Back in January I was approached by an agency about a fab new role at a highly respected charity. Was I interested? Absolutely, put me forward!
2 weeks later the agent rings me to say I’m top of the shortlist she supplied & they’d like to interview me. Yippee! I jump online to do the necessary prep research and notice said charity is also recruiting direct through their website. I umm and ahh about also applying direct, but professional obligations and fear of bad karma prevents me.
Another week passes and I get an email from the agent saying the charity aren’t interviewing anyone from her shortlist as they have enough strong candidates from their own recruitment. Gah! I quickly stalk the Director through LinkedIn and fire off an email asking if it’s too late to be considered, explaining the predicament and that professional courtesy prevented me from applying direct.
The following week I get a response from the director saying he was indeed very impressed with my résumé but they were only interviewing a small number and other candidates met the selection criteria closer…blah blah blah. Fair enough, at least I’d tried.
A few weeks later I secure a contract position and life goes on. An ex colleague forwards job ad from the same charity, to me. It’s a different role, same director. I umm and ahh about applying. Why not? Nothing to lose. It was Feb 17th.
I hear nothing back so swallow my pride and thank my lucky stars for contract work. A month later I get a call from a stuttering student wanting to schedule an interview this Friday….the 12th April!
I do the interview. Stumbled over nerves a little at first but then get into my stride. I come out feeling OK, wanting the role but the more I over analyse (and we all know how much I like to do that!) the more I think I’ve messed up. I could have answered that better or used this example there in stead of rambling. Shit I really rambled on!
A week goes by, I hear nothing. Two weeks go by and still nothing. I resign myself to having severely ballsed up and let the ship pass. I was funnel the disappointment into an angry rant at how rude to not even get back to me.
Then last night on 7th May I get a call from them. I was driving so let it go to voicemail. They apologise for the extreme tardiness at not getting back but they’d love to talk to me so could I call back.
WTF?! It’s nearly a month since the interview!
I called back first thing this morning and left a message. I wasn’t going to. I thought why waste my money calling to get feedback on why they don’t want me in a ‘shit we didn’t get back to the unsuccessful candidates’ kinda way. But as the evening progressed the more I thought why did they ring now? They could have just emailed or sent a letter. Why say they’d ‘love to talk to me’?
So I rang….and left a message. Gah!
I’m still waiting for them to call back!
I’m taking bets on how long it will take.
The idea had mulled around for a while as we’ve yet to find a Melbourne equivalent of The Line’s spectacular buffet lunch in Singapore. I’d read about it various ‘Things to do in Melbourne’ write ups but was concerned the Southbank effect of over promising and under delivering would burst our bubble. Nonetheless, Easter Sunday seemed a pretty good excuse to take the plunge and give it a whirl. At $120 per head it’s not cheap for a Sunday lunch and I was wary of paying a $30 premium just because it was Easter – that’s a pretty expensive ‘free’ easter egg.
The hotel itself looks nothing from the outside but is old-school plush on the inside and a welcome surprise. The ravenous hordes crowded around the entrance ready to plunge into the seafood a little too keenly. Lunch lasts 4 hours so there was no rush but the staff and waiting guests appeared to draw up battle lines in the countdown to noon. It was all a bit embarrassing, especially as I was elbowed out-of-the-way by one over-zealous mother and her 4 children in a bid to get to the front of the queue. All unnecessarily of course, as seating is allocated by booking.
The staff and service were great, on the way to our window table, the waitress showed us around the various stations and explained how it all worked. We ordered wine and launched ourselves. The seafood platters consisted of oysters, prawns, muscles and crayfish. The prawns were a little disappointing in that they were small and bland in comparison to others I’ve eaten and the dressings were limited for oysters unless you’re willing to venture over to the sushi station and steal theirs.
There are roasts aplenty with chicken, lamb, spiced pork belly, crispy duck and beef on offer. Vegetables weren’t readily available and Posh boy was disappointed not to find gravy (I found it tucked away on the side) and yorkshire puddings. It is all about timing when it comes to the roast station as the chef was busy serving the long queue for crispy duck pancakes and not replenishing the meat trays. A personal highlight for me was the Indian station where the chef cooked naan to your specification – the cheese and garlic was beautiful – in a kiln type oven. The saag aloo and chicken tikka dishes were also delicious. I wasn’t so sure about keeping the tails on the prawns in the masala, it just made for messiness.
Pacing is also key for these buffets, the cheese board and antipasta stations cannot be skipped and I’d recommend those over the more popular seafood and roast stations to be honest. The desserts finished things off nicely with the small portions perfect to sample a few without feeling sick.
A good walk along Southbank is a must after the indulgence but unfortunately for us, it was raining so we made our way back to Posh Boy’s for an afternoon nap. It’s the best buffet lunch I’ve had in Melbourne but I’d still say the quality was a little disappointing. You’re never going to get top quality produce at a buffet lunch for $120 I did expect a little more.
I have just found this passage, which is far more eloquent that I was in the last post:
Every relationship has a cycle.
In the beginning, you fall in love with your partner. You expect their calls, want their touch, and like their idiosyncrasies. Falling in love wasn’t hard. In fact, it was a completely natural and spontaneous experience. You didn’t have to DO anything. That’s why it’s called “falling” in love.
People in love sometimes say. “I was swept off my feet.” Picture the expression. It implies that you were just standing there; doing nothing and then something happened TO YOU.
Falling in love is a passive and spontaneous experience. But after a few months or years of being together, the euphoria of love fades. It’s a natural cycle of EVERY relationship. Slowly but surely phone calls become a bother (if they come at all), touch is not always welcome (when it happens) and your spouse’s idiosyncrasies, instead of being cute, drive you nuts. The symptoms of this stage vary with every relationship; you will notice a dramatic difference between the initial stage when you were in love and a much duller or even angry subsequent stage.
At this point, you and/or your partner might start asking, “Am I with the right person?” And as you reflect on the euphoria of the love you once had, you may begin to desire that experience with someone else. This is when relationships break down.
The key to succeeding in a relationship is not finding the right person; it’s learning to love the person you found.
People blame their partners for their unhappiness and look outside for fulfillment. Infidelity is the most common but sometimes people turn to work, a hobby, friendship, excessive TV or abusive substances. The answer to this dilemma does not lie outside your relationship, it lies within it. That’s not to say you couldn’t fall in love with someone else. You could and temporarily you’d feel better but you’d be in the same situation a few years later.
The key to succeeding in a relationship is not finding the right person; it’s learning to love the person you found…unconditionally. Sustaining love is not a passive or spontaneous experience. You have to work on it day in and day out. It takes time, effort and energy. You have to know what to do to make it work. Love is a decision as well as a feeling.
Remember: fate determines who walks into your life. It is up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay and who you refuse to let go.
After reading this post I had a couple of texts, emails and emergency Skype sessions from worried friends. I love my friends.
I have to remind followers I tend to write things on here as a form of therapy. It helps to get the stresses and chaos out of my head on the screen. Usually – and I’m not sure why – it seems to make sense once it’s out of my head, although it does make some of the posts cringe-worthy reading.
When I wrote this post, I was upset. I was hormonal and tired. That’s not to say I’m excusing his non-committal nature and it’s not to say my feeling aren’t valid, I’m just not as concerned about the situation as I was that night. The facts remain:
- We care a lot about each other.
- We enjoy spending time together.
- We don’t know what the future holds – no-one does.
- He is more risk-averse than me and more comfortable with the greyness of not having a plan.
- It’s not fair for me to project my insecurities on him and assume he’s going to act like the one I thought was the one.
- We’re both happier together than we’ve been with anyone else – and a damn sight happier than we’d be if we were alone.
Last week, I got a call about a job at an organisation I’d love to work for. The role isn’t exactly perfect but it’s a way in. I keep it on the down low as I didn’t want the additional pressure of people asking awkward questions. I’d mentioned it in passing to him on the phone. He didn’t make a big deal just gave me the right level of encouragement and move on to the next topic of conversation. He sensed I was nervous which is why email he sent the day before meant so much more:
Good luck tomorrow [northern lass]. I don’t know what time I’ll get in tonight after [work dinner] so won’t ring. You’ll smash it x
Then a text 10 minutes into the alloted interview time:
How did it go? Let me know when you’re out.
Then later, after work he sat patiently listening to me analyse and dissect each and every question and fed me cider, even though it was probably the last thing he wanted to do at the end of a long week. After he’d had a tough politically infused week which saw the cancellation of his project he’d put hours of work into.
Actions do speak louder than words. He can be irritatingly selfish sometimes – and so can I – but I know deep down he loves me.
…for a while.
It was (great) Aunty Isobel who first brought her divisive power to my attention, “Don’t you dare mention that woman’s name in this house!” It was the mid 80s, I was about 7 or 8 years old and I liked the bright blue suit the woman on the TV was wearing. I lived in a working class northern town where the lives of its inhabitants depending on where the next shipbuilding contract came from. I remember the day I came home from school to silence and tension when two uncles lost their jobs. I remember my Mum taking soups and stews round to her sister when money got tight. I remember my cousins coming for ‘holidays’ to our house, camping in the back garden and playing on the beach because we couldn’t afford a holiday. Apparently the woman in the nice blue suit was to blame.
I remember being confused. I was to support Neil Kinnock and the ‘reds’. But red clashed with my fiery red hair – blue was a much nicer colour. Being a carrot top, I was sensitive to all things red and so this was generally the way I chose my allegiances. The mere suggestion of a compliment directed towards ‘those bloody ‘Tories’ resulted in a slap and my Dad pulling me to one side and telling never to discuss politics or religion* at the dinner table. I was brought up Labour, voted Labour in my first general election in 1997 to turn John Major out of No.10 and cheered in Tony Blair. I’d seen first hand the devastation caused by privatisation to my town. The yuppie era was alien to me, just something I saw on TV. No-one I knew had done well out of Thatcherism. It was time for a change, the ‘Tories had taken things too far and now I had the power of my vote to make a difference and I was going to put it to good use.
Ah the ignorance of youth!
Despite my working class background, my parents scrimped and saved to send me and my sister to private school. I know this was frowned upon by most if not all of our wider family but it enabled me to go university and learn about market forces within my business studies degree. This in turn, led me to London where I discovered a whole new culture and lifestyle built on the benefits of open markets and competition. As Alan Sugar tweeted last night, Thatcher enabled cheeky chappies to be entrepreneurs as well as the élite.
Don’t get me wrong, my politics have remained left but I can also see how Thatcherism saved the UK economy and remained a main player in the global markets. I didn’t like or agree with the way change occurred within the UK in the 80s but that’s not to say it didn’t need to be done!
Over the last 24 hours, I’ve been incensed by the ‘ding dong’ comments on twitter and Facebook. Reading that people held impromptu parties in the streets in Brixton, Glasgow – and in my hometown makes me ashamed to be British. Margaret Thatcher walked the talk and stood firm in her beliefs. She changed Britain, she was the first, and in my opinion the last, change-making politican to lead the country. She was the first, and only, female prime minister and went on to be the long serving leader of the 20th century. Yet she wasn’t a feminist, refused to talk about feminism, even in her retirement and let her work and achievements speak for her.
That in itself, is to be respected. She is to be respected. She was a mother, a doting wife, a leader and an achiever. Can Edward Heath, John Major, Gordon Brown or Dave Cameron claim the same? What is their legacy? Tony Blair only just managed to scrape in the Northern Ireland peace treaty before bowing out, otherwise Iraq threatened to be his legacy.
I’ve been surprised by some of the comments from people I class as friends in my news feed. I’ve even been forced to hide them. Everyone has a right to their opinion but I think a line has been overstepped. A woman that contributed much to making Britain what it is today, has died. At least wait 24 hours before venting your spleen.
This is why I won’t be logging onto social media for a while. I just don’t think my blood pressure can take it.
*Dad’s family is Irish Catholic and/or protestant depending on who you talk to – and no-one really talks about it.
I saw this today on Facebook and had to repost. Apologies to my Southerner mates (of which I have many) but I couldn’t resist:
Once upon a time, in the Kingdom of Heaven, God went missing for six days. Eventually, Archangel Michael found him on the seventh day resting. He enquired of God, ‘Where have you been?’
God pointed downwards through the clouds. Archangel Michael looked puzzled and said, ‘What is it?’
‘It’s a planet,’ replied God, ‘and I’ve put LIFE on it. I’m going to call it Earth and it’s going to be a great place of balance.’
‘Balance?’ inquired Michael, still confused.
God explained, pointing down to different parts of the Earth. ‘For example, North America will be a place of great opportunity and wealth, while South America is going to be poor; the Middle East over there will be a hot spot, and Russia will be a cold spot. Over there I’ve placed a continent of white people and over there is a continent of black people.’
God continued, pointing to the different countries.
This one will be extremely hot and arid while this one will be very cold and covered in ice.’
The Archangel, impressed by God’s work, then pointed to another area of land and asked, ‘What’s that?’
‘Ah,’ said God. That’s the North of England, the most glorious place on earth. There are beautiful people, seven Premiership football teams in the North West alone, and many impressive cities; it is the home of the world’s finest artists, musicians, writers, thinkers, explorers and politicians. The people from the North of England are going to be modest, intelligent and humorous and they’re going to be found travelling the world. They’ll be extremely sociable, hard-working and high-achieving, and they will be known throughout the world as speakers of truth.’
Michael gasped in wonder and admiration but then proclaimed, ‘What about balance God, you said there will be BALANCE!’
God replied very wisely, ‘Wait till you see the bunch of tossers I’m putting down South!
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I met him 10 months and 2 days ago.
That’s 43 weeks.
Yet he can’t – won’t – commit.
I’ve nearly called it off 3 times but I want to be with him. I know he’s a good person, he just can’t open up and let me in. He says I’ll always be a part of his life but I sense him drifting from me. I’m scared he’ll finish it and whip the rug from underneath me. He hates my need for reassurance because he can’t give me what I want.
He says we have fun and enjoy being together. We do. Why can’t this be enough?
Why does the frustration leave me so sad? He does love me, in his way. He’s lost too many people he loves, to let me in, in the conventional way. I understand that. It doesn’t make it any easier to accept.
I asked him to let me in, to talk about the tough times as well as the good. He refuses, saying we’re fun and why spoil it with boring stuff. The more I push, the more he closes the door on me.
At the beginning of the year he talked about all the trips we could take in 2013. There was skiing in NZ, Singapore for the Grand Prix again, UK for Christmas to meet his Dad. Tonight I mention there’s a sale on flights to Singers and should I book my ticket (he already booked his when I was unemployed)? He stalls me. He can’t remember what flights he booked or the dates. Why don’t I leave it to ‘wait and see what happens’.
On Saturday we were out with his flatmate and girlfriend and another couple they know but we’ve never met. We all hit it off and have a good night. They ask how long we’ve been together. A very drunk Posh Boy says ‘Not long…a couple of months…’
WTF?! I correct him but don’t bite, I know he’s just drunk and uncomfortable when talking about the status of our relationship. I know he has perfectly sound reasons for acting this way. It doesn’t stop it hurting though.
I’ve invited him on our annual trip to Sydney for the City2Surf. I’ve booked cheap flights for us both. He’s stalling about entering worrying about his old heel injury. Then goes and runs 10k on Friday morning like he has something to prove. I ask him if he’s going to enter and he says this year he’ll just be my cheer squad.
Is it wrong for me to be disappointed? Was it wrong for me to be disappointed when he didn’t make it to my sister’s wedding because he was (genuinely) ill? Was it wrong for me to be disappointed he doesn’t want to camping, even for one night, and I miss out on a great weekend away with my friends?
Am I expecting too much from him?
It seems I have a lot to learn and yet some things I’ve clearly not forgotten. I stuck out like a sore thumb and that wasn’t my paranoia, the gusty wind made sure I was the centre of attention as my knickers became the latest exhibition at Swinburne University‘s student gallery of calamity.
I’m not even sure why I went there, I was brain-dead from filtering through realms of research from work at government agency the last thing I wanted to do on a 29* balmy Wednesday evening was read some more, but when I saw the signpost to the campus was only 1km, I turned left and found a car park.
I’m the first to admit I’m an online geek but I have to say, I’ve struggled with reading the set reading in e-book format. I printed out the first week’s worth but soon regretted that as my home office space and work office space seem to be merging into a mass of dog-eared paper. I thought I’d go old skool and buy the text-book. Heaven forbid!
So I found myself among my fellow undergraduates milling through the campus only they seemed to know where they were going. I was lost. I found a campus map. The names of the buildings on the map bore no resemblance to the names of the building surrounding me, but I was pretty confident I’d found the students’ union.
It was strikingly different to my 90s British university experience of a huge temporary building with a ‘old pub’ themed…er…pub downstair and tacky nightclub theme upstairs. The floors were sticky, the walls stickier and the toilets, generally broken. There was a cloakroom, pool tables and some sort of sonic the hedgehog type racing game (I never have been very up on my games consoles). It served hangover curing greasy breakfast and heart attack inducing dinners of cheesy chips. It was bleedin’ marvelous. It was my home for 4 years. I experienced all range of emotions in that place, it was basic yet beautiful and served our every need. After all, what more does an 18 year old want in life except cheap beer and chips ‘n’ cheese.
I had the best times during those years. I made some of my best friendships many of which still last today, or at least as best they can last when you leave at the other side of the world. It was where I became me. It was where I learned what made me happy and how to get it.
In some ways, ever since I returned for the Olympics last year and had a reunion at a uni friend’s wedding, I’ve tried to re-capture that care-free happiness and gusto. The Olympics did so much for me in hindsight, in taking me out of my Melbourne life, reconnecting me with true friends and familiar surrounds and highlighting that work had taken me too far down a path I wanted to go. Things needed to change – and so they did in a way I couldn’t have predicted.
Maybe that’s part of why I’ve gone back to uni, to learn again both academically and personally. Only the offline version didn’t live up to the online experience – or indeed the British way.
1) Student Union membership costs $40. WTF? I’m sure this was free back in the day (although pls correct me if I’m wrong, it’s possible given the number of brain cells I killed on snakebites).
2) There are 2. That’s TWO urban-esque coffee establishments. What do student want with coffee. And by that I mean the nice, freshly ground barista type. I lived of instant and pro-plus tablets (NoDose over here). I know Melburnians like their coffee but it’s all a bit too hipster.
3) Student fashion is bound to have moved on slightly since 1996 as I’m sure flared jeans and Parker coats are illegal in most states. However, I was not ready for the smart, profession wear dotted around campus. They wear looking more professional than me, and I’d just come from work. Although, having worked NFP for 8 years, that’s not really saying much.
4) The overseas student was an emerging bread back in the 90s. There were a few but to be fair, Leicester wasn’t really on the target list for a prestigious overseas university experience. However, Swinburne could have been in Europe or China given the percentile of overseas students I saw. I know universities are commercial entities now just like all organisations, but when the first 2 people I stop and ask for directions don’t have enough of a grasp of the English language to respond without pointing, there’s something a little wrong. How on earth are they to understand the lectures if they can’t understand me….actually don’t answer that.
5) Some things haven’t changed though. The library suffers from over investment and under-use. The bookshop is still dire and only holds minimal stock. Can you belive one week in and there were no copies of the sociology text in the library or in the bookshop. I’ve had to order it in.
6) The walls are still grimy and sticky and I came away from the student’s union wanting a shower.
7) I didn’t see a bar or even one daytime drunk skivving off lesson to put their loans to best use. I’m starting to think the 2013 student life is an alternate universe. We all lived in shared terrace houses, with front rooms converted into another bedroom to max out on rental income. I scorned at my sister’s year for living in ‘Friends’ style NYC apartments with communal areas and now it seems student life has evolved again to a sober, coffee drinking, mobile phone addicted existence.
I think I preferred it the old way.
At least this time, I got to drive away from campus in a convertible. That NEVER happened back in 1996.
Rewind a month or so and it was Valentine’s Day. The first Valentine’s Day I’ve been in a relationship since 2005. That’s a bloody long time. You’d be forgiven for thinking I’d be very excited about not being single and alone on this Hallmark Card night of celebration but I wasn’t. I wasn’t bothered. So when Posh Boy suggested we go out a day later on the Friday, I readily accepted. Minimum fuss just a nice dinner and a few drinks.
We met for post work drinks (as is becoming a habit) at The Supper Club. I was there bang on 5pm and they were already counting people onto the roof terrace. It was a beautiful balmy evening so was lucky to beat the stampede of suits to cocktail hour. A couple of French martinis later and I was feeling quick merry.
We’d chosen Papa Goose from a shortlist of Entertainment Book venues ensuring a good discount. I think it was British slant it claimed on their menu yet once we were seated and looked more closely at the menu, there was very little Britishness about the food. I spied an Eton Mess and Theakston Best (in a bottle – sacrilege!) but that’s about as British as it got. We were in high spirits so we ordered drinks (beer for him, cocktails for me) whilst we contemplated the menu. The cocktails were good and a trip upstairs to the toilet unveiled a pretty funky bar.
Waitress was patient and very helpful as we struggled to decide on something. I don’t think it was our tipsy state, there simply wasn’t anything that jumped off the page. Then my eyes struck the 8 course degustation at a very reasonable $80 per head. Oysters, Scallops, Wagu, Salmon, Pate were treats for the taste buds. The portions were just right, the flavours subtle as each course turned into a heightened claim that this one was definitely the best.
The waitress deserved her tip but suggesting great accompanying wine and we were given complementary dessert wines which ensured we were one the last couples remaining as the staff cleared up around us. We weren’t rushed. The manager flitted between tables to make sure we were all happy. It was a lovely romantic evening, great food at a good price – and fabulous service that I wish was replicated everywhere.
Just don’t go there expecting Lancashire hot-pot or Roast Beef and Yorkshire puds. This restaurant is as British as the French manager.