New year new beginnings

New year new beginnings

21st January 2018 63 By Rachael Stray

The new year has only really just begun but lots of exciting things are already happening for me in 2018.

As many of you will already know (if you read my Goodbye 2017 hello 2018 post) I have a new job!

So last Friday was my last day working with my lovely colleagues at the charity in Newcastle.

It was really hard to say goodbye.

Emptying my desk, saving everything to the shared drive, sending the last of my emails and shutting down my computer for the last time all made me feel waves of emotion.

Leaving HQ for the last time was really sad but I’m sure my team and the charity as a whole will continue to grow and do even more fantastic work.

Although I’d only been working there a little over six months; I had really enjoyed getting to grips with helping fight fuel poverty and learnt an awful lot – as well as making some lovely new friends.

One of the many things I can take away from the charity is tips to keep warm in winter which is extremely useful given the recent cold spell!
10 tips to stay warm at home this winter
I will still be sharing some pearls of wisdom that I have learnt in future blog posts too, so stay tuned!

My last week was busy with lots of loose ends to tie up and my handover to finalise.
I did manage to squeeze in some fun too!

On Thursday a group of us went out for lunch at a lovely Thai place quite literally opposite our office. The food was fantastic and the company even better. My fabulous colleagues (now friends too of course) bought me some gorgeous leaving presents and even paid for my meal too. I’m so lucky and incredibly grateful.

Gorgeous candle from my director

Gorgeous candle from my director

Lovely gifts from my fabulous colleagues

Lovely gifts from my fabulous colleagues

As I’m sure many of you will have already read, my friend and I dined out as part of NE1 Restaurant Week on Monday – you can catch up here if you missed it – and my leaving meal was also a Restaurant Week deal.
My first taste of NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week
Last Friday was also an exciting day because I picked up my new (used) car!

Unfortunately my beloved first car – Fifi the Fiat – was about to get expensive to maintain and it didn’t make sense to spend that kind of money so it was time to go (reluctantly) car shopping.

Fifi the Fiat

Fifi the Fiat

My husband loves car shopping – me not so much.

He’s more than happy to spend hours scrolling through various car websites to search for a good deal and then the following weekend visiting the cars in person. I, on the other hand, am happy to let him crack on!

To be fair to him he did come through with a cracking little car – everyone meet the newest addition to the Stray household my lovely little Chloe the Clio.

Chloe the Clio

Chloe the Clio

I liked the look of the car online and we went to have a test drive the following Saturday.

She’s lovely to drive and still quite small but she’s got a lot more to offer than my old Fifi did (bless her).

I’m chuffed to have such mod cons – air con, a CD player, 5 doors and a variety of radio stations to listen to – I’m living (or driving rather) the dream!

So on Friday I drove my fab Fifi for the final time and handed her over to the garage (sniff sniff) she’s served me well as my first car. We did have a little disagreement with a bollard after a rigorous gym session and the wind did blow her door into the wall outside our house but other than that we’d had no real issues.

In the summer it was a bit like driving in a sauna (no air con) and there wasn’t much choice in the music department – other than a trusty tape deck or just two radio stations to flick between – but she got me around lovely Lincolnshire and up and down to Newcastle!

Tomorrow is my first day in the new job- eeek! I’m off to Darlington (looong drive) for my induction so it’s the first real run out for me and the new car and then it’s my first proper day in the office on Tuesday. I think I’m off to London on Wednesday with my new boss for a big meeting so it’s going to be a varied first week to say the least!

I’ll admit I’m a wee bit nervous.

I’m hoping I don’t get lost finding the induction place in Darlington and of course about meeting my new colleagues and getting to grips with a totally new challenge for me – but I’m also excited too!

Hopefully I’ll be able to share some updates on the adventures of my new job too.
Right then… I must dash as I best get myself sorted for an early start tomorrow! I hope you all have a great week.

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