Immediately, everyone was so friendly. We arranged to stay with some friends in Southport, so jumped on another train and almost immediately, I'd forgotten about the trip. It wasn't that I wanted to forget how difficult things had been, because there were some good times. There were some great times, and there were some amazing times, but we were home now, so it was time to start job hunting.
We eventually found ourselves a little home. A two-semi in the north of Wigan; close enough to Manchester that I would be able to commute, but far enough that it would be cheap. We loved it; there was so much going on that we were were busy all the time. When were weren't applying for work, there were festivals, new people to meet and we had a Bookcycle just around the corner - a charity that offers free books in return for donations that are then used to plant trees and support projects around the world.
But the jobs still didn't materialise, and the money that we had saved so hard to keep us going had run out. The credit cards were mounting up and the bank of mum and dad had taken rather a large withdrawl. So we bit the bullet and signed on for JSA. We've still not heard whether we're actually going to be entitled to anything, as we not only voluntarily left our jobs, but we also own a flat. We are trying to sell it, but the last two offers have fallen through, costing us more and more money each time. At least we now have a friend living there and looking after it, happy to leave as soon as someone does buy it.
I've applied for seven jobs in five days. So now I've decided that I need to have a break from thinking about my past 15 years of work history and education, and just do something that makes me happy. Ranting. Not that anyone's likely to be interested in that. But getting it off my chest sure does make me feel better.