Sleeping Monkey Presents...
It’s odd how one small thing can instantly take you back in time, one particular song, or place. Today I was listening to my iPod while doing the weekly shop, and Won’t Get Fooled Again by The Who started playing. That song was on an album that I bought ages ago, and the design of this blog is actually based upon the album artwork. As soon as I heard it, I was taken straight back to Stansted Road, my old house and my bedroom with the window that opened so wide you could sit on the windowsill and stare down the road for hours in the summer. During that year of University, I listened to this album a lot, and spent a lot time in that room! It’s hard to believe that I moved in around the beginning of October 2007 and it’s now 2011. I’m getting married this year, and back then I hadn’t even yet met my fiancÃ©e! It’s incredible.
Each year since then has been so different it’s almost unbelievable. That second year of university I lived with my two best friends from University, and we did little else but go to university, church, cell group, and mess around and have fun. It was the year that I got to know Jay, and met the two Sarah’s, all of whom ended up being my housemates two years later. It was the year I first started playing around with Cisco networking equipment, and then had my first ever telephone interview, assessment day, and successful job application! Dan also got offered a job, and we found a house in Reading. I was still in the University Big Band, and there was a cute girl in my cell group who caught my eye towards the end of the year…
Then in the summer I started going out with my beautiful girlfriend (now fiancÃ©e), and Dan, Kita and I moved to Reading, and we started real work! That year was totally different again, living with a new person, cycling to a workplace every day and working 9 – 5 rather than the usual sporadic university hours. I really enjoyed my placement year at Cisco, and I definitely had a great first year with Annie, even if the distance was very annoying. I know that as Dan and I neared the end of our work placements were both looking forward to the final year of university… as well as Dan and Kita’s wedding! My first wedding, and my first experience of being a best man. Very exciting times.
Final year, again, was totally different! I was living just down the road from Annie, with three people I’d never lived with before, all of us in our final year of university. The work-load had stepped up and I hardly saw my best friend any more (he was living further away with his wife, it was odd not to see them both every day). Some of my other friends from my second year of uni had graduated last year and moved back home, so it was sad for them not to be around when I got back to Portsmouth, but a lot of my coursemates had done a placement year too so it was great to be back with them. Though we all focused hard, put a lot of effort into our work and our final year projects, as well as looking for a job!
I applied for only two jobs, both at Cisco, and a recruitment agency phoned me about the job that I ended up taking. I did get through the Cisco telephone interviews and to the assessment days, but the job at Ocado was too good an offer to pass up and I am certain that I made the right decision. I now live in North London, and have a brilliant job with good colleagues. There are downsides, however. Annie now lives 100 miles away, and although I see her every weekend, we were used to living just down the road from each other. However, she still said yes when I proposed to her in October, and when we get married in September I am going to the happiest guy on this planet.
I miss my old coursemates though. We all moved away around the end of June, and although it was good to see them at graduation (and my other group of friends at Christmas) I miss not seeing them regularly, especially my best man! We really do need to keep in contact, but we’re all busy with work and life and it’s just hard.
We’ve all come along away in a few years, from fresh-faced university students to working guys, earning our living and (some of us) living away from home. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives has planned for us… I’m looking forward to it! Bring it on.