Monday 29 March 2010

Jobs and courses

I realise that I've been rather silent the last couple of weeks. That's because I've gone from being an unemployed bum 2 weeks ago, to be a full-time worker with 2 part-time jobs, and a new course starting, in the the same few days...! Hence, that's why you haven't heard from me for a little while.

Firstly, and rather excitedly, I have got a freelance job working for a local community garden, Barracks Lane Community Garden. It is 60 hrs per month (for 3 years) between March and November, then 20 hours per month between December and February, when the season is quieter and the garden not open that much. My role is a mix of admin, coordination and organising events - all around gardening and local food. The garden is located just over behind Cowley Road, near the Oxford Community School (if you know the area). Local residents turned a space full of concrete and burnt out garages, used by drug users (and even one death), into a beautiful community space used by all, from local children's groups, to Asian women's groups and the local permaculture group. It's brilliant - someone is paying me to organise gardening and local food related events etc - FAB!

So that takes up about 2 days a week. My other role is 3 days a week as Faculty Administrative Officer at the University's History Faculty. This is a maternity cover job, so will be between 6-12 months. I started last Thursday with an induction with Louise who is going on maternity leave, downloading as much info as I could in her last couple of days. So very busy but engaging, and the staff all seem very friendly. One of the first historian's I met was Felicity Heal, who I referenced/footnoted when I was studying history (early modern England) at University. So in a funny way, my two favourite things, gardening and history, have come together. This is basically senior admin management role, managing a couple of staff and many processes involved in the History Faculty's undergraduate programme. The job is job-share, hence me working 3 days. It complements my freelance hours well, and gives me really good experience working at a senior admin level in the University, using all my project management and organisation skills until the cows come home.

And finally, I started the Permaculture Design Course on the weekend. The first day was great, lots of interesting and engaging people and fascinating ideas to put into practice. However, I was so exhausted by the end of Saturday that I couldn't attend the course on Sunday, and instead slept the day away. I could barely stay awake at all - I guess my body was telling me something. Rather annoying, as I wanted to be there, but I think the starting of two jobs and trying to do a course all in the space of less than two weeks, caught up with me. So I'll need to catch up on what I missed on Sunday. The course is over 7 weekends throughout the year, so I've only missed a tiny bit of it (I hope!).

So that's why I've been absent from my blog for a couple of weeks. I've got to write up a recent long-weekend trip cycling the Avon & Kennet canal in Wiltshire, which I plan to do soon, along with pictures. And need to get back to the lottie. The poor negelected lottie rather ended up low down the 'things to do' list in the last few weeks. I guess for good a reason, but really, I need to get back to it - those potatoes need planting!