Though I say it myself, if there's one thing in life I'm good at, it's being unemployed. Not that I'm good at ending up unemployed (although I'm not, apparently, lacking in this area either), but that once I find myself out of work, I cope with it all quite well.
I've never understood those people who say they wouldn't know what to do if they didn't have work to go to; I can only assume that they are either (a) joking, (b) insane, or (c) lying, because how is being at work so much more entertaining than being at home? I mean, when you're at home, you actually have, if you want it, the option of pretending to be at work, and pretending to do whatever it is you're supposed to do in work, but you also have other options, such as lying on the sofa, or watching TV, or going bird watching; whereas when you're at work, you only have the option of being at work (and pretending to do whatever it is you're supposed to do in work), and nothing else; therefore being at home clearly has more entertainment potential than being at work. And even more so if being at work is not, in your case, particularly entertaining.
So anyway, it has been lovely weather here in Belfast all week, so I have acquired myself a suntan and half a faceful of freckles (I went for a bike ride on Monday; when I was cycling outward, with the sun on my right, it was misty; when I was cycling homeward, with the sun on my left, it was sunny). Actually Monday's bike ride was not as successful as usual; I planned my route in advance, but completely forgot that it was virtually the same as the route of the Belfast Marathon, which also took place on Monday - the only difference being that my route was going in the opposite direction to that of the marathon, and hence I spent most of my time trying not to spear joggers with my pedals.
I have been very grateful for the public library service in Belfast, which allows me to check emails for free, and to log onto Facebook and read my Wall, but not to play Scramble (which, if I am allowed two things in life to be good at, would be my second thing), and to read the news. It does not, unfortunately, allow me to update my blog, hence the paucity of posting of late. It has also made me think that maybe I want to be a librarian.
Another thing for which I am grateful is the leaving gift I received from work. Owing to the speed with which I left, and to the belief that 'the greatest gift you can give anyone is money', I got the present in cold, hard cash, and have been seeking ways to transform it to something more permanent. To this end, and because everyone was very generous, I am seeking a hi-fi for my new room; I would like it to have the following features:
* DAB Radio, with optional FM/MW tuner in case I can't get DAB in my house
* iPod/MP3 player connection, preferably in some way that doesn't involve a lot of leads training everywhere
* a tape player; I know, but I have lots of tapes and I want to be able to listen to them
* Nice sound
* a life expectancy of at least 35 years.
This combination of features is hard to find within my budget; the tape player is the sticking point, but I don't think it's unreasonable... if anything, I'd like a tape player more than a CD player, because all my CDs are on my iPod, whereas my tapes are still just tapes. But I'm coming round to the fact that I may have to sacrifice the tape player for the sake of the other bits.
I also cut my grass; unfortunately I didn't discover until afterwards that I don't have a rake any more (presumably it was a casualty of the Builders), so there's now a lot of loose grass all ready to blow all over my street if a wind gets up tonight. That's not the sort of thing they take kindly to on our street; also, the grass was about a foot high in places, so there's a good bit of it to go around.
So all in all, the first week of unemployment has been good, and I think if I play my cards right I can get a good few more weeks in before I have to terminate said unemployment with a job.