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Location: Norwich, United Kingdom

I'm one of those people that temp agencies, and ordinary employment interviewers, don't know what the heck to do with. I have a Ph.D. in biochemistry, which is still an interest, but I don't want to do the kind of work I did in that area ever again. Besides, I left it 15 years ago. I then worked in publishing as a production editor, and then freelance copy edited and proofread. But that was by hand, in the US (while I now live in England), and I don't yet know Quark. Then I got a degree in textile design and worked for a fashion company. None of these skills are apparently of any use in finding work in Norwich, UK, at the age of 57, so I'm working a very boring office job three days a week. Have a suggestion? Please speak up.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A day of variety and major family events

I love a life of variety, a day in which what I am doing varies by the hour. However much it wears me out, it leaves me feeling that I've really lived the day intensely.

Today, for me, started out with a photography class, the last of four. I'm taking the class to improve the pictures on my welbsite, to learn, finally, to really use all those bells and whistles on my digital camera, which in itself is already far behind the cutting edge of digital cameras. I've learned things that should allow me to take better pictures of other things, for example sites that I think would make good paintings, as well.

Today I came away with the idea that maybe my website pictures should be different from the pictures I might use to jury for a show (should I ever be rich enough to risk a major show application and booth fee again). Slides for such a purpose would generally be very spare and formal, no extraneous materials around, for example. But for a website, might they not be more interesting if they included the materials and tools and inspirations that brought a piece into existence? I may try a few such illustrations and see what the response is.

This has to do with emigration, because already in the year and a half that I have been here, I have acquired three new class-acquired capabilities, a basic business qualification, a knowledge of basic website design and construction (enough so that I have even been asked to create one for someone else!), and now a digital photography course. The possibilities for further education here are endless. Surely that must make for a more valuable working population in general, and probably a more satisfied one.

Then I moved on to acquiring the fabric to construct a mediaeval gown for myself. It's to be worn at a "Mediaeval Fair" at Dragon Hall, a local merchan'ts hall from the 15th century recently brought back into functional condition. All the sellers at this fair are to decorate their booth mediaeval style and wear mediaeval costume. I assumed there must be simple way of doing the costume since the original would have been from handwoven fabric, which usually means limited cutting and waste, since fabric making was so labot intensive. Norwich was a fiber-centered town at that point. I don't have to be sternly authentic, so I chose a light wool in a red-violet. I'll also be sewing it by hand because I imported my mom's sewing machine and have not yet dared to try to "transform" it to English electricity. After all, the original would have been handsewn, too.

Another experience I would not have had if I had not emigrated. I hope I sell enough (not exactly mediaeval goods) to justify the cost of the gown (another reason to choose the light yarn.)

And then, after acquiring some fish from a local market stall and having lunch at Pret a Manger, an hour of Chemistry tutoring. Yes, I'm doing that again.

And the major event? My husband is back at work, not the work he would choose, since he's still UNJUSTLY on that list that prevents him using his real degree, but work. He's come through a huge amount of mental anguish that finally ended in a deep depression, all of which I put at the door of the Suffolk Council. Having your means of living, which you worked very very hard to acquire and were very proud of pulled out from under you on the basis of an unfounded accusation has to be one of the worst things that a person could go through. Work does not define the person, though. He will find unofficial ways to help people, and will put in one more appeal, this time while not trying to deal with a mental crisis at the same time. He will move on, And I will love him through whatever he has to deal with.


Anonymous Mara said...

About the diversity during a day, I've got a theory. About time. People say time passes quicker when you're older. I say that there are more important questions about time. If we are lucky enough and brave enough, we'll learn a lot about ourselves as we grow older. One thing we will learn is which things make our time a rich time.
I've found that when our time is rich, it may go quick, because we are having pleasure on our activities. But when we look back on that time, is seems a lot has happened. Like if our time has been unfolded in small very rich amounts of time. Like if our 24h have grown longer, because there was a lot happening (and it is possible even when one doesn't live the house!). On the other hand, when we deal with a boring routine, it seems that every hours takes ages to pass. But, if we look back, a whole month, or year, or decade, may seem like a shapeless block of time, that we didn't notice passing.
Congratulations on your husband job! Take care.

8:21 AM  

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