In the morning, I was rudely kicked out by my hostess as she had to get to the aforementioned place of employment and I decided to traipse into Halifax to see some old work colleagues at SSP. It was great to see them again, and I remember why I enjoyed working there so much. A shame that a few have left for pastures new with no forwarding address, but a joy to meet up with the large numbers who remained – and remembered me! It was also rather heartening to be offered a job right on the spot. Wow. I guess I made a good impression in my 11 months there.
I didn’t take the job, though. I’m not ready to sit in one place and if I was it wouldn’t be back in Bradford. When I said this, they brought up the idea of contract positions based in several locations around the country… and the world. I did make a good impression! We’ll see. Perhaps next year.
Next stop was to see Chris and Lydia on the far side of Bradford, newly returned from Disneyland Paris with their sprogs. Only a quick stop for some tea and to have a look through the bumph I’ve left in their loft. It was on my way there that I received a phone call I had been hoping for – a job offer for the position of IT Coordinator with a well-known winter holiday company based in Chamonix.
Upside – flights, accommodation, lift pass, kit hire, insurance and tax-free allowance. Downside – start date November 12th, so I can’t make the Machine Head gig in Cardiff at the end of the month. Gah! Still, sacrifices must be made and I get to snowboard in a really good resort for around 6 months. For free.
This meant turning down the driver’s position with the other company – sorry, folks. I hope you found someone else to take the place up. Strangely, the “unskilled” (comparatively) driver job paid £200 per month more than the IT job I accepted. Maybe I should have haggled over pay. But I’m just happy to be going out there. And being the IT guru. And therefore having power over mere mortals.
Still on a buzz, I drove over to see another Kim with her firstborn who I’d not yet met. It was great to see yet another friend, even if I was only there for long enough for a quick chat and to help little Jack throw plastic balls at his mum! Lovely kid – constantly playing but never seeming to be a pain. I did the usual trick of getting on with the smaller members of our population, especially as I was leaving.
I put my hand out for him and Kim started to say “Oh, he never shakes han… oh.” Yup, I got his first handshake. He also “talked” to me when I was in the house, which he never does with strangers. Definitely a good day!
From there, back into Bradford to see Tracey who was to put me up for the night. We had a very short chat, I got changed and then we departed. Tracey had an appointment elsewhere and I was meeting some other friends in Leeds for a drink. Pat and Debs were really cool – the first time we’ve met! Yet more people I’ve started chatting to online and I simply can’t remember where I caught up with them first. They’ve travelled to many places I have – and to quite a few I’d like to visit! A great conversation with great people. I look forward to catching up with them again next time I’m home.
And back into Bradford (my mum will be going mental about the miles I’m putting on her car) and to the Gasworks, which has replaced the now Leeds-based Rios as the regular rock haunt. Never have I seen an aged Goth smile so much as when DJ Simon recognised me and insisted on hugging me over the barrier round the DJ booth. I even got a dedication – pretty much unheard of. Thanks, fella!
I bumped into quite a few people in the club: Blokey and Cas (good luck with the little one next year!), Loco, Little Purps, Charlotte… Others who I recognised, but confess don’t know the names of. I was a good boy and only had one drink in the several hours I was there so was perfectly safe to drive Tracey back home and zonk out as I had an early(ish) rise in the morning.