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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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Cafe in Poole
This cafe in Poole was a lovely shade of pink, with matching umbrellas.
Poole shop.
A cute shop in Poole.

If you want to stay somewhere and not pay anything at all for accommodation, try couch surfing. There are various sites on the web, mostly, but not exclusively, aimed at the younger end of the market. Usually you're required to contribute in some way - sing and play an instrument, cook, garden - but by definition it doesn't involve money. I was a couch surfing host when I lived in Hobart, Tasmania when my son was young, and we had many delightful guests.
Hearing people's stories was a way of travelling without travelling.

If you're happy to do some work in exchange for food and a roof over your head, try WOOFing or conservation volunteering. Again, there are many sites to choose from. Usually a set number of hours' work is required, then the rest of the day is yours.  The positions are often in rural places you may not otherwise see. Be careful though of people who treat WOOFers and backpackers as a source of unpaid labour and give little in return. This is not a labour contract in any country, and you are not required to stay if conditions are inadequate. Friends have told me about being poorly fed and housed, right through to the other extreme of being treated as part of the host family. ...continue reading "Travelling Cheaply – Part 2"

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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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