Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Our lives will change in 2010

Remember when I recently blogged about Mr FF getting stuck in a lift in a London bank just before an important meeting. Well, that meeting was the second interview in a five interview process (two in person and three on the phone*) and, after about six weeks of waiting and wondering, we know now that he has indeed got the job. From the beginning of January he will be spending the week working in Paris and will be renting a studio flat there. He will try and return as many weekends as he can but, as we are a four hour drive from Paris (and the road tolls are €22 each way),this is not something I expect him to do week in week out. When you have a new job - and this is a very good job - you need to rest and relax at weekends, not sit in a car for the whole of Saturday morning and Sunday evening.

This is a real change for us. We've been a couple now for 12 years and the last seven here in France have seen us have together 24/7. It will be very strange to be here alone with the two dogs, but I'm going to treat it as a chance to perhaps get out a bit more and meet some new people. A lot of the time I have been staying in to try and stop the dogs from barking and generally disturbing Mr FF working away in his basement office. Now I will have no excuse.

All this time here in the French house we (mainly him but I've done my little micro bit) have been running a business but to be self employed can sometimes be good and can sometimes be scary; this last year has been very scary. The French really make the small business pay a lot of dues and it can be almost crippling. I'm very proud of him for getting this job: he didn't even apply for it; an agent approached him and set those proverbial wheels in motion.

Ultimately, when the housing market picks up and he is sure that he can see himself in this job for life (a French job if good is usually for life, people don't chop and change very much), we will move as near to Paris as we can afford. So, a new year comes and with it a lot of change for us.

*including 1.5 hrs in technical French


Dumdad said...

Change but I suspect change for the better.

Bon courage!

Suburbia said...

Wow, a big change. Good luck, I hope you can be together sooner rather than later :)

the fly in the web said...

The very best of luck to you both. Security will be nice, won't it? Running your own business can be great, but, as you say, it's not the easiest to do it in France with all the charges they wallop on to you.
Isn't it great that Mr. FF was headhunted?

Lulu LaBonne said...

Brilliant - Well done to Mr FF! I'm sure it will be a wonderfully refreshing thing.

Possibly the fact that I am doing a similar thing with my move to London makes me need to believe that these fresh breezes invigorate us.

All the very best with it

French Fancy said...

Dumdad - you can remind me of that a few weeks down the line when I'm on here being moany

Suburbia - oh me too, I'm house-hunting already (just to get an idea)

tfitw - He was approached out of the blue and it was at a very necessary time for us. Astonishing really, how things have worked out

Lulu - I must have missed a post when you said you were moving. I've been out of the loop really due to all our talking and planning taking over really. Plus I couldn't say anything until Mr FF had got the contracts and it was bursting out of me - it was easier just to avoid the blogosphere.

Your London move will go swimmingly - it's my home town after all.

Mark said...

Well that's exciting - but scary too I think, because distance and separation is hard, especially so at weekends. On the other hand the odd trip to Paris - very nice; just make sure his studio accepts dogs as well!


Bill Stankus said...

We've experienced moves of this sort. Both exciting and a bit of an uphill slog. After three such moves, many learning curves and a wary eye about future relocations.

One definite lesson: no matter what they promise or how nicely they look - do not trust moving companies.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Félicitations!! Oh, what wonderful news about the job. I know the commute isn't ideal, but it sounds like you have a plan in the works for making it manageable and getting the two of you back in the same location eventually.

Ah, Paris. D and I honeymooned there and nearly exhausted ourselves before the end with sightseeing, but it was such a fun city. Excited for you!

Ayak said...

Well done Mr FF...he must be delighted.

It isn't always easy being on your own (as I know only too well) but you do adapt eventually. Thank goodness for telephones, internet and webcams. We'd be lost without them wouldn't we?

Frankofile said...

We have registered a business here in France and yes the red tape and cost is shocking - it must be better to be employed. Great news. And in Paris too. Delectable!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Mr FF; if you could find a dogsitter perhaps you could go up to Paris for a weekend from time to time. Being on your own will take some getting used to but, as you say, it will give you a chance to integrate locally better. And of course, there will be no excuse for falling behind with the OU studies.

Steve said...

Big congrats to Mr FF - a wonderful achievement but one that I am sure will bring its own trials and tensions... however, this is true of all worthwhile things. This is the first step on a wonderful journey for you both.

Elizabeth said...

Wow! Certainly very big changes indeed.
Congratulations to Mr.FF - sounds as if this might be financially worthwhile.
Robert and I are together 24/7 and sort of like it enough not to make changes though sometimes I wish/pray he would go out a bit. Just sits around
I had been looking forward to your post for a while but did not know things were afoot.....NY is horribly cold right now.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful news indeed! Congrats to Mr FF...

Kathy said...

Many congrats to you both and well done Mr FF. The time apart will be tough :-( but here's to your new found friends and whatever else you decide to do until you can both move to Paris, all the very best my friend. hugs, Kathy.

Anonymous said...

That is big news! First of all, congrats to Mr. FF on scoring such a good job. Secondly, to you, have courage, all will work out for the best. I hope your dogs will get used to the TGV.

Vera said...

Doors opening for you! How exciting. And it is good that you already making plans for keeping occupied while your partner is away. I am sure it won't be for long, though. These things have a habit of falling into place even if one can't exactly see how it will all unfold.

Ann said...

This is wonderful news for you both, so very happy, you must be overjoyed, I should imagine you will enjoy Christmas this year FF.

willow said...

Congratulations on the new job!! Exciting news! I certainly understand about the ups and downs of being self employed, having lived that way for most of 30 years. Your bloggy friends will be here, if you feel lonely before the move to Paris!

Lulu LaBonne said...

Ah - maybe I'm moving by stealth and thought that everyone had noticed. Will make things clear in forthcoming post.

cheshire wife said...

I hope for both of you that the job works out. Security is everything these days. A very welcome Christmas present.

French Fancy said...

Mark - I'm trying to put a positive spin on it atm but I know sometimes it will be the middle of the night and I'll feel a little anxious. Just as well there are two bichons to cuddle (yes, they will be on the bed)

Bill - I agree about movers. When we came from the UK to France some of my dad's paintings went missing but of course all we got were denials it was them.

ContemTroub - I'll have to take lessons from you about how to cope. You could probably write a manual on long-distance romance

Ayak - my little webcam in my notepad gives me a sort of fish-eye face and I'm very reluctant to be pictured thus. I'd rather let his memory work about how I look

Frankie - like us you will probably start to dread any envelopes that come from URSSAF/ RSI/ CIPAV and the impot people. They are bloody never-ending, especially in November and December.

CA - Normally my ma-in-law would have volunteered to doggy sit, but Poppy the rescue has been going through a strange phase. She gets very upset when people leave the house and can get snarly. I've got to think about what to do to enable me to get weekends away.

Steve - what lovely words. I know it will be hard and I've just got to get on with it because it's a fabulous opportunity for him and for us. I think this is the job he was always meant to have

Hello Elizabeth. You do get so used to someone being there all the time, don't you. It's been hard enough when Mr FF has had to do the occasional UK trip, this is a whole new thing we are about to embark on.

As for Robert being in all the time, at least you and Buster explore New York on a daily basis and give us all those glorious photos. Never stop.

ladyfi - thank you very much. At least this way we will have proper holidays and you never know, Sweden could be on our list of places to visit.

Kathy, how lovely to see you back in the blogosphere. Change is good for people, I know that and it will be up to me to make some changes in my routine.

Dedene - thanks so much. As for the girls on the TGV - it will be difficult that way because for dogs to travel on the trains they have to be enclosed in a carry bag. There is no way, especially with my back problems, I could lug two 7 kilo dogs around, plus an overnight bag. I might have to be brave and drive.

Vera - hello my newest bloggy friend. I suppose we'll need to wait until the housing market picks up a bit. Mind you, when I looked at the property on the outskirts of the western side of Paris the prices made me almost fall off my seat.

Ann - hello sweeetie. Thank you so much for everything

willow - yes, blogging and the lovely friends I've made will certainly help.

Lulu - Changes for thee and we - it's so exciting and also worrying in equal measure.Well, maybe more exciting than the other - we must not be negative

CW - you are so right. It will make the world of difference to us. A CDI contract in France means a lot


Jennysmith said...

Am impressed, FF, with all the changes in your life. Will think of you and Mr FF. xxxx

A Super Dilettante said...

MANY CONGRATULATIONS!!! I'm so impressed with MR. FF and his determination. It's very admirable. You must be VERY proud of him!! The job sounds ideal dear. You really don't know what's around the corner, do you? But this sounds like right up your street. Of course, finding accommodation will be a challenge but driving back and forth is so exhausting, so you're right. Besides with all this petrol prices going up and down, you must be better off living close to where he work. I know you love Brittany but a job in the city and weekend in the country can be quite costly. But my dear, you just made my day!!! I'm sorry for not being able to write sooner as you know, I'm already on holiday. I was supposed to be meeting the Londoner (yes, Mr-Oh-Indeed) an hour ago. But now I'm at the library after finding out that he missed his flight. I should believe him that he is a man of integrity but I somehow smell of snake in the grass!!

With love & please send my regards to Mr FF, ASD x

Desert said...

Sounds very exciting to me.Absence can refresh a relationship too.

Carol said...

Big changes indeed!! I know exactly what you mean about the seperation and, speaking from one who's just been though it, it does take a while to get used to the change but get used to it you will!! You'll miss each other like mad but then you'll have long chats on the phone and, if your anything like Chris and I (which I have a sneaky suspicion you are), you will really really cherish the time you do have together!!

Congratulations Mr done good :-)

C x

Ps. You can come here and moan any's your blog and sometimes a good moan makes you feel better!!

Kathy said...

Hey Julie, just wanted to wish you and Mr FF a safe and happy Christmas. Stephen arrives tomorrow so not sure I will get any blog time, but wanted to say I have so enjoyed being your blog friend this year and hope it continues long into 2010, big hugs, Kathy.

Blu said...

Fabulous news, I feel sure that being close to Paris will suit you down to the ground. I wish the very best of luck to Mr FF. Best wishes Blu x

French Fancy said...

Oh thanks Jen, light up a fag for us and send tabac laden wishes that it all works out

Oh ASD, thank you so much for your discretion. Lots of good things are wished upon your lovely head. So sorry not to have actually posted your letter. I wrote one and then re-opened it and now it is just laying almost completed.

Good luck with the Londoner. One of my father's paintings is by someone from a long time ago who shares the same surname.

I've passed on your wishes to Mr FF and he beamed with pleasure

(in fact he has been reading them all and thought they were lovely, as indeed everyone on here is)

Hello desert. I was thinking about you the other day and felt upset we had drifted apart. It happens so easily and I'm shocking at keeping in touch. I will remedy it soon, honest

I hope you are well

Carol - wise words sweetie and from the heart. Yes, being together now will be something we will no longer take for granted

Kathy - I still remember the day we bloggy met each other. I'm also so glad we did and know, just know that one day we will be pals in person (or PIP for short). Have a great Christmas, you, Vanni, Stephen and - in absentia - Hayley

Blu - oh thank you so much. when you look at the house prices there I'm not holding out much hope we will be very near. I think we will end up quite a way away. But change is good for people and I'm excited (and a bit apprehensive) about the future

Bill Stankus said...

I'd love to have a glass of wine or a cup of tea with you and yours ... I say that because it seems we just met altho I've been reading your blog for some time now. The unhappy news about this is I shut down my blog... it was too frustrating, effort didn't equal return.

I will continue following your stories and good fortune with all that's ahead of you,


...mmm... said...

Well, are you overall excited? I hope its a good job. On the bright side you have a studio flat in London to retire to but the distance apart will be hard so moving closer to Paris will be good. I look forward to hearing how that goes.

French Fancy said...

Oh Bill, I'm very sorry to read that. I would sometimes click on the photos of the beautiful things you had made - before you stripped them all away, that is.

Well we'll stay in touch on Twitter and instead of telling me what breakfast places you went to I'd like to hear what breakfast you actually ate. Yes, I do love hearing what people eat.

I agree about how good it would be to swap stories over a good bottle of red one day - or one of your (or mine) cocktails, as we're shaker twins. Seattle is a place I've never been to in the States - you never know...

Hello mmm - you've got me a bit puzzled there. I wish I did have a studio flat in London but unfortunately not (unless you are a secret benefactor who is about to spring a big surprise on to me).
We have a house in Brittany and Mr FF will rent a very very small space in the most expensive side of Paris, to enable him to walk to work (he loves walking).

And yes, I am excited and very very proud of him. (but I was that anyway)


Angie Muresan said...

Julie, I am was upset! Finally I could comment on this post and my internet just quit on me. But now that it's back up and running, I wanted to say that this opportunity for you to be alone and forced to make new friends might not be a bad one. Think of all the stories you can collect and entertain us with! Also, you can concentrate on your writing, and within a few months, you'll be looking for representation. I'll be the first in line to buy your book. Have a happy and lovely weekend! Hugs!!!

French Fancy said...

Angie, what lovely words and when I feel a bit low I will re-read them and all the messages left on here and get a renewed filip of pleasure and comfort that I know so many first rate people. I know this sounds cheesy, schmaltzy, etc but that is honestly how I feel.

As for a book - wouldn't that be great one day. Not my book but the fact that I could actually sit still and concentrate long enough to finish one

Veggie Carrie said...

Congratulations to Mr FF on his fantastic new job :)

Whilst being a big change for you both, living apart is possible. For the first four years of our relationship, VH & I used to spend 3-5 months apart on different sides of the Atlantic before seeing each other for a couple of weeks. It made the time spent together even more speical. Then VH moved to England, but was living and working in the north while I was in the south and we were able to see each other at weekends. It was easy for us and we felt like we were hardly apart.

Having said that, I hope you manage to move nearer to Paris soon.

French Fancy said...

Hello Carrie - thanks swetie and it's very reassuring to hear tales like yours and others on here (Contem Troubadour and Carol) who have gone through long distance romances and survived.

I reckon our relocation is probably about 18 months - 2 years away.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Ah, FF, we are toujours twins, as you say! GJ and I have been apart for years on end, although he came back at weekends, and then there were the long stays in Nigeria - Shudder! He has been at home a while now, and now I am also more back-healthy, I would love a little me-space occasionally...

I hope you manage to strike the balance with your bold, brave Sir FF.

And Paris, how amazing - I know you have such a sanctuary chez toi, but a pied a terre a Paris - C'est merveilleux! (Although I agree the prices are eye-watering!)

(Imagine you knowing darling Kirsty, although I am hardly surprised - You have had such glittering acquaintances, FF - Imagine who you'll rendez-vous with a Paris?! And, there's always the possibility of a visit from La Fhina, for I visit Paris far oftener than I ever could Bretagne...

My love to you and fondest future wishes, Fhi xxx

French Fancy said...

Fhi, I'm so glad your back is better and let's think up a plan to get GJ to go out and give you some space.

Here's to a grand Christmas and may 2010 see us without any back trouble


Rosalyn said...

I've only just started to read your blog, I'm enjoying it so far but I will start from the bottom and work my way to the top.

French Fancy said...

Hello Rosalyn, you English Rose, and welcome. Hope you enjoy what you find

Reasons said...

Many congrats to Mr. FF! Change is a challenge and that can bring many benefits. Sorry I have been a poor blogger of late. Thank you for all your comments, support and wonderful posts this year. Have a great Christmas and see you more in 2010 xx

Lane said...

Congratulations Mr FF. That is excellent news and it sounds like you both welcome the sense of security that the job will bring.

2010 is going to be an interesting year for you and I wish you both (and of course your gorgeous doggies) all the absolute best. x

French Fancy said...

Reasons - you've not been a poor blogger, don't be silly. You've been a blogger with lots of other things going on. Thank you right back at you, you are all the things you said to me thricefold.(look - four 'you' in one sentence - how my tutor would cringe)


Lane - yes, security is the best thing for us right now and I'll keep telling myself that. Misty bichon will take it the hardest; When Mr FF just pops out to the carwash or something she sits at look-out point until he returns. I'll just have to double the walks to try and knock them both out - and kick my endorphins into touch

Have a lovely Christmas one and all (said in my best impression of Tiny Tim)

@eloh said...

I come to you and follow as a direct result of your comment on Bill's blog. The reasons you gave him on why you blog. I hope he reconsiders.

I loved exciting for you.

Phil Lowe said...

Well done Mr FF. You should be justifably proud of him. I wish you both a very very happy Christmas and an exciting and fulfilling New Year!

French Fancy said...

Hello eloh - and I'm also glad that Bill reconsidered - I hope he doesn't change his mind. I too love interaction on this part of the blog - I think I love it better than the actual blogging. Looking forward to swapping chats with you at your place and here

Mr Lowe - hello - how does it go?
Yes, I am proud of him and this does bring a poor year (in all senses of the word) to a close on a very joyful note
I also hope that your Christmas is good and that 2010 brings you your heart's desire.


Angie Muresan said...

Ms. French Fancy, I do believe you have a wonderful storytelling talent. I hope, for all our sakes, that you do write a book.

Rob-bear said...

Congratulations, Mr. FF. Well done C'est tres bien! Especially when they came for you!

I'm tempted to say condolences to you, Julie, but I'll withhold my judgement on that for the time being.

Hoping you're having a wonderful time in the festive season.

Now, if we can just get Mr. Reasons a job. . . .

justmeagain said...

Goodness! I go away for a little while and when I come back its All Changed.
It all sounds very exciting, and well done to MrFF. I am sure you will miss each other in the week, but just think how lovely the reunions will be.

French Fancy said...

Angie - I have a bit of a flighty mind so the thought of seeing a project like writing a book to fruition is a bit scary. I'd like to think I could though.

Rob - it's so weird how this job arrived really out of the blue and it shows that posting one's cv out there on certain sites does pay off.

justme - I'm so happy to see you again. I've missed you and couldn't get into your new blog - I'm about to try again