A Travellerspoint blog

Spain to SNOW!!

semi-overcast 2 °C

So firstly, Merry Xmas all!!! I hope that it was everything that you desired!!! And since i am off to Scotland tomorrow I hope you all have a fab new year (and that i make it back not too damaged!!)

So xmas was on board a party board to Spain....this incidently tended to be a P&O ferrie....full of people who were most probably too afraid to fly to Spain!!!(OLD) Still life is what you make of it, and i still had a ball!!

So get to portsmouth fairly simple, we had book train tickets, which seemed cool . . . boarded to train which left 15 mins earlier, only to change at another station to board our original train (as it got there 20 mins earlier). So packs on our back (well, on mine, mark had his little wheelie bag) . . . decided to head in one direction....

Stumbled on a sign directing us to Charles Dickens birthplace . . .how cool was that, here we are christmas eve, and just stumbled onto Charles Dickens birthplace....could not pass that up!!! So as eventful as it was, less than 2 minutes after setting gaze on his house, we head off again.....stumble through the roundabout and across a sign directing to the historical dockyards.....

Gotta be worth a look!!! the township was quite cool, had a brunch type experience in a little park, hence our friendly squirel. and ventured on....Did i mention it was xmas eve, so yeah, the museams were closed....Still had a pretty walk, saw some of the old bits and pieces, included some gates in the middle of a round about (have no idea who they were keeping out and from where)...

Kept walking, trying to get back to the train station, stumbled across a shopping centre, and then, thought, it was really time to figure out where we were.... thought ok, this is it,,,, and stumbled across spinnaker tower....So it was clear cut, had to go up there....could pass that up!!

So in line, and told that we had to check everything in. That was cool, but also had to allow them to check all of our personal gear to see whether we were concealling a bomb!! So it was a great veiw, and a nice place to see the sun setting...

On to the continential peir where we had to join the criuse ship (or in this case ferry). So walking back, i get to somewhere familiar and go, cool up here is the round about.....

Then some guy walking ahead of us, somehow ends up beheind us, and starts to ask if we knew where . . . and then stops ("nah, backpacks, you guys have no idea")....turns out, that we did and we enable him to reunit with his MRS. He happens to have book the same cruise, just at a slightly more expensive cost (we paid 99, they paid 149, and some others 220).... jokes on him....

So he disappears to meet his wife, we to the ferry terminal....so we are in line, he pops up again to say hello... apparently his wife had seen us earlier in the day, when they thought i was laughing at him stumbling over his suitcase (that would have been cool to see), so he returns to his MRS and then the people behind us (who has been listening in) decide to chat....First thoughts were, AHHHHH!!!! but after a while, they grew on me and tended to be quite cool.....

So it seems the six of us became the life of the ferry..... Marcus (an american) was the one lost in portsmouth, Belinda (an aussie) his wife . . . both living in london and heading back to oz in the new year...... Alan (on english by birth) and Wendy (an american), live outside cardiff, wales....

With alan in production (film & TV) and wendy having been a stand up comic in a previous life, definately made the trip very interesting....(they met after she picked him up hitchhiking across the states)

So spain was a very quick visit where we nearly missed our connection home.....and then coming back into the UK, belinda got hasseled (something to do with applying to residency and being a prostitute), and i expected things to pass smoothly for me . . . But no, once again the 20 questions from customs....i think i am going to have to get use to that!!!

So back into London, and Snow had been falling, not much, but still snow all the same.....after a debarcle getting home (trains not running) we walked down our street to see snow covered cars . . . and wake up yesterday and snow in our little backyard....

So, tomorrow, I am off to Scotland, where no doubt, there is going to be miles of snow!! So have a fantastic new year!!! And i will catch you then!!

Posted by cathdoran 00:00 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Reality Hits!

7 °C

So, I have now been in England for a month and a half . . . and it sort of feel like really that i have yet achieved anything!!

Still, Its only the begining. I am in my third week of work, and all i can say is that everything is bizare!!

I have been out of the city, I went to the area of KENT! Which, if you know Englad at all, really is not that great big feat...

Landed the JOB "Audit Senior", which technically is really the same as back home, but a lot more pandantic. All organisations earning more than 100K pounds require an audit. So thats about everyone... trying to work out how they do things over here is like trying to write a story in French....yeah, we have the same alpahbet, but how do i put it all together...

My next venture out was to Milton Keynes, basically a town that the english think is Bizare (it actually has grid lines!! WOW!!, the land of the concrete cows) in other words, some place just like home.
It was strange ventureing out there, you really could imagine yourself in another world, well time . . . things really havent changed in the country side for a few hundred years.

I did a seminar on Money Laundering!! A big thing over hear, basically we as accountants are the Governments eyes and ears . . . so if people are not putting all their money through the accounts, we have to report them....we find that there staff are stealing from them, we cannot tell the client (that would be tipping off) we have to report them, so a full investigation can go on...if we dont report them and its found that we should have known, its a 5 year jail sentence for us. So anything, regardless of how big or minor it is needs ot be reported. So when doing a clients work, it really is necessary to ensure that you check every invoice and document everything!!!! Too much work!!

Am causing a bit of conversation at work, being an aussie. Also had my first outing (unoffical xmas party) on a thursday night, and after a few too many shots, i really dont know how i managed to navigate the tube and get home...!!! And then trying to get up for work a few hours later . . . was helL!!! i was lying there thinking that i really didnt want to do it, but i dont have the contact details for work, so i couldnt ring in sick, also, could not afford the humility of it all!! So, on the train . . . laden with water and chewy (the mint helps the travel sickness, and any who knows me, knows that it tends to kick in when i am under the weather, somehow i felt that i was really, really going to struggle keeping it together).

So, one station to go (i use the overland all the way, and then walk the remainder to work, half hour (Kris, you would be proud of me), its better than spending the same time cramed in the tube) . . . however, I was not to make it . . . yeah!!! I threw up!!! on the plus side, i did find an easier and quicker way to get to work!!:)

I think though, for the sake of my sanity, (and waist line) in the better weather i will continue to walk. So tomorrow is a friday and is our official xmas party, hopefully i will behave.

So things are fantastic walking the streets, their are the guys on the corners passing out "the big issue" wearing santa suits, and every now and then someone will be whistling, or you even come across some kids carroling!! Excellent...everything looks so cool, however it does not feel like xmas, its too cold!! I cannot get excited about it.

I am heading to Spain for xmas, so hopefully that will provide a bit of warmth and distraction...also managed to get some tickets for a new comendy show that is getting taped next week. .. and found out that i got some more for another show next year!! So that will be interesting...I have also booked to go to Norway and Poland, so the new year is looking like i will at least be doing something!! Anything!!!

All i have to do now is get paid!!

:)

Posted by cathdoran 00:00 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Work at Last!!!

overcast 0 °C

So finally some movement on the Job front . . . actually more like a war!!

Life has been quite quiet lately, with lack of funds and lack of motivation . . . got some feed back from my cv and apparently i could afford to change it a little . . . by little, I mean a lot.

Interviewed for 3. . . completely different jobs. One was public practice (management accounting and value added with audit thrown in), RBS Insuarance (major bank, mainly being general dogs body, year end etc) the other consolidating a group of "off license" or as the aussies would know "bottlo's".

So the RBS interview was first up . . . really impressed with the ethics of the organisation, unsure of how i came off, interviewer did not really look me in the eyes, but seemed a cool way to earn some dough and the potential of staying with the company or increasing my profile. Great social environment, based out in Kent, a 15 min train ride from here.

Second was the "offie" . . . meet the guy, didnt really gel, didnt really care as was impressed from the previous . . . lasted 15 mins, so didnt hold out for that one. Turns out, he didnt like me either, but hey, I am not offended.

Last, but by all means not least, was the public practice, was really hesitate re this one because I dont know, came to another country to try something different, also it was cool, because it was something that i really would feel comfortable doing. Went to the agency for a brief first . . . then wallked to the interview . . . I GOT LOST!!. . . needless to say, david and i did natter for an hour and a half. seemed really cool and basically headed in my direction. . . the MBA and the value added accounting . . more management accounting role . . initially temporary, but a view to go permanent. Fate was sealed . . . this seemed the deal!!

Then the devil came to view . . . second interview with RBS. that was 10 this morning . . .meet the second dude (SA) short and sweet, we got along famously. Has plently of potential for overtime etc. . .

Spoke to agent for RBS, advised that i thought all was well, had another offer on the table...he called me back before 12 and said the job was mine!! Then had call from PP and was advised that job was mine!! God, what a dilemma. How could i decide...

Second thoughts almost entered my mind then!! But i went by my decision, and hopefully it is the right one. RBS have advised to head back to them when i next need work. so maybe it was the right course of action to take!!

One the "fun" side of things. Went to the musical "fame" on monday night . . . dinner and show cost 20 pp so that was relatively cheap, and simple . . .

Anyway, better bail . . . Mark is looking at me to reposse his computer . . . OHHH! Heard on the radio, chance of snow tomorrow . . . maybe i will get that white christmas :)

take care

Posted by cathdoran 00:00 Archived in England Comments (0)

Finally some normality!!

0 °C

So . . . the news is apparently my CV will not really be recognised here within London, which in effect is what I thought . . . and I am very willing to go for the NON QUALIFIED positions, but somehow, they dont want to put me forward!! I heard from the Nice recruiter, that apparently my CV doesnt read right, so i will re vamp that. But really, I cannot see how much . . . he has given me an example of another client, but they are an auditor and also have worked in the big 4, and only audit one or two clients a year. So they have the opportunity to but on the cv $billion company that they worked for. How the hell can i do that!!! I am trying to think of my largest clients, and really, unable to get there...maybe i have to look towards distorting the truth, maybe a little more than a little.

Tomorrow I will be meeting with yet another agency, and start performing all over again!! We will see what happens then!!! And then it will be me trying to hit things hardcore!! One bird that I meet with said that she will contact me every month, and the one that i am meeting with basically said that things should be fine after Christmas!!! Can i wait that long????

So went dancing last night, it was great . . . different to back home however i did have a better time at it than mark. Being a chick is easy, you just need to know how to follow the man . . . so, a lot of the moves are the same, but the styling is different and the leads, and the footwork is very different!! In reality, they dont teach footwork!!

We did the beginer classes. I then asked one of the 'taxi' dancers to dance. And i did alright . . . but after that i really didnt have a chance to sit down all night . . . it really reminded me of why i love dancing, and how something so simple can make you feel so good.

I danced with one guy, who looking back was creepy, but made me feel great on the floor.

So tomorrow is mark's birthday, and we are having the net installed. so that will be good, i will be able to put a lot more pics up for you all to have a look at . . . but so much for us being optomistic and saying that we will be going away for Marks B'day .. . the job factor is one thing that is playing very closly on both of our minds . . .

Posted by cathdoran 00:00 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

The Struggle!!

0 °C

So I worked out why I felt the urge to travel to the otherside of the world . . . LOL!! To met up with a boy that I never knew, that went to my old high school!!!

Yeah, so i started the weekend, somewhat on a little bit of a high as i did have a semi-lead on a job . . . not so optomistic about that at the moment (although, I am told not to throw the thought away). Had a quite night Friday, and then hit the 'walkabout' on Saturday!! It seems that i may just be over my little 'phobia' . . . had a decent night, a great bad was playing . . . hitting the dancefloor . . all the usual, and then like cinderalla, we had to head home before midnight as we have not yet worked out the night buses, and at this stage, the price of a cab fare home could literally kill us!!

Sunday we headed out to Camden Town to check out the markets there . . . some really cheap options on leather jackets etc, (still cheap is not good enough if you dont have money). Get home, order in (everything is delivered and cheap!!), start eating and then get a phone call from some guy from Nerang HIgh . . . he is about to head out to hear one of his friends play in a band, do we want to come along . . . Sounds like a great idea!! Get there, and still no idea of who he is, but have a good night anyhow!!

So today, my spirits are really starting to get down!! We have been here 2 weeks, and it seems not hint of a job. Though, cant complain too much!! I received a call today and turned down the job (£11 per hour) thinking that I might have this other job lined up (£28 per hour) . . . and then head down to a cafe to do the whole job search thing . . . emailed a few away! Have received another call this arvo for another job!! £23 but only for 2 weeks (starts on thursday) . . thinking well at least its money for a moment, but on the other hand, its bringin me further into the season where work will NOT be available til feb.... what do i do . . . interview is on wednesday, so i say yeah, but me forth and hopefully something will come up in the meantime.

Received a call from yet another agency today, so I have an interview with them tomorrow. THe job i applied for has been filled (or in other words did not exist, but they need some bait to lure people in)! AHHH!!! Just someone give me a job and stop making me perform like some little monkey!!!

So i received another call from another agency about 6 tonight, reception extemely bad, so i have headed to the cafe, where there is better reception! Any it feel very ironical! I always vowed never to be the type of person who will sit there waiting for the phone to ring . . . but since Friday, I have been!!

I really feel as though I was a graduate all over again!! I know i can do the job, but no-one is willing to give me a shot until i have uk experience!! So how do i get that!! Also, as i mentioned i am starting to wilt a little . . . thinking, i am NEVER going to get a job, but when i think about it, I have only been here for 2 weeks now!! Which in the scheme of things is not that long. I just need paitence . . . but please hurry!!

Posted by cathdoran 00:00 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

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