Category Archives: My Beloved

friends, mac and work

Well, it was brilliant and a little weird receiving friends in a new home town and a new country. I have to admit it.
Speaking mostly English for an afternoon and laughing lots was good. Dith and Jeff, it was wonderful seeing you both. Fabrice had a great afternoon when his brain wasn’t frying from ‘too much perfect English’ and he loved Jeff’s perfect French, so who could ask for more.

I finally made it down the mac shop a couple of weeks ago to ask them about a French power cable for my iMac since there’s no sign of them selling any on either .fr or .uk apple stores! I had a lovely surprise really. The guy said he didn’t have any but rang the repairs bloke who’s based round the corner and when I got there the bloke simply pulled out a new cable from under his counter and gave it to me.
Moi (in French): “Wow! Are you serious!”
Mac Man (in French, grining): ” Yes. That’s what we’re like here.”
And I walked home a very happy lady and now have a spare transformer plug and UK mac mains cable.

Work’s coming on ok but without much hope of anything permanent for a while yet. I finished a very nice month in the day-centre and had 16 hours last week in a day and then a housing centre. This week I’ve got 35 hours in housing places based next to last month’s centre… Which means I have an hour there and the same back, twice a day… Next week, so far, nothing.
I’m a little impatient for the appointment I have at the end of the month to start the process of validating my UK qualifications into the French diploma in social care.

Fabrice and I watched Monty Python’s Holy Grail on Saturday. I’d never seen it whole though I’d seen most scenes and heard about them over the years… Beware the taunting, my Lovely French Man has renewed his weapon store 😛

work and play

It’s been ages since I last sat down long enough in front of this dear mac to do more than check a few mails and occasionally reply.

Throughout April I worked over 150 hours, mostly for the agency, which amounts to a full time job. In March already I’d done about 100h. This month should be over 130h. I’m getting into the swing of daytime hours with a month-long contract working roughly a 9-5.

Time really does fly. I’ve seen my sister and her little ones a few times, including them all visiting to drop Maman off before she returned south from spending a good holiday with them. Fabrice and I saw Maman twice while she was here. Both occasions were lovely calm times at my sister’s but while they’d gone away for the weekend.

In between, various friends have invited us for a meal or two and a birthday party and we’ve visited Fabrice’s parents pretty regularly. I have to say we do ok for food over here both with nice fresh stuff to buy and loads of good restaurants all over the place which are quite affordable. My cooking skills are improving no end as Fabrice finds me new recipies to try out too 🙂

I’ve got visitors coming soon from Wales and this summer from Wales and the UK. I’m very eager to see everyone 🙂

RIght, it’s just about time to eat so I’ll shut up and post this.

xxx

a whole month putting it off, and then some

You’d think that seeing as I’m looking for work I’d take time to stop and write a few blog entries once in a while 🙂 You should be so lucky… And that’s in spite of Fabrice’s efforts to encourage me to get round to it. He’s been reminding me and making jokes about me not writing since before we went away.

Fabrice took us both on holiday to Strasbourg first week of February and I still haven’t got round to saying anything about the lovely week we had in one of the most picturesque areas of France.

I’m still looking for a job and it’s looking like a long haul because everywhere either says ‘No, you haven’t got the qualification’ or ‘ No, but we’ll keep your CV in case something comes up’. I do prefer the second answer by far but it has no consequence short term.

I’m low on agency work this week so far and I’ve caught a cold/sore throat so I’m happilly staying in to carry on decorating the entrance hall and catching up a little on the job-searching I didn’t get time to do last week. It’s been long enough I haven’t done many hours per week that last week’s 32h killed me dead! I was so tired by Friday, it became a joke and i forgot loads of things I was meant to do. This week’s main missions are as follows: this afternoon I get ID photos taken and put in the application for my French Carte d’Identité, tomorrow evening we go and get a French mobile and SIM (has to be on a prepaid contract cos you don’t have cheap pay&go options here!) and finally I have to take the odd form I got from the UK expats social services/national insurance dept and give it to the French equivalent office, hoping that what the form contains is what the CAF need to know, fact of which I am really very unsure.

Oh, a little news on Guy, who is still back in the hospital and seems to be doing nearly ok. He’s been given some info by a protected housing co in the Midlands and has to think about it. The social worker and hospital still seem to find it impossible to keep Maman informed and I’m not sure Dad knows much more either. Maman got this news from Guy when she last rang him. I think she’s been trying to get in touch with sw or hospital to complete the picture but it’s not an easy task.

Well well, I’ve got a cup of coffee going cold and it needs some attention 🙂

Noël! and other cold moments

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and all those nice wishes I didn’t get round to sending.

Well, it’s been freezing here and I’m finally thawing a bit 🙂

December got nice and hectic and then I caught a flu kind of bug/cough/cold and whatnot all that while we went visiting family over Christmas. Fabrice’s cold became bronchitus which was poo and he missed 4 days last week cos of that.

I got a bit of work last week with a temping agency and I’ve got another few hours this week. It’s only little but will help to get me back into the swing of things.  I’ve applied for one job but they want a qualification i don’t have, not even in British-unrecognised form. But we’ll see if experience can play its part… So far, most of the jobs I’d have wanted to go for so far have been for people on a special scheme for getting long term unemployed back to work after months or years. I shouldn’t be picky but I don’t quite fancy pre-school or nursery jobs which are frequent and I may go for something in adult services since that’s next most frequent.
The agency hours have been with adults, so I’m gaining clues as we speak 🙂

Fabrice and I seem to be getting on better and better and finding our ways of doing things, our rhythms and preferences, our habits. We’ve got work to get on with in the flat imminently and it’s teaching us communication and job sharing according to what we do best. It’s also teaching me to watch out for him because I’ve got so many ideas and find 3D and use of space quite easy things whereas they’re simply not naturally Fabrice-friendly concepts. It does get to draw sketches and plans, write lists of materials and do things like drill holes in the wall, which is all good fun.
I’ve done lots of baking and cooking which Fabrice enjoys so I’m a proud chef if ever you knew one. Though I messed up yesterday’s cookies (hmmmm!) even though for once I followed the recipe (I thought). Maybe the butter was too hot. It said ‘soft’ and mine was melted. I forgot it a bit 😛

Oh and I went to a football match with a cousin and survived a few hours in silly temperatures after dark… I’m not sure I’d like to regularly go and shout in such cold.

Now we are French…

Well well well, I thought I’d got round to writing something just before our blogs switched over, but if I did, it is now lost along with my links…

I’ll have to get used to this whole word press thing. Not that it’s complicated, simply different.

So I’m French! It’s actually now official that I am both French and English. At long last! It needs saying for the sake of all the times I’ve told people that I’m British by default 🙂

By next Spring I’ll have my Carte d’Identité. I have to wait a bit before applying.

A big big big THANKS goes to my drivers… Maman and TIred&Emotional did a marvellous job getting the van there and back 🙂 Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!

Fabrice says Maman is Robocop. I believe him. She’s driving up here for Christmas (I’m saying that just to impress any of you who know how far she’s about to drive in the silly weather we’ve got right now!).

Life with Fabrice is lovely. I look at him and think how nice it is to be together and not miles and miles apart.  Day to day stuff is precious! The flat is small but things are getting organised now and my Welsh dresser has pride of place in the kitchen and is finally totally used for kitchen kind of things.

Fabrice is walking on his own 2 legs again and has been back at work for just about a month by now. He’s even back into the swing of a full working day which took a while.

My nephews and niece are cheeky and lovable as ever. It’s nice to see them so much after missing their growing up and skipping stages. A shuffled off the sofa the other day after I’d changed him and wriggled down until his toe then his feet touched the floor, then he stood against the sofa nice and solid on his little legs. He’s been pushing on his legs increasingly steadily and it was awesome being there for that.

I’ve got so many stories like that!

 I think seeing how happy my lovely sister is that I can help her a bit is one of the biggest perks. I know she’s happy to have her big sister’s around. I’m quite sure I must send her potty at times too, but we are sisters aren’t we 🙂

Apart from that, I’m up to my neck in paperwork and job searches, and up to eyes in a yucky yucky cold cum flu, so for now, I shall love you and leave you.

A bientôt!

Counting down!!

Right, with credit cards out of the way, I’ve been focusing on lots of other stuff.

I’ve handed in my NOTICE at work to finish on the 25th. That’s in 3 weeks this afternoon! It is now just about time to start the “Countdown to France”. Some fabulous friends and family are helping out.

The plan for the MOVE is coming together. I’m being all efficient and organisey and so far it goes thus:

Lovely Sister and her partner are loaning me their garage’s hire van.

Stupendous D is lending me her only husband (with his Perfect French) who is going to fetch the van and pick up my Maman.

Myself and a handpicked couple of helpers will load the van so I can relax that nothing in there will budge or break.

My Marvellous Maman is chipping in again, after surviving this summer’s drive, and getting the full van to “Bon Port” with me in it too.

I’m sure there’ll be more to it in some shape or form by the time moving happens, especially as I’ve been asked by a friend whether someone they know could borrow the spare space in the van & pay me part of the cost of moving for us to drop some furniture off partway down for their ‘gite’. Could be interesting!

Offers have come from far and wide for help and it’s grand to be reminded of people’s SUPPORT. It’s also fun thinking of all the people who are already eager to VISIT. Fabulous stuff. I don’t know where put you when you visit but it’ll be awesome to catch up all the same 🙂

I’ve been trying to keep warm. Goodness… Everyone knows the weather has been miserable over the summer but this sudden COLD? Yikes! It makes any days of beautiful SUNSHINE we’ve felt fade into misty memories.

So today, I tried on my latest CREATION. Something else I’ve been up to, due to management not allowing us to do as much overtime, is sewing. My friends T and D are getting married this December… in Lapland!! Sadly it’s way out of my budget, else I’d be a bridesmaid, but failing that, I’ve been hard at work making the ladies in the party some awesomely warm an fluffy CAPES. I’ve done 99% of the stitching of the bridesmaid’s cape and tried it on to show Fabrice. I’m so proud of my work. I sort of knew I could do it, but the fact I’ve done it is greater yet. Wowey! And I was so very very warm in it which is what they’re for. Hehe! I now have to carry on with the second one.

Capes aren’t the only thing I’ve been sewing.

I’ve started making material shopping BAGS to do something straight forward between stages of cape creation.

I’ve repaired lots of bits & bobs. The bits are mostly mine. Amongst the bobs were a number of my mates’ Colyn’s shorts which we sorted because they’re moving house too and one afternoon we went through their whole wardrobe sorting out bags to keep or take to a charity shop. We did giggle…

My BELOVED is still doing his best to not get too bored of the 4 walls of the flat and his leg is healing slowly. He may not believe me but he’s really brave & doing very well. I get to hear about the Terry Pratchett books for which he’s been raiding the local library. Those are in French. I’ve found lots on the market over here for us to read in English.

If anyone has any spares or spots any, do give me a shout. I’ve written the list of those I’ve already bought.

GUY’s back here in the same ward as before. Bristol didn’t work out. Maybe in a year or 2. But I’m not sure he’ll move forwards where he is at the moment. I’m not happy with some of the work lacking where his social worker is concerned. I think he could have been supported better and some essential paperwork didn’t get done. It speaks to me of not giving a monkeys about him and not being bothered to do things properly.
He needs all the PRAYers we can give and then some. Once I’ve moved at the end of this month there will be noone up here for him. I did HOPE some one would draw alongside him and get a heart for him in all this which would help rebuild his worth a little. I don’t hope much on that now. We somehow need to sort out a move to near Dad’s.
I’m not sure what to ask for.

I’ve not been able to visit him yet since he’s arrive back up here and I’d like to. I’m not sure how he’ll welcome me. Pray I take courage and go.

I’ve not yet got a JOB in France. Now van plans are settled I should gain free brain space to face the all-scary CV overhaul & translation. I’ve not yet worked in France. I’m simultaneously at peace and majorly worried. My CV is essential!

Marathon over. It is 4 weeks worth of wanting to write and not getting to for many reasons.

Phew!

xxx

thinking of…

The GARAGE: I need to look for a couple of things in storage. Yikes, well, more than a couple, and some of it is buried!! Oh bother..

Work: apparently I’m not assertive enough. Is it my fault I work with martyrs & loud-mouths? Hmmm. Anyhow, joking aside, I like my colleague but bosses are telling me off for not standing up to them and for not putting my foot down enough an getting on with things. I’ve not cracked that egg yet.

Guy: he rang me or rather missed-called me Monday night (was it?) and when I phoned back, first time I’ve spoken to him for months, he asked me for someone’s number and instead of answering my question as to how he was, he hung up. Sigh.

Fabrice: missing him & looking forward to moving.

Maman: is she definitely visiting in a few weeks, if yes, when, and when she arrives, how will I get stuff out of The GARAGE for her to take to France, since Dad’s showing no sign of fetching Guy’s stuff which is blocking mine in…

Selling: Argh!! The worst thing ever at the moment since I need desperately to get rid of furniture which I haven’t got the courage to put up for sale properly and which is blocking my stuff in the other side.

Hemmed in: me, by God; my stuff, by other stuff; my old feather pillows, in old cloth, which I want to make one new case for and make into one new and bigger pillow; my brain, by to-do lists; the world, by stupidly pointless paperwork; utility companies and financial companies, by more useless paperwork and ridiculous and mis-judged security barriers.

Financial companies: they make it straightforward to run up £1000s of debt but when I want to pay them they need my security password, my date of birth and the number of the back of the credit card I cut up a year or 2 ago, oh, and a letter to say that I’ve moved house and I can’t pay it off anyhow since it’s in the process of being closed so they don’t take automatic payments any more so I have to pay over the counter!!!

Soya lecitin: just had a conversation about how an anti-cholesterol drug is helping slow Alzheimer’s disease and how soya lecitin both fights cholesterol and supports brain function so should be ideal for fighting Alzheimer’s and not getting it in the first place… Done no research on this so of course don’t quote me, I’m just extrapolating…

Surprises: and how incredible God is in all kinds of situations and when I least expect Him to answer my prayers.

and I think that’s all of my thoughts for now…. 🙂

Back on the treadmill

I’m back for last long hard grind.

I’ve moved. No more house of Cecil. I’m a lodger again for a while.

I’ve had a great holiday with Fabrice. My nephew is as cute as I expected and a strong little babe too and his big brother and sister are as high in energy and fun as ever and then some.

September’s pay will see me pay off the final credit card and free of nasty debts. Until then I’m carrying on with overtime to make sure the process is as fast as possible.

In between shifts, the plan is to sort some of the things which are in some friends’ garage and need selling. I didn’t have the time or energy to put things up for sale properly so I’ve got a clutter of chests of drawers and beds and the like needing a home. If I were rich and famous I’d give them and be done. It’s so tempting to just do that and not bother, but I need new reading glasses 🙂

I’m missing Fabrice both more and less than usual. The fact that I can soon move to France helps I think, yes it’s good that I’m in the last lap of that race too. It’s easier nowadays to be far away but it doesn’t beat popping down the road together for a pint or a coffee. I’m looking forward to being able to do that without thinking I’ll be back a world away within a few days. I’ll be able to see my nephews and nieces grow and be part of their life regularly. 🙂

Iliana was 2 last Friday! I had to travel back the day before. No more of that.

There’ll always be people I miss but it comes from being a whole lot of halves and can’t be avoided.

I’m re-reading ‘The Money Secret’. I don’t often re-read books so soon but it was awesome and still is. It could do with being spread as wide as the Bible in this debt-ridden western society of ours. I wanted to refresh it’s truths in my mind. Renewing our mind… Essential!! Absolutely essential. Thank you EA, Rob Parsons and Care for the Family.

xxx