What a difference 6 months make, though. The government cuts and lay-offs have severely eroded the service the Job Centre offers, so instead of a civil servant being assigned my case, someone you can actually meet and have a conversation with, I'm now having to deal with something called an 'e-coach'. Which, according to the website, means there's a whole 'team of experts' ready to take my questions, concerns etc. via a URL that doesn't appear to be working. So I've no idea what I'm supposed to be doing now, i.e., what rules apply to my particular situation. I won't let it worry me this week, though. I've only just had my last day at work yesterday, and I think I'm entitled to a bit of R&R before I start the search again.
OK, so I said I would be looking for another job while I was in the one I've just left. But it turned out to be undoable, or perhaps I'm just not very good at multi-tasking. At first, I was far too busy finding my feet and learning the ropes; and then when we got to mid-summer and things started to slow down a bit, they slowed down in the rest of the country as well. In The Netherlands, it's no use looking for a career change in July/August/September, a period that -for reasons that escape me- is colloquially known as 'cucumber time', as most people are off on holiday and therefore very few jobs are advertised. So, I've decided to start looking in earnest from next week onwards, but not before. I'm sure my e-coach won't approve of my decision, but there it is.
(I have put my cv back online, in case you're wondering if I'm just going to sit back and relax completely; and I have had some tentative and encouraging contact with head hunter firms already, and have also had 2 job offers, but neither of them appealed).
Last Saturday saw the return of Merlin to our screens, which I'm counting as a good thing as with the season finale of Doctor Who on the same day, I would otherwise be bereft of good enjoyable telly on the weekend...at least until Christmas when The Doctor will be back for his annual special. What sad news though to hear that almost as soon as I finally manage to get BBC Three in my area, Auntie's decided to axe Doctor Who Confidential, which is brilliant at showing the behind the scenes work that goes on in bringing a series to the screen. Meanwhile, I've watched the finale twice, which is unusual for me as I don't tend to re-watch things I've already seen (or re-read things I've already read); but I'm still not capable of putting my thoughts into words. I did love it, though, and I ::heart:: Matt fully as much as I did Chris, which is saying something.
The sun was out all through last week and yesterday, with temperatures reaching into the mid-20s, so we finally did get to see a little bit of summer, but it's turned again now and the familiar grey clouds and drizzly rain are back, along with temperatures more usual for this time of year. Let's hope no volcano blows its top (Etna, I heard, might erupt soon) in the next few months, or next year might equally lack a summer to speak of.