New gaff (nova gajba) 
Wednesday, March 9, 2011, 8:50 pm
Posted by Administrator
I moved in to my new place over a month ago, but I have been rather beset by 'teething' problems, and my internet connection has only just yesterday been semi-sorted out. Many things are relative here, so I try to avoid using unnecessary superlatives.
But it's a nice place, fully furnished, a large main room with living room and kitchen, a wood-burning stove (to be more authentically Montenegrin), a largish bedroom with spacious wardrobes and two beds, and a functional small bathroom. One of the great benefits which many houses in Niksic are missing is good heat insulation, which is really keeping my energy footprint down, and I am doing all of my cooking as well as heating on the wood stove.
The suburb of Niksic (Strasevina) is a 30-minute walk from the centre of Niksic, and as my car is currently not working, I am getting fitter walking everywhere.
I also started a new job soon after I moved, teaching at a newish private language school, giving English conversation lessons in the evenings. It's not enough on its own to pay the rent, but as it's only two evenings a week, it is one of several jobs I am engaged with. I have also started one-on-one English lessons, and my brother is keeping me supplied with web design work while my proofreading work is relatively quiet.
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Christmas time in the UK 
Friday, December 24, 2010, 11:25 am
Posted by Administrator
It seems that people are getting less sentimental about Christmas in the UK, which for me is a positive thing, but at the same time, people are getting more stressed, more materialistic and the "Season of goodwill" seems to last a maximum of a day. But I have enjoyed being on the UK for a week b4 Christmas, if for no other reason than to have a rest. I missed Christmas last year, by virtue of needing to work in a country where Christmas is celebrated, if at all, on Jan 7th. I did have some students round on Boxing Day for roast chicken and Christmas pud. This Christmas, because of family members being away and because of it falling on the weekend, Christmas will last 3 days, and will not the usual 1day of absolute gluttony, but several days of moderate gluttony.
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Pizza night 
Tuesday, November 9, 2010, 12:00 am
Posted by Administrator
We had about 15 people round the house for a pizza evening, a fairly spontaneous event for the students that Danijel, Martina and I had been able to collect together. We had a great time, sort of an extension to the English conversation club, which we had previously extended with a few hikes around the country. The idea was hatched of starting an Italian conversation club for those students whose second foreign language is Italian. This feels more like how student life should be - dynamism, new ideas, creativity and energy. Not the usual resignation to fate, apathy, complaining about the lack of prospects... Good for you, students of Niksic.
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New job! 
Friday, September 10, 2010, 8:09 pm
Posted by Administrator
A new semester at the university, and a new job so I am no longer working at the faculty to be a part of it. I had sensed rumblings of imminent unemployment in June, so prepared by looking for work and also actually someone else upstairs has been matching up the pieces for me - so I immediately had several job offers to take up when the university let me know on the 5th. Things are looking up - my accommodation is sorted out until February, and my work schedule is almost completely booked for the next two months. God is certainly looking after me...
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Working holiday 
Monday, August 9, 2010, 6:57 pm
Posted by Administrator
I came home hoping for at least a bit of rest and relaxation away from a hectic schedule in Montenegro, only to find that I'm even more busy here - due to uncertainty about my job at the university, I've had to look for extra freelance work. It seems that work is actually looking for me, and finding me with great success. I'm now working not only for the UN but also media monitor McCann Erickson, Gligorije Dijak publishers and now various private projects with clients in Podgorica and London. Even if I am asked back to the university, I think I will scarcely have to time in September to do more than six lessons a week. This is probably a blessing in disguise, forcing me to get off my backside and change my life situation, which probably means moving house and reorganising my priorities. But the plus side is that I can take my work wherever I go, when I'm staying with friends in Nottingham, with family in Yorkshire or London, or back in Niksic.
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