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That was a good diversion but I need a stocktake and I think I should finish it today.  OK, the list from where I’d gotten to before I hopped off for a ride was as follows.

  1. Get French residency by Brexit date 29.iii.19.
  2. Get on towards French citizenship and EU rights for nuclear family.
  3. Political statement about Brexit particularly but perhaps more generally.
  4. Pleasure of living a bit over half the year in France.
  5. Particular pleasures, for now, of living in Aime2000.
  6. Calmer life enabling me to finish (including some start and finish) work aspirations.
  7. A better balanced life (hm, the way I wrote that last time around was diagnosably conflicted and incoherent.

So, how’s it going?

  1. On course and at the moment I think that, though it’s going to be isolated a lot of the time, it’s really doable.
  2. On the evidence of just two weeks I could see me extending this for five years and getting dual nationality/citizenship. Heaven knows what will have happened to UK and EU politics by then but I want to do this.
  3. Well it’s a pretty weird protest isn’t it? And it meant I wasn’t in the thousands marching in London today as I would have been had I been home (yes, London and the UK is still “home” but, as when I used to spend half my week in Nottingham I think this will become “French home” or “Aime home” and London may become “London home”).  At times on the Pelerinage 2016 cycle ride that started this my blog was a chance to speak out about so much I had bottled when still employed by the NHS; it may not be brave, but I think something of a ruminating, but angrily, thread is the public part of this protest.  Onward!
  4. Pleasure of living in France: tick!
  5. Pleasure of living at 2000m in the French Alps: tick! Well, actually, those are a bit weird because this life up here is hardly ticking #4 though today was a glorious reminder of just what’s so good under #5: black redstart and wagtails immediately the wheels leave the building and clean air and country to revel in that very instant.  In London the pollution is horrible and I’d have to cycle further than my entire trip today before I hit real countryside. (Yes, I know London’s parks are wonderful and hooray for them, but it’s not the same.)  However, I think that I’ll need to think more about #4. I am getting solid doses of French TV, mostly just washing over me as a background noise.  When I come back in July I will start more seriously on my French and on reading and watching more about France (and Europe).
  6. Obviously there’s no magic up here that makes work happen at super speed, and if I shoot off for a few hours cycling or spend time on ‘photos and blogging then I may end up with no more work time than I do in London.  However, I do think things are steadier: cautious and early tick!
  7. OK.  I’m conflicted and ambivalent about this whole “work/life balance” thing but today was good. Very, very early and cautious tick!

Enough for now: recheck in August some time Chris.

 

    3 Comments

  1. I really am so pleased you’re able to do this for you and yours (and a tad envious, though not of the cycling…)

    Meantime, let me just mention three good things about England – 6:1, ODI whitewash, and the winner of the French Grand Prix.

    We who are left here must find consolation where we can.

    • Yes, I did take in all that. In fact I had the rolling scoreline visible from the BBC for the cricket and had written them off only to see the numbers change as Buttler and Rashid turned things around. Incredible. A bit earlier I’d had the French audio commentary on the England/Panama game. (I assume some other channel had the visual.) This channel has two men commentating and you see them in a little window with the studio pundits occupying about 90% of the screen and the commentators commentate with machine gun speed. I hardly look up as there aren’t even any replays but I tell myself it’s improving my French comprehension. “Incroyable! C’est un autre but!!! C’est absolument incroyable. Ballon d’or!” Hm, I’m not sure that the vocabulary is doing me much good. It was an amazing day for English/British sport undoubtedly: you revel away!

  2. Oh I think that kind of vocabulary is essential for social integration. I listened to the cricket until lunch at a friend’s house. Her pessimism and my optimism about the impending Panama game amused us over an excellent meal until kick off. We then cheered LOUDLY and OFTEN. I saved the cricket until Channel 5’s highlights. Thank goodness for Buttler!

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