Is it me or was January particularly long this year? It started off ok, a new year, a new start, then draaaaaged on and for us here, ended with one final gasp for air before February began.
We are pretty happy with life in France. Yes, we face daily battles, who doesn’t? But in general life is good. However, the end of January did seem especially tough for a few reasons: ongoing potty issues with Mim, financial worries, a new business opportunity happening very quickly, tempers rising because of the latter etc etc. It got to the point where Roger couldn’t even breath in the same room as me and I wouldn’t find him annoying. Looking back I recall this stage in my pregnancy with Miriam, I blame the hormones, but poor Rog. Bizarrely when we spoke to a few other couples/families they were feeling the same way. Stupid, naffo January. What is it about the end of that month. Needless to say, with some very honest talking, with each other and some good friends, we are through the woods, stumble trip stumble trip, and into the swishy swashy grass (spot the quote).
I’m so thankful for Roger who leads our family so well. Not only does his job provide for us, but he is doing the majority (if not all) of the much needed administrative work including liaising with the necessary people in the various acronymed ‘bureaus’. As well as all this he is a loving and caring husband and daddy, always up for a snuggle and story-time, and whatever Mim wants too! What a guy!
Amazingly, looking back at my last blog, quite a number of my hopes and dreams have already started bearing fruit:
- Something creative on my days off: I am now making cupcakes for a local Salon de Thé as well as teaching cupcake decorating classes. I’ve had a few private orders for birthdays etc and we are now looking into making this more official which may mean me taking a Patisserie qualification from home, but I’m up for it and it’s a step towards our coffee shop dream.
- Improve my French: I began French classes a couple of weeks ago with a lovely lady called Sara who is incredibly nice and very patient and this along with the decorating classes is really increasing my confidence (in French!!). I feel really motivated and am thrilled that these have now started. Fluency here I come!
- Spend more time reading: friends in Canterbury invited us to join them read through the Bible in a year with an app by Holy Trinity Brompton, this has been a great challenge as well as very edifying. I also have a few novels to read through starting with Dicken’s Little Dorrit. So far so good
- Welcome friends and family to Lille to visit and live here too: we’ve been so blessed by people visiting us and have had to cap visits to one a month as we were finding we just weren’t able to live life here with all the visitors. We’ve also had some great skype chats with people who are considering/hoping to move to Lille soon to join us church plant, wahoo! At the mo these are confidential as they are working things out with families, jobs and life bits, but yay, exciting!
A quick update on a few other life things:
- We are still waiting on my Carte Vitale (the card that gives me almost free health care). As far as we know the office in charge now has everything they need so the documents just need to find the hands of the right person and Bob’s your uncle…my Carte Vitale
- Roger’s job is still going well and he has also been approached by a charity called Computers for Africa who are looking to start a French-side of things, providing computers for French speaking Africa. He and a guy called Jim from C4A have already made some really good contacts here in Lille which is really exciting and exactly what Rog wants to get involved in, project managing and social action. Watch this space.
- We visited a public (non private) local school for Mim which she will start in Sept. In general we were happy although it was a shame that the teachers all seemed pretty miserable. However, we have since been reassured about the school and, although we may visit the local private school (nowhere near as expensive as UK private schools for those of you gasping right now), we think Ecole Victor Hugo will be the one we’ll go with
Well, that’s about it for this blog. Nothing deep or profound, just life as we know it. Have a great February.