Finally… I have a job!!

That’s right people… I have nearly left unemployment behind!  I am just waiting to sign the contract!

I will start at the beginning though…

I had an interview last week.  It was a video conference at the law firms London office for a position in their Abu Dhabi office.  I was interviewing with two Partners and a HR type.  The interview went fairly well, but I did not get the job.  However, another job in the company came up and I was put forward for it. 

The interview was on Thursday at 11am back at their London office.  The same nice HR lady was there, and another Partner.  I had the interview but was in and out of the building within 25 minutes so didn’t think I had done too well.  I thought that it had gone well and knew that I liked the chap interviewing and wanted the role, but the short length of the meeting worried me.  I got the train home and sulked… a lot!

I had a phone call at 3pm to say that I had the job!  It had all gone as well as I thought which is why it was so short, and that they wanted me to start on Sunday 6th February… in Dubai!  I verbally accepted the job and agreed for the nice HR lady to have my details so that she could forward the contract to me.  The tough part is that the weekends are Friday/Saturday out there so I am now having to wait until at least tomorrow for her to send the contract and offer out.  Until then my hands are a bit tied.

In the meantime, I have contacted my friends in Dubai for advice, and they have very kindly offered to put me up for a short time while I find my feet.  They are rock stars!  I have also contacted my friend in Abu Dhabi and she has been a wealth of knowledge and has offered to look out for me, and I am hugely grateful of that too.  I am learning so much from these three fabulous people that I feel so much happier about going.  I hate not knowing things so getting an insiders point of view has been invaluable.  There is only so much the Lonely Planet Guide can help… which isn’t so much yet as I have only just ordered one!!!!

I have looked at flight prices and carriers and am happy to see that (apart from the abominable British Airways), the flights are much cheaper.  This is great as it means that people can come and visit more!  Bermuda was very cost prohibitive for most.

So that is pretty much it so far.  I am researching and shopping and packing and generally trying to fit in everything I need to do in a very short period of time! 

Here is to a new adventure… cheers!!!

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Starting the New Year Right!

As I said before,  I bought myself a Wii Fit in order to get fit in the new year.  I pretty much suck at it.  My Wii Fit age is 8yrs older than I am which is a bit rude I feel, and I have no discernible balance or coordination.  It’s a good thing I have a decent sense of humour or I would have thrown the thing out of the door after half an hour!!

The other things that have been keeping me occupied over the last few days are as follows:

The Harrods Sale

Mum and I got a bit bored of hanging out and relaxing so we took ourselves off to the Harrods Sale.  It was quite the experience.  I have never seen so many people in one place.  I have never seen so many reductions either.  I had a great time!  I stocked up on my Clinique products and my chocolate supplies, and even found White Cherries in the Food Hall. 

Then I found some pretty water that I thought I would buy:

Until I saw the price of course:

 

Crazy much!?  It was a great day out and one that we definitely needed… as was the early night we needed to recover!!

Catching Up with Friends

I finally managed to get to see my friend and her children.  I am godmother to her son, who is absolutely adorable, as is her daughter.  We had tried to get together a couple of times before Christmas, but the snow and illness had hampered our chances.  We had a lovely lunch and then took the kids to run off their energy at the local park.  It was great fun, but very muddy!!  I can’t wait to go again… when the park is a little bit drier!!!

Snuggie Time!

I have been suffering with my health for the last couple of days.  My sinuses are becoming blocked and that is just wrong.  I don’t like being sick and I don’t like being in pain.  So, in order to use this time wisely, I have been catching up on my snoozing, blogging, email and most importantly, Snuggie Time with the puppies!!

If you can’t be up and about, you might as well gt some good cuddles in!!

Christmas & New Year

Firstly, Happy New Year!

Christmas was fairly quiet for us.  Had it not been for my sister’s baby, it would have been a very sad time.  It was our first Christmas without my father.  It is one of the other reasons that I quit my job in Bermuda.  I wasn’t able to come home for Christmas as I had exhausted all of my leave options.  There is no way that I was going to be on the other side of the Atlantic. 

We had to share the baby though of course with the father’s parents too.  Kind of a good thing.  If we had the whole day with them it would have ben absolutely beyond exhausting!  You have never seen so many gifts under the tree.  Most of them for the baby of course!

We opened the stockings whilst breakfast was cooking, then after eating more than you could imagine, we made tracks into the tree gifts that Santa had bought!

Everyone was so kind, and the baby was spoilt rotten!  It is how it should be.  I can’t wait for next year when he is more alert and can play a bit more.  So much fun!!

I did pretty much nothing between Christmas and New Year, except shop!  I bought myself a lovely treat…. a new Wii!  I figure that if I have to get fit and thin in the new year, I will do it from my house because I am not paying out for gym membership!

I didn’t set it up until 1 January!!

New Years Eve is not my kind of a night out at all.  All that enforced merriment is not fun.  I generally have a lousy night, and being a non-drinker, it gets even worse.  The only New Years Eve Parties I have enjoyed in recent years were hosted by a lovely friend in Bermuda at her house.  They were chilled out and fun and silly.  Perfect! 

This year, as last, I stayed in with a chinese take out and DVDs.  It wasn’t much different from the rest of the Christmas period, but it was the right way to spend it for sure.

January 1st hailed the start of my Wii Fit stage.  My sister came by and showed me how it was done… because she never likes to be left out, or not to win!  After she had left, Mum and I continued and laughed until the only muscles that were thoroughly worked on were our stomach muscles from laughing so hard!!!

Tourist View of London

(Minus the pictures because I am all comfortable and warm with the puppies and the snuggie on the sofa and the camera is upstairs.  When I move again – not anytime soon – I will add the pics!!)

My Bermuda Aussie neighbours arrived at Gatwick on the day of the hideous snow dump.  There was no snow on the M25 or the M23 but as soon as I was exiting the M23 on the Gatwick turn off, it started and within minutes we were driving at a crawl as it was a near blizzard.  Had the flight been on time, we would have been home LONG before it started. 

I parked the car, ran through the terminal and got there just before they came out of arrivals.  We paused for a cigarette (the one after you get off a flight is always the best!), went to the restrooms, went to WHSmith and stocked up on drinks and snacks, and dashed back to the car.  When we eventually found the right level that I had parked the car on, I had been in the airport for a sum total of 30 minutes. 

Apparently that was 30 minutes too long.  The roads were white as white can be.  There was only one lane most of the way home, and even then the snow was coming down so hard that it was covering the tracks of the car in front.  It was like that, and worse, the whole way home.  The journey from my house to Gatwick normally only takes 20 minutes.  It took over 2.5hrs.  Nightmare.

(This was the start of the journey.  It got much worse, very quickly!)

We were snowbound that first day completely.  Trains and buses were cancelled. 

(My street.  Snow had stopped falling about 24hrs before this pic was taken!)

The next day thought we were off and running!  Well, kind of!  The trains were still subject to huge delays and cancellations so we drove to the nearest tube station and started our journey that way.  We eventually ended up in Piccadilly Circus and had a good old look around.  After hitting MacDonald in Leicester Square (the one thing the Aussie Chick misses more than anything foodwise!) we found an open top bus tour and signed up!

It was two hours of tour.  Fascinating.  Freezing!  It was -2c.  And, of course, we sat on the top deck, outside of the shelter for the whole 2 hours!! 

(Yes, it was still cold dressed up like this!!)

We learnt lots and had a great time, despite not being able to move very well at the end of the ride!   What was worse is that we went to this lovely coffee shop in a book shop afterwards and the Hot Chocolate wasn’t!  It was lukewarm.  Even when we sent it back, they returned it marginally warmer, but not hot still.  The shop was as hot as an oven though so we did warm up in the end!

After a brief tube journey to Oxford Circus, running down Oxford Street trying to find a shop open to buy tights to warm one of our party up a little more, finding the wonderful Accessorize still open and purchasing said tights (and nothing else which I was super proud of myself for!), we took a stroll along taking pictures of the light and some of the window displays.  It was so pretty… although not as over the top as previous years which is a bit sad. 

We got back on the tube at Marble Arch and headed back to Surrey whereupon my wonderful mother not only picked us up from the station, but had cooked us a roast dinner to warm us after our long, cold day!  She really does rock!

The next morning we were up again and this time headed for Harrods and Covent Garden. 

They need to put giant signs outside Knightsbridge Tube Station that point to Harrods.  Stupid.  Not everyone knows where they are going!  The other place they need GIANT signs is at the bottom of the stairs at Covent Garden Tube Station.  They need to read:

1.  WARNING…. Climbing these stairs may cause loss of function in your limbs and potential heart failure.

or

2.  WARNING… there are nearly 200 steps up to the top which is like climbing up to the 10th floor of a skyscraper and there is no pausing places.

I nearly died.  I need to get to the gym!

Anyway, back to Harrods… I got me a rewards card!  Not that I shop there very often, but it looks good in my wallet!  We saw the Dodi and Diana memorial statue.  It is good.  Sad.  The only complaint we had is that it wasn’t very festive.  The window displays were good and the them was Peter Pan.  Inside the store though it was rather dull.  I remember going as a child and it being much more exciting.  I guess the financial crisis hits every level.

Covent Garden was great.  It always is.  I did discover a whole bunch of shops outside the main market place this time though.  I need to go again some day and have another look around.  There is so much to discover off the tourist route!

All too soon it was time to head back to Surrey again, but this time not to a roast dinner… Mum had cooked a lovely casserole!  She really is fantastic.  It wasn’t to warm us so much this time, but to make sure the Aussies had something decent to eat before the next leg of their journey.  The were flying out that night from Gatwick to Dubai, then four hours later, to Brisbane.

It wasn’t quite that simple though.  Back at the Gatwick turn off on the M23, the snow started again.  Their flight was going ahead as scheduled… until minutes before they were due to get on.  It was then delayed, delayed and delayed again.  It finally left around 2pm the next day.

I had such a great time with them and wished they had been able to come back to the house for that last night, but road conditions made that not such a great plan. 

I look forward to hanging out with them again… whichever country it may be!!