Yesterday they found a WW2 bomb on the other side of the river, near the University of Exeter. After just finishing our dinner our whole building shook and the windows rattled. Turned out they did a controlled detonation of the bomb.
Yesterday I announced to my team that after more than sixteen years of service to MBS, I am leaving the company. Some people were visibly unhappy with the announcement. During my time here I’ve seen others make the same announcement and noted that it was hard for them to say the words. While I certainly don’t think it was easy, I thought it was easier than expected.
I suspect that the people who were unhappy with the news are so partially because I’ve become their go-to guy, and partially because they might be fond of me. The latter I can’t help, but regarding the former, I’m sure that they’ll quickly find that everyone is replaceable. It might take a few days, but business will continue as usual.
Over the next few weeks I will be moving to Exeter. I’m arranging for Robin to live in and take care of my home here in Amsterdam, just in case the exit from the European Union by Great Britain will not go entirely smoothly or if things don’t work out well with the new job that I’ve found in Exeter. And then I’ll move. There is a lot to be arranged and a lot to be wrapped up, a lot of which isn’t entirely clear to me yet, so it will likely be a chaotic few weeks.
In the meantime, my pendulum swings between excited and terrified, between happy and sad, between confident and diffident.
Recently I started to be more mindful of when I go to sleep during the week. I try to sleep 23:00 until 07:30, which practically means that I sleep from 23:30 until about 06:45 or so. I wonder if this is the natural amount of sleep I need, or if I am still adjusting. I’ve been doing this for the last couple of months now.
There was a spell during the last couple of months where there was a lot of work related stress, more than I have ever had to deal with before, and it definitely jolted my sleep a little bit, and I started to notice that I would wake up in the middle of the night and be awake for about half an hour to an hour before falling back asleep. It still didn’t affect how I felt the next morning, so perhaps the regular surplus of sleep helped.
Yesterday I returned for another ten days in Exeter after having not been there in months. Joasia’s research sabbatical meant that she’s been in Amsterdam and we’ve rented out our apartment to a work acquaintance. It’s been really nice to be together more steadily and it seems like we are in a good place together.
Going back to Exe was nice; seeing some of the friends we’ve made, throwing a party for Joasia’s birthday, going to some of our favourite places to have food. It was really nice. Are apartment is also nice, and a small change we made to the interior, one we should’ve made a long time ago, made it even nicer.
The only thing we didn’t get to do is venture out of the city into the countryside, which is lovely around there. However, springtime is so beautiful around here that we didn’t need to go out of the city to enjoy the green and the flowers growing everywhere. At one point we came by a rugby field — and it sucks that I wasn’t able to take a photo of this — which was peppered with daisies and dandelions. Speaking of which…
I really think daisies are the flower that bring me the most joy. A beautiful grassy lawn with daisies erupts happiness inside of me that few things manage to do so consistently. Below are some photos a few photos I took. Including a couple with daisies in them.
Last weekend, Joasia and I rented a car and drove from Exeter to Chipping Norton in the Cotswolds, a beautiful and very posh part of England. The area has quintessential, brocade English landscape, with green rolling hills and moss-covered, dry-brick wall partitions. The villages are, not unlike Bath, characterised by their limestone masonry, which gives it a beautiful, harmonious appearance. We were there right when the leaves were turning yellow and the different shades of colour was incredible to behold. Google “cotswolds autumn” and you’ll see what I mean. We visited many different small villages, and we also went to visit Blenheim Palace, which was amazing, too.
I wouldn’t want to live in complete isolation in the country side. I would want to have a city near by, and a high speed internet connection. Other than that I could be quite happy living in a more rural area, provided there are some trees around. The thing that would probably become a common occurrence is the commute into work, the thought of which alone fills me with misery. In that sense, our apartment in Exeter is really quite special; it’s right on the edge, quiet and secluded, at the top of a hill with a beautiful view over the entire city. We’re half an hour away from Dartmoor, an hour away from Exmoor, and there are countless beautiful areas to visit, like Snowdrop Valley, the Blackdown Hills, etc.