New job

Since Cheryl was looking like getting a job in London I’ve been looking for one myself. I sent an application to LoveFilm after thinking about how much of a good fit it would be for my interests. They’re a Perl house, so I know the language. They’re a company that deals with films, which I spend a lot of time and money on. The Playstation 3 app kind of made my mind up because I thought that it would be something I would like to work on.

I had to complete a programming test before anything else. After doing that I thought that I hadn’t done very well, but apparently I was worrying over nothing. I was offered an interview last Friday and so I went out and bought a new suit, got a haircut, had a shave, and went down there.

The interview itself went pretty well. I had a technical test/interview with two of the developers there, and then I had an interview with the head of the digital distribution team. I felt fairly comfortable during most of this process. The only issue was the pressure of being tested on programming stuff without a computer nearby. I don’t like writing SQL on paper. I much prefer to try a query once, then adjust it if it’s wrong, but oh well.

After the interview I was told that I should hear back fairly soon, so I went away not knowing what would happen, or how long it would really take.

I met up with JonP and we went for some drinks before my train at 20:30. At around 20:15 we realised that there was no chance of me making the train to Nottingham, so JonP offered to let me stay at his. We left the Bull in Shepherd’s Bush and went to the London Cocktail Club for a couple of drinks. Then we headed to Soho to a weird bar that serves drinks infused with garlic and stuff. We each had a shot of tequila infused with chilli. It was disgusting, so we chased it down with a beer.

On the way out of that bad JonP realised that he no longer had his bag. We headed back to the London Cocktail Club, which was closed. JonP rang their phone and left a message while I banged on the shutter door. Eventually someone came to the door to clean the steps with a mop, and thankfully JonP’s bag was still in there.

We caught a bus back to JonP and Emma’s apartment and I fell asleep fully suited up. I woke up a few times the next morning, then eventually noticed that I had a missed call from my contact at the agency. He said he’d got some feedback for me, and asked me to call him when possible.

I called him back and he told me that the interview was positive and that I had been offered the job. 😀

I rang Cheryl and my immediate family to let them know how it went, and started to feel pretty happy.

We decided to go and get some Mexican breakfast at Wahaca. JonP got as far as the DLR station before he decided to go back home to sleep. Emma and I powered on through. We decided to begin the drinking straight away. We ordered a tequila and a Corona, and during the course of eating our lunch we also ordered another tequila.

At about 2:30 Emma had to go to meet some of her friends so I decided to wander around London on my own for a while.

Cheryl called just as Emma left and said that she was thinking of coming down to London for the night. We discovered that the coach would be much cheaper, and Emma and JonP were fine with it, so we made plans.

I decided that I wanted to read a book and enjoy the day. I bought A Room with a View by E. M. Forster and made myself comfortable in Costa Coffee. I was reading in there for about 4 hours while Cheryl made her way to London. JonP’s band were playing a gig in Camden so we arranged to meet over there. I set off for Camden and met Cheryl at the tube station. She’d just seen JonP walk by with his guitar, so we headed off looking for the pub.

The venue was pretty small and incredibly warm, but the gig itself was good. 🙂

After the gig we went back to JonP’s apartment and Emma was asleep on the couch. She woke up after a little while and went to bed instead. We stayed up and had some pizza and stuff from Pizza Planet, and then called it a night.

We left fairly early on Sunday so that we could have some of the weekend chilling out at home. It was a really good weekend. 😀

Trip to London

On Friday Cheryl went to London for a second interview with a company. It seems to have gone quite well, and she should hear back about the possibility of getting the job in the next day or two.

We decided to spend the weekend in London, so I caught a train down there after I finished work. I decided to go First Class because it was only £8 more. It was totally worth it because I could plug in my laptop and connect to the WiFi. The connection wasn’t great, but it was better than having to use my phone the entire time.

When I got to London I headed over to London Bridge and then walked along to the restaurant where Cheryl and her friends were. We stayed in there until fairly late just chatting about random things, and then we headed over to Pudding Mill Lane to stay with Emma (JonP was away for the weekend). It was fairly late and we were all really tired, so we basically went straight to sleep.

The next day I was woken up before 8am by JonP’s alarm clock. I couldn’t find the button to turn it off in my sleepy state so I ended up snoozing it for an hour and then being woken up again. I’m kind of glad for the alarm though, as I could quite possibly have just slept the day away otherwise.

When we were all ready we headed to Canada Water to look at an apartment that Cheryl’s parents are interested in buying. The marketing suite was open and they had a selection of drinks and nibbles for us to eat while we looked around. After a bunch of looking around and Cheryl talking to her parents we decided that we’d done enough stuff there, and we were hungry for breakfast.

We headed over to Canary Wharf to get Mexican breakfast (after lunch time) at Wahaca. I had a chipotle chicken quesdailla, and a steak burrito. The quesdailla is the nicest one I’ve had in the UK, but still not quite what I miss about California.

After that Cheryl and Emma did a bit of shopping while I played with my phone on a bench outside the shop. Cheryl and I decided we should head off to the hotel and let Emma get on with some rehearsal stuff.

We caught the tube over to Old Street and then walked over to Thistle City Barbican hotel. The hotel room was nice enough. Perhaps a bit old-feeling. Some of the paint on the wooden bath-side was flaking off, but it’s a tiny detail, really.

I decided I needed a nap before we went back out to meet up with Emma for food and drinks, so I fell asleep while Cheryl cried along to My Girl on the TV!

I woke up after a fairly short amount of time and then got ready to go out for food. We walked to Angel station to catch the tube and met up with Emma again when we got to Covent Garden we set off for a restaurant called Rossopomodoro (easy to remember). We found the place and got there just after Emma. The meal was nice. I did find a dead fly in it at one point though, so that kind of put me off. I suppose it can happen anywhere though.

After the meal we went to a pub down the road to meet Emma’s friend James for some drinks. We only had chance to get 2 drinks before the bar staff started to close down the whole bar. It was full of paying customers and they were kicking everyone out at about 10:45 on a Saturday night. Oh well.

We went our separate ways and then Cheryl and I decided to get a taxi back to the hotel to avoid the tube for a while. It ended up costing about £8, but it was much easier than the tube.

We woke up fairly early on Sunday morning and went downstairs to get breakfast. We got a table right away and we were offered tea and coffee as soon as we sat down. Our breakfasts were nice, and the orange juice was extremely strong. None of the weak stuff we got in the hotel in Prague (still writing that blog post).

After breakfast we went back up to the hotel room intent on killing time until we had to check out at 12. Cheryl spoke to her mum about the house they were looking at buying and so we agreed that we would head over to the development to speak to the marketing staff again. We left our bags in the hotel to collect later on. I wasn’t sure if we would be able to, but it was fine, and saved a lot of hassle. After a little while with the marketing people (no free champagne or chicken this time) we headed off to go to the Korean Restaurant that Cheryl and I went to before near the Holborn tube station. We got all the way there only to find that it is closed on Sunday lunch times. A bit silly for a restaurant, I think.

We walked around aimlessly for a little while and then ended up going to Samurai Sushi just over the road from the tube station. We got some bits of sushi and ate them, but it wasn’t particularly filling. While we were eating I spotted Krispy Kreme’s over the road. As soon as we’d finished eating we went over there and bought a dozen doughnuts. 🙂

We walked to Drury Lane and then headed to Leicester Square. The whole park bit of the square is under construction, so there was nothing much to see there. We were heading for Rendezvous for ice cream though, so it didn’t matter. We got some ice cream and ate it slowly to kill some more time. Cheryl decided that she wanted to show me China town, as it was right around the corner, so we walked there. We walked up to a Singapore/Malay food place and Cheryl reminisced about all the things she couldn’t get in Nottingham, so we decided to go in. Cheryl had a bowl of soupy stuff and I had a Tiger Beer.

There wasn’t much time left after we’d done that, so we went back to the hotel to get a drink in the bar there and pick up our luggage.

There was a taxi outside the hotel so we caught that to St. Pancras to avoid carrying our luggage for 20 minutes. We were really early for the train, so we just stood around and chatted until they opened the gate for us.

I was a bit worried when we were looking for our carriage because it was coach J. I could see that the train wasn’t quite that long, but when we got to the end of coach G we saw that they’d decided not to include coaches H or I for some weird reason.

The journey back was pretty nice, and it was good to be back home before it was too late at night. Another successful trip to London! 🙂

Birthdays, bad news, and buying furniture

On Friday I found out that JonP’s dad Peter had died the previous day. It’s really sad news and I can’t believe it happened. It was so completely unexpected as far as I knew. Dave, Len, and I went over to see JonP, Emma, and family over at Peter’s house and we stayed there until the early hours of the morning. I learned that you have to say your glass is half full no matter how much liquid is in it unless you want someone else to drink it for you.

Carly came to see everyone at one point. When it reached midnight it was her birthday, and also Peter’s brother-in-law George’s. We wished them all a happy birthday, which was quite strange considering the circumstances of the gathering. We left Peter’s house at 5am and went to McDonalds to get breakfast just as they opened. It was pretty nice at that time. Len caught a taxi back to Nottingham and Dave and I caught a taxi back to our houses.

I slept until about mid-day on Saturday and woke up feeling really hot even though it was overcast outside. Lizz was planning to go to Ikea, so I went along. We had all the usual arguments as we went around and eventually settled on a pair of wardrobes that are 236cm tall. That’s pretty much all the way to the ceiling in our bedroom. After we’d collected everything we began to wonder if it would all fit in the car or not. I called Dave to see if it would be possible to get his help if it wouldn’t fit in our car. He said there’s no way it would fit in his. It’s a good job we managed to get it all in our car. 🙂 The drive home was not a comfortable one for me as I had to sit on a folded-down seat crouched over like a hunchback. I couldn’t lean back because there were boxes beside me. I was glad to get home.

We constructed one of the wardrobes and then Dave and Emma came over to call for us. Lizz said she had to stay to work on the wardrobe because there were no doors or shelves or anything. I went along and we watched Yes Man at Hayley’s house before Hayley dropped us back off at home again.

Lizz went for a bike ride on Sunday, and so I got to work on the second wardrobe. I had just got it standing when Lizz’s dad and Philip arrived with the chicken coop. We moved that to the back garden. Lizz and her mum got back and we all hung out in the garden while Lizz’s dad put some rubber on top of the coop to keep the rain out.

When everyone had gone Lizz and I went upstairs and finished off the wardrobe and tidied up. Lizz got her clothes sorted out for the first time in a very long time and I think it made her very happy indeed. I didn’t have any coat hangers left over, so I’ll have to sort mine out later on.

I spent a while playing Burnout Paradise and managed to gain another couple of trophies, which is nice. Then Lizz and I relaxed on the sofa and watched an episode of Battlestar Galactica before I went upstairs to bed before Lizz because I was so tired.

A very mixed, eventful, busy weekend. Looking forward to a more relaxing one soon!