Existence (and the continuance thereof).

Dear Mum,

I’ve been holding back on writing this post because I thought we weren’t really doing much and I wouldn’t have a lot to write about. Turns out quite a bit has happened. Life is sneaky.

Lying in bed and doing little but send out job applications has paid off. After trawling through pages and pages of position vacancies and dispatching countless emails I was lucky enough to secure a couple of interviews. Jenny scored a job offer relatively early and so I had a bit of pressure on me to get my life sorted out or else be shown up by a girl. I was starting to worry that maybe all my emails were getting lost somewhere in the series of tubes that make up the internet.

Fortunately, I eventually heard back from two schools, one catering to young children (yuck) and one catering to adults. After an interview for each I managed to get a job offer from the school for adults, for which I give full credit to my roguish charm. I did not hear back from the children’s school, which is fine because children are uncontrollable sacks of tears and urine with bad hand-eye coordination and no sense of culture. Our new jobs are in Hong Kong and we will be departing Old Britannia sometime around the middle of March for the promise of a reliable income and an endless stream of dumplings.

Unfortunately, that still leaves us with a few weeks in England. Not that we don’t like England, but our cash is drying up pretty fast and we are eager to start working. Neither of us has any real income at present, and so we having to find ways of distracting ourselves for very little expenditure. So far Xbox, books, and jigsaw puzzles have been big winners, with the cat providing additional distraction by including itself in any and all activities we care to engage in.

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Such as writing this very blog.

I have been able to make a little bit of cash-money through a website which enables you to sell your skills (such as they are). Since the internet is practically its own country and lets in all sort of undesirables, myself included, there are opportunities to earn money on it independent of where you happen to be currently located. I’m small scale and relatively inexperienced and so I’m not asking for much money from my clients, but I’ve done a bit of writing for a few businesses with websites. Thus far it’s been relatively successful, and I have a 100 per cent customer satisfaction rate and have made a whopping £34. What this means in real terms is I am now going to put “freelance writer” on my business card and use words like “clients” with a straight-ish face.

We’ve also had Jenny’s excellent parents trying their darnedest to keep us occupied. Since they are both retired, Jenny’s folks have plenty of time to get annoyed at us for sitting around the house and generally being useless. Being the absolute legends that they are, they’ve responded admirably in this case by pretending we aren’t a huge detriment to their livelihood – taking us out on nice little daytrips to experience some parts of England we would not normally have access to. A lot of people find history pretty boring, but I find those people to be arseholes; and if there’s one thing Britain does better than Australia, it’s old shit.

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Old shit: not bad.

We’ve visited old towns, castles, and even her grandpa – all of which are older than Australia herself (just kidding, Bill). We’ve drunk pints in pubs that have been around for centuries, some getting close to a millennium. England has plenty of stuff to look at, and it turns out it also has stuff to shoot at – Jenny’s mum booked us some trap shooting one misty morning in Dover.

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Stone cold killer.

We’ve caught up with a few friends as well, heading out for all you can eat sushi and a brewery visit with Lauren from high school. We also made a halfway genuine attempt to find some proper ANZAC day celebrations with Vicki from university. Unfortunately, betting money and fighting people based on some spinning coins isn’t exactly legal in England, not even for one day a year.

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ANZAC biscuits, however, are above all laws.

Two weekends ago we caught a coach to a little town called Farnborough to catch up with the friends we made on Koh Phangan. They were good enough to put us up for the weekend and even took us to the city of Bath, which looks more like an English city than any most other cities in England. One of our friends got shat on by a bird, it was pretty rock and roll.

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Here we are nearly getting shat on a second time.

They also took us to place called the “Cider Farm”, which incidentally is not actually a farm. They do, however, have a delectable range of ciders to try and purchase – from regular old apple to flavours like cherry, strawberry, and chili (delicious). They sell them in two litre plastic milk bottles, which means you get to look proper classy whilst you drink it.

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Pure magnificence.

So all in all, England continues to be pretty damn alright. Sitting around with no job or money is kind of balls, but we’re comfortable and the weather seems to be somewhat improving. I am super eager to get my work on and start earning some money, but all things considered existence isn’t all that bad.

Will write again soon,

Joel.

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