Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Our First Job

Here we were, still in Turkey, three days to go - still waiting for Peter's visa interview. For reasons we may never understand, our Turkish manager (Iskender) had announced he would be having afternoon tea with us at 3pm. We had bought cake, and tidied up - which had to happen anyway - and we were sitting around on the computer hoping and waiting for a response to at least one of our job applications.

Then there it was. An acceptance for the jobs in Glasgow. We read carefully the information in the email - the pay was a bit disappointing, and the job was only four weeks, but it would be a start.

As we were writing a reply Peter was joking that we would probably get a phone call from somewhere else now ... and my phone rang.

I answered, but couldn't hear anything. The phone rang several more times - someone was desperate to get in touch - but I couldn't hear anything.

Then we got an email ... "we've been trying to phone you. We can hear you but you can't hear us." One of the few emails about jobs we had received already was a polite "thanks but no thanks" from Sheffield Uni - now they suddenly wanted us after all.

But we were in the middle of accepting Glasgow, and it seemed like a nice idea to go to Glasgow.

I examined my phone. There was a funny little symbol there I hadn't seen before ... headphones! The other night I was charging my phone, and in the dark I had accidentally poked the power jack into the headphones socket by mistake, and this had turned on headphones mode!

And Iskender never did turn up for afternoon tea.

The long and the short of it is, we ended up accepting the job in Sheffield. Six weeks instead of four, and heaps better pay.

Our first job in England!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Back to Britain

When I was at Tiverton Grammar School in Devon in the late sixties we had to do a project for the Back Britain campaign. I seem to remember 'they' had decided Britain had developed a bit of a negative image and they wanted people to think happy, positive thoughts about their homeland.

I mostly remember it because it was such fun. I was with a group of intelligent, funny, creative young people and we came up with a load of crazy ideas. I think that was just before David Bryant left the group to group to go to Australia. When I also left a while later they asked if I would see him there ... of course, he went to Sydney and I went to Perth.

Now I am heading back to Britain after 37 (yes, that's thirty-seven!) years. So far I've tracked down Nigel Bovey from our class, and I'm wondering who else is still living there in Tiverton or Cullompton. It seems incredible that they would still be there while I've been all over the world. I wonder if the time passed quickly for them.

Less than a week now.