Thursday, 11 October 2018

Comfort Zones

We went to Chester last weekend. I've wanted to visit for years and many months ago entered the marathon and put M in for the metric marathon as an excuse for a weekend there. I'm still off running so only M competed, leaving me with a couple of hours to amble about the town while he raced through the countryside. I loved every second and found a beautiful old watercolour of the Thames in one of the galleries which I bought as compensation for not running the marathon. The lovely owner kindly gave it to me with a hefty discount too, which was just as well! 

It's a really beautiful, fascinating place, steeped in history with wonderful old buildings and the most amazing city wall which is 2000 years old (Roman) in places and encircles the town, as well as the ruins of a Roman amphitheatre which you can walk round. We walked more or less the length of the walls on Saturday and it gives a great perspective on the town. The river Dee passes to one side of the town and the bridge that spans it dates from 1387 and looks and feels as sturdy as if it were brand new. 

We stayed in a nice hotel outside the city because I'd left booking it late and everywhere in the city was full. The room was dark with only two lamps and an overhead light when we arrived at dusk. One of the lamp bulbs went out as I turned it on, so we rang down to reception, and waited and waited and waited for the replacement. In the end M went down to hurry them up and as he shut the door the other bulb went out. Dinner was equally amusing. The main courses arrived ahead of the starters. The mains went back with me prophesying to M that they'd sit in the kitchen getting cold while we ate the starters (which were very nice). Sure enough, the same plates reappeared with cold main meals on them. Mine was stone cold, M's warmish, so he elected to hold on to his while I sent mine back. Mistake, as mine then took twenty minutes to arrive by which time his was cold. They forgot the puddings entirely and then when the teenage lad who cleared the plates away dropped the cutlery on the floor he proceeded to kick the knives and forks across the floor back to the kitchen instead of picking them up. The background to this was the thumping beat of a wedding party next door. M was crying with laughter by the time we finished eating. Having consumed half a bottle of bubbles with the meal I was also inclined to see the funny side. Had the food been horrid I don't think it would have seemed quite so funny.

Back home and I am starting to get interviews and offers for the job apps I've been sending off. It's an interesting process when you've worked for yourself for twenty years, not least the question of employer references, which for me don't exist. Three of my lovely Hampshire Hares have offered to be my referees instead, (although given that this Tuesday I was cycling along beside them shouting at them to Keep Running! as they all slowed to a walk on a seven-mile run I'm not quite sure how praiseworthy the references will be :o)).

As a process, it's nerve-wracking and exciting in equal measure. Which offers to accept, which to say no to. Sometimes there seems no rhyme or reason as to why you get one interview but not another. For example, this week I didn't get an interview for a job I could do standing on my head with one arm tied behind my back, which annoyed me and kicked my confidence a little, but the next day I got one for a job that, on paper at least, I am not completely qualified for, which shocked me. M says the paper stuff is irrelevant, it's meeting the person that matters so I'm holding on to that. 

There is much more to be taken into account than merely myself with these role choices too: family commitments, volunteer commitments, doggy-people commitments, existing work commitments, Hampshire Hares commitments, so the choice of job needs to be carefully considered, rather than leapt at from sheer relief of being offered anything at all. 

I think it's good to step outside your comfort zone every now and then and try something new. It's good to test your bravery and give your courage a chance to carry you along for a bit. I'm sure all of this will seem easier when I can start running again too.

Hope you're all well? It's just started raining here.


PS- a lovely lady gave me a peanut for the squirrel, who came up and carefully took it out of my hand before sitting down to nibble it thoughtfully beside me.


  1. Good luck with the job hunting. I hope you find something that is the right fit for you.
    Chester looks beautiful, which is a relief as I'm going myself in December. I'll be sure to take some nuts with me. X

  2. Gorgeous photos CT. Many years ago I ventured to Chester on a very wet April day. Sadly the weather put the dampers on me loving this city. I must make amends and revisit. Good luck with the job hunting. It is curious how interviews are awarded. Fingers crossed you get the perfect job that fits in with your busy schedule. Hope you are back to running very soon. B x

  3. Chester is a beautiful city! Lovely photos!
    Good luck with the job searching! You are right to fit it in around what you love... and you are lucky to have it that way around!
    Also a job you enjoy will get more from you than a job just for the sake of it xx

  4. Chester is indeed a lovely place, and only 10 miles from my doorstep. Many a happy walk around the old roman walls (and many a happy pub crawl in my younger years).

  5. Chester sounds beautiful, I'm glad you had the chance to have a wander round and treat yourself. The meal sounds memorable, I particularly loved the image of the teen waiter kicking the cutlery back to the kitchen. Oh dear. Good luck with the job hunting, I hope you find the perfect thing. CJ xx

  6. I need to make the step into a new career but I'm not very brave or organised!

  7. I visited Chester many years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it - I do love a nice city wall to walk round. Your hotel sounds memorable and at least you were able to laugh about it! Good luck with the job hunting. xx

  8. Good luck with the job hunting. Chester is a lovely place with all the black and white buildings. I've only spent one night there myself but thoroughly enjoyed it. x

  9. I have wanted to go to Chester, so thank you for the photos.
    That is a darling squirrel. What a wonderful photo I love him/her ?
    Is that Ted in the photo ? I can't tell.
    Best of luck with the job.

    cheers, parsnip and badger

  10. Chester looks so lovely.
    Good luck with the job hunting- it's about finding where you fit really, not the paper stuff in the end.

  11. Thank you for the photo's of Chester, we have not been there for years, the walk along the walls are not to be missed. As for not getting the interview for the 1st job, I downsized the role I wanted to do in the last few years I was working, got refused for loads and I always ask for reasons, and was often told I'm over qualified and the employer thinks you wont stay with them for long. My last job I was hugely over qualified, and stayed there for almost 2 years, in my leaving interview my employed thanked me, with my knowledge, I had given the company much more than my pay grade.

  12. Good luck with the job hunting. I am sure there is something out there just waiting for you.

    I love the first of image, typifies Autumn so well.
    Also some lovely country scenes.

    Hotel sounds hilarious.

    Chester looks beautiful, lovely architecture.

  13. I rowed at Chester regatta as a student, I would guess in 1980 or 1981. It is a lovely town and a place I visit when in the region. It is beautiful, calm and fun. One or two pubs have signs saying that they do not serve chips, obviously an anti Scouse thing, but apart from that it’s very nice. I would not eat in a pub that did not serve chips ever. Some things are sacred, and potatoes burnt in animal fat is one of them, obviously with fried eggs and burnt preserved swine flesh.


Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them. CT.