It’s been almost an entire month since I posted last, and all sorts of wonderful things have happened. Not fairytale sparkling fireworks wonderful, but that comfortable, cup of tea, sense of home wonderful.
Firstly, I got back from Paris (I do have some more photos to upload, but that’s for another post). In a whirlwind of a week I moved into my new place, got myself a job and ran out of money! Let me tell you about it…
The Place – I love it. It’s in East Brighton, between Kemptown (the gay quarter) and the Marina (shops, cinemas etc.). I share this cute little two-storey townhouse with my lovely landlord who enjoys Eastenders, The Apprentice (which I watch with her on a Wednesday night) and her cat. We both tend to be out a lot, and keep to ourselves, but once or twice a week we usually end up spending an hour or so over a glass of wine talking about the world’s problems. The bus stop within 30m of my front door, and there is a Lidl (like Aldi) supermarket down the end of the street. Also, I’m about a 5 minute stroll from the seafront, straight down to the end of my road. My place rocks!
The Job – A couple of days after I got back from Paris and moved in, I figured it might be time to apply for a job. Wednesday evening I applied for 12 jobs online. Thursday morning a recruitment agent rang me and asked me to come in that day to meet him and talk about a position. Thursday evening he rang me to see if I could interview with the company the next morning. Friday morning I interviewed, it seems kind of perfect and I really wanted the job. Early Friday afternoon I get a call from the managing director asking me if I was sure that I was staying in Brighton, as he was worried I was going to get homesick and leave. I assured him I was staying for a minimum of two years, and he replied that I should take the weekend to really decide that I was happy, but if I wanted the job on Monday morning, it was mine. And so, I had a job in 48 hours.
I started a few days after I accepted the position, and it’s been fantastic. It pays well (comparatively, for a job in an office in England) and the people are fantastic. Last week a couple of us went for an ‘after-work drink’ at 6.30pm when we finished. Apparently here ‘after-work drink’ means getting home at 2am. I feel like I’m learning quickly, fitting in well, and everything has just slotted nicely into place job-wise.
The (lack of) Money – Basically after I got the new job I realised I was down to my last £120 pounds. Yes, I probably should have been checking my bank statement more often, but in all fairness I was using an international cash card thing, and it took up to 72 hours to update after you made a purchase. In England they pay monthly, and I didn’t have my bank details in for payment on the day they paid at work (my third day working), so I am waiting again until the 26th of the month to finally get some money!
I’ve had to scrounge and borrow, and I’m living off about £2 a day. Actually, I have to be honest, it’s probably about £4 a day, because I haven’t been able to give up my morning coffee on a weekday which is £2.30 by itself – I just can’t make it through without it! Anyway, it’s meant no alcohol*, lots of porridge, no takeaways, and plenty of cheap frozen food (which I love but is so bad for my butt).
What’s funny though, is that through the stress of not having money, not being able to go out and do anything except walk around and look, being worried about how I’m going to pay rent mid-month, or how I’m going to pay for next week’s bus pass – I still love Brighton!
Yes, I really do. I feel home. I feel like I belong. I’ve moved around a lot (I think I’m up to about my 29th move?) and nowhere have I felt as accepted and peaceful as here. I’m not even weird here!!! I would have to be about seven times more kooky than I currently am to even be a blip on the weird scale. I love that there are constantly parades and festivals, bubbles being blown, free roses handed out, people dressed as sexy aliens, men who are dressed normally except for their pirate hat and feather boa, cross-dressers who don’t even try, 50’s-themed girls being pushed around on rolling step-ladders and more street buskers than you could even imagine. And most of this happens on a normal Saturday.
A few photos as proof… the ‘Children’s Parade’ which opens the Brighton Festival every year. They chose a storybook theme this year, every school in the area with a different book. I only saw about 15 minutes of the parade, and have probably about 50 photos. I can’t imagine if I actually saw all 70+ schools!
I. Love. Brighton.
*I’d like to shout out to my Aussie friend L who has also recently moved here, and on the occasions that she has visited Brighton to see me, has shouted a few pints of cider. The alcoholic in me really appreciates it, and I swear when I get paid it’s my turn!!! xxx