Meeting people.

One of the nice things about moving to a new place was that I didn’t know anyone. Yes, even for a social bastard like me, I love my own company, so it was kind of nice to move somewhere and have a bit of anonymity after a few months of being almost manically sociable back in Lincoln. It’s kind of like travelling again; rocking up in a new place not knowing where anything is, not knowing anyone and having to explore and find stuff out. OK, I knew one person here before I moved but that’s not quite the same. It’s exciting to start from scratch.

I know a lot of people wondered why I wanted to move somewhere where I don’t know anyone. And I know a lot of people would hate it. But for me it’s all part of the adventure.

So how do you meet people?

Maybe you’d meet people at work; a lot of my friends are people I’ve worked with over the last couple of years at the Police and the Uni. But I don’t work in Cheltenham, so that’s out. I have got mates with my job now, but they’re based all over so it’s not quite the same.

So you kind of just have to go out there and talk to people. Yeah, you know, make an effort. Be chatty. You also need to be prepared for people to think you’re a weirdo, or to not like you. Or to get freaked out at someone being so forward. But that’s OK; you’ve got to cast a few nets to catch a few fish. As we all know, I do like to chat and have no problem with inviting myself along to stuff or being the person to make arrangements.

I know a few more people now, although to be honest, I’ve not made much of a proper effort. I’ve had a lot of visitors since I moved <which has been GREAT, of course> but it’s also meant that I haven’t had much time to get out and about and do stuff, or meet new people.

There’s a couple of clubs I’ve found that I want to join (running and cycling) and I’ve signed up for BMF (British Military Fitness), but I’ve just not had the chance to get along to any sessions yet. Am hoping to next weekend, so I should meet more people there.

There’s a few people I ‘know’ from an internet forum and twitter that I’m going to meet up with soon, when everyone can make the same date. I’ve joined a few groups on (great site) and went out for drinks with a group of women last week which was much fun. Twitter is great for getting to know people – I’ve met many people in real life that I’ve known from Twitter, both here and abroad when I was travelling.

I’ve accosted most of my neighbours at one point or another and was out with the girl from the flat next door on Friday night, and have been out a couple of times with the guy from number 3, and often borrow milk off him or go round for a cup of tea. A bit like with Karl back in Lincoln, although I don’t really know him well enough yet to know whether he’d stop me falling face first into cat food or come let me in my house in the early hours of the morning. Still appreciate that Karl. Each and every time :D. I also realised that the guy from number 3 looks a lot like Big Andy from the Electric Bar from all those moons ago. Probably subconsciously why I asked him out for a beer.

I also met a girl in a whisky shop where we swapped numbers, and have been out a couple of times with her and her other half, and some of her friends. I did wonder whether she initially thought I might have been asking her out on a date when I suggested we should go out and swap numbers, but hey, if you don’t ask, you don’t get, right? That’s what I mean about making the effort. It’s also how I ended up having beers with the guy from number 3. You just ask people. It’s actually quite simple really.

Although, there’s always the possible confusion of whether something is a date or not, especially if it involves the opposite sex. As most people know, I’m mostly oblivious to this, mainly due to 1) having been in a relationship for so long, I have no idea of any dating etiquette and 2) I have lots of male friends so it’s normal for me to go for beers with men and it not mean anything. Which, as we know in the past has led to a few interesting/awkward/hilarious encounters. There’s always a story.

Oh, and for all the people that keep saying I should go on internet dating, the answer is still the same: NO. Or tinder. Although, I’ve got another blog and might have to do another tinder social experiment – although we all know how the New Zealand tinder experience worked out (interesting), but it will purely be an experiment and not for me. Because you see, internet dating to me is actively looking for a relationship. Which I’m not. Not at all. Still. If something happens or occurs naturally, then that’s fine. But I’m not looking, and I don’t want to go man shopping. I don’t want to read what is essentially a personality CV and shortlist potential applicants like some kind of job application. Seems a bit clinical and shallow. And tinder, well, I quite liked the swiping, that was fun, but I didn’t like it when people starting messaging me. Which is kind of the whole point. So yeah, it’s not going to happen. Oh, and I know it suits/works for some people, and there’s loads of success stories, so please don’t think I’m dissing it for other people AT ALL. It’s just not for me.

I guess in a way it’s not actually that dissimilar to meeting up with people I’ve met online in one form or another (twitter etc.), but the fundamental difference is that I’m meeting up with people on a non-romantic level, no awkward dating scenario where you’re checking each other out to see if you are anything like your profile, or whether you’d see a future with that person (yes, some people DO do that on a first date apparently, how you can tell I don’t know) or whether you want to sleep with them. Obviously that still happens in some cases, but it’s not the obvious primary objective, and certainly not mine. We all know much of a commitment-phobe I am now, haha.

My friend Sam is doing pretty similar stuff to me (maybe not the tinder experiment, ha) as she’s just emigrated to Brisbane with her other half, but I think she’s making a much better job at it and getting involved in so many more things. My effort is a bit piss poor compared to hers really, haha. But I’m doing it at my own pace. I keep reminding myself that I live here now and have plenty of time to do everything. When I first moved here I felt like I should do ALL THE THINGS RIGHT NOW. I forgot that I wasn’t here for just a short while, think I was still in a travelling mindset where everything is temporary and I’d be moving on sometime soon. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still struggling with thinking long term, and still can’t plan anything too far in advance, and still don’t know how long I’ll be here, but I can relax a little bit. Just living in the moment. Just like my tattoo tells me.


It’s the freakin’ weekend.

And what a freakin’ weekend it was. A whirlwind, alcohol filled, hectic weekend. Shattered is not the word.

Short version:

  • Friday night: very boozy night out, starting straight after work. Late night, not much sleep.
  • Saturday daytime: Bad hangover, pack contents of house up ready for moving.
  • Saturday night: Move majority of contents of house to parents house.
  • Sunday morning: Move rest of contents of house to parents house, clean empty house
  • Sunday afternoon: be godparent at best friend’s children’s christening. Drink lots of alcohol. Late night.

Long version:

There were leaving drinks on Friday night for some guys at work. I was going to go for a couple of beers and then home to carry on packing ready for more packing and cleaning on Saturday. Did.Not.Happen. Just a couple of drinks turned into a Whole Night Out. Cue FAR too much alcohol and a late night. Tip for the future: never go out the night before moving. Saturday was so much of a struggle it was painful. It did not make for a pleasant experience.

So I moved out of my house this weekend. I lived there for 1 year and 3 months. It’s the place I moved to after separating with my ex-husband towards the end of 2011 and the first place where I’ve lived by myself. I’ll miss that house so much. It felt like home the minute I moved in and I’ve had so many brilliant times there. I’ve made so many memories, and will never forget all that’s gone on there.

It was just perfect for me, my own little space and I am really gutted to have moved out. I had friends next door but one and just round the corner. I will miss just being able to pop round the corner to chat with Karl (for Monday Night After Work Cup Of Tea or Weekend Gossip Cup of Tea or Impromptu Film Club) but I’ll still go see him, it will just take a hell of a lot longer to get home again.

But, it was time to move. To be able to afford to do the travelling I want I need to move in with a mate for a couple of months to save that last bit of money. So needs must.

photo 1 (4)

It was a bit strange to wake up at my parents on Sunday morning. The last time I’d stayed there was for a short time back in 2011 while going through my marriage breakup and it kind of took me back to that time. Not nice and didn’t really enjoy being reminded of it. Realised how different things are now. It was nice to wake up to the view from my old bedroom though.

photo 2 (4)

What is funny, is how the contents of my house fit in just half of my brother’s old bedroom. When I was packing most of my stuff up on Saturday it seemed like I had LOADS of things. Even though I knew I’d got rid of loads. But actually looking at it all, I haven’t really. I’m not a big hoarder of stuff.  I suspect the reason it seemed like loads was because of the evil hangover and everything taking twice as long and twice the effort.

Sunday I was godparent for my best friend’s daughter. It was a brilliant day with loads of awesome people. They’re a great bunch and her family make me part of their family. I’m very honoured that they are all part of my life. Christening after-parties shouldn’t be held in pubs though. Drank far too much, had a late night and now the weekend is catching up with me. Absolutely knackered. My lovely friend Alex is cooking me tea and looking after me though. He is ace.


Time for an early night.

Pack it in.

So, the packing has started. I move out of my house at the weekend and I’ve been sorting my stuff out over the last few weeks. I’ve chucked no end of stuff out, sold some stuff and given a load of stuff to charity. So, all I’m left with is the things I want to keep. Which now need separating into things to go straight to my parents for storage and things that I am taking with me to a friend’s where I am staying for a couple of months before I go abroad.

Which sounds easy but it’s actually not. I don’t want to (and can’t) take all my stuff with me to Alex’s. So I have to really think about what I’m going to need for the next few months. The change in weather. The limited space I’ll have. The holidays and events I’m going to. The things I actually need (rather than what I think I need).

Some stuff is easy. So I started with that. Tonight was picture night. I took all my pictures down and packed them away. I was sad about this; my pictures are one of my favourite things in the house. They are all new (as in, bought in the last year and a bit) and all chosen just by me. They are all different, and might not go with anything else in my house but they all mean something. They are all personal to me and not just generic pictures that anyone can buy. I like this.

But now they are packed away the house feels bare. Which, well, it will do. I’m moving. I know that. Just goes to show it’s not just the house that makes this feel like home to me, it’s the things in it. And I’m not a material person at all. But I do like my little things that I have. Chosen by me. Put up by me.

So, until we meet again. Bye bye pictures.