Sunday, 16 March 2014

The little silver lining amongst the storm clouds

It's always been a great sadness to me that I am not able to do real gardening here in France because all I have right now is an urban apartment. Sure, I have a balcony and I furnish it, stuffed to the gills, with flowers and vegetables in summer but it's so limiting. I need a parcel of land. The state of things at work being what they are, I don't know if I can keep my apartment much longer because it's unclear if my contract will be renewed for its second and final year.

I've just found out that my bankrupt employer will be cutting staff (teaching staff) by 20%. An administrator has told me I should look for something else now, in case of the worst. That's bad and I know who is to blame for this apalling state of affairs. I hope something extremely nasty happens to that person for hurting so many innocent people. But so far, all my efforts to find work, the hundreds of hours spent in applying for jobs, filling in online forms since November 2010, when I realised the awfulness of the job situation I found myself in, have resulted in a big fat zero. How can someone with all my various industries experience, education and application find herself effectively unemployable in both France and NZ? Clearly, whatever efforts I am making are not meant to bear fruit and there's no alternate path I can see, other than my writing and that's unlikely to provide a reasonable income one day. I need a miracle so I'm trying to remain hopeful while psyching myself up to lose everything I've tried to build up in France. It's getting harder and harder to deal with this while keeping a cheerful outlook.

JC knows what I'm trying to deal with and I think he has finally realised just how serious things could be for me. He's trying to help pick up my spirits and give me something to work towards. As I arrived at his house this weekend I just burst out laughing. He had made a sign; in his own way he was trying to show me I had a place a little closer in his life.

I also think it's pretty romantic in its way. Why? Because despite for years telling me he would never have a conventional garden (bare earth) and especially not a vegie garden (too much work and too risky if a fox pissed on the vegies) he has decided that one day after he has had the land tidied and levelled that I can have some of it for myself. I'd be able to choose all my favourite flowers and vegetables and even have raspberries and grow them. I could have a real garden at his place one day. And if I become unemployed I could live with him until I can find a solution to my residency issues, if I can find a salaried job somewhere.

He made sure I noticed the exact wording: It's Kiwi's Land (his nickname for me is Kiwi because I'm a NZer) and it's for me. "It's not Kiwiland" he said. I'm touched by this as he's such an independent person (I am too) but it's a very sweet gesture with a message that he sees me in his life in the future. I'm doing all I can not to wreck his independence or mine (at our age it's rather important to have this) so I continue with my frustrating job search in a country with rules that go against me.

We had a bit of fun with this as you can see; Baika the hunting dog guarding my 'territory' with me and JC's hunting rifle. We later added the barbed wire. So, no trespassers. This might be as close as I ever get to having a little bit of France on loan.


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