Posts Tagged ‘six months’

Six Months as a Mancunian

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

By now you should know how much I love significant dates. A birthday, an anniversary. I will even celebrate the monthly progression of something if it means I can go out for dinner, drink a glass of wine or (of course) eat a piece of cake. So imagine my shock when my six-month-iversary of living in Manchester almost passed me by due to excess work and general busyness? Shocked to the core, I was. But once I remembered I grabbed a pear cider from my fridge and sat with a box of peanuts and a book by the side of the canal. My only companions were some threatening Canadian geese and mangey pigeons but as the sun set behind the old mill buildings and people walked past me on their way home from work, I was a happy lassie.

Cheers! Here's to another 1.5 years in the UK!

Cheers! Here’s to another 1.5 years in the UK!

So I think you know what time it is – Six Month Reflection Time!!!

What has happened in the last six months? What has been good? What has been ok? What has been less than ok? Ready? GO!

  • I moved to a new country, city, language, way of being, dinner time, general outlook on life. Manchester is NOT Paris. This is a fact.
  • I found myself an apartment in one of the coolest and most convenient locations in Manchester. From here I have explored the city and seen most of my neighbours in the apartments across the road in their underwear.
  • I got a job as a waitress at Artisan. This has resulted in me realising that I do not want to be a waitress for the rest of my life and that I should hurry up and finish this book.
  • I finished the third draft of my book about Paris. It hasn’t progressed much further than this.
  • I went to Wales.
  • I ran a marathon in Paris. Whoa. Cool!
  • I made lots of friends in a remarkably short period of time.
  • I experienced Manchester in snow, rain, sunshine, hail and general grey.
  • I attempted to complete 108 challenges, thought of 76 and completed 34.
  • I climbed numerous hills.
  • I completed a fantastic jigsaw puzzle of the Queen.
  • I served tap water to a famous footballer (Apparently. I didn’t know who he was but everyone at work informed me that it was Marouane Fellaini.)
  • I had a photograph published in a Chronicle Books book. Neat!
  • I rented an office space in the Northern Quarter.
  • I volunteered for the Manchester International Festival.
  • I met even more of my very extended British family members. There are a lot of Davieses in the world.
  • I learnt how to ‘network’ and have even started to enjoy it.
  • I ate a lot of excellent, good, average and terrible food.
  • I outplayed the supermarkets and learnt to buy loose bananas rather than the pre-packs as the loose bananas cost half as much.
  • I started calling everyone “Love”.

So that is a general summary of my last six months and I have to say they have been highly enjoyable. There have been moments of panic, moments of woe and moments of What Am I Doing Here? However, overall I am really liking life in this grungy, rainy, slightly depressed city. I might even get myself a tattoo and a fake tan just so I can really fit in with the locals.

Manchester, I love you.

Manchester, I love you.



Wednesday, July 28th, 2010


Today is six months since I officially declared Zaum open for business. Amazing! To be honest it feels like I have been doing this for a lot longer, but at the same time six months is a big number. I haven’t fallen in a ditch, I still have hair (and it’s still blonde) and while there have been a few tears it has also been a lot of fun.

In my first blog entry I listed a number of Zaum Plans that I hoped to achieve. Let’s see how I’m progressing…

  1. Write an awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping, tear-jerking, stomach-hurtingly-funny blog – You bet I have! Best Blog Eva.
  2. Step into the world of Freelance Writing Well I do claim to be a freelance writer whenever someone asks. I have written copy for brochures, websites and display panels over the past six months and managed to get return business. Thank goodness for word of mouth.
  3. Write brilliant books – Less successful in this area but I’ve had plenty of ideas! I think this is a more appropriate task for next year when I actually have something interesting to write about.
  4. Learn how to sew – I didn’t realise I had set this as one of my goals and I have KICKED ARSE at this one! Have you seen my brilliant sock creatures? If that isn’t a sign of sewing talent, I don’t know what is.
  5. Prepare myself to move to France in 2011 – I have a plane ticket. I’m counting down. How much more prepared can one be 187 days before moving to France?
  6. Learn French – This is also in the works with my weekly chats with my new Parisian friend. Not only do I learn French, I’ve also made a new friend who likes eating cake! BRILLIANT.

So those were my goals and now that I have performed a six-month self-reflection, I can see that I am clearly the best person for the job as Zaum President. I should probably work on the “earning money” part of running a business but I have the “enjoy the experience” section down pat. Now on to the next six months! Should I set some new goals? Have I mentioned I hate goals? Just for fun, I’m going to call them my KPIs and have regular meetings with myself to check in on my progress.

  1. Create a sock creature menagerie and sell them for the big bucks. At least one has to be sold to someone who isn’t a friend or family member.
  2. Work towards getting some products (perhaps my sock creatures) in a shop.
  3. Get some more writing work that does NOT include university course descriptions. As much as I love my reliable University clients (thank you, thank you, thank you!) I need to escape the mind-numbing tedium of “Study at…” and “You will gain the skills and knowledge to…”
  4. Do some more art courses. I’d like to do woodwork…
  5. Get a French Travel/Work Visa with as little fuss as possible.
  6. Be leaving for France four days after Zaum’s anniversary.
  7. That makes me think I need to build up my blog readership so that people continue to read when I move to France, meaning more people will buy my award-winning book next year! YAY!

Sounds like a plan to me. The next six months suddenly look very exciting.

Chocolate calzone

To celebrate this momentous occasion, I share with you one of the most insane things I have ever eaten – A chocolate Calzone in Rome. It's full of chocolate. I almost cried, it was so good.