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Michael’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 03 Sep 2008

Location: Southampton, England

MapLast Friday I had the pleasure of visiting the UK’s newest, and largest super club, Oceana in Southampton. It has been open 6 weeks, and as a couple of the young guys at work are headed off to do their next 6 month placement, we decided to have a big night on the mainland to send them off. Originally tipped to be in Portsmouth, a last minute decision was made to change it to Southampton. So straight after work we headed out for a quick 9 holes of golf. I wasn’t happy with the round, but playing as often as I do, and with hire clubs, I can’t expect to go out and shoot par can I? Then we headed to the mainland, had a big of a pub crawl through Southampton, before arriving at Oceana; no cover charge, with 7 different pubs and night clubs in the one complex - Really kinda cool. And they are still being very strict, having opened about 6 weeks ago, checking EVERYONE’s ID. The place shut at 0230, and 14 of the 17 people that had come across from the island had lasted till then. The next ferry was at 4 am, so a kebab, and then getting there 30 minutes early, I decided to win back the expenses of the evening. It happened to be the first winning session I had had at the casino next to the ferry (lost the only 2 other times I’d been there) and made 75 pounds in 10 minutes. Heading for the ferry, the managers were convinced to open the bar, and I bought a last round of beers for the 45 minutes left of the evening. When we got off at the other end, the Sun was just threatening to rise, and I think everyone had thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

So what does the future hold? This coming weekend will be spent in Bournemouth on a stag weekend for one of the guys from the football team. The following weekend I am diving in Malta. The weekend after that I am planning on riding in the 70 mile round the island cycle ride. Fingers crossed I get the replacement bike soon and can do a little practice. Admittedly, with the weather the way it has been (7th wettest summer in UK record… oh yay…) I am inclined to stay in at home!

Speaking of, I am due to pick up my new bike this week, of which the driver has agreed to pay for some of… well, the value of my original bike. I’m taking the opportunity to upgrade now. I am pretty well healed up, except that my ankle stayed swollen for quite some time. After a week I went back to the doctors and was put on anti-inflammatories, and given a referral to a physio. It is only this Monday that I am finally able to get a session with the physio. A full month after the accident! The ankle is pretty good now, but can be painful if the foot is flexed too far.

The real other news is that I am again finding myself with just 1 year left on my visa – and as the visa applications take into account your previous 12 month earnings, I have to pay attention to what I am earning. Having done that, it is apparent that 1) I won’t be able to extend my visa on my current pay rate; and 2) I am getting underpaid compared to the industry standard. So this will work in one of two ways – either I get a pay rise at work, enough to cover the visa requirements, or I find a new job. Both of them at this point seem like real possibilities, with interview offers at other companies being made, and my issue at work being raised up the managerial ladder. So will let you know what the outcome is when I know!

Anyway, hope everyone is well, wherever you are.

Miss you all