An adventure postponed

A lot has happened since I last wrote something for this website. I have been back with the CSIRO for three weeks now, this time looking after the web pages for the ICT Centre on a 6 month contract. It’s great to be back, especially seeing all of my friends again.

Sadly the ICT website is mostly a Microsoft and Vignette thing, seemingly aimed at business people (brochureware). I miss PHP and Linux, but I am still trying to develop some web applications for the intranet using ASP (yuck).  There is some pretty interesting web related work, including search engine (P@noptic) and multimedia web standards development going on. I’m looking forward to getting involved in some sort of fashion.

All well and good, but recently I was receiving some positive feedback for a major web application role with the European Radio Astronomy Network. B and I had been planning a trip to Europe (the house is littered with borrowed Lonely Planet books) and I thought that it might be an opportunity to go for an interview in the Netherlands, where the position was located.

We delayed paying for the booking until the midday, but 3 1/2 days before we were due to fly out. Originally, we had hoped to go to Germany and Italy, maybe even France. However, I was up late last night replanning for Germany/Holland instead. We made up our minds to go. Then I received email notification when I arrived at work that, due to the problems in getting a work permit for non-EU citizens, they had decided not to proceed.

Faced with the collapse of our travel excuse, the lack of any bookings other than the flight, and a feeling that it really wasn’t good to travel so early into a new job, we cancelled the trip. Now we plan to go in September.

I now have more time to work on my astronomy projects – but I had bought a modem for the Zaurus so I could work anywhere. However, I was really looking forward to that trip, the adventure of going to new countries. I saved up a lot of leave for a big European trip while at the ATNF, but lost it all when they didn’t renew my contract. So now I’m more than a little depressed. The Netherlands rejection doesn’t help either.

Being unemployed for two months is not a holiday – I worked damn hard during that time on computing, astronomy and addressing selection criteria, writing reports. I worked very, very hard in the months before I lost my job. And now I have to keep working extra hard to ensure that my contract at the CSIRO lasts more than six months. A holiday would be nice sometime in the future…

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