I’ve always been terrible at cleaning, so the title of this post is slightly misleading. What happened is this: We decided to have a staycation. I know, I know… It’s just so millennial of us. (We are more Generation X though I tend to dress as an overgrown teenager on days off.) The truth is, we had to take some holiday – T works at a place where he has to finish up his holidays by the end of the month, and I’m into my notice period and I never end up taking my holiday very quickly anyway, so here we are with a week off: Staycation!
(For my overseas friends: I mean vacation. Vacay!)
The weekend started off quite nicely, or quite badly, depending on how you want to look at it. We had a Saturday night party at the house of a VIP (from my work). I had said to T that we must go, because firstly I was very flattered to be asked and secondly I was kind of curious about what kind of place a VIP lives in, and thirdly this VIP is very nice to me, and I think it’s a nice thing to go to people’s parties.
Rich people in London tend to live in the West. Guess where we live? (Yeah, it’s not the West.) We spent the day with Dog and then in the evening we got glammed up and trekked across town to this mansion in the West part of West London. It was pretty big. We’d looked it up on google streetview so we knew what to expect. Biiiig. (To be fair, anything larger than a shoebox denotes rich in London. Imagine Manhattan but dingier.) I had kind of ordered T to be on his best behaviour and myself not to drink too much.
We entered the house and the staff offered to take our coats and gave us a cloakroom ticket, and a drink. Uh oh. Maybe that crappy bottle of wine we brought wouldn’t quite be sufficient. (Never mind, it had no label on… The VIP would never know it’s me bringing a mid-priced bottle of wine to a mansion.) We hobnobbed. Turns out that this was a Cuban themed partay and there were canapés being brought round by the staff (to be fair, I think they were hired for the night rather than perm – as if that makes it less blingy) and Cuban live music and free flowing champagne and mojitos. All night.
Here’s a picture to give you an idea of scale…
I think I conducted myself okay, although I did tell one of the other VIPs that I’d resigned. Oh well. We had a nice time, and it was a bit different, and everyone was very nice although it’s tricky to talk when there’s super loud Cuban music in the background. Either way it was enjoyable. Until…
Reader, I puked.
I never puke. I mean, I really hardly ever puke. Fortunately we’d already left the party (partay) and were on our way home but I have to say I’m ashamed of myself. T was sort of sorry for me and sort of found it funny because I really hadn’t drunk that much. I wasn’t acting drunk or anything. But an almost empty stomach (those canapés didn’t make it round to me very often) plus a lowered alcohol tolerance (I don’t drink much any more) and mojitos where you can’t tell how much rum went in are all a lethal combination.
How awful. This meant Sunday was a bit of a write off. T got up early to go and visit his family (pre-planned, not to avoid me!) so I lay in bed with Dog. Eventually I got up, puked another three times, went back to bed, all the while cursing alcohol and telling myself there was no way I would cope with drinking any more. I am definitely giving up drinking for a while. Which neatly segues into IVF cycle 2. It’s nuts really as I drink way less than I ever used to – but I seem to be becoming less tolerant to it. Anyway, by the time I’d recovered enough to get up, it was past 2pm and then I took Dog for a walk (poor Dog!) and sat on the sofa feeling sorry for myself. And promising not to drink alcohol for a while. At least it gives me a good excuse. (Seriously: You need an excuse in the UK if you don’t want to drink; the social pressure is immense. And I really usually enjoy it but not any more!)
Yesterday, Monday, our staycation started. We had an exciting (not) activity planned which was to go all the way to [redacted] and pick up my stuff from storage. It’s the stuff from my ex-relationship which I haven’t seen for years and years. My ex didn’t want me to come round so he put it in storage and I had to go and pick it up. Which is fair enough but the storage was only open during certain times so I had to wait till I had a day off… Yesterday.
There was a lot of stuff. I may have mentioned I’m not one of those minimalist people, and anyway, this is from a really long term relationship… So there was kind of more than I thought. We are planning on moving (house update coming up!) so we didn’t really want to put it all in the house we are hoping to pack up, so we got another storage place near where we are moving to and we moved it all there. The whole thing took most of the day… Even though we were very organised about it – you have to take several trolley loads and it takes a while to go backwards and forwards and stack it all up at each end. Not to mention the drive which was about 2 hours each way.
So now my old life is in a storage locker near where my new life is going to be…
T asked me when I left if I felt emotional. He says he always associates storage lockers with the sad stuff like relationship breakups. We got his stuff out of storage a year or so ago and have sorted through it. I don’t quite know if I felt emotional… I think I did, a bit, but it didn’t really hit because I moved out so many years ago. It’s like revisiting something that happened years ago. I hope that we’ll be able to move on from this, and of course it’s really sad, but I did all my crying back in the year I moved out and before I met T. It definitely seems weird that I’ve lived without this stuff for so long. I almost don’t want it any more, although I need to sort through it and it wouldn’t be fair to leave it all with my ex for him to sort out. So that’s a job that I’ll have to do gradually, I guess. At least it is closer to where we are now and where we’re going to be.
It was a massive job but at least gave us a sense of achievement, and it means we can pack up the house we’re currently in so we can move fairly easily (probably not – eek) if that all pans out. The update on the house is that it is happening! Well insofar as you can determine anything in the English way. You have to do all this extra stuff like surveys – you can’t just buy it. So the survey was done yesterday… We have to wait and see what happens with that. All being well we then move to exchange of contracts, which means you’re pretty much there, and completion is when you’ve properly bought it. I don’t think you can really say you’ve bought it until you at least exchange – things can still fall through but it’s far less likely. So here’s hoping! It means we would potentially be moving in April (ambitious) or May (more likely).
On the job front, I had to go and talk with the Job B people (who hadn’t yet offered me a job but said they wanted to) on Friday. It was kind of awkward in the way that I felt really pressured to take the job. They got me and the two top guys in an office and gave me wine and told me that they wanted me to work for them! I explained I already had the Job A offer in the bag and was probably going to take that… I had a good chat with them and they were really nice, but ultimately I don’t think being nice is the best reason for me to take a job.
There was lots of other boring stuff about pros and cons of each job, but mainly I think I was set on the other job; I think I’m quite bad at saying no in person though, and they then said they wanted me to call on Monday, so once we had packed up the van I called up the guy and… got his voicemail! In the end I left a message saying I was really appreciative of the time and opportunity, but I was going to take the other job (as I don’t think it’s nice to say “Call me back” if you’re going to give someone bad news)… I also told the recruitment consultant who’d been pretty pushy about it.
It’s such a strange situation as I’ve never had two who really wanted me before – I did withdraw from another process once I had a job offer, and the recruiter was quite nasty about it, but I haven’t had two potential employers basically fighting over me before. It’s an odd feeling and a sort of difficult thing to have to let one of them down, but then I suppose it’s a nice problem to have. I have this thing where I sort of go over and over things in my head and worry about how other people are going to react to them, and I worry that the Job B people will now hate me… I try and put those thoughts out of my head though!
So… I’ve sent off the contract for the job I’m taking. Pay rise! Whoop whoop. I’m working my notice which means I won’t start my new job until mid June. Which is a good thing I think, firstly because my current employer should pay me notice, I mean it’s the least they could do, and secondly because I have a bunch of stuff (house move and IVF cycle 2) over the next few months so it would be really good if I could do that whilst not starting a new job.
Part of me thinks it’s foolish to start a new job when I might get pregnant, but I think most of me thinks that’s such a far out idea and so unlikely to happen that it’s not a good reason to delay doing other things. Also if I have to take time off, it’s better to take time off a job that pays more. T and I have discussed it and if they do shared parental leave then I would probably take the minimum and then he would take more time off, or we’d try and share it. It depends when it happened but really I would probably be there 8 months or something before leaving, so it’s not that bad – it’s not like I’d go straight off on maternity leave. Also I really feel like it’s such an unlikely thing to happen so there’s no point worrying about it unduly.
Our plan for day 2 of staycation is to relax and do some fun stuff. We got up late, had some “quality time” (haha) and took Dog for a walk to our favourite waterfront cafe, where he enjoyed his special dog breakfast plus half of my cooked breakfast. It is a very urban retreat even though the owner has made a lovely garden by the river. It’s in an old shipping container. And they do an awesome cooked breakfast.
The rest of the day is planned out – we are going to the cinema and we’re going to meet a friend for dinner after that. I’m currently sitting with my wet hair in a turban and need to go and get dressed. Dog is snoozing in his dog bed (my hanging chair which he’s somehow figured out how to jump into from the sofa) and T is playing on the computer. Almost time to go to the flicks!
So far, so staycay!
Happy Tuesday everyone!