which I kind of mentioned here, well, I got the job, I start next Monday, the 11th March. Tomorrow my parents will be renting a spacious car, I'll attempt not to forget any vital belongings, we'll pack up their car + hired car, and head north. In the last year I've moved from Swansea to Poland, Poland to Ystradgynlais, and now from Ystradgynlais to Denbigh.
 I've been moping around here in Ystrad since Christmas eve, it took me over a month to get up the energy to go to Cardiff to visit my best friend (I deeply regret this particular episode of malaise, how much more we could've done in that depressing January!), it took me until today to go visit my grandmother (who literally lives around the corner!), and I've only seen Andy once, for a few hours, on a very sad day for him back at the beginning of the year. Now I'll be further away, half the daylight hours by public transport, ah rubbish! 
I don't know if it's my ridiculous mental tendencies (considering the timing) or the weather, but I've been feeling a bit more upbeat this last weekend, like, I wanted to go out... I finally got around to finishing portraits of my cousin and myself, for my other grandmother's 70th birthday present (which was New Year's eve, this is the extent of my lameness, I gave her 3/5ths of a gift; portraits of her grandchildren - I'm not happy with the overall result, I should have never stopped painting, they're clumsy and a little too different to each other), in the chilly spring sun in the garden. Mikey, Mat and I watched my mother on Match of The Day (shielding her eyes from the sun) in the crowd watching Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.
 And Monday it finally hit me, I have to pack! I have to gather my cluttered, clumsy, scattered excuse for a life, into a number of bin bags (because I somehow, shockingly, don't even have a proper suitcase!) again. I'm not as nervy as I was when prepping to leave Poland, I'll only be 161 miles away from home - so if I forget something important it won't be such a shame. But it's still stressy, I hate packing. I hate my way of coping with it most though, instead of making a list, getting organised days in advance and being a 1/2 tidy human, I just move around the house, room to room, picking up pens and scraps, and just generally sitting on the edges of various furnishings, staring into space. I have really really struggled not to binge on crappy (or indeed healthful) foods in my usual reaction to numbing stress instead of dealing with things properly. This is just as well, as photos attest below, I'm already reduced to "little boy" type clothing combinations, oversized t-shirts and super bright trousers, damn they shouldn't make red "skinny" (hah?!?) jeans in sizes over 10!

Another level of stress comes in the form of my soon-to-be living arrangements. There was a company house, 2 bedroom, currently empty, that I was offered the use of for the reduced rate of £150 pcm (for the 6 months of my Jobs Growth Wales work placement). It's usually £250 per person (so £500 a month). To be a good honest employee I asked if it would be ok if M could stay with me too (still using just the one room), but unfortunately they had to raise the rate, so instead of charging per used room it would have been £400 for us (increasing to £500 after 6 months). I've been looking at flats and houses in Denbigh, and I could get a detached house for £400 pcm, and 2 bed flats go for £350 pcm. It's a bit of a headache that my new employers feel the need to squeeze any extra £ out of me (when they well know I'll be making less than £250 per week, less with tax, and will have bills and council taxes to boot!). But, bosses generally aren't bosses by accident... On top of this, since it's a company house, if M lives with me we'll basically have a month there, to look for a private landlord elsewhere. So I'll be unpacking and packing again. I haven't even started work yet, so I don't think asking for an hour off here and there to view flats will fly.

I shouldn't be so negative.






















Did I mention I hate packing?


Sunday, 3 March 2013

Feb 26th in Bristol















Last Tuesday I went to Bristol, the first time I've ever visited. 
Throughout university, and since as people moved away from Swansea and Cardiff, I've often heard "you'd love Bristol, there's more going on than Cardiff and it's not as massive/impersonal as London" etc.,. Not only is it strange that the only noteworthy virtue of a place seems to be that it's slightly different to other places (surely all cities have this claim to make to varying degrees and extents!), but comparing somewhere favourably to both London and Cardiff (cities I'm very fond of) is also silly because it sets me up for disappointment (unless it's Amsterdam then it's fine because it's almost uniquely alien a city, and rather fantastic to boot!)!
I had a fine day, my Aunt drove, my cousin (her daughter), my grandmother, my mother and myself were the very grateful passengers. A very female voyage, complete with slapstick humor, foul language and toilet gags a plenty! It was a very amusing and pleasant day. I am sure though, that we would have just as easily managed a great day in, say, Hull, Croydon or Grimsby, neither of which I've ever visited (but have oft wanted to), all of which are blessed with wonderfully unglamorous names (and thus equally unflattering connotations are drawn up in mind)











Maybe when the sun shines Bristol smiles? Either way, I'm sure I'll visit again, not just because, for £8, I  found 2 Roberto Bolano books I've not read, a lovely book of Le Corbusier drawings and quotes as well as "How Proust can change your life" by Alain de Botton, hands up who loves Alain  I


Feb 25th in Cardiff