Hear me roar

Since I had a little feminine roaring the last Wednesday I needed a bit of energy to carry me through, I thought I’d carry on the theme with Joan Jett with I Hate Myself For Loving You. 

Pat Benatar might have lit the fire under my January motivation, but Ms Jett is definitely picking up the baton in the mid-winter mid-week relay race. I’ve had a bit of Joan before for my Much Love Monday (was it really only October?!)

So what has been floating my boat this week, besides rock goddesses belting out a tune?

Mostly, my craft accomplishments. Winter is made for indoor pursuits. Lacking the handsome Jim Caviezel, I’m making do with a bit of knitting. As always, it is my crafty, creative and super-supportive friends who get me through the days where I’d rather stay in bed with a book. I had a mini craft-in a couple of Mondays ago, followed by a sock-knitting tutorial that just about satisfied my need for all things woollen.

The weather has also been particularly kind so far this year despite the flooding and the swollen rivers. It has been very mild and the first winter so far in my life here in France that we haven’t had any snow. I realise now I’ve said that that it is going to snow for weeks. I blame last year’s long wet spring on my mid-January jubilation that the worst of the winter was over. I’m thirteen weeks into a new dog walking challenge and it can be hard in these wet and wild weeks. So to have not only mild weather but to be able to get out in the garden and start a few things off in the propagator has been a great thing. Nothing makes me feel so filled with life as being outside. It has been my sanctuary these last few weeks and Tilly and Heston have been on some epic walks. It certainly helps clear the cobwebs and clear my mind. Walking is definitely my yoga, just as running was all those years ago. We’re still right in the thick of the hunting season, and there seem to be more hunters this year than any other – including in places that aren’t legal to hunt in or are pointless to hunt in. Oh well. I guess I’m not the only one living in the countryside. Generally speaking, the chasseurs round these parts are polite and careful. Not the idiots shooting in the field opposite the other week, but mostly we manage to avoid each other.

I’ve picked up a couple of new lovely clients too – and it’s weird to know that so many other people around the world are suffering from the mid-week blues, knowing full well that I love my job and I’m lucky to have such great little (and not so little!) clients. Their enthusiasm is fire for my own. No wonder I can get through eight hours of teaching without wanting or needing a break. Sometimes, I miss having big classes, but I am never going to miss the politics that has infected teaching. I occasionally read blogs by teachers, or watch shows about teachers, and I know it is a limited picture, but I often despair. Where there is good teaching, it is often in spite of senior managers and politics and trends and Ofsted and inspections. Grass roots teaching – seeing children enjoying learning – that is something that most teachers went into the profession for. That’s what I have now.

Sadly, colossal cockwomble of the year 2014, François Hollande, is raising my taxes again. By this time next year, I will be paying 26% of every penny I earn over to the government. So much for austerity. Let’s face it, though, nobody comes to France to start a business and make money. Nobody looks at the taxes and the red tape and the impossibility of going from a one-person business to employing someone else to help out and then says ‘I think that looks like a goer!’ – we come here for this…

ILadyJustineAutumn5And this:

IMG_0230And maybe even this:


And as long as you don’t want the crazy sales and the easy business opportunities, you’re okay!

Anyway, long and busy day today so I had better get on with it!


2 thoughts on “Hear me roar

  1. That last picture is beautiful. How lucky you are to live in an attractive place like this. The hunting season seems very long. Here the season is a few weeks in the autumn.
    We are back for two months (house sitting) in a city where we lived for 30 years. In the coming weeks we will do 90% of our socializing and shopping for the year. By the time we get back to our backwoods, we won’t want to see anyone for a long while!

    1. The hunting season generally opens mid-Sept and runs until the end of February. All days for vermin. Most days for boar or deer. Some days for partridge. It’s a complicated system and I don’t think either walkers or hunters are happy about it, sadly.

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