Friday, 5 September 2008

This and that

On Monday I have to move into a new group at work for three months. The move is pointless because it's necessary in order for me to qualify as a lawyer in the UK, which I probably won't end up doing. But I have to do it anyway. The group I'm moving to seem very nice, but I'll be doing an extremely specialised, isolated role in an area I know absolutely nothing about, and the knowledge I build up will be of no use in any part of my life or career. It's going to be a steep learning curve, and I'll probably just be getting the hang of it when it's time for me to go back to my current group in three months' time. So, good times!

If it's not obvious I'm feeling apprehensive and a bit negative about the move. It's been hard enough getting across all the nuances and changes in the area of law I actually work in between Australia and the UK. And now I have to do it all again in an area I don't know or really care much about. Then again, it hasn't exactly been smooth sailing where I am at the moment either. Maybe things will be great in the new group. Hmmmm.

So, lately we've not done too much. We showed last week's houseguest around Oxford and parts of the Cotswolds, which meant lots of time on southern England's fabulous motorways. The Boyfriend's grandmother was very interested in seeing some cottages with thatched roofs so we found ourselves in Chipping Camden, driving around the backstreets like stalkers, looking for suitably photogenic thatched roofs. My overall impression was that only wealthy people must be able to afford a house with a thatched roof, as all the ones we saw were absolutely immaculately maintained - and covered with a protective layer of chicken-wire. Sadly, the unsightly wire really stands out in photos. Ah well. Perhaps these people prioritise a weatherproof roof over picturesque scenes.

We also saw The Breeders during the week at Shepherd's Bush Empire, which was a nice interlude in the general slog of work and rain we've enjoyed lately. Seriously, I know it's an internationally-held stereotype that English people talk about the weather all the time, but I find it's hard not to when it governs your entire existence. Every move you make involves a whole new set of planning about equipment -decisions re: umbrella vs coat, something warm enough to brave the wind and rain but cool enough or involving enough layers so that the cramped 40-minute tube trip is as low in sweat as possible, suitably waterproof shoes that are also robust enough to withstand the perilous hundred-year-old footpaths but go with your suit for work, the necessity of sunglasses (rarely required), on it goes...

I fully intend to post some photos this weekend. We have no specific plans and will be at home, so I'm sure I'll be fitting in some solid time with flickr. There are also some exhibitions I'd like to see: Mark Rothko at the Tate Modern, Francis Bacon at the Tate Britain, this one with old Indian painted portraits, and also London Through A Lens, a collection of images of London over the last 100 years or so. It might be a question of which of these The Boyfriend is in the mood for.

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