Sunday, July 29, 2007

A wonderful week

Good news came on Wednesday. I have been offered and accepted a new job working in London. I had my second interview on the Tuesday afternoon, which had more the format of an informal chat rather than a structured interview. I like the office where I will be working and the people there seem nice. It is a good location too, being in Tottenham Court Road so walking distance from the shops of Oxford Street and the delights of the West End. Its a walkable distance from Euston too, so won't have to fuss around with tubes or buses although no doubt there will be occasions when it will be necessary. I am just waiting at the moment for my formal offer of employment before I hand in my notice.

I feel many different things about changing jobs. Part of me is excited to have this new opportunity and from what I've learned from the two interviews, it could well be a spring-board to other things. The company I will be working for is a fast-growing and young firm and there seems to be many opportunities to develop and move on. This is vastly different from where I am now and I feel that until this job came along my career had stalled. Tempered with this looking forward to a new job is fear and anxiety. Until you work somewhere you have no real idea of what it will be like, how good or bad a company it really is or even what my new colleagues will be like. I intend to take it a step at a time. Find my feet and get settled before making any big decisions such as possibly moving closer to London. That's a long term aim, possibly moving to somewhere like Watford or the other side of London, say Reading or maybe even the Essex side. Certainly somewhere, which is a closer commutable distance than now. The travelling though doesn't bother me too much. I like travelling by train and I fully intend to use the opportunity to relax and not see it as an extended part of the working day.

I was in London again on Wednesday evening for the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. It was a rather fraught trip due to the train being delayed and I only just made it before the concert started at 7pm. A wonderful evening of music though and a sort of unplanned treat for the good news I'd had earlier in the day. The first half of the concert was music by Beethoven - Overture 'Leonore' No 3 and Barber - Violin Concerto. The second half featured Copland's Symphony No 3. What was particularly enjoyable was the opportunity to see one of my favourite orchestras - the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and their conductor, the American-born Marin Alsop. I have Alsop's recordings with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra of the complete orchestral works of Samuel Barber.

Both Barber and Copland are American composers of the twentieth century who were responsible for defining the sound of American classical music. Barber is of course most famous for his Adagio for Strings although personally I am very much a fan of some of his choral music and First Essay for Orchestra. One of Copland's most famous and recognisable works, Fanfare for the Common Man, is incorporated into the Third Symphony. This was my first time hearing this piece and it is an exhilarating work with a wonderful final movement where the Fanfare for the Common Man dominates.

I was due to go to the Proms again on Friday night but being too tired and having to get up early for work yesterday thwarted that idea. However, I am going to the Proms a few more times over the summer, looking forward in particular to hearing three of Mahler's symphonies and Walton's First Symphony.

Yesterday I picked up my three newly framed Star Wars prints. I've hung two of them this morning and they look wonderful, I am very pleased. The third, a dramatic and brilliant print by Dave Dorman, will have to wait a few days as I need to get something sturdy to hang it with as it is a big piece and fairly heavy.

I finally bought The Making of Star Wars, a lavish large hardback book, which charts the making of A New Hope. I've flicked through Jamie's copy before and have been promising myself that I would buy it; just waiting for the price to come down a bit. Its certainly worth the money although like any book this size, its one that really needs to have a bit of time spent studying it and sitting down at a table to be able to read properly.

This coming week is probably going to be a little mundane in comparison to the one just gone although have our annual Park Meet with the Groovy Gang to look forward to this coming Saturday.

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