Sunday, 9 January 2011

The end of the holidays

In all our time coming here we have always been on holiday, (although with the amount of work we had to do it was never very restful). We would rush around with things to do, no time to do them, deadlines approaching. We would make progress and then frustratingly have to tidy up, pack up and return home exhausted to our equally busy lives. Well, now the holidays are over and this is it...We can't turn our back on it and head home as home is here. This has begun to really hit us both now and although it is great, the degree of adjustment we have to make is quite overwhelming at times and we have both had 'wobbly' days when we think 'what have we done'. However we have also had days of peace and relief.

I have found coping with the French bureaucracy the most unsettling. My attempts to get a bank account, registered with a doctor and signed on to the health insurance system have been a case of two steps forward, one step back (normal progress in France). I am slowly getting there and for me it is about having an independent identity and ‘existing’ in France in my own right and not as part of Ian. I came to this point as someone who has lived independently for 33 years, with my own history and outlook on life and at now would it be too difficult to exist entirely as part of someone else. For this reason I am looking forward to spending two days in Bordeaux next week on the first of my teaching tasks, although I am rather nervous as to how I will manage, given that my spoken French is so much worse than my written (and that my new colleagues thought that my carefully prepared session may be a little too difficult for the pupils!) Still, I will blag it and I’m sure it will be okay!

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