Gooooal!

Hup HollandWell, after last week’s post celebrating lazing in the sun (which I realise was a little unfair on those of you who happen not to be on a career break but hard at work), I have to say I’ve been feeling a little bit unemployed. I had things to do but nothing desperately pressing and nothing that didn’t involve me sitting behind my laptop by myself. So when Oliver was in London for a few days last week, I caught myself doing a fair bit of aimless pottering about the flat, verging on moping.

By the way, the fact that my posts are often quite positive in nature doesn’t mean I am always positive and smiley – far from it! Writing positively is a way to make myself look at things positively rather than dwelling on the negatives/beating myself up about stuff, which I am exceedingly good at. I felt that was worth highlighting in case you thought I was one of those irritating happy-clappy types who think everything is always wonderful and can’t wait to tell you all about it.

So although I kept telling myself to stay calm and that something would probably come out of the woodwork, I have to admit I was getting a little nervous that my whole career break project would flounder and I would end up in my pyjamas in front of Jeremy Kyle after all.

Also, I’ve been working on updating my CV and my Linkedin profile, which made me think about when I will need to start applying for actual, gainful employment-type jobs. This scares the bejesus out of me. I hate applying for jobs and all the guff that goes with it: social media presence; networking; making sure your covering letter strikes the right balance between ‘hey, I’m amazing’ and ‘I’m not a psycho, promise’. Having rolled into my previous 10-year stint with the same employer via a temping job, I have never actually done any serious job-hunting – save for a few abortive attempts to change jobs before my career break.

But yesterday my mood was lifted big time by two things happening in quick succession: first, my phone pinged and I found out that WordPress had featured my blog in an article about the Bushwick theme which I use for my site. They said some rather lovely things:

 “The airy feel of her site perfectly echoes the blog’s evocative title. Anne’s uncluttered design focuses the visitor’s attention on her writing, which is complemented by beautiful custom drawings in the header area and in each individual post.”

Why thank you WordPress! As soon as the article went up, my blog stats went crazy – I had nearly 2,000 views yesterday, which was pretty cool given that my previous record stood at 159. I also acquired a great bunch of new followers (hi there, and thank you for joining me!), and lots of lovely new comments and messages. It’s so good to hear from you all so please continue to share your thoughts.

Shortly after the WordPress excitement, I had a really good meeting which will hopefully result in my next unpaid assignment. I’d been slightly nervous about it beforehand but buoyed up by all the sudden online attention, I think it went well and I felt quite relaxed. I won’t say too much about it until it’s actually confirmed, but watch this space.

Finally, you may have noticed there is a football competition on at the moment. I am one of those annoying people who watch football only when there’s a big international tournament on – don’t judge me. I love the drama of international football and most of all I love having an excuse to be patriotic once every two years. My teenage self would have been disgusted – I used to be both resolutely anti-patriotic and football-hating, once nearly driving my dad insane by maintaining that really, I had no idea who Johan Cruyff was. Now, as an expat of 15 years, I actually really enjoy cheering on the country of my birth – which is doing rather well at the time of writing. So HUP HOLLAND! and here’s to the next chapter of my break which I will hopefully soon be able to report on.

 

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15 thoughts on “Gooooal!

  1. Dag lieve Anne, jouw blog lees ik met veel plezier, het leukste vind ik zelf dat ik je in en tussen de regels door nog steeds herken. My teenage self bijvoorbeeld, die Anne ken ik. Maar ook de zieke waar je laatst over schreef, daar paste ik wel eens op. Jullie daar in the UK mogen Van Gaal trouwens met plezier overnemen. The ego has landed. Liefs Anneke

    • Dankjewel lieve Anneke, wat fijn dat je mijn blog leest. Ik ben geloof ik nog steeds zo ‘zielig’ als vroeger als ik ziek ben, haha 🙂 Ja, er zitten wel meer ego’s daar in het elftal geloof ik – Robben en Van Persie kunnen er ook wat van! Als ze maar blijven scoren 😉 Liefs en misschien tot gauw? Anne

  2. i don’t like football at all and i’m glad when it’s over. but I also found you because of the bushwick-theme-article. moreover: i like those drawings. did you paint them yourself?
    the rest sounds quite exhausting but i’m sure you will make something out of this career break!

    • Haha, I kind of know what you mean about football but it’s weird that when you live abroad it’s somehow more fun to cheer on your home team. It’s also happened to other previously football-hating expats I know. Other than that, I don’t take it very seriously! 🙂 Thanks, yes all the drawings are mine. They are very simple because I’m too impatient to work them out in detail – but I’m glad you like them! Thanks and best of luck with your own film projects, they look really interesting.

      • that’s possible – if your home team is not the austrian team 😉 but i’m not sure if i mixed up things – do you mean football or soccer? as there is the world soccer championship at the moment so i assumed you were talking about this?

        yes i really like that style!

        thanks so much 🙂

      • Haha, yes Austria didn’t even qualify I think? Not much to cheer on! 🙂 Sorry yes I mean soccer – in the UK no one uses the word ‘soccer’, it’s an American thing as they have American football which is somewhat different. Language can be confusing… Well it’s only a couple more weeks to go for the World Cup so then we can get back to normal! All the best 🙂

      • no, austria never qualifies. we’re playing shit (sorry) so i really don’t understand the austrian hype concerning football (they are as enthusiastic as germans, spain, italy… i always ask myself: where does that come from?). i think if we sometimes won then my attitude towards this sport would be different…

        well then i understand it correctly – not always easy when reading blogs not in your mother tongue, even if english is quite present here all the time.

        thanks 🙂 i’m really looking forward to a normal without football on every screen i stumble upon 😉

      • Completely understand – England have an equally disappointing track record (although they do usually qualify) but each time there is a massive hype. I suppose all nations want to hope and dream about glory… Holland are good but they never bloody win anything, so maybe just as bad!! Your English is excellent by the way – better than my German! 🙂

      • well – everyone’s got his baggage 🙂 but i appreciate skiing or anything else, where austrians at least take part in 😉

        oh thank you that’s very nice to hear! maybe it helped i’ve been reading english books quite from the beginning i learned the language. usually i have no problems understanding (i’ve proven that to myself in 2.5 weeks in america this month) except when it comes to science – or tv :-/

  3. When I lived in Ireland I fought the whole football thing. I watched F1 but really was anti-football. Then I left and suddenly I missed it! When the 2006 World Cup came along, I cheered for England and France and in the aftermath, feeling I needed some football of some sort, I ended up supporting Liverpool. Funny how things work out!
    As for moping around your place, I find when I get that way, I just have to go out. I take my laptop, or some other note-taking device, and go out and write. The change of scenery lifts my spirits and gives me a new perspective and new ideas to write about. But don’t worry, I think the odd mope day is ok too, especially to decompress after working and all the tough things that pushed you to take time off.

    • Haha, that’s funny – it’s just different when you live abroad isn’t it? I haven’t quite progressed to supporting a club although I did go to a Brighton & Hove Albion game last year (they were awful but still better than the opponents). But definitely enjoying the World Cup right now 🙂

      When I was still working and thinking about my career break, one of my favourite things to imagine was sitting in a cafe on a Wednesday afternoon with my laptop – so I know what you mean, sometimes you just have to go out. I love it because it makes me feel like a proper freelancer 🙂

  4. “in case you thought I was one of those irritating happy-clappy types who think everything is always wonderful and can’t wait to tell you all about it.”

    Brilliant.
    So glad you aren’t one of those! Me, neither. But, my blog does tend to always be on the cheery side because writing and blogging is my Prozac. It’s not only great therapy for the soul, it’s so much cheaper than drugs.
    🙂

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