Monday in France
I work well rested on Monday in France. Everyone in the house was still asleep so I caught up with 3 blog posts recording our new life in France. I also did some housework which seems so much less of a drudge here as I am in pleasant surroundings and the family are pulling their weight much better than they did back in the UK.
I reflect that I am not missing television despite being like my late Mum and a total telly addict back in England. Our television will be set up tomorrow but I am hoping I won’t waste too much time watching it when peace and quiet have their own rewards. These include quality conversations, showing more interest in the children’s activities and exploring our new surroundings.
I wake my husband up well after 11am. There is a joy in seeing him relax here.
It is Monday so our village is closed. We are a week into our new life in France so know exactly where to head on Mondays for breakfast supplies. We take a wrong turning as so many villages start with the same two letters here but we arrive soon enough at our intended destination. Inevitably, supplies are low at such a late hour but we manage to stock up on bakery supplies including pains aux chocolat and a Breton cake. The woman behind the counter comes round so I can choose the cake of my choice although they all look the same to me. She helps me choose an alternative as they have no plain baguettes.
By the time we get home, it is time to go to the lady’s house me for a very short period and my husband for his full 8 hour plus shift.
I publish my blog posts and see how some lovely people visit as soon as I mention them on Facebook which is so very kind. I am back to the true joy of writing and blogging where you do it pretty much without an audience in mind and in an authentic way that does not need to be skewed for brands or sponsored posts.
I have an email from my brother who has done so much to help us make this decision and to facilitate us managing it. He will make his move next year to his own dream overseas.
I hope our parents would have approved of our relocations. Something tells me if they were still alive they would have come with us to be with their beloved grandchildren and for a better lifestyle too. They have spent lots of time her as it happens as my brother (Billy Liar) used to have a house here for many years. He told me he designed a bedroom just for me but he never invited me to stay in it so I don’t know what it looked like. On the occasion of my heartbreak when my then boyfriend moved a girl in with him whilst I was away for the weekend with my parents, my parents asked if I could go over for Christmas with them. He said they could go as arranged but not me as if I was heartbroken I would spoil the atmosphere. Billy Liar has now told me where the house is emphasising that it is “the biggest house in the village”. I hope I don’t feel such a need to show off in my dotage. I resist the urge to say that “size isn’t everything” or that he did not need a big house to draw attention as in the tiny hamlet he is talking about he may well have been the only gay in the village!
There are photos around of my parents visiting his totally over the top house with Mum in her cardi doing her knitting and Dad knocking back the wine whilst wearing those joke glasses with springs and eyeballs. They make me smile surrounded by a load of unnecessary showy furnishing. They probably did both the knitting and the joke glasses to poke fun at Billy Liar and his husband.
Anyway, I digress. Back to emails and our second Monday in France. I have one from the woman we have rented this house from. She says there has been a change of plan and we are now to use Internet in an empty house for which we are to pay a fee for the next couple of weeks or until Internet is sorted in our home. It is far from ideal as we said over and over again we needed Internet for work purposes and were taking on the tenancy on that basis. I say I think the fee should be covered by her but she thinks not but will meet us halfway. She tells us the lady whose Internet we are using has all the details.
I decide to deal with this later as when we arrived today the lady made no mention of any of this and just directed us to her back bedroom as usual after our customary play with her dog and chat.
Next, I email back and forth with my employer who have taken an age to let me know if I can or cannot work here and on what terms. It appears things are moving at last presumably because I have now upped sticks and made the move. It was over 6 months since I raised this issue and the Human Resources department have not contacted me once! I see this as not good enough especially as pressure is falling on my line manager. I refuse to believe that a global company with thousands of employees has never had a request similar to mine. It is the lack of clarity which winds me up. Anyway, I have now arranged a call with my line manager for Wednesday when hopefully things may be a little clearer.
The next vital email is from my son’s school wishing us luck and reminding us that results day is 25th August so one or more of us may make the trip back to the UK for that.
We head downstairs where our lady is confused when we ask about an empty property where we can use the Internet. She says she knows nothing about it but offers to check her emails to see if our landlady has contacted her. By now, I feel uncomfortable as I don’t want to trouble anyone or put them out but equally we do need that Internet access for work. I decide to leave at that point leaving my husband to carry on with his negotiations. “Bonne chance!” I mutter gleefully to him as I leave
My husband returns home for lunch with news. Apparently various expats had come up with a potential solution to our issue. There is an empty gite in the village and it was thought the owner might let us use that if payment could be made. The man lives in Canada and a kind expat who we met the other day had contacted him. He said the arrangement would suit him fine but unfortunately, he has a family member arriving to use the gite this week so that option is not available.
French whispers again!
My husband has had a heart to heart with our lady here who says as we are only looking at another 4 days all being well with Orange, we can continue the current arrangement. My husband is narked as our landlady has paid our lady here for her trouble when our lady here would not let us do so. As I say, French whispers so keep everything crossed that Orange turn up and get us online on Monday.
Myself and the children are having a lazy afternoon and plan to have a drive out somewhere when my husband gets in from work. It is a beautiful sunny day and we have light until around 11pm where we are.
So there you have it, the story of a happy if slightly frustrating Monday in France.
What do you love and hate about Monday in France?