May Day

Ever since I moved things have been a bit of a whirlwind. Staying with S at the moment and so far so good. Have a fair bit of space which I need as I still have quite a lot of stuff. No word from the tenants so am assuming they’re getting on OK, one week in. I shall endeavour to find out, in due course, via my old neighbours who I’m chummy with and who still live there.

Had this Thursday as a half day and then Friday as a full day’s leave. Needed to use up holiday as the leave year comes to an end and I’m already carrying 5 days into next year. 25 days leave is not ungenerous but it can be a struggle finding time to use it all.

I used the half day Thursday PM to go on a shopping expedition as it’s been ages. Bought summer jackets, mostly, ranging from smart to casual. Also two pairs of jeans, one of which were skinny (yeh, I should know better, especially as I’ve gained a stone in the past year).

On the Friday S and I went to the Imperial War Museum. It’s probably 8 or so years since I last went. An interesting place. The Holocaust exhibition is quite substantial over many floors. Is powerful stuff. And I do like the old aircraft, tanks and missiles. Some of them not so old, for example there is a Polaris missile. A few photos:

imperial war museum

imperial war museum

imperial war museum

imperial war museum

On Saturday did a big food shop, also went to a Modernist furniture fair and also to my favourite antiques shop. Good browsing but didn’t buy anything. Watched Avatar in the evening on DVD, for the first time. I thought it was a good film. That evening I’d made a beef casserole in Guinness which we both thought came out great (one of the few totally reliable things in my repertoire).

Sunday fairly quiet. Did more cooking. A leek & potato soup and sultana muffins. I’d indulged myself on the Saturday and bought Super Street Fighter IV for the PS3, so enjoyed playing quite a bit of that. I do like button-mashing beat’em’ups, it must be said.

Today we drove down to Knowle House in Kent. S is a big fan of country estates, history, etc, so I was happy enough to go as I don’t mind the period myself. Built between 1456-1486, it has a tonne of character and has been well preserved. The Other Boleyn Girl was filmed in part here. The large estate is part owned by the National Trust but the world-famous gardens and half of the main estate are still in the Sackville-West family, who reside there. Vita Sackville-West grew up and lived at Knowle where she would entertain, among others, her lover Virginia Woolfe.

knowle house

knowle house

There was a little second hand book sale going on in an out building so I bought 2 old editions (well, 1970s, but I liked them) of some F.Scott Fitzgerald classics that I haven’t read before, a pound each.

f.scott fitzgerald book covers

Back to work tomorrow following the Bank Holiday today. Then heading off at the weekend for a few days at the French house en famille. Won’t be very long (just 3.5 days in my case as I have work commitments) but a break is a break so I’m not complaining.

And I must, in earnest, knuckle down to the tedious and time-consuming task of flat hunting!

9 thoughts on “May Day

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  1. Wow. Twenty-five days paid vacation is extremely rare in the US of A. Most people — and this is only people in professional, salaried jobs, not people who work in any sort of retail or service job — start with 10 days tops. Sometimes you get another week after 5 years; sometimes after 10. My employer is relatively generous in this regard. I get 20 paid vacation days plus about 10 paid holidays including Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, etc. But that’s after 16 years. I don’t think it goes up to 5 weeks until something like 25 years.

    It’s also increasingly unusual for employers to allow employees to “carry over” any paid vacation over here at all — it’s a “use it or lose it” kind of thing, which is really sucky because it is more and more difficult to find TIME to take vacation. I didn’t take all of mine last year. I have a week that my boss was going to allow me to “unofficially” carry over but he just changed jobs and I don’t know if my new boss will be as generous …

    I gather your “leave year” starts in June instead of January? I have never heard of that here. I suppose it might be possible for some organizations that observfe a “fiscal year” different from the calendar year — for instance I know the city I live in has a fiscal year that starts in June because the property taxes I pay are calculated based on the fiscal year, not the calendar year. It’s *possible* that city employees’ vacation time resets in June too.

  2. I miss the May Day bank holiday! We don’t get it (although we do get ANZAC Day the week before). Congrats on the move! That seems like it’s been coming for ages!

  3. Justin – our leave year follows our financial year which is May – May (tax year). You can carry 5 days but no more, it’s then a case of use it or lose it. Yeh, I recall that leave in the US is not very generous! Your 20 days sounds very generous for US. Here, that would be statutory minimum (I believe).

    Birdie – did buy a pair of shoes! Black ones, quite simple ones really. Skinny jeans are hanging in wardrobe. Until I win the Battle of the Bulge, I can’t really wear them :/

    Jen – Sevenoaks is lovely, first time I’d been there.

    Sven – has been coming for a LONG time. I still feel like I’m half way through the transition as I have moved out – but yet to find my own place. In fairness, am pretty much yet to look, too.

    UV – is worth going, it’s actually quite a fun trip.

  4. Enrico – they’re cool! Am loving Super Street Fighter IV on the PS3 at the moment. I never even used to play games much on this, only really bought it for blu-ray capability. Playing against real people online sure is tough though!

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