So I’m finally here in Nancy! It feels like such a long time since I left home now, although it’s been less than a week. This last week has gone so slowly in a way, learning how my life will be for the next 6 months, and adapting to that change. Leaving my beautiful friends and family was not easy. But of course, we are still in touch and they will still be there when get back. My friends are so amazing and 6 months away should not make a difference. I had a really lovely leaving meal and dancing a la moles! And I got to spend some time with some really special people prior to leaving. Leaving was sad, but it’s so exciting to be doing something so completely different now…
On the night before I left, I had a lovely meal with my family at home, and it was just the nicest send-off…it felt so normal, but also very special. I will miss them immensely but I know that they are always there for me and I will visit halfway through and they will visit me. However, I know I should not have been drinking wine until 11.30pm that night when I had to get up at 4am for my flight to France. Consequently, I felt very tired and rather sick for most of the journey and when I arrived at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, I desperately tried to re-hydrate myself. Bit of a long wait for the train while I tried to collect my thoughts and think about the future that I was entering. The train journey was just over an hour, and my new employer, Sarah, was at the central TGV station of Lorraine to pick me up with the oldest and youngest child. She seemed really nice from the outset, and, along with the fact that she is English, this made me feel a lot more at ease.
So I started writing this sat in a little café, early morning after dropping the children off at School and crèche. Needed that strong black coffee – the hardest thing so far is waking up so early, an hour before it gets light…so different to what I’m used to at home – late nights and lie-ins.
Something I’ve realised this week though, is a calm and determination that I have found within myself. My efforts of the past through months of trying to ditch a sentimental attitude that often overcomes me and which is so detrimental to my progress have paid off, and through prayer and greater reliance on God, I have come to a place where I can feel content whatever the situation, knowing that God has great intentions for my life and that he will never put me through anything that I cannot handle.
I really have landed on my feet in this job! My employers are kind and generous. The children (aged 7, 4 and 2) are difficult to manage all together at times are tres adorables. The pay is good and I have a lovely room in a beautiful apartment close to Nancy city centre. I just want to make a few friends now… However, I am also really enjoying having some alone time to reflect and get to grips with my new way of life!
Nancy seems like a great city and much bigger than I imagined, although everything I need is within walking distance!
My routine Monday to Friday is this:
- Wake up at 7am – painful!
- Help the children with their breakfast, cleaning teeth etc.
- Then it’s shoes, hats coats, gloves, little one in the pushchair, and out the door by 8am – no mean feat!
- I walk the older boy and girl to school then take the little one to crèche.
Starting next week, I will also be helping out with English lessons for the little ones in the school and sit in on the older children’s French grammar lessons to help me with my French. The school seems amazing and so accommodating! None of this CRB nonsense as in England, they seem a lot more trusting and just happy that someone wants to help out!
During the afternoons, I will have some free time, do a bit of housework, washing and preparing dinner for the children so that I am free when they come home. I pick them all up at 4.30pm. This has been the hardest part so far as the children play up a bit and I’m not sure how much discipline I am supposed to enforce. Wednesday was the hardest as they don’t have school and I had had them all day! But since then, it has been a lot better. They are really nice children and thank goodness, lights out is at 7.30.
This week I have enjoyed exploring the city, eating lots of cheese and settling into life. I am looking forward to going to a church on Sunday and starting work at the school on Monday.
My grandparents are staying in Nancy tonight on their way to the Alps as they are bringing the rest of my luggage… I don’t think I do travelling light! So looking forward to seeing some very lovely familiar faces!
Also, film recommendation: thanks to my lovely Brother’s excellent film selection skills, I watched ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’ last night – just fantastic!
|'The Motorcycle Diaries'|
Anyway, that’s enough of my ramblings for now! Thank you for reading if you got this far!