The End of the Job Search

Sunday, 21 August 2011
After months of applications and interviews, the job search has finally come to an end for me. That's right I finally have my first proper job in Milton Keynes, as a PA to Senior Management at a major international company, which shall remain nameless. It's not the most glamorous of jobs, but it's a great learning experience in multiple areas of the company. At the moment, I'm living with Neil and Nic during the week, while Luke continues to look for work down this way. Of course we miss each other during the week, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do, and in the end it's best for us as a couple. We just remind ourselves that we've spent far more time apart in the past and that this situation is only temporary.

I started two weeks ago, and so far am enjoying the role, but am completely shattered at night. I hope this will pass, or at least I won't feel like a total zombie when I return home from work and am able to manage something more than grabbing tea and going to sleep with Oli and Doogal for company. My role comprises the basic duties of any PA, things like the mail and arranging diaries. But besides the basics, I've taken on a couple of projects that have been neglected over the years and help out different members of the senior management team when they need. My favourite thing to get started with is the company newsletter. Not only will I be writing the articles for it, but I'll also be designing the entire newsletter myself, which will be distributed to roughly 2,000 employees on our site!

My Employee ID card and First Pay Slip!

Everyone has been really welcoming at work, and we all have a bit of a laugh. It is great to work somewhere with people who are serious when they need to be, but not all the time. Of course a lot of the jokes have been centred around me being an American, more specifically from Las Vegas. Someone said to me "I didn't realise that people lived in Las Vegas," to which my reply was "Oh no, those little twinkling lights you see surrounding the Strip are just there for decoration." One of my bosses has said within a year my 'broad' Vegas accent (never heard that one before) will be no more, and they'll have me speaking like a proper English rose. I suppose only time will tell.

Erin x and
Oliver *lick lick*

Oli, keeping me company while I write.

Shocking State-istic

Monday, 8 August 2011
Just a quick one today. I was reading The Sunday Times' Style magazine yesterday and came across a shocking statistic that I thought I would share with you fine people.
"The average [British] tourist packs on 8lb during a typical two-week trip to America..."
I always knew our portions in America were large, but 8 lbs in two-weeks?! That's absurd, and yet sadly not unsurprising. I remember on Luke's first visit we went for breakfast at The Original Pancake House . All he wanted was some bacon and a pancake with maple syrup, but his eyes practically popped out of his head when they brought him a stack of pancakes the size of Mount Everest and a whole plate of bacon. The answer seems so simple, just don't eat everything on your plate but the primal instinct in everyone seems to be that you simply must finish. This is why I don't agree with parents who force their children to finish every morsel of food, especially when the portions are so unhealthily large. America really needs to change it's eating habits, and fast, or it really will turn into a country full of those massive McDonalds-munching stereotypes.

Erin x

Don't let this happen to us!

A Harry Potter Summer

Thursday, 4 August 2011
My American-Edition Hardbacks
I look back on the summers of my childhood with fond memories of pool parties, barbecues, and most importantly... Harry Potter. Yes, I was one of the thousands of children whose young adult life was changed by J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. You can take your Generation X or Generation Next, we were the Potter Generation! I can still remember the first time I picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (or Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone as it is known here in the UK). It was at my sixth grade book fair in 1999, when Potter Mania was just beginning to take shape. At the time there were only three Harry Potter books out with Prisoner of Azkaban just being published in the United States. But why do summers remind me of Harry Potter?  Two reasons: 1) The four remaining books were all released in the summer months and 2) my own personal tradition of reading all the Harry Potter books every summer.

My incredible 3D Harry Potter glasses!
This summer was particularly poignant as the last every Harry Potter film was released, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2. I was excited, yet reluctant to go and see the film. It's conclusion would be the truly the end of an era. And last Saturday the era ended when Luke and I finally went to go see it. Luke is perhaps one of five children who didn't grow up reading and loving Harry Potter, but he is slowly becoming a Harry Potter convert thanks to my influence. He's only seen the films (which makes me shudder) but he says he enjoys them, and I hope to someday persuade him to actually sit down and read this creative masterpiece. I won't say too much about the film, I don't want to ruin it for people who haven't been. Of course the book was better than the film (when is it not?) but David Yates, the director, did a wonderful job with this adaptation. The young actors have truly grown into their roles, and the older cast is just as phenomenal as ever. Particularly, Alan Rickman as Severus Snape, one of the most complex characters of the book. So if you haven't been to see the film, I would strongly urge you to run not walk to your nearest cinema and watch it!

I can remember reading every book for the first time, Rowling truly is a master at taking the reader inside the world. At the moment, I'm currently beginning my third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardary. Translation: I'm currently reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I've started my Harry Potter summer reading a little later than I usually do, and it's going a little slower as I find the older the get the less time you have. When I was younger, I could read every Harry Potter in a day but now life tends to get in the way. Boo to the responsibilities of getting older!

I think J.K. Rowling is reluctant to say goodbye to Harry Potter as the rest of us. This summer the website Pottermore was announced. Pottermore is said to be a website geared to "fans of any age who can share, participate in, and rediscover the stories." Yes I signed up. It's not completely active yet but my interest is certainly piqued.

I would like to conclude this post just by saying thanks to Harry Potter, but most importantly, thanks to J.K. Rowling for creating a truly magical world!

Erin x

Ladies and gentlemen, for your amusement... The Potter Puppet Pals!

Quintessentially English's August entry for Happy Homemaker UK's Post of the Month Club
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