Trip Start Aug 07, 2006
24Trip End Ongoing
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Liz's Aunt lives in a small village called Southery, which is located about an hour and a half NE of London in Norfolk. I'm not really sure if you can really call it a village though. It has three or four streets, a pub, convenience store, petrol station, and that's about it. Buses only run every two hours to the closest town so it can be quite an isolating place, but also this is part of its charm. One notable feature of this area is that it is all reclaimed land so the landscape is dead flat. Canals connect the towns together and Liz dreams of spending a week on a canal boat exploring the area via floating transportation.
We couldn't spend every waking minute looking for jobs so we made an effort to explore the area. We did day trips to towns such as Ely, Cambridge, Lincoln, Kings Lynn, Downham Market as well as short walks from Southery. Ely, Cambridge and Lincoln are all old England cities with grand cathedrals, cobbled streets, wood panelled pubs, and little cafes (tea rooms). Cambridge especially is a great wee city (Dunedin size) and is dominated by the university culture (but in a more historical and traditional way than Dunedin).
Because of the British laws allowing the public to roam the countryside and the fact the area was un-fenced (crops dominate livestock) strolling around Southery was an enjoyable experience. We were surprised at the abundance of wildlife that sprang from the patches of bush land - we saw rabbits, pheasants, deer and squirrels. The pheasants were probably the most intriguing sideshow and they are hunting in certain seasons (like we do with ducks) as a game food. Being the off season we walked past many pheasant feeding stations and shelters where farmers had tried to make an attractive home for the local birds to settle and thus make them an easy target when the season starts.
Job hunting was a bit of a bit in the butt, because not only did the laptop break (hence the very late postings) but the internet connection on the Linda's PC was a bit dodgy. To do it properly meant fighting technology or making the trek into the library in Downham. However Jonny did quite well and kept himself very busy going in and out of London for various interviews and networkings. Liz on the other hand was bit slower, but had one interview and landed the job straight off the bat. She is a features writer for Professional Pensions, a weekly magazine aimed at people who look after pension schemes (which are big business over here), so she'll have to learn a lot about financial stuff fast (see www.msm.co.uk). She went to London last week to start and Jonny joined her on Saturday. He is starting work tomorrow working for an event management company as a marketing executive (see www.freshrm.co.uk). They specialise in food and hospitality events and he will be working within a small marketing team on all aspect of the promotion of these events.
Linda needs to be given a special mention for giving us a bed, feeding us well, running us around, and in general being a stunning host. For someone we had never met, fours weeks on we are very chummy and are look forward to Christmas at her place.
So now the holiday is over and its time to have a normal life again albeit in a new and exciting city. The weather has been kind to us so far so lets hope this is a sign of things to come.
NB Our new address is:
183 Adelaide Road