Photo credits

The Embalse de Riano in northern Spain. The picture was taken by .... me!

Saturday, January 24

New work

My contract with my long-term client ends at the end of the month. It has been an anxious time wondering 'what next?'

I had an option to continue sitting at the same desk but as an employee of an engineering consultancy. Which would also have meant a 40% cut in income. At the last minute they nearly tempted me with an offer to sit at the same desk as a contractor of the consultancy on the same rate that I am currently paid, but that would only ahve been for three months.

Instead, I have taken up a contractor role working for a local authority. It is a slightly longer commute than I do now and will be more suscpetible to traffic., but not to bad in the long run. I will start on Feb 2nd. The role will move me from the design of sewage works to flood risk assesments and some drainage design. It also has potential to lead no to a role in site supervision for another larger client. In taking up this role I am accepting a cut of about 14% in my headline fee rate, but by the time I have accounted for changes in expenses and Student Finance, the difference in my wallet will be zero.

So, roll on, the future!

Wednesday, January 21

I still exist

It has been a turbulent three months during which I have not blogged.

We have now settled in our new town and feel very much at home there. But we have still not successfully bought a property, and have not fully resolved the question of church. On housing we had many failed attempts at purchasing, which fell foul of new rules making it harder to buy a property for mixed domestic and business use. So now we are buying a much smaller terraced house (still quite big by most standards) and a chalet on a holiday park for the business. But we are still waiting for the closure of the sale of our old house, whose purchaser has had her own mortgage difficulties. We are optimistic that the light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer.

On church, I have settled for the razzmatazz cinema church, which is theologically too conservative for me but is the best for my son, and since we dragged him to this town kicking and screaming against his will we have prioritised his wishes in selecting a church.

But it is in the next town, and Mrs with her disability and lack of driving needs to be somewhere where she can get involved midweek. She also needs to be a person in her own right not overshadowed by me. And recently following the churches together group, I think she wants to be a member f the church in the town as a whole rather than just one congregation - a floater but in a positive sense.

Work wise, my contract only delivered 3 days a week of work during autumn which was very painful to the finances. This contract is now suddenly very busy again, but ends at the end of the month. senior managers have decided not to have contract staff as a policy decision, without reference to the service that these individuals provide and will be lost by that decision. Based on an interview this morning, I should start with a new client on the first working day in February - not quite a done deal yet but nearly there. With this I will be about £50 per week less well off, but that should be offset by unforeseen advantages.

Commuting has been bad recently. The 75 mile journey from my new town is a minimum of 1 hr 20 minutes, but that has been stretched to 2 hours by serious long term roadworks which should carry on for another 6 weeks. For my new client I will need to add 5 miles and some rush hour city traffic, but travelling after the worst of it I should not be too badly off.

So it is all change, but beginning to settle.

And one day the pain of the last year and the failed case may eventually start to ease, but it still feels very raw and it is still hard to distinguish between a cry for justice and a cry for vengeance.