Friday, February 25, 2011


Boxes, boxes everywhere! I can't move for boxes. The cat disappears for hours at a time, sleeping in each of the boxes, trying them all out to see which one he deems the best. And when we call him to come and get his toenails cut he plays tig and hide and seek with us, jumping over 5 boxes at a time and hiding in the furthest away.

This morning I was making my way to my desk with my first mug of tea of the day in my hand, dodging the carboard boxes, when Ollie decided to jump out of one of them as I passed. I screamed loudly and sloshed my tea everywhere. Ollie ran off before I could get him. I swear he was laughing at me. Who says cats don't have a sense of humour? Albeit it's a nasty, mean sense of humour and he can never laugh at himself but it still counts, doesn't it?

So why all the boxes? Well, we are moving. Not very far. We're staying in Versailles, but are moving to a different quartier. I must stress that this is not by choice. We're being forced out of our apartment because our landlady sadly died and the people who she left the apartments to are selling them all off. We had a choice : either we paid 250,000 € for this ridiculously-overpriced-falling-to-pieces apartment or we got out. So we are getting out.

The new place is alright. It's more modern than here, but not my dream-modern-apartment modern. The kitchen is bigger (yipee!) but all of the other rooms are smaller (boo!). I think you can probably tell that I'm not that excited about it. I'm ready to leave this apartment, don't get me wrong, if the mysteriously self-cracking window doesn't shatter and kill us all then it would be the roof caving in on us that would do it. It's just I had high hopes that we could afford something bigger. I don't like the idea that we have to go to all the effort of moving from one apartment to another, when, in the end, the new apartment isn't a huge improvement on the old one.

The problem is that we can afford a bigger, better apartment. But as my business isn't a year old (it will be in April), the agency won't even consider my salary as a real salary. When I think about it logically, I can understand why they don't want to take the risk. When they can't see my average salary over the course of a year then they can't really work with it, can they? But on a personal note, I find it all so unfair. Why is my money not good enough for them?! The agency have totally just disregarded the fact that I even work at all and so we've had to drag both sets of our parents into the situation just so we can get this new apartment. What a hassle!

Anyway, as it happens, I've not been working this week. It has been brilliant! I usually teach 6 days a week and spend my Sunday doing my lesson plans and paperwork for the next week so I really live for the school holidays when I don't need to teach the kids. (I love the kids and everything but it's HARD work teaching 110 of them each week!)

I had all sorts of plans to use this week constructively but they all seem to have gone out the window. Why do I do that? I hate being a procrastinator! Just to prove my point, here is a list of the things I wanted to do but have not done this holiday :

  • Lesson plans for the next few weeks in advance
  • Clean the apartment from top to bottom so I don't have to worry about doing it next week before we move
  • Pack as many boxes as possible
  • Get through that massive pile of papers that has been sitting there since last year and file them away / shred them / send them to the appropriate people / pay them!
  • Lose about a billion kilos
  • Cut the cat's nails
Oh dear. That's not so good. But perhaps I have acheived different goals this week. In the name of reassuring myself, here is what I had not planned to do but have done :

  • Eat chocolate
  • Shop online
  • Resurrect my blog
  • Devour 2 books in a week

Well, writing those lists certainly has helped me see what I have achieved over the past week. A big fat steamin' pile of nothing!

I better use today (my last day of freedom, as this weekend we are decorating the new apartment) to do it all. I seem to work best under pressure. It was always the same at uni when I had an assignment due. Put it off for weeks and then panic and stay up the entire night the day before it was due. Pro-plus tablets were almost always involved.

So if you'll excuse me...where are those pro-plus tablets?


Todd Newton said...

Nice. Animals seem to get nervous when it comes time to move... it's like they KNOW something is up.

There's nothing wrong with taking an actual "day off" every once in a while. We watch our friend Emily (a 6th grade teacher) bring her work home all the time to grade papers while sitting on the couch eating dinner... it seems so stressful. I can't imagine what being a teacher is like, or how I'd adjust to how much work it really is vs. how much you get paid for.

Glad your blog is back. Hope we get a chance to see you guys again soon :)

Anonymous said...

the pro-plus is in the UK! Gee, I miss not having easy access to it!

on a less caffeine note, welcome back! what happened to you on fb? send me an email on my blog so we can get back in touch!

Princesse Ecossaise said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Todd Newton said...

A visit is most definitely in order; Ant and I keep talking about it. Don't you worry, it'll happen at some point.

Emily loves her job, but sometimes it seems like she's a total basket case because of it. Her job's probably extra stressful, though, because she also handles sp-ed kids and ESL kids. People who teach anyone anything have my undying empathy, and that goes double for their meager salaries. I think it'd be nice to go back to school and go that direction myself, except that I seriously could not afford it. Closest I would come is studying a second language and getting some government interpreter or liaison job.

Princesse Ecossaise said...

God, I don't know how the hell your friend is expected to teach sp-ed kids AND ESL kids! It sounds like she must be Super Teacher to be able to deal with all of that and not have a nervous breakdown! Respect!

You could always study French and get extra free lessons from Ant and me and then become a super cool translator for the government meaning tons of business class trips to France!

Todd Newton said...

Yeah you'll have to meet her when you come to the states. You two would get along swimmingly. I'd take Ant out with her husband Giles and our friend Gabe, maybe some other members of the Dork Squad, while you girls did something else haha!

I'd love to study French but to get a government job using it we'd probably have to move to Washington and I'd have to be REALLY schooled. I won't rule it out, though... perhaps I can get tuition reimbursed from whatever company who hires me (hopefully they do it soon, too).

Princesse Ecossaise said...

Yeah, sorry to hear about the job situation. Something will come up soon, though, I'm sure of it.

Ah a girl's night in / out with Micah and co in Colorado yeeeeahhh!