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Blimey! It's a LiveJournal post!
Felt like getting something down for a while now but as always, I never got round to it. It's now been around 1 and a half years since I uprooted and moved to the north. I suppose I've settled in rather well up here now, even if getting to work is an absolute pain in the arse. I changed from walking 10 minutes to work to now walking 25-30 minutes to the train station, getting a 10 minute train and then a 40 minute ride with a colleague to work. This is all more evidence that I need to learn to drive as it's becoming increasingly difficult getting around on public transport now. Main problem is I realise how much of a money pit learning to drive and then ultimately buying and running a car will be, let alone the fact that I'm petrified of the idea of me behind a wheel of a car. Frankly, the sooner self-driving electric cars become a thing, the better in my opinion!
Transportation issues aside, I am getting on well up north. When I was down south, I'd rarely got any visitors and most of my good friends had moved out of the area (or even the country in one instance) but I suppose it wasn't too hard to go to a LondonFur meet at least. Up North however, I'm frequently seeing friends, both old and new and I'm also getting out to more events and things. Off the top of my head, in the past year, I attended Play Blackpool, Secret Cinema: Back To The Future, Superbyte, Play Expo & Video Games Live, all of which I wish I had taken the time to write an LJ entry about them. I hope to do more similar events this year.
In addition to those events, I attended Confuzzled where I was on crew for the first time. The past years I had always felt like there was something I should be doing to help out as I knew many of the staff and crew. My housemate, Telos (formerly Ember Komodog) happened to be head of the fursuit department and so he recruited me to help out with the fursuit department as crew. I enjoyed being part of the team who helped make the con happen. As I got into furry through an interest in fursuits, it was a good fit for me to work in the fursuit department, ensuring everyone was looked after and the like. I was also very proud of the fursuit lounge as many would stop to mention how impressive the equipment there is and how it was better than any other con they had attended.
Next year, as Telos stepped down from running the department, I've stepped up to staff status at Confuzzled to run the fursuit department. There's some stressful elements surrounding it but I'm largely enjoying it so far and am looking forward to hopefully being responsible for one of the best fursuit lounges at any furry con this year having taken last year's feedback on board :)
The only furry con I attended other than Confuzzled last year was Eurofurence which maintained my record of going to every evenly numbered EF since EF12 in 2006. I liked the new hotel as I wasn't a big fan of the Maritim in Magdeburg, however it was kinda stuck in a bit of a rough area. Fortunately, it wasn't hard to jump on a metro train and explore Berlin which we did a few of the days. I didn't find myself getting that involved with the con events themselves at all. I'm starting to find myself less and less interested in the con and in the future I may save my money to try to get to some other conventions. The last time I went to America, and an American con was Further Confusion 2009 so I'm really hoping I can make it to Midwest Furfest at the end of this year. I do miss America and my furry friends over there!
Anyway, that'll do for an update for now. I doubt anyone reads these any more but I'm hoping to get around to writing on here more often. That said, I'm sure I say that every post so we'll see!
Actually digging the new Livejournal app for Android (imagine it's the same on iOS too). I may actually be convinced to update this journal more often now! Not now though, time to sleep... (so nice to be careless with characters and not worry about condensing stuff into 140 characters!)
I was reading my old LJ entries (sadly not many as I do like to write these) and I saw one from May last year. Back then I was in a really dark place. I was facing the prospect of having to live on my own again in some place I wouldn't be able to afford while all my good friends had moved elsewhere.
My life kinda turned around a month or so after that post when I was presented with the idea that I move to the North and work from my company's head office in Nelson to progress my career considering there weren't many options down south. I hadn't really considered living in the North before as I thought like most Southerners do and thought it was a backwards place where poverty was common place and everything was stuck in the past. However, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. I knew a number of people who had moved up north and seemed to be getting on OK and house prices were remarkably low compared to the South. So I agreed to do a week's trial where I worked from the head office for a week while staying in a hotel and cap off the week with a Manchester fur meet.
By the time the trial week came up, I had pretty much decided I would move anyway as Lazerus and Telos who lived in Preston were looking to move out and Preston would be one train away from Nelson so I could do the commute. The week went relatively well though I didn't really know anyone in the head office. Regardless, I had decided it would be the way to go as I couldn't see myself affording anything down south living on my own. It didn't take long to find a place we all liked which was relatively near to the train station (25-30min walk) which was also a new build and had 3 double bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, the latter which is very handy when house sharing!
After stressing out with the run up to the move, with a bit of help with some friends and family, I got all my stuff packed up and a friend from work helped drive a van with all my stuff in it to the north, unload at the new house and then drive back the same day. Was a bit of a mental thing to do looking back but it did allow me to get the place cleaned up as best I could after moving all my stuff out before handing over the keys. Despite my best efforts, still got quite a large chunk of the deposit taken in cleaning fees. Anyway, I was just glad to be done with it all and start my life in the north.
So as of the 30th July 2013 I was officially living in the North, something I never foresaw happening. I've now been here for 8 months and I must say the move has improved my life quite a lot. I am regularly socialising with nearby furs and have enough money to pay rent, utilities and pay off debts a bit. I would like to get to a stage financially where I can realistically look into finally learning to drive and getting a car. In the meantime, my commute is OK thanks to a car pool with people from work. Work itself has changed a lot since I moved but still not feeling like it's much of a challenge. There should be opportunities to develop my role however so I don't get stuck in a rut.
So yeah, in summary, the move to the North has been a good one for me. It's not as bad as I had feared! :P
So to follow up my previous post, I did indeed receive my new raccoon fursuit by Deezlberries on Friday and I'm totally bowled over by how fantastic it is! This weekend, my housemates and I decided to have a mini fursuit photoshoot with him and I've been posting them to Bamber's new Twitter account, @BamberCoon. For those allergic to twitter, here's a sample photo from the weekend of Bamber, Selkies and SlyCat :)
So today i'll be receiving my first new fursuit in 7 years and this time round it's not another cat, it's a raccoon! This came about rather quickly as Deezlberries had mentioned on twitter he had a toony dog fursuit for sale and as I had some money from selling shares, I thought why not considering it was great value. However in talking with Deez, we decided that I'd be more interested in the project he was working on which was a raccoon (the dog ended up being bought by @TruckTheBear).
I had no say in the character design as by the time I said I was interested, the head shape had already been made and the body would be based on an existing pattern. I was fine with this as I'm not really a creative type and it also meant that the suit was more affordable than normal. When it came to the eyes, Deez did ask me for feedback, and it took quite a while before we were both happy with the look.