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As most of you would be aware, I now work for a small ISP. As part of the salary package, I get an uncapped broadband account. In this country, “uncapped” and “unlimited” broadband is frequently advertised, but almost never delivered, so this benefit is a pretty cool thing in my opinion.

Having moved house on the weekend, Monday I applied to get ADSL installed. In the last four years, my new housemate – Steve – had asked several times to get ADSL installed, and each time, the Evil Empire said “not yet”.

Then, on Monday, the very day I submitted the order, Steve got a call from Bigpond saying “Hey, we can now give you broadband!”. Obviously, me applying sent the signal to the evil empire, so they tried to hijack the application and steal a potential customer.
In any other industry, this kind of abuse of information would be illegal. In our industry, it’s par for the course.


I found somewhere else to live. I planned to move at end of October. I gave Adam notice. Adam became more difficult. So I checked with the new place about moving sooner? Not possible. So I looked again. I found another new place. I moved yesterday. I’m sorting out net access. New place is divine. No, really. More later…

twist.jpgThe situation with Adam reminds me of what happened with some housemates I had about a year ago. Back then, I had a clash with one of the two girls I lived with in Jerusalem. She locked me out. So when I made plans for somewhere else to live, they found they had a problem. Both of them were quite restricted financially. So me leaving meant they’d have a few weeks when they’d be short of rent money. Their solution – despite my departure being prompted by one of them telling me to leave – was to keep my bond money. The bond money wasn’t looked at as a deposit that was due back to me, except in limited circumstances. They simply saw the money as a solution to their problem, of not being able to afford rent for the next few weeks until they found another housemate.

In this situation – with Adam wanting more money than is fair, or for rates (which are always an owner’s responsibility) is simply a case of him being short of money himself, so looking around for a solution, even if the “solution” is inappropriate.

I was discussing this with Crab the other night, at length.

trench.pngShe says it stems from people’s desire to twist reality to an insane degree simply for the purpose of justifying their own behaviour – to make themselves appear “right”.
We also took the concept to a situation with someone we both used to work for – PJ – who is currently watching his marriage disintegrate. PJ’s wife is conducting a vicious, ugly war against him. She’s accusing him of threatening violence (for telling her mother to stay away from him during one argument) and refusing him access to his kids. Crab & I have both worked in CSA, so we’ve seen how ugly divorce/custody disputes can get. And in most of them, the parents lose perspective. They’re fighting to fight. They’re simply trying to hurt. Why? I’ve never understood the obsession some people have for beating up their exes. What’s it achieve? And more to the point, how can they justify it?

I have made the decision to give Adam notice and find somewhere else to live. The “contract” he made me sign said I’d give 4 weeks notice, so I’ll do it when I’m next at work (I don’t have his email address at home). The plan is to begin looking again in a fortnight, so I’ll either move straight into the new place, or there may be a short period in between. But with Caerulia going into hospital for a week soon, I was going to have to shift to her place to look after Lucius then anyway.

Living here by myself made me dislike the arrangement, but him charging me for the whole last quarter’s bills (when I was only here from 18 August) more or less decided it for me. Oh, and him wanting me to pay a third of the rates bill. Or is Rome so screwy now that tenants pay for rates? Romans? Is it?

After a night’s contemplation about this, I’ve decided I am going to look for somewhere else to live. So if you have a space or know of someone needing a housemate, drop me a line? Ta

As I’ve mentioned before, I live in a house with two other guys – Adam & Keiran. Adam’s a professional geek, and Keiran works with helicopters (something like a chopper technician). Adam this week decided to move across to his girlfriend’s new unit, leaving just me & Keiran. And since Keiran is always either at work, or off at his family farm down south, I’m effectively living alone. Which I don’t like.

I live with others precisely because I don’t like living alone. So I’m starting to wonder if I wish to stay in this house. The location is perfect – just around the corner from Lucius & only ten minutes drive from work – but I’d prefer somewhere which has a likelihood of lasting a while (Adam’s contemplating selling after Christmas) and where I can actually be around other people. Also, when I get my ADSL connected (we’re on Adam’s account here at the moment), I’ll want to be somewhere for a while, otherwise there’s costs associated with setup and cancellations which will be a pain in the butt.

The day after I moved into the house with Adam & Keiran, Adam blew the data download limit. We have been “shaped” therefore for the last 3 weeks. Today though, we’re back to normality. So I can return to my usual web habits, of reading a whole shiteload of blogs once more. It also means I can return to my addiction of TV Links. Let the happiness return! 🙂

I’ve been back in Rome five weeks. Time to assess the decision?

blackcat.jpgThe house-hunting went quite smoothly, even though I did have periods of worrying that I’d made the wrong decision and I’d be stuck with the consequences for ages. But I’ve been mostly in the new place for this week and it’s been good. Adam and I are both net-geeks, so we’re going to upgrade the ADSL account to get a higher data limit. I’ve also found I sleep much better here – I suspect my allergy to Lucius’ cat was the issue there.

The job-hunt started slowly. I initially went to 2 agencies (Select & Hays). Then expanded to include a few more (Hudson, Kowalski and others). Hays gave me four days work, then Hudson gave me two, and another two this week. Kowalski, Hudson, Hays & Select* have all sent me to interviews. With mixed results. But nothing solid and long-term has materialised, so last week, I started applying for jobs out of the newspaper. A few of those turned into interviews, and we’ll see how they turn out.
map1.jpg* Select only did anything after they sent me a survey form asking for feedback, and I replied saying they’d done nothing in 4 weeks. So they have sent me to two jobs in the Transtiberina area, miles from where I live, and for one of them, they gave me the wrong brief of what the job was anyway. Considering how useless their Jerusalem office is, I now conclude this is an across-the-company form of uselessness they specialise in.

Because the financial situation plays out into everything else, until it gets sorted, I’m still keeping several other projects on hold. Which is frustrating, but unavoidable.

Even though the plan hasn’t gone exactly according to how I’d have liked, there’s not been any time that I’ve regretted doing it. I made the decision in October last year and didn’t carry it out until July. The reason I delayed it so long is something I read in a book last year about delaying major life-decisions for 90 days – so there is time to change one’s mind if the decision seems like a mistake. This move back to Rome though is a decision that I wouldn’t revoke.

In the last few days, some good things have happened, and at least one bad thing. I’m trying though to concentrate on the good.

I began to be paid for some of the work I’ve done recently, and that means that for the first time since I arrived back in Rome, I’ve had money. Money to get things started with the plans. And that means that I’m now in the process of moving around the corner, where I’ll be living with Adam the Geek and Keiran the aircraft-fitter.
I’d begun to wonder about the suitability of the place, but I’m a lot more comfortable with it now. So I’ll move over the next few days.

My friend Olivia recently bought a better car, and so she’s been looking for someone to take over her old one. Since the Lancer is dead, pending surgery, and I’ll probably need a car to get to work, I’ve taken her old car, and took it for a drive this afternoon to get used to it. It’s got a few flaws (I can’t seem to turn the heater off for example, nor can I tune the radio) but nothing that’ll be a major problem to sort out or ignore.

Also, do you know that if you try and renew your licence in Rome, having been out of the city for a while and let it expire, they need proof of residency in the city? Except if you move back to the address on the expired licence. In that event, they don’t care.
So I told them I was living at a house I haven’t lived at for 3 years, and they renewed my licence, and then in a week, I’ll go in and tell them I’ve moved. Stupid, but easier than finding evidence of where I live.

The negative this week is Alderney back in one of her “I can’t leave Jerusalem” moods. Rather than debate it, I’m ignoring it. Easier to deal with. Especially since it’s her mother playing the “I’m sick, Don’t leave me” routine. I should make a rule for myself of only ever getting involved with orphans. Because too many women I know haven’t developed mature sensible relationships with their mothers, and it always seems to get in the way. But then, I make plenty of rules for myself, and break them. The real rule I need for myself is to stick to my path and not let myself get distracted by shiny things. Or soft squishy pretty ones. 🙂