As I was telling you a few days ago, our life has been a rollercoaster of emotions those past few weeks. I won’t go into all the details with the exception of two major events that will change the shape of things to come… So let’s start with the bad news.
At the beginning of the month, le Petit Chimiste became le Petit Chômeur – the Wee Jobseeker – after all the chemists in his company were made redundant. To all the people who praise the British employment system and its wonderful ‘flexibility’, I will only say that I don’t think that a system in which you can be told you might be made redundant one week and escorted out of the premises the very next week like a thief without even a thank you or a handshake is that wonderful. And don’t get me started on the cheap redundancy pay check or the Jobseeker’s (non) Allowance. Let’s just say, le Petit Chômeur will not be joining the queue at the nearest Job Centre à la Full Monty! Oh dear old Maggie must be so proud …
So for the time being, I have a househusband. And it is fantastic: he cooks and does the dishes, he cleans the flat and drives me to work... I could really get used to that! And so could he, he’s loving all this free time and is turning into one of those retired people who are always ever so busy! So if it wasn’t for the small matter of us needing the second income, we would happily make this a permanent arrangement.
So the search is on for a new job. And inevitably this prompted some pretty major questioning and a bit of soul searching. Is it finally time to move to France? Are we ready to sell up, uproot ourselves once again and leave Scotland? Am I prepared to turn my back on a job I really enjoy, where I am valued and where I can grow and learn so much? The answers were a resounding and unanimous triple no. As much as I love my home country, I am happy here and our love story with Scotland is far from over. Of course, there is a lot we would be happy to leave behind: the depressing winter weather and constant darkness, some of the pretty unhealthy eating and drinking habits, and more recently, the employment laws… But we still have so much to see, so much to learn about this wonderful country that never ceases to surprise and delight us. We feel like we’ve only just scratched the surface. And we finally start to feel settled, to feel as if we belong: we’ve made some good friends here, we’re getting involved in our local community. We don’t want to have to do it all over again. Not yet anyway. So for the time being we are staying put. It will be hard for le Petit Chômeur to find a new job that he enjoys and that matches his qualifications and we might have to tighten our belts for a while.
But I‘m sure we won’t regret it.
PS: please, don't feel sorry for us - we are not. And he hated the job anyway!