Posts Tagged ‘relocation’

Dear Sir,

Please don’t tell me off for not posting about sewing lately – I’ve been terribly busy and stressed out with the move and looking for work!

Thank you.

Yours & c.,


OK, so, I don’t actually have to hand in a sick note like at school, but I have been feeling bad about not having done any sewing lately.  I have been wanting to, but all that I can think about at the moment is getting all these things sorted out – the same thing has made it really hard for me to write anything.  I’m hoping that now I’m actually up here in Nottingham and we’ve put a holding deposit down on an apartment (more about that in a sec) I’ve got a little less to worry about and a bit more ‘head-space’ for writing and sewing.

Having said that, I did do a little bit of work on the Zombie Antoinette dress last night, but my wrists started hurting really quickly (I think because I’d been lumping around heavy boxes earlier in the evening), so I only did a little bit.  My camera is still dead, so no photos – plus it’s just the lining, which is rather dull!

While I remember – my MA mark has been 100% confirmed by the examiners now.  Yay!

And now a little bit about our apartment!  Well, the thing that perhaps excites me the most … (insert drum-roll here) … it’s 18th century!!!!!  WEEEE!!!  Yes, I am excessively excited about this fact.  There aren’t really any period features left, unfortunately, but it has lovely high ceilings and the large windows (I can’t recall, but The Boy thinks they’re still sash windows rather than modern PVC ones.  Huzzah!).  The outside still looks very period if you look above the restaurants that are on the ground floor, and the entrance is pretty, too.

Other exciting non-historical things about the apartment: large lounge/diner/kitchen; en suite for myself and The Boy (I’m excited at the prospect of having somewhere to do my hair/make-up and being able to get little storage boxes and shelves.  Sad, but true!); large hallway (for bookshelves!) and, my favourite thing… there’s a cupboard off the hallway that’s actually pretty big and has lighting in it – it’s an L-shape and is probably around 1.5m x 2m.

So what?

Well, it’s big enough to fit a small desk and a chair as well as the hoover and other necessary bits.  Guess who’s going to have a little office to shut herself up in to write!  I am far, far too excited at this prospect!!  (Yes, sorry about all the exclamation marks in this post!  Oops.)

When we were originally talking about moving, we were considering living further out from the city centre and could have got a three-bed place in our price range in those locations, leaving a study space/spare room.  We decided to stick to the city centre a long time ago since we don’t drive, so I’ve been happy with the thought of not having an office.  This feels like such a great bonus, now.

A room of one’s own… or, at least, a room of my own that I get to share with the hoover, but I’m OK with that.  Having a door I can close on noise and distraction is the important thing and I am so lucky to be getting that.


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Magical Mystery Tour… of Nottingham

I’d like to say a big thank you to the lovely Rosel for taking me on a magical mystery tour of the sewing and vintage shops of  Nottingham today.

We went to Husqvarna Studio , which looks like a very useful place for habadashery bits’n’pieces and even sewing classes:

The only down side about the classes is that they’re during the day, but apparently some of the local colleges have evening classes and the like.

I was v impressed by the amount of fabric shops – a cheap one at Sneinton Market, no fewer than three in Victoria Market, John Lewis (which still has that damn sewing box that I waaaaaant sooooo muuuuuch!), and even more just out of town in Beeston – I’m feeling spoilt for choice!

And my vintage clothing tastes were piqued by the awesomeness of Celia’s Vintage Clothing:

Celia's Vintage

So so many pretty things in here – I was sorely tempted!  I’ll definitely have to come back here when I’m allowed to spend.  It’s got everything from 80s puff-ball party dresses to victorian night dresses.  There are some great hats, vintage stockings, gloves and other accessories.  I sense I will spend quite a lot of time here.

I did get to treat myself a little today though… We enjoyed yummy pastrami sarnies in a little tea shop and on my way home, I popped into the gigantic Waterstones (four floors – yay!) and spent some of the money on the giftcard that was my leaving present from work oooon… Soulless, by Gail Carriger:


All in all a great day!

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So I am now living in Nottingham, which feels odd, but good.  We just sorted out the internet this evening, so I’ll endeavour to start something like normal service by next week, but I don’t want to make any more promises and then disappoint!

Still on my to-do list:

  • Find a flat.
  • Get a job.
  • Get back to writing A Thief & A Gentlewoman.
  • Finish my Zombie Marie Antoinette costume.

Speaking of which… It looks like my Halloween plans have been scuppered!  Fingers crossed The Boy has some part-time bar work to tide him over and his first shift will be on Saturday night… sooo it doesn’t look like I’m going to be going out for Halloween.  Meh!  I am way behind on sewing the dress, thanks to current stress and the like anyway, but at least if it had to be done for Saturday, I’d have a deadline to get my arse in gear.

Nevermind, I’ll still finish the dress as it can be used for various fancy dress.  At least this way I can get on with the stuff that is (allegedly) more important (ie, the first two things on that list!).  Damn practicality!

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A Room of One’s Own

The thing I have learned in the past month or so is that Virginia Woolf had it pretty much right: in order to write and create, a woman needs a room of her own.  Not just a physical one with walls and ceiling, but also the mental space.

The past few weeks have left my mind feeling mushy and overstretched and quite overwhelmed.  Every week I’ve been applying for jobs, telephoning lettings agents (often several times in one day), working, packing up my belongings, missing The Boy and dealing with the end of an era for me.

I know this is by no means the worst life in the world – I’m not moaning – I’m just a little stressed and my poor little brain is feeling utterly drained.  I’ve found myself unable to sit and read a book (unheard of, for me) or write any more of Thief, even in the odd quiet moments – I think it’s because at the moment the big things are not sorted out, they’re still unresolved.  Similarly, I’ve not been able to think about, never mind concentrate on writing blog posts.

We don’t have a flat, I don’t have a job (and neither does The Boy) and we don’t even have a date for the removal van to come down.  (I am leaving my house on Saturday, when my Mother picks me up – my stuff might not be going up to Nottingham until next week!)  I don’t deal well with things being this up in the air at this late stage.

I’m hyper-organised for a reason: I panic if I’m not.

So, at the moment, what I’d really like, what I really need is room in my mind to write and create and escape my temporary zombification.

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Quick Update

Well, I handed my notice in at work today – it’s official, I’m leaving!  It’s both scary and exciting, but I think mostly exciting (at least that’s what I’m telling myself!). 

I have also realised that when I actually do move, I might not have the internet for a while (ye gods, whatever will I do?!), so I’m planning to cut down my posting on here a little from every day to a 3-4 times a week, say, so that I can schedule some posts for while I’m internet-less.  That way I can update with current happenings and sewings when I’m able to get online at cafes and friends’ houses, etc.

Also, perhaps a lack of internet will get me writing and sewing more!  Perhaps…

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I should be getting on a train to Nottingham straight after work tonight.

I should be having an interview for a new job at the end of the week – my first bite from dozens of applications.

I was hopeful, I was thinking that maybe it wouldn’t be so difficult for me to get a new job, that maybe, just maybe, the relocation might go OK…

But no.  Instead tonight I’ll be at home doing one of my usual evening things.

Because it turns out that the whole ‘interview’ was a scam. 

Beware if you’re applying for a ‘marketing’ job that promises training for graduates – it might be part of this scam.  I’m just incredibly pleased that I found out before I wasted my time (4+ hours on the train to get up there) and money (£50 for the train ticket)!

You see, I was using a reputable employment website to do my usual weekly jobhunt when I spotted a trainee position in marketing.  The company sounded young and expanding and like a promising place to work – they were looking to train future marketing high-fliers and even mentioned that they were particularly interested in a new and exciting area of market – P2P (Peer to peer – using filesharing searches to deliver targeted advertising). 

Good idea, I thought.  Could be my chance to get into copywriting, I thought.  A job where I might actually get to use my writing degrees, I thought.

So I applied.  And the next day I got a call back from not just one company, but two!  Both asked me to come for interviews!  At last – I had a positive response after months of applying unsuccessfully for jobs!  I was glowing and hopeful.

After getting off the phone with the second company, I noticed that they both had the same number.  Hmm… Well, there’s no laws against someone running more than one company and they were both in marketing, so perhaps the two companies worked in diffierent, but complimentary areas and out of the same offices… Indeed, the firm at which I work now shares a building/address with a different company – nothing strange there.

Still, I’ve inherited a certain amount of caution (read, paranoia) from my Dad, so I looked up both companies.  They had websites.  Not great websites, but websites which kinda befitted companies newly expanded into the UK.  OK, not too strange.

I got on with making arrangements for the interview up in Nottingham, which is half-way across the country from Portsmouth.

On Tuesday, I waited to hear back from this guy who was meant to be calling me to finalise a time for my interview either on Thursday or Friday, meaning that I could buy my train ticket on Tuesday and thus get it slightly more cheaply than buying it on the same day.  Great.

It got to late afternoon, still no call… I decided to have a quick look at their website.  The more I thought about it, the more it didn’t make sense for a marketing company to have a crap website with no logo.  So I googled the company and the word “scam”. 

Unfortunately, there were lots of results.  It turns out that they lure people in with the promise of training for a glittering career in marketing, looking like a great opportunity for graduates.  Then part of their selection process, the ‘second interview’ ends up being a 10-hour-long day spent doing door-to-door sales.  Unpaid.  They do this with dozens of ‘potential recruits’ every week, thus assuring themselves of free labour.  If you do get a ‘job’ with them, then you end up doing door-to-door sales on a commission-only basis. 

No sales, no wages.

What a glittering career oppotunity.

So, yeah, I’m pretty annoyed.

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