I have some news. Yes, and it's good news. That makes a change.
After six months; not all of which were bad, I did something yesterday that brought tears to my wife's eyes.
No. Not that. Please.
I only went and got myself a job!
Fancy that. Who would have thought it? Blummin' eck!
Yesterday started at 8.15am; I got up, had a shower and pottered about waiting to get into my suit. 20 minutes before I was due to leave, I was sending someone an email when I realised I hadn't had a shave. So mild panic, but it killed 10 minutes as the morning was dragging on like a Wim Wenders film. I got suited, booted and headed for the door. I had spent the morning reading reports, looking at my prospective employer's website, and so I felt I was as prepared as I could possibly be. Off I went, into the slightly less unknown.
This is the job I went for in April, which had come available again because of illness, so I knew what to expect and the fact I'd been asked back for another interview seemed to suggest I had a fighting chance.
From the moment I walked out of the interview, I talked myself out of getting it. There was no way in hell I'd got that. I burbled. I wasn't happy about the end of the interview. I thought the woman from HR was getting fed up with me. Did I make a joke too many? Gods, I fluffed my lines, didn't I and I was going to be sitting in the lounge tonight, with an unhappy wife, contemplating disaster. Same old same old then?
When my new boss phoned me to tell me I'd been successful; I was something I've rarely genuinely been in my entire life - speechless. Yes. Honestly. I squeaked, stumbled over a few words and spluttered out 'I'd like to accept it.' And I am pretty sure I heard a faint squee of delight from the living room.
I'm going in on Monday to start to get a feel for the place and I'm going to be embarking on a new facet of my working life. My past experience accounts for much, but the job is something I've never imagined I would do. It also requires me to largely be a desk jockey - something I foretold a few months back; but that isn't stifling my enthusiasm and delight at getting the job. This is a great challenge and one I'm more than capable of succeeding at.
I have to say that my negative outlook when I walked away from the interview were deliberately put there. I knew I had had a bloody excellent interview; the only thing I was worried about was the ending. I knew it was going so well I didn't want it to stop. The ending stuttered to a close rather than having a point where I shook their hands, thanked them for their time and said I hoped to hear from them soon. But, that was my only quibble. I knew by the middle of the interview that I was on a roll and it was a good one. I stopped directing my answers at the man who I had already got the vote of and concentrated on the HR woman and I think I must have succeeded. By Jove.
Suffice it to say, last night could have ended better considering the great day I'd had; but without putting too fine a detail on it, it involved a trapped dog in the wrong bedroom, me snoring for England and the wife decamping to the spare bedroom and me spending the rest of the night with three dogs for company - the fourth, the one who got stuck, was off with her mum.
But today, the wife was full of the joys of spring; laughing on the phone and generally sounding ten times better than she did 24 hours earlier; so if nothing else that's the best thing.
On the journey down the M40 on Monday evening, Roger commented that the air was unusually blue and that my F word counter had gone through the roof. I joked to him that I was getting as many out as I could because I was going to stop swearing. Much hilarity and mickey taking followed.
The thing was, it was a joke, but I'd sort of made a pact with myself that if I got this job; situated in a place with 1400 under 19 year olds; I really needed to learn not to swear, because frankly my language has got utterly appalling over the last few months.
So I'm stopping swearing. I've not said a single swear word since I got out of bed and while that might be because I've said nothing at all, it's still a good start. I'm going for a celebratory beer with Roger this evening, that'll be a test. Roger always makes me swear...
Despite probably not seeing any money before Christmas; the slough of despond seems to have lifted and I'm eyeing my overdraft with a ravenous desire to draw a tenner out and splurge it on something like... I dunno... fresh food or maybe some soap. Obviously, I'm not signing off until the day before I start my job; because I am now in transit and anything could happen in the interim. Plus, I'm technically unemployed still, so I'll take Dave's Beer Vouchers with gusto and no shame until the day. They buy the shopping, but sadly no beer. I will have beer in the house this weekend; you can bet your life on that!
Would it surprise you to learn that I've spent much of the day so far just bopping around the house, regardless of whether I'm listening to any music? I even had a bop in the bath and that isn't a euphemism.
Raconte-Moi Une Histoire - trust me, it'll make you smile and nod your head in a groovy kind of way...
And that's that. I'm in far too good a mood to have a moan about anything. I'm just going to bop around the house with the Dyson; maybe do some cooking and then take the hounds out for a good walk. The weather is very mild and for this millisecond everything is groovy!