How fast does a year go by….

Today is the second anniversary with a week that marked a substantial change to my life; a year ago on the 7th I left a job and a group of friends whom I had worked with for over 10 years; on 10th I left a city that had been home for almost 22 years and a flat that been my humble abode for almost 18 of those years. You may surmise that I can be a creature of habit and comfort.

However today is my first anniversary on my new job in a new city and a celebration of a year of commuting!

The former is good; yes it is a crazy place that needs some serious sitting out in termed of it’s priorities, but it (and the people) are generally up for it and are very open.

The middle thing is challenge to me; I know next to nothing about the city I commute to every day. I know how to get from the station to office, and I know a couple of good pubs, but that is it. What is actually in this city? I don’t know and with a hour to travel there and back again the prospect of finding out any time soon is not really there. I just wanna get home at the end of a day.

The latter aspect is the biggest surprise to me; I don’t mind the commute! From being an Owl in those 22 previous years (up late and to bed late), my working week has turned me, without to many tears and tantrums, into a Lark. I use my train time to study, read, write this blog and other such nonsense. Yes the spring, summer and autumn are far better than the darkness of winter, but there has been no SAD this year and I think that is partly due to the commute as an activity.

So all these anniversaries also mean that it has been a year of co-habiting; that has been a year of big changes as well bit it has been “survived” very well by both of us. We have moved on from that commuter relationship to house buying, cat adopting and weekly Tesco shops in an easy stride that I have loved and adapted to with easy. That maybe down to the Other Half and their adapting to me.

But for a year I do have some regrets; I have not seen some good friends in the North and do miss them and my family is that much further away and, though I was never the most regular visitor, it is now even more infrequent. More effort must be made on my part.

And for a year I am amazed how fast it has gone. Whirlwind!


So it is 2 months in to living as a Yorkshire man and life still goes on a pace and two thing have completely surprised me over the last few months;

  1. Cohabiting was the right thing and has come completely easy to me. I was worried that after so many years of being used to my own place under my own control I would completely frustrate the new co of the habit aka @maccagraeme. However the indications are that he doesn’t want to do me in and I have adapted with ease to our weekly Sunday morning trips to Tesco. Even our joint gym membership is being used!
  2. Commuting isn’t that bad. I thought I was going to very grumpy at 6am and stomping down to the train station in a teenage strop, but no. My Kindle and Audible are getting heavily abused and the whole thing relatively pleasant. The only niggle factor is that I am on my second commuter cold.

However there is one thing the three of us (Ezio is included in this one) have realised is that our current abode is a tad on the small side for is al. So much so that, even though more than half of my “stuff and nonsense” still reside in Glasvegas, we have had to take storage down here to be able to fit in.

So our weekends are spent looking at houses and preparing our humble home for a new owner.

House hunting is an odd thing, what do you ask? How do you decide? How much do you pay? All of these things we are learning as we tour York looking at some desirable and not so desirable homes. It is also hard not to set our ideals on somewhere when we have not sold, but we have. So we are “hopes up” and showing prospective around the house with smiles and, for once, a sociable and nosy Ezio.

This Way Up


Just to prove that I am not just procrastinating about this whole new job, new city, new cat thing, and to prove that I am doing something, today I took receipt of enough packing boxes to shift a 2 to 3 bedroom house!

For those that know I live in a one bedroom flat, well you will also know the amount of utter hording I have completed in by 19 years in this place and will therefore know that I need to shift the equivalent of a 3 bedroom house.

With all that said I am drafting in a couple of very carefully selected friends to help with this task; Firstly we have “My Gracie”, she is efficient, streamlined and will get me in order; secondly there is “The Artist”, she understands attachment to ‘things and stuff’ better than anyone I know. These to wonderful women are going to make sure I don’t take all my crap (get ready Oxfam!) but ensure that I do take all the things that mean something. I know that if left to my own devices, like the pharaohs of old did in their tombs, I would crap every piece of everything in.

Today however I have been brave, I thought I better pack a few boxes on my own to get over the feeling of it all. It is odd seeing empty shelves…..

so things are changing

It is fair to say that I never got to finish the holiday blogging; I wanted to tell about all the things I like about NZ and the comparisons that I could draw with life in the UK, I wanted to tell about a rather disastrous stop over in London and the absolute horror that is British Airways customer service, however when we were in Singapore I got a phone call that has but me and @maccagraeme in something of a spin.

So back in May 2013 I applied for a new job, down in Yorkshire with the plan to relocate and set up home in York. After some long delays in July I was told that the job was on hold due to a merge and restructure and by that time we had agreed on NZ so I thought it was a bit pointless looking for a job and then asking for a month off! In October I got a call from the Company; “Was I still interested and would I like to attend an interview?”. OK, yeah I went down and it was one of the oddest interviews of my life. It appeared that there was a mix up of who was interviewing whom and generally I got the feeling it wasn’t planned out very well. Still I thought it was a good chat with guy I could work for.

Then it went quiet again, for almost 2 months before the call at Changi Airport; would I be free for a second interview. Yes, but it will have to wait a week or so while k get home and sort stuff out.

So home I got, back into the frantic world of catching up at work, listening to the stories of issues and incidents, cover ups and near misses. Then I get the call; “Can you do a telephone interview?”. OH, to me that didn’t sound great, to me that sounded like they had someone and just wanted to finish a process of me as the ‘near miss’. Perhaps the ‘heir and the spare’ thing?

So second week of December I call in for a hour of telephone competency-based questioning. It went ok, when you cannot see their faces you have no real idea of what is going on.

As you might have guessed from this whole post, a week later I get the offer and went for it. It hasn’t been plain sailing form there; Xmas holidays delayed a formal offer and I the end I resigned on the 6th January.

So here I am, start of February with an impending change to everything. I have lived in Glasgow for 21 years, in my flat for almost 19 of those years. My entire life is up here in Glasgow and frankly I am so looking forward to jacking it all in to live with @maccagraeme, but it terrifies me.

So the next few months worth of blogs are going to be dominated by this event; The Move. I predict moments of utter joy, terrifying apprehensions, heart breaking goodbyes and lots of decorating.

Hold on… I know I will be!

It has been a while……

The last post was back in June, in some ways it does not seem that long ago, but in others it seems to have been ages.

I must admit I spent a lot of July worrying and mildly panicing about the up and coming first anniversary of Tony’s death. I thought I was unprepared for what I was going to feel and how I was going to react. It was a very strange time and essentially has made me realise how much I cannot remember from July and August last year.

Towards the last minute I made plans to try and be away from home as much as possible; away to the Cairngorms in a friends croft. I find the hills and open spaces far more relaxing that the city and my friend and his mum were very understanding (as they were last year). Then after that I was away for Spain and France to spend a week with Scott as he had finished work and was ‘holidaying’ for a month before coming home. That trip was truly relaxing, I hired a car and we drove around the north of Spain, through Andorra and into France. Stayed a monestry, climbed a peak in the Pyrennes and explored a castle in the dark. It was a such a difference from last year that I still have vivid memories of the holiday even now.

I have now also got Fes back :oD The work was pricey but he is a new car now and has returned my joy of driving around in a small odd wee car. It is not an understatement to say that the Mini thing and the trips and runs with the Mini Clan are reasonable part of my life. I have met some great friends through it and have been on some spectaular holidays and trips. At the end of August I was up in the Black Isle supporting Minis in Inverness’ charity run. Another really good weekend taking me to places in Scotland that I have never been to and I want to go back and explore more. Some more flickr photos.

Work has been good, in fact it has been damn good. I have a couple of really interesting items on my desk at the moment and I am really enjoying the challenge. It once again reminds me that I am very luck about working life, I enjoy (to a high degree) the work and I do and the place that I work. Granted there are always small things that I would change (and the odd big one as well), but I get the opportunity to say my bit and I know that, in some if not all, it is taken on board and valued as a contribution. There has been a bit of sadness as one of my good collegues and mates has left to go on to better things, but it has left me with the opportunity to get some staff now and learn what it is like to be a people manager as well a the manager of a subject. Time will tell how that will go, but I think it will go well. (Maybe you can tell I am in an optimistic mood about life at the moment!).

There are more detailed things some of which are mentioned above and some are not, but I am going to fill in more blanks over the coming nights.