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While much of my time in London was spent helping my friend, my fellow Australians and I did manage to visit the big three museums - the Museum of Natural History, the Victoria and Albert, and the British Museum.

This looks more like a cathedral than a museum. It's a monument to the adventurous scientists of the nineteenth century.
This looks more like a cathedral than a museum. It's a monument to the adventurous scientists of the nineteenth century.

I refuse to use the word iconic as it is so often mis-used these days, but these three museums are the ultimate anywhere in the world. How often do we hear, or see, "It's in the British Museum"? These museums really are the top of the tree, the standard by which all others are measured. ...continue reading "London from a Reno Point of View (Part 2)"

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All cheap travel advice - I don't care where you read it - has one underlying principle. Be prepared to think outside the box.

Apple tree
Ripe apples on an old tree near the gate of the cottage at Everton. The apples were delicious. Nothing tastes quite as good as a ripe apple plucked from the tree.

Let's look first of all at what's inside the box.

  • Limited time. You have two weeks' annual leave, you can't change the dates much, or you have to travel during school holidays.
  • Limited accommodation. For various reasons (I can't actually think of any right now), you can only stay in hotels or similar.
  • Limited destinations. You want to travel to a particular place for a particular reason.

...continue reading "Travelling Cheaply"

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Last week I wrote about getting bogged down in the job hunting process, and how destructive and demoralising it has been on a personal level.

Flower Garden
The Flower Garden, Greenwich. It was a dull day, but the flowers made up for it.

The good news is that I've found paid employment which starts on Monday, 7th September in Bournemouth. More on that later, once I get used to being gainfully employed again. For now though, I can tell you that it's not accounting or in any way related to it. Of course, after turning off all the job alerts I've been contacted five times in three days by agencies wanting to put me forward for quite lucrative positions, all of which I've had the great joy of declining. ...continue reading "The Good News & the Very Good News"

You'd be forgiven for thinking I'd disappeared off the face of the planet these last few weeks. My posts have been getting further and further apart, until they stopped altogether.

Orchids
Orchids on the window sill. I'm not much of a gardener, but I seem to do just fine with pot plants. This plant has produced six blooms since I've been here.

What went wrong?

I knew, from the state of the coffers, that when I got back to England I'd have to find work. The bulk of my energy over the last six weeks has gone into applying for jobs. I estimate I've applied for over 100 positions. I've had some interviews, and was even offered a job on the other side of London, which proved to be too difficult to get to as I don't have a car. ...continue reading "A Few Words from Woolwich"

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It's Sunday evening, and I'm writing this at my new house sit in Woolwich in the Greater London area. Tomorrow morning I'll return to the increasingly familiar routine of job hunting. Tonight I can afford a couple of hours to review photos and write.

On Friday afternoon I took what could well be my last opportunity to walk from Chelmsford to the village of Writtle in Essex. Chelmsford is the county town of Essex, and Writtle, while only a mile or two from it, is a completely separate village, with its own separate history.

Writtle
Cottages in Writtle

My walk took me along the banks of the River Can and through the rose gold barley fields of the agricultural college. Soon I was amongst ancient cottages and walking up the main street, past the village green (complete with duck pond) to the pub. Food had finished by the time I arrived, so I had a snack at the village tea room instead.

All delightful, then a shorter walk back along the main road to Chelmsford, and once again I was in a twenty first century city. ...continue reading "Grieving for the “Good Old Days”"