Time Flies

Oct. 31st, 2015 05:05 pm
galadriel1010: (Men sparkle)
Apparently it's been well over a year since I last posted. I can't really get my head around that. Time is flying by.

Last time I posted, I was just about to go off on another adventure. I had six weeks in South East Asia, taking in six countries and a lot of cocktails. It was the most amazing time, and every day was new and exciting. We saw Angkor Wat, rode elephants, went on a boat ride down the Mekong, swam in waterfalls, took afternoon tea at the Mandarin Oriental, went kayaking down the river, visited a water park on a private resort island, had beachfront seafood barbecues, and did I mention drank a lot of cocktails? Some of my favourite photos from the trip are here in a photo book I put together.

Off the back of that trip I was brought onto a project working with a charity that sends volunteer teaching assistants into schools in the region. I stayed with the woman who runs the charity in Singapore (she has a beautiful apartment) and was supposed to be going back out there to do a full term of volunteering. Unfortunately, or possibly fortunately, I took issue with the way that most volunteer teaching organisations in the region are run - and hers was not immune - and put together a research project on the impact of voluntourism on host communities (I live an exciting life). This meant that we changed the way we were going to run the organisation, and although it's in a bit of a lull at the moment, we are planning to make it into a recruitment and training organisation that promotes ethical volunteering and aims to raise standards in Cambodian charity-run schools. Well, those are my lofty ideals, we'll see how it comes off.

From there it was back to the job hunt in earnest, and a sudden upswing in the availability of jobs in my area and a polish of my CV saw me go to 12 interviews in two months. I got declined from all of them, but then one changed their mind so I am now gainfully employed. I work in a call centre for a short term loan company, and I absolutely love it. It sounds a lot like I'm being groomed for promotion, but I have to stay in my current post for another 8 months before applying, or I'll have to go through my probation again, and I'm not even out of the first one yet.

Thanks to being employed, I'm also in the process of buying a house. That's proving frustrating, because we've having to chase our solicitors constantly to get updates (like calling them in October to find out they had no record of the request I made in September, only for them to find the email where the information I requested had been waiting for them to pass it on to me for 3 weeks). My seller is a moron, too, but as he's just been hit with the charge for getting hold of one of the certificates he said didn't exist, he might now pull his finger out and provide what I've asked for. Once he does, and we are just waiting on confirmation that the house has never flooded and that the boiler has been serviced, we can proceed with the purchase and I can pay someone quite a lot of money to damp proof it properly and put my lovely whirlpool bath in.

£120 in a junk shop, so even if it needs repairing it's a bargain.

So the good news (apart from everything, because it's all awesome) is that I will soon have a spare bedroom, and I will be open for couch surfers and other visitors. Just so you know, though, if you do want to visit and do so early on, I may not have things like dining chairs... I do have a very shiny food mixer, though :D

It Begins!

Jun. 5th, 2014 11:03 am
galadriel1010: (Men sparkle)
Two months late, I finally have a website and an online shop. For the last couple of months I've been plugging away at online retail sites, trying to find one that suits me, messing about with notebooks and pens to find products I like enough to stock in the future, and generally gearing up. It's all paid off at last, and my stationery gift sets are online at Creativity In The Box

I'm also giving away one of my sets as part of a market research survey I'm running here, and I would love it if one of you guys won it. For more regular news, and me drooling over gorgeous stationery, there's also my blog at Creativity In The Box. I spend most of my time there these days, but I will try to get back to LiveJournal.

Speaking of which, I've actually started writing again and rediscovered my love of the blank page. It's been mostly subsumed by Work in the last few weeks, but I'm filling at least a couple of pages of my journal every day.
galadriel1010: (Men sparkle)
Good news on pretty well all fronts!

1) The wasps seem to have come out of hibernation and given me my bedroom back.
2) The flat sale has finally completed, and I am debt free.
3) I have a new computer, having been without for the last two months. It is a thing of great beauty.
4) I have a fledgling business and have very nearly finished a plan to go away for a month or so. Thailand at the moment, but Australia keeps creeping in at the edges. I really want to to back to Australia.
5) I have been writing. In pen only, and writing on the computer isn't working for me at the moment, but writing has been happening!

After a very long, tortuous sale in York, which doesn't bear thinking about any more and doesn't need to be thought about, I am no longer a property owner. My mother and I are currently looking into rectifying that, to invest the money.

I am also investing in starting my own business, selling gift hampers of stationery. I've got some beautiful storage boxes shaped like books, and I've filled them with notebooks, pens and sticky notes. Everything you could possibly need, I hope. I'm also spending a lot of very enjoyable time seeking out new brands to use, especially in the notebook department. I may actually need to just set up a website selling notebooks, with options to sort by paper colour, lined or not, size, acidity and number of pages. For that, though, I need to learn a lot of coding.

The first thing I was going to buy was a new laptop. My little laptop is 4 years old and not very functional these days, and my desktop is still trucking on but is a bit tucked away in the corner of my bedroom until I get that sorted out. As I do a lot of work in the living room and kitchen, and do like to spend time with my parents sometimes, I needed a new machine that would allow me to do that, so we loaded up a prepaid card that gives cashback off our fuel bills and off we went to Argos - having spent the last three months picking out exactly what I wanted. Went up to buy it and... my mum didn't know the PIN.

So we tried again the next day, once she'd dug it out. That was the wrong PIN and the card was locked. I paid on my card instead, and I've spent a fair bit of the last few days getting to grips with Windows 8.1, installing important software like Sims 3, and trying to plan this trip.

I was hoping to go out in mid-June, see Thanatos Kalos in Borneo, do a teaching course in Thailand and then do a trek across to arrive in Hanoi on my birthday. Unfortunately, the timing for all of that doesn't quite work out, so now I'm reworking my plans and trying to stop Melbourne sneaking in there. It's persistent, though.

Among the stationery I have been collecting are some really lovely sets of letter paper and some card making kits. As I'm really, really into handwriting, actually legible for a change, and have a lovely pink gel pen, would anyone like a letter? PM me your address if you would.
galadriel1010: (Men sparkle)
Especially if you have a writing blog, but any sort of blog at all really. I'm trying to get myself more organised and have therefore got myself a blog reader app, at last, so I want to add all my peeps to it. I realise that I'm about 10 years behind the curve, but I'm getting there at last. One of these days I'll actually get around to setting up my own blog.

Kitten photos should follow soon.
galadriel1010: (Default)
This time last year I was travelling from Cairns to Melbourne. It seems like only yesterday whilst also seeming like a very long time ago. We're hurtling towards Christmas and 2012, which will be an awesomely fun year, and hopefully life will stop beating me with metapohorical hockeysticks and cricket bats for long enough for me to sit down and think about what I'm going to do with it.


[livejournal.com profile] laligin and I are going over to Halifax tomorrow to sing in/watch Messiah with my family, but not before we see the Coca Cola lorry! Nothing makes me happier than the Cola Christmas advert, you have no idea. But we get to see the lorry tomorrow and I will glee over it and buy gloves. Definitely buying gloves, if my glove stall is there.

I went madly shopping yesterday and bought 3kg of chocolate for turning into Christmas presents. Have to do those, or at least some of them, before my cousin comes up on Friday and I have to give her their presents. Told you life was beating me up. I should tidy the house too, but meh.

The writing is interesting, as in 'oh god, oh god, we're going to die'. I finished reel_TW, polished my Ianto Big Bang, finished off my first card for longliveIanto bingo, finished my journeystory, and have plotted out my next bingo card. Space opera on an interstellar cruiseliner. Space opera. Interstellar cruise liner. Squee.

Lots of things to post, anyway, and hopefully a bit less stress.

Apart from my dissertation. Yeah... that thing. I have a presentation on that on Friday. Joy

Life's normal, essentially. I probably owe people things, but I have no clue what they are. If I owe you something please tell me so, and I will get on it.

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