How I spent my summer holiday

Unless I screw up my mock interview entirely tomorrow, I should be back at work next week, albeit unpaid (at first); but since I finished at work last Friday, this means I’ve had six clear days of rest in between, including the weekend.  I’ve been habitually getting up late (some days I didn’t change out of my nightclothes until the afternoon), playing games (finally finished the Mass Effect trilogy), watching Frasier on TV and Game of Thrones on Blu-ray, eating what and when I like, listening to 2Pac and (I kid you not) William Shatner, and basically not going out during the day.  However, I’ve had “staycations” like this before, so what’s been different about this one?

Well, first of all, you’ll be pleased to know I’ve kept the habits I formed in 2012 and 2013: I went climbing on Monday evening, I went to yoga on Tuesday evening, and I was wrecked by my personal trainer on Wednesday afternoon, so it’s been a week of some small energy expenditure.  Previous occasions when I’ve stayed at home for long periods (and only interacted with shopkeepers) have led to cabin fever, so it’s good I’ve been relatively social this time around… especially since I have no idea where I’m about to work, and whether I’ll be able to travel to interesting places after work in time for interesting events.

Not to mention, on other occasions (especially October 2011, but nothing much good happened that year anyway) I made floundering, futile attempts to find a new job, including visiting IT agencies that turned out not to exist (this is why I never use the Yellow Pages website any more); on this occasion, thanks to this agency guiding me, there’ll be no need to get overwrought — I’m as close to an IT career as I can be, short of murdering a geek and stealing his identity.

(If the secret services are reading: no, obviously I’m not going to do that — get a f***ing life, you crypto-fascist jobsworths!)

I’m also continuing my decluttering drive — but apart from selling a PC/PS3 steering wheel for a derisory £15 (once again, something I paid over the odds for in 2011), this has mainly concerned files and bookmarks on my computer.  Blimey, there was some old stuff in there — no, nothing rude, but a lot of links to long-dead websites that I hadn’t used in many years, and ancient utilities I’d downloaded for previous versions of Windows, several hardware iterations ago.  It’s not that I’m short of hard drive space, it’s just an OCD-ish desire to tidy up… and yes, I managed to do the same in my room, which goes through cycles of this kind of thing thanks to all the companies that still insist on sending me physical letters.

Unfortunately, there’s a couple of things to spoil an otherwise happy holiday: firstly, I haven’t been able to spend my £50 gift card at Game, because (a) there’s hardly any left in London, and (b) the one in Wood Green had South Park: The Stick of Truth, non-special edition for the PC, at full price (£39.99), and I want to buy, like, several things instead of just one or two!  I’m thinking of going on a trip on Saturday to Bath, which has two branches… but why spend £55 purely in the hope of saving money on a gift card?  Even I’m starting to doubt my logic…

And secondly, it seems I’m becoming embroiled with the Student Loans company yet again, as the business which now owns my 1998 loan claims not to have been informed of my latest deferment in May.  They said they’ll get onto Stupid Loans to sort it out, but hey, if they need me to fill out another form, I can do that instantly — I’m unemployed, and thus definitely earning under the minimum gross pay rate that would warrant paying it back!  I assume it’s incompetence on their part rather than any failure on mine, but watch this space.  Good job I keep my old phone with my old SIM charged up, and also a good job I didn’t assume the “missed call” was from yet another scam company…

Anyway, my holiday in all probability ends tomorrow with a rude awakening.  I’d better get some sleep in preparation, because I’ve got to be there in a suit, with a pen and paper and a copy of my CV, to pretend I’m being interviewed for a job at a fictional company, and somehow it’ll take an hour and a half!  I tell you, I’m going to earn pizza for dinner tomorrow night…


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