This is the second post about my return to blogging. Click here if you want to read the first bit (which covers more bookish related things), and read below if you want to find out some of the things I have been doing since November 2019. The next blog post will be fully about books so if the personal stuff doesn’t interest you, not all hope is lost.
So, what exactly have I been up to?
- Well, the virus-that-shall-not-be-named really changed the way I work. I still have the same job as I used to, but as I said above, I’m working from home now which means more time for fun stuff (or sleep!). It is odd to not see my work mates five days out of seven, and my podcast consumption has dropped, but thanks to Zoom and WhatsApp, I’ve managed to keep in contact with them all and we chat on a near-daily basis.
- Having said this, I’m not staying at this job for long at all. I graduated university in 2019 with a First Class Hons. Degree in Classical Studies – the first person in my family to graduate. Following graduation, I found that missed the structure of continued education and clear progression – my standard day job wasn’t cutting it for me. So, I applied for a load of graduate schemes. Most of these were in accounting and finance, and the preparation for each one (I think I applied for about 10-15) took many hours. Add in the actual exams, assessment centres, and interviews (in person or on video call), and it is clear to see why my reading dropped off. I’d leave for work at about 07:15, get home about 18:30, and head straight onto prep and exams for grad schemes. Why finance? To be honest I like the structured progression, the fact most jobs are based in London here in the UK (somewhere I have been desparate to move to for a long time), and the money isn’t half bad. BUT… there was one job that I wanted much more than any finance-related role…
- I am ecstatic to be able to say that I accepted a graduate programme working in London in the public sector. Sorry for being vague, I’m not sure how much I’m allowed to talk about, though I promise I’m not a spy (of course, that’s exactly what a spy would say). This is the job that I really wanted, and surprisingly enough, it is not actually within accounting or finance, more of an advisory sort of role (perhaps more apt for a Classical Studies graduate). Words cannot explain how happy I am to be starting later this year, and thankfully the position is one that can be started remotely, so the chances of any delays is reduced by the fact that we can start working from home if required.
- This means that I will be moving to London. This is one of the main attractions of the new job in all honesty. I love London and visited it visited it several times in 2019 (plus a handful more for assessment centres in 2020) having only been once before when I was much younger. It’s just so big and exciting and… well it all feels like a movie set. I know I’m romaticising it but hey ho, such is life. Following my graduation from a university in the South West, I returned home to the North West and have lived with my family for the past few months. I’ve enjoyed my time here, but I miss the independence of living away, and I am massively looking forward to starting the next chapter of my life.
- Time and the distraction of all these job applications meant that by March time, I was well and truly on my well to feeling like myself again. Reading became a bigger and bigger part of my life, and this is where we are now. Other things I enjoyed (before lockdown) was going to various bars and pubs with my work mates (and ‘normal’ friends), reconnecting with people I had falled out of touch with, and turning back to older hobbies. Yes, the Playstation did get a run about but who has time for that when there are SO MANY books to read. No doubt I’ll be back playing God of War soon enough, but at the moment I’m riding the book high. I should probably say that I recieved this job offer on my birthday in January, but by this time I had already been invited to other interviews and I’m never one to count my eggs before they hatch – I wanted insurance policies in place in case stuff went wrong.
- Of course, there have been tragedies across the world. As I touched on in the previous post, I want to keep ApertureReads a step removed from this as much as possible. I find solace in reading and talking aboiut books, engaging with photography projects, and numerous other hobbies. Whilst I spend time and money helping with the ‘real world’ issues as best I can, I want to keep this blog as something I can approach almost in isolation. I know this reeks of privilege, but it’s also the truth. Talking about these events on a book blog meant for the discussion of mechanical octopi/octopuses/octopodes (like in Natash Pulley’s books 1, 2) and fantasticial characters, well it doesn’t feel quite right to me. I’m doing what I can to help, but ApertureReads doesn’t need to detail that.
- I also started to make pizzas (including one monstrosity of strawberry, pear, walnuts, and brie – not a combination I can recommend) and baking in general (especially the tremendously unhealthy-but-tasty cookies from Pret A Manger (these are my favourite, but these are great, too). Also also, I decided to get in shape for my move to London and I’m making massive progress in that part of my life which is a very rewarding experience.
Anyway, that’s enough about me. If you have any questions please do feel free to reach out. Even better, if you have any unusual (but tasty) pizza topping combinations please let me know and I will give them a shot.
My next post will be most likely be my June 2020 TBR, so please keep your eyes open for that if it sounds like something you would be interested in. Epic fantasy, Discworld, and uplifitng stories all make an appearance 🙂