Experience – it’s what we all crave at the moment

Mon 15 – Sun 21 March 2021

So when I say ‘experience’, I mean that we want to do things and have those nice feelings that this brings. I realised this when Dave asked me last week what I wanted at the moment? And it struck me that it wasn’t objects I was missing – you can basically still get anything delivered (though I wouldn’t mind a new state of the art Chromebook 🙂 ). What I am missing, and what we are all missing, are experiences: holidays, museums, cinema, theatre, restaurants, bars, spas, gyms, swimming pools, sports events. Basically things where we come together with others to feel and share our emotions.

Looks like we are heading towards a sort of normality when we can go and enjoy experiences. But there’s still a way to go and may not be fully back to what we had. I still say that a few years in the future, we may look back with fond nostalgia on the current times where we didn’t have some of the normal everyday things going on (who is looking forward to commuting again?!). But it is clear that we want some of our old experiences back now.

Though I certainly had an eventful last week including 2 interviews, 2 online training events, and a boiler repair. 🙂

Nurses 1% Nukes 44%

Two interviews last week. These are always an experience in themselves. And, in lockdown, with the added ‘thrill’ of doing them across Zoom.

Interview #1

First one on Monday included the dreaded powerpoint presentation. Thankfully, the tech all worked as it should – it’s interesting to be dealing with tech on your own and not having any organisational back-up. Things must have gone well as I have another interview with the same org next week – number 4 of a 5 interview process. It’s long but it’s giving me the ability to learn more about the org and if I’m compatible with them (and vice versa).

Interview #2

Second interview was on Friday. This was first interview with an org that may lead to second interview – I will hear next week if I’ve been successful. No presentation and a traditional interview set-up. But still experience at the very least and I think it went well. I’ve heard that you normally need to do 5 interviews before you are successful in getting a job. I can understand why as it’s learning to relax and deal with everything that gets thrown at you.

Art and Culture

Flare

This is the London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival and it began last week. 🙂 For the second year, it’s without the experience of physically gathering at the BFI and other London venues. 🙁 All online – details here. I bought a ticket for the film ‘Enfant Terrible’, all about German film director Rainer Werner Fassbinder. But the big pleasing thing for me is that you can watch all the Shorts for free on the BFI Player before Flare ends on 28th March. Short films are always one of Flare’s highlights – an exciting and unpredictable mix of hits and misses. Treat yourself and dip into them. 🙂

‘Tomboy’

Separate to Flare, I had the delightful experience of catching up with this lovely piece of Queer European cinema. A French film made 10 years ago about a young girl who moves to a new area with her family. She is clearly not comfortable identifying as a girl and pretends to be a boy with her new friends. Inevitably there comes a point where her parents shoot things down and s/he has to deal with the consequences. Pretty sure I saw this as a short film once that ended very depressingly. But this long version actually finishes on a more hopeful note. Highly recommended. 🙂

Personal Development

Languages

Chugged along with my language learning though not as much as I would like. Oh to have the experience of being abroad and hearing other languages. Plus feel sunshine on your skin, wear shorts, and have a drink al fresco as Philip is doing in Torremolinos. I query the news agenda that tells us how things are getting better here and worse in Europe. 🙁

Two tech learning experiences

My main PD last week was related to tech. First, on Monday afternoon after interview #1, I attended a 2 hour workshop on how to used Gutenberg better. This is the block editor used on WordPress. Good guidance on how I can be using this software particularly to present stuff on a website with more impact. 🙂 However, interview + training = absolutely knackered.

Second, on Thursday afternoon I viewed an hour long webinar on how to speed up your website. Increasingly important to ensure you get a good ranking by Google and they way they measure site rankings changes in May. Still not 100% sure how to increase the speed on my own website – think I actually need a developer to look at it for me. Oh well, it’s not a commercial site so I won’t worry too much. 🙂

Health and Efficiency

Long walks

4 more long walks last week – twice there and back in-between Dave’s and mum’s places in our support bubble. This did enable me to be at mum’s for her boiler repair which took about half an hour. 🙂 So in total these ‘support bubble walks’ provided about 6-8 hours of walking then there’s general walking on other days to be added in. Lots of calorie burning. 🙂

I spoke in my previous blog (read it here) about the pleasure and health benefits such long walks give. Indeed, walks are one of the few ways we can give us a nice physical experience at the moment. What else is there apart from jog-runs and exercising at home? Perhaps this explains the sudden popularity of cold water / open air swimming. I can honestly say that on a long walk my mind goes off to different places and I can feel my body experiencing some proper exercise. 🙂

Weight

Stability is the name of the game. My weight went up a pound but is basically stable within the 13-3 to 13-5 zone. This is fine whilst I wait for my working life to sort itself out and to find out if my gym will ever reopen. 🙁 Needless to say, no slow jog-runs due to lack of time and inclination. May get back to it at some point after all I did enjoy the experience of it – never say never. 🙂

Books and Reading

The Naked Tuck Shop – Growing Up Gay in the 1950s

This is the book I read on my kindle last week. It’s by Tim Hughes and does what it says on the tin. These are his reminiscences and adventures as a gay middle class teenager growing up in 1950s provincial England. So lots of cottaging, secretive flirtations, drinks parties, and theatrical types. 🙂 Not brilliantly written but important that these memories and experiences of a very different time are remembered.

4 books on the go 🙂

Meanwhile, I’ve ended up with 4 other books on the go. The Queer Theory text and the writings of Simon Raven I have already written about. Plus I’ve started on 2 others books I am selling online (so I need to read them before someone buys them): a book of Dr Who short stories and a book of writings by Hilary Mantel.

Sustainability

This beautiful quotation, supposedly made by Buddha, sums up how I think we should aim to live: with love, gently, and letting go of things. Imagine how the planet would benefit if we could all follow this mantra and stop constantly striving for more. 🙂

Only 3 things

The Week Ahead

  • The experience of 2 more interviews: 4th with one org and a 1st one with a new org. Also need to get a new cover letter / CV sorted and submitted by Thursday. And catch up with my Job Centre Plus support worker on Friday.
  • Booked for a webinar on Monday ‘Creating the ultimate CV’ 🙂
  • Catching up with more Flare LGBTIQ+ Short films and watch long player film I bought ticket for – ‘Enfant Terrible’.
  • 2 nice friend catch-ups to look forward to. The usual weekly check-in with Phyllis – I think they’ve extended the closing time for Costa Del Sol bars, restaurants, gyms and shops up to 10.30 pm. And with my old boss who has just recently changed jobs – should be an interesting catch-up. 🙂
  • More walks in-between Dave’s and mum’s and keep an eye on my weight. A slow jog-run – who knows?
  • Need to think about reading the Velvet Page book if I intend to attend the book club on 1st April

And Finally….

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