Just like riding a bicycle!

You never forget!

Em- actually sometimes you do!

I realised this when I tried to log in this morning – I had forgotten my username!!! A password is understandable, but forgetting a username – that’s bad!

I’ve been keeping the fires lit on Facebook and Instagram but my wee musings here have suffered with a change of rhythm in life. I haven’t gone away. I haven’t been wiped off the earth. I haven’t gotten me to a nunnery. I’m just really really busy for want of better word.

So,  my loyal readers (the seven of you!) may remember that last May I was delighted to have found a new job. I was very enthusiastic about it. But …

Without going into too much detail, it didn’t ignite any flames!

I’m no stranger to hard work. I am also no stranger to difficult jobs or physical work for that matter. We have jobs where we clock-in and out and there are jobs where we have to be reachable, there is no clocking-off time. You need to have the phone beside you just in case, and you are always “on”. I’ve had pretty much all of these professional experiences!

But generally there are compensating factors, like good pay, or the notion that you have found your groove! Your work is not work – it’s way of being.

I’m not naive enough to think we can all find our calling. Bread has to be buttered.

But if there is one thing that is truly delightful about getting older (and I have a BIG birthday galloping up to me this year!) it’s that we know ourselves a little better. We are more aware of when things are working and when they’re not.

I’m as good as anyone at flogging the proverbial dead horse but I decided to bow out of the aforementioned job just before we got married last year (I know yeah – my timing is impeccable!). It simply wasn’t working.

In France, under employment legislation, there is a trial period. This period is set out in your contract. Up until the end of this period either party can rupture the contract.

I unfortunately believed that I could end the contract without repercussions! More fool me!

I had spoken to so many people about terminating a contract during a trial period and every single person I spoke to assured me that I could claim unemployment benefit afterwards. However THIS IS NOT THE CASE!!!

Be warned and learn from my whopping mistake!

This blog is about telling it like it is. Unemployment in France is no more fun than it is anywhere else in the world!

We found ourselves in a position where we were reliant on one income. Lets just say things were tight. Tighter than one of those knots that you can’t get out of a necklace!

Being unemployed in France is a full-time affair let me tell you. It’s not easy by any means. Paperwork in spades, letters, meetings with unemployment officers who kept asking me about my “parcours professionnel“. There just weren’t too many jobs on the listings for waitresses/managers/theatre buffs/budding bloggers who decided to up-sticks and move to a country where they didn’t speak the language 6 years ago! Mind you – looking back now I should have just applied for the “jack of all trades” job (dammit why didn’t I think of that-duh!).

Anyway to cut a long blog-post short – I am now gainfully employed! Hallelujah!

I’ve been lucky enough to find a job where I have great colleagues, an understanding boss, not far from where I live and the best thing about it is that my French is moving on to the next level.

The unemployment statistics aren’t great in France at the moment. It’s incredibly difficult to find permanent employment (like everywhere else I guess!) but here in the French countryside decent jobs are not ten-a-penny. There is huge controversy at the moment as the government are set to introduce new employment laws and conditions (you may have seen the protests and riots on the news).

I love working! I love going to work! I  love having colleagues and meeting people! I feel incredibly lucky! While this past year has been very very difficult (except of course for the small business of having one of the best days of my life aka our wedding) I kind of do believe in the old adage…

WHAT’S FOR YA WON’T GO PAST YA!

Charlie

So there you have it – I’ve been getting to grips with a new working routine, juggling the childcare, studying my French (a little!) and while my head has been visiting the blog, my hands haven’t been scratching out the words necessary to it!

But Spring has sprung, it’s warm and sunny, and I finally feel in a regular rhythm. The children are having a sleep-in and mon homme is procuring our tomato plants for this year. I’m listening to some nice tunes (Sufjan Stevens-Illinoise if you’re interested) and I’m hanging out here with the seven of you!

(I’ve popped in a few photos of the changing season here and beautiful Ireland – I had a recent trip back for my Mother’s BIG birthday -Happy Birthday Mammy!)

Have a lovely weekend!

Cherry

river

France kicking into bloom!

concorde

Place de la Concorde, Paris
Collage Ireland 974
Beautiful Sligo on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way
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