Category Archives: Don McClean

Bye, bye, Miss American Pie – A look back at 2015

Yes, I know, this normally requires 2 blogs, to keep them at sensible lengths, but I think 1 will probably do this year. 2015 has been a funny year, highs, and lows, and not much in between!

I must admit, if you’d told me back in January, when I learnt of the redundancy offer from Hills, that I’d still be job hunting at the end of the year, I’d have laughed at you. Fine, I’m not laughing now, but I’m still standing, for now at least. I was offered an option to stay on, but given it was the third time in 6 years that they’d made me redundant, and the offer was very good, I decided to go for it. One of the main issues for staying on, apart from being worn down by shop staff, was that I’d have to get myself home after 10.00 finishes, and buses dont run late enough for that around here. So I went for it, and took the chance to up my April holiday from 7 days, to 10, in Hollywood, as I wouldnt have to worry about holiday allowances by then! I actually left at the very end of March, having also managed to do the last escalated agent shift, a little while earlier.

Ignoring most details of job hunting efforts (you’ve suffered enough of those over 9 months), the big event in April was that first visit to Hollywood, the 10 day hotel based adventure. As you know, I fell in love with the place, but more of that later. Yes, its a crazy place, and thats not usually my scene, but for once…Fine, I soon discovered that even 10 days wasnt enough, and pledged I would have to return some day, not realising how soon that would be!

Pretty much nothing exciting then happened, until the end of August, when I decided that unless I did something to break the sequence of frustrating job interviews, I was going to do something crazy, or just go crazy. So, I did something crazy! I looked into, and ended up booking a 4 week stay, starting at the very end of September, in a rented apartment in the Hollywood Hills. It was going to make the money issue ‘more interesting’, but I could do it, needed to do it, so it was happening!

Earlier in September, I’d had booked, for quite a while, a week on Cape Cod, with my wonderful friend, Kate. It was a lovely break, and teaming up with her again was wonderful. Then it was back to the UK, for a whole 10 days, before setting off for my Hollywood apartment! Again, the details of the trip can be found in the blog, so lets focus on the other issues. All my travel to the US before, has been staying in a hotel. But I discovered that having your own little apartment is pure heaven! No, I wouldnt do that for a 7 day stay probably, but anything longer than that, absolutely! Oh, and to a slight degree, even a combined total of 38 days in LA isnt enough to see everything! Fine, one thing I would love to have seen (Harlow’s home in Easton Drive) was out of range of a non driver, but otherwise…

Oh, and one thing got delayed, because of the 2 close together trips to the US, the change of name, and in passport terms, the change of gender. But immediately after I got back, the name change request went through, and in the last 10 days (because I’ve been using my old passport for ID), the passport change has finally been arranged, and as the fee has now been taken, I’m now definitely known as Harlean (other than those who are so used to using Steph/Stevie/Stephanie at least), and I’m definitely female, with an extra bit, for now at least. I cant see me removing it, unless need really arises, but never say never…Really looking forward to moving forward as Harlean, and no gender issues related to passport.

Fine, lets not mention that awful job choice I made in December, when I could have been on a research trial, OK? Live, and learn, I guess?

The video, what I seem to have been this year, judging by the amount of time I’ve spent there (about 45 days in all!). A clever video, for a song too old to have had one.

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