Friday, December 30, 2005

Welcome to Lille

Well, I’m slowly finding my feet. They’re slipping about all over the place in the ice and snow, but my feet are there, nevertheless. And I haven’t gone bottoms down onto the pavement yet either, so I’m pretty proud of myself all in all..
The new and improved daily grind isn’t so terribly grinding either (yet). The work varies between routine and mildly interesting, but the staff are friendly, the food is hearty and cheap and in such startling abundance that I'm hastily searching out fitness clubs. Also, 9.30 starts, free tea and coffee, could be worse.

Still, there's nothing worse than having to sit on your purse after a stint at unemployment until your first paycheque comes through...oh the anticipation, oh the delight and oh the bitter disappointment when you behold the rat-like tendencies of various administrations gnawing away at your salary via a bunch of Miscellaneous Unexplained Charges with codes like Intf5sec and ProSray2.5%. By the end of my last work contract, I was actually earning 4 euros less per month than at the start of it. And I had coffee to pay for people. Coffee!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


lille place rihour
Originally uploaded by Nyx.
The place, not the Simpsons character....
So here I am in the North, this means I'm going to have to possibly change my opening blog paragraphs and everything isn't it? Sigh, life is too difficult..
Everything has gone smoothly thus far and I only wish I has some time to whip of some well penned witty observations about how I'm finding things, but I'm lacking as much in time as I am in wit, so here be another drive by blog posting until such time as the guy in the office across from me finds me something to work on before I have to dash off and catch one of my very infrequent trains. Yes, the Flemish countryside, like the Parisien suburbs, can have a pretty haphazard transport link. But what I will say. About the trains. They have ticketmasters on them. With whistles. If you are running for your train, and you're really not even sure that it is your train anyway, but you'll give it a go and see where you end up just for the hell of it...the Trainmaster is there with his whistle. There to stop those train doors cruelly slamming in your face and leave you standing in the fog for the next century. They can also tell you if you've just made a dash for the right train or the mystery express. It's a pretty good metaphor for the rest of it really.
Anyway, must dash, the fog - well I'd say it was descending but it never really lifted - and I can hear a whistle in the distance....

Merry Christmas all.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

whimsical jester bunny

whimsical jester bunny
Originally uploaded by Nyx.
so, it's decided.
I've been accepted for my first temping assignment up in Lille, starting Monday. Monsieur, for his part, has two job interviews lined up before christmas already, so if he manages to get himself something before my own placement is over (late Feb) then Lille is officially our new home. Well, more MY new home, for the other half it's more of a return journey.
I've got my Christmas shopping sorted, my mail sent, my tree decorated...
Now I just need to go pack. Sigh! Again. I move way too often.
Entries might become a little patchy (because they been, like, so consistent lately) for a while, though I imagine I'll be spending weekends in Paris often enough in the New Year.
Merry Christmas all. :)

Friday, December 09, 2005


Yes, I'm talking about the gas heater again. Deal with it. It is the only real drama and conflict in my life, this ongoing hate-hate relationship I have with the heater and the heater repairman.
So we decided to get a second opinion, I scouted around online til I found a society with a sufficient number of accolades (member of the consumer protection agency, approved by licensed tradesmen, free quote, back massage, false platitudes)
Anyway, so I gave the guy the lowdown.
And well, what a total surprise, the repair company have a shoddy work history and we've been ripped off blind. Gee, I couldn't have figured that out on my own.
Anyway, he said fixing it would be pointless and we should get a new heater. The fabulous irony of this is that I did have to pay him a callout fee, so I paid someone to be told I was being ripped off. I feel like suing someone.(or is it sueing? don't ask me, english is just my first language)
So sorry Pip, the apartment is going to be a mite nippy (lucky I bought that oil heater, it's the only thing between me and hypothermia). Ok, ok it's not that cold in the apartment - yet - but it is rather brisk)
The boyfriend also has an upcoming job interview up north, if we both suddenly land jobs like that (snap fingers), then I'm going to get a tad suspicious. Especially after all the crap I've been wading through here over the last 6 months. You could argue karmic equilibrium, but frankly me and karma??? Let's just say I'm fairly convinced I was a bit naughty in some former lives.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Happy/Not Happy

Ok, so first place temp I walk into in Lille and they get me an interview for a bilingual assistant job for 3 months (the company even looks reasonable - an energy group owned by Veolia environment)


Have avoided not having to live with the pseudo inlaws should I breeze through next weeks job interview (ok point of note here, lovely people, really. But on no account could I live with them for more than two days without going psycho-crackers) thanks to my pseudo sister inlaw offering me a room at her place (the teeth grinding tendencies seem to have skipped a generation)


Got lots of presents, bought decorations, beer, and it's not even Christams yet


Heating has broken down again. I'd love to wash my hands of the whole affair, but a friend of mine is coming to visit next weekend. I'd really like to offer her a warm place to stay. This situation with the heater has just got way out of control. How can a thing break down so systematically without deliberate intent?

Not Happy Jan.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Mostly I'm watching the telly...

Just quickly then...
1. New series of Doctor Who, well done beebs! (the intro music still gives me that tingle down the spine that I had back when I was 12 years old, the props are still suitably second rate, and the new doctor is charming)

2. Joss Whedons next experiment after Buffy 'Firefly' - a sort of frontier country and western sci-fi set 500 years in the future. Damn you Wheedon and your zippy script quips.

3. Finally got my ID card paperwork in the processing mill. Except the photos were wrong. I went to a frigging id photo place 4 months ago SPECIALLY for ID and passport photos, and they stuffed the format up (I discover the correct format, well, 4 months later). I have now condemned myself to a crappy bad hair no make up sallow washed out hair pulled back too severely type monstrosities that proclaim me to be me. Damnit.

4. Going pavement pounding round Lille tomorrow to see if I can't score myself something. I'm taking the obscenely early train, horrors.