I haven't blogged properly in a month or two because nothing hugely significant has happened, but THEN SOMETHING SIGNIFICANT DID HAPPEN:
As of Thursday, I'm now allowed to drive an actual car. I did well at only telling three people in the world the exact date of my test – normally when I'm worried about something, I tell EVERYONE so they can talk a bit of sense into me. Or feed me whiskey or gin. I was surprised that a) I passed at all and b) That I passed fairly comfortably, and people have been saying stuff like "See! It's not so bad, what was all the fuss about?" Well, I found it all difficult, throughout the many, many months I was learning to drive. It was still terrifying even once I knew a bit more about how to operate 'vehicles'. But then, maybe I can take some pride from that. I did think about quitting quite a few times, but I was glad I stuck with it.
I don't have any immediate plans to invest in a car, but at the same time, I don't want to leave it for ages and forget how to drive. I've considered joining some kind of cooperative car share scheme – might be an idea as I don't really need a car on a daily basis anyhoo. And despite my (ongoing) terror, I think part of me would quite enjoy taking trips round Northumberland. There's still a lot more I want to see up here.
Work seems to be going well. I mean, there is work. Work is being sent to me, then I make the foreign words into English words, then send the words to people, and then they send me money which I spend on food and drink (I describe this slightly differently on my CV). I've lost count of the number of times I've been asked if I bother getting out of my pyjamas (I do, every day, because if I didn't, that would be disgusting. I maybe don't get dressed as EARLY as I used to, but it will be at some point in the morning). I'm still managing to leave the house, and although I've had a few teething problems, I'm more or less balancing work and personal life. I did have a couple of weeks where I didn't resist the pressure to take on ALL the work, but I'm understanding the importance of setting aside time to do things other than translation. Like today we went to THE NORTHUMBERLAND MINERS' PICNIC, one of those things that seemed to have been designed to make me happy.
I'm not even sure why I love mines so much. I mean, obviously, there's a link with socialism and unions etc., but still. My ancestors were dockers, not miners. Maybe I should be frolicking round the docks, although that might give people altogether the wrong impression. Anyway, it was awesome. It was as good as the time I visited Big Pit, which I fully intend to return to some day.
One thing I've not really been making the most of as a freelancer, really, is the 'free' bit. In particular, freedom of movement. The second most common thing people say to me after the pyjamas thing is 'O you could surely take your laptop with you anywhere and troll off to distant climes, young hobbit, yet be careful not to enter Mordor'. I sometimes take the laptop and sit in the different part of the flat, but that's not quite the same. So far I've only really become a proper satellite worker once, when I went to see my parents last month. It worked out pretty well, so I think it's something to aim to do more of in future. I want to travel more this summer. There are people I know scattered about who I've not seen in actual person for ages, so it'd be nice to not just confine myself to the flat the whole time, like a ginger hermit.
(having said that, the Steam sale is on, so I'm totally not going to abandon being a hermit entirely)