Long overdue for an update from the London contingent, but we've been keeping ourselves busy, if not out of trouble.
The end of last week was exciting! Phone call from Damien and Cheryl, Dee quit her job and I got an offer with another firm! We've had the flat to ourselves this week, with Colleen in Scotland visiting family, and Chris on a diving holiday in Egypt (yes, jealous, but there's plenty o' time for that). It should have been a relaxing week, but I've been working 12 and 13 hour days as we near the release date of our software. Danielle hasn't been enjoying her work for a little while now, as you may know, but she was holding out for an expected redundancy package i.e. instant "leave" and a month's pay. Unfortunately, on Friday her boss called her in to try to resolve things -- meaning he wasn't going to make her redundant! Damn, thought Dee, and handed in her resignation on Friday morning. She also has some negotiation to do, so might get her month's pay after all!
In between my long hours (and I'm not quite sure how, but working from home helped) I managed to do three interviews (the first a phone interview) with the same company, a sort-of start-up who are doing mobile banking and security stuff. All very interesting, and Java (which is my programming language of choice). The interviews went well, and I received the offer through the mail yesterday! More money, more fun, the chance to actually resigning tomorrow :-D.
What else have we been up to? Last weekend we had dinner and drinks at a Belgian Beer Café for Chris's birthday. Tried a beer called "skaldis" which was something like 11% alcohol -- very strong, but you don't really notice until about 10 minutes after you've finished it. It's lucky we were only about 30 minutes walk from home -- and I feel for Chris, who was getting on an aeroplane to Egypt the next day! Oy.
We were also meant to go to the "Flugtag" (flight-day?) in Hyde Park, for which I'd won two tickets. Unfortunately, by the time we'd found Chris a birthday present it was too late -- the traffic was horrible and the buses packed, so halfway there we jumped off and went for a late lunch instead. At the rate we were moving, it would've been over before we got there anyway.
Friday night was wine-tasting -- a charity event for "Habitats for Humanity" organised by a guy Danielle knows. It was fun, with a proper French wine-taster giving us tips and rating our abilities, but we probably shouldn't have stayed for gin & tonics, then champagne, afterwards -- it made getting up rather difficult on Saturday morning. Which meant we missed our cheap-ticket train to Oxford for a day-trip, and we balked at paying £20 each for a later train so instead went to Hyde Park and just chilled out. Hyde Park is a weird, wild area in the middle of London -- there were even people riding horses, and two guys trekked past dragging tyres as some kind of hiking training (?). After Hyde Park we saw "Happening" at the cinema -- eerie, rather than scary.
Today I've been working (I know!!) but tonight we're having a barbeque to celebrate our new employment situation. It was good -- we did the finances and decided we only needed something like an extra £130 per month to survive on our budget, and my new job will bring in more than that so Dee is free to take her time finding another role. A short-term contract, most likely.
I've got to negotiate the timings for December with my new work now, but then we'll buy our tickets back home. It will be nice to see everyone again (and meet the new family members of course :-D). Yay!