So, how does one get back into blogging after such a long estrangement?
It's true my neglect has been woefully flagrant, so I prostrate myself at your feet and shed walrus tears and fling pages from my journal (yeah I have one of those, for all the stuff I'd regret saying later) in the air. It's all very dramatic and european cinema-esque. It's in black and white. There are long curtains blowing in the wind. Someone is screaming 'Stelllllla' in the background, there are probably bleak moors and will o' the wisps somewhere off screen. You getting the picture? Good
Flip back to the normality channel, even if the reception is godawful.
I've had an odd sort of time since we were last here together. I've lived in that place where plans and actual events are so far removed from each other that they could safely contemplate having offspring (what would they be called then? Nostalgia?) What lofty plans I had included moving into the new apartment round mid December, getting the first part of the renovations out of the way over the next fortnight, having a jolly good time in London for New Year, getting a temp job as soon as possible to keep the cashflow up, and launching myself back into the job search fray.....
What ACTUALLY happened went something along the lines of a one month delay before we got the keys to the apartment, being stuck out in the sticks at my boyfriends parents place, my boyfriends mothers sister trying to commit suicide on New Years eve, my boyfriends mother having a mini mental breakdown and deciding to make me the fall guy for many of her little psychological problems (and my aren't there an awful lot of them it would seem), me running off to stay with my gran to get the hell out of the firing line (the fact that my gran is 94 and a little potty herself is another story, but hey, at least it's my own family), having to move into the boyfriends sisters place until key day, no I have not found a job yet thanks very much, we've only just completed the major part of the renovations, and one of our neighbours here practices The.Same.Synthesiser.Piece.At.Full.Volume.Every.Single.Day.
Still, could be worse right?
And I did have a jolly time in England
While I'm on the subject though, let me tell you a little about the realities of the employment market in France. It's in a terrible state. To give you an example, there are about 13 environmental jobs on offer within my region at the moment, 8 of them are for work experience (as part of uni courses here, students have to do a stint of work experience at a related organisation, which is technically a good idea, though it's heavily exploited as free labour by lots of organisations as they basically get free quasi qualified employment for months at a time, I've even seen cheeky 'seeking work experience trainee for one month july-august. Apply within' signs on shop front windows - i.e. retail. In other countries it's called a summer job. And it's paid. And it's how students get beer money.
So we're down to 5 (my mathematical talent is wasted I tell you, wasted). One of those is for a director. One is for a 'youth placement' (there's always some stupid age restriction - and it's never for someone who's 31), so we're down to 3. One needs qualifications I can't fake, the other needs a car. Neither of them tell you how much money they're going to pay (it's 'negotiable'). So that leaves 1. Which is sort of only vaguely related to my qualification. Which I'll send off an application for after I've finished ranting here. But considering the hundreds of applications I have sent and the one interview I've ever got, don't bother crossing your fingers.
'So what are you going to do about this' I hear you ask? (or maybe it's the Greek chorus)
I honestly don't know (sorry, you might have been expecting something more proactive). As a first alternative, I'm applying en masse for a lot of jobs in the UK, which may lead to nothing, but at least they've got a lot more on offer over there, and their applicant profiles more flexible, you can have a 'related degree' in a variety of fields rather than 'you have to have completed a bridging course in Faff module 15/b between August and December 2005 and have 6 years professional experience as a dictator of a small African state and be under 25 on the 6th of June and/or under 30 if you receive a pension for losing a leg in the Crimean war. Not to overstate the point or anything.