Tuesday, 28 April 2009

I come to you bee-yond bee-lief

On Sunday I was talking to Madame about this and that and I mentioned that Bee-boy seemed to have vanished. She said that she thought he had a caravan in a field near his bees, and that he was possibly spending a few nights there. She asked me if I had tried any of his honey and I had to say that I had not. She disappeared to get me some, and returned with a small pot, which contained a bright yellow substance which looked like mayonnaise or custard. I tried a bit and it had a very strong taste. It was very nice with a vague hint of something that I could not identify. Orange? I asked. No, his bees pollinate sunflowers. He makes 3 different grades of honey and sells a lot of it to someone from Toulouse who sells it with his home vegetable delivery service. In fact, said Madame, someone had to the house during the week, all the way from Toulouse to buy some of Bee-boy’s honey as the quality is so good. Unfortunately he was out, but he does not have any of last year’s honey left.
While Bee-boy’s family were here, I took this photo of his sister’s leg on my much misused little triangle of grass which is much in demand for various activities as previously chronicled, such as painting and dog toilet training.

The bee's knees?

I walked into town and noticed that I had a new lodger on this patch of lawn.
I could see a lone bee buzzing around it.

When I came back from town, there were hundreds of the little buzzers flying around the hive.I hope it does not stay there long. A single hive can house up to 50,000 bees. I expect he was meaning to ask me if he can put his hive there for a while………?

Monday, 27 April 2009


Whilst en route to my bank soiree. I spotted something that made me think that I was seeing things. Of course I took a photo of the scene. Today’s online Depeche has this photo and story from the Tarn-et-Garonne region of France.

This is what I thought might happen in the situation that I saw, only in my case the results could potentially be much worse.
Remember I am on a steep hill which overlooks the Town. Across the main road there are houses built on more, steep hillside, which drops down very steeply to houses at the bottom of the hill.
I would think it bad enough waiting for the rumble of an earthquake (we are in an earthquake zone) and an area which has frequent rock falls due to heavy rain. But the people at the bottom of the hill have the houses above them, the hillside to fall on them, and as if that were not enough. There are these babies waiting in the wings.

I could not see anything other than their size and weight holding them in place. They are holding back yet more earth and hillside.
What would you put on your insurance claim form for your damaged car.
“Large stone fell onto car while I was parked in my driveway”.
I expect the house is owned by people from Paris or the Dordogne… or a Brit who thought that they had ordered some pebbles to surface their drive....

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Tiers before bedtime

Friday night was my bank's annual general meeting. It was being held in a part of town that I was not familiar with so I consulted Google and planned my pedestrian route. A 21 minute walk. I put on a proper shirt and trousers and even a jacket. It was a warm night and it would be uphill for the last half of the trip, but had a lot to look forward to.
“L’assemblée générale se poursuivra dans la convivialité autour d’un apéritif et d’un buffet , un orchestre animera la fin de soirée”
That is to say there would be a drink, a buttet and an orchestra. So I did not make myself an evening meal.
I stopped part way up the hill and took a photo of the chateau from a new (for me) vantage point.

A bit further up the hill, I took some photos of the remaining show on the hills.

I was just about to re-incline myself, when a woman in the garden next to which I had been taking the pics started talking to me. But no, it was not trouble, it was the lady from the choir that was debating over whether or not to buy a clematis. She had been cutting one of her little lawns. Did I want to see where she had positioned the clematis that she had bought? She probably thinks that I am a plant stalker. In the UK I would have got a “What the bleep are you doing here?” In France it is assumed that you are tracking down plants. I said that I would like to see her plant, and she duly took me to another part of her garden, and sure enough, if you looked very closely, you could see where it had been planted. Fearing that she might think that I was a stalker, I showed her my bank letter and explained my mission.
I noted that there was a big chain attaching the floor of the second storey of her house to the ground. It is on a very steep slope and seems to hang out over the void. Still she does get a good view of the town and surrounding mountains.
I get to my location and note two big bank signs fixed on to the railings by the entrance to the university grounds. Not a sign of anyone, although there are some people sitting in cars. It is quarter of an hour before the meeting is due to start, so I wander further up the road, wander back, then enter the grounds. No sign of any welcome party, no signs to say, “This way” so I stroll through the leafy grounds, looking closely at the buildings I pass. Nada, I become aware that I am being followed, but I continue on trying to see what their open air amphitheatre is like. I do find it, but not because the signs point to its actual location. I spot a building with some suits standing near the entrance and make for that instead. Nestling below the building I find the amphitheatre.
I hover about a bit. There are no notices up. No one goes inside. More people arrive and at just before 7pm people start to shuffle inside. I join the queue, and over my piece of paper, sign a list, and when I ask I am given the same leaflet that everyone else has been given and a biro.
I look around to plan a quick route to the food and drink after the bank gig. No sign yet.
I enter a lecture theatre, which had tiered seats and choose one. I read the leaflet, I watch the projected films. The carpets are as new, the desks in front of the seats are unmarked, no initials carved, no chewing gum stuck underneath. There is a poster on the wall advertising a tourism conference dated 2000.
Eventually, only 35 minutes after the start time, the suits take their places and we begin. There must have been just short of 100 in the audience.
The 4 suits have stupidly long, grand titles. Their business cards must continue on the reverse side. They drone on as we look at figures and pie charts. Then we are voting for things. No idea what, so I just vote for the first option each time. All the motions are passed.
Then there are presentations of flowers, someone wins a holiday for 2. We also celebrate someone being dead. Then the guest speaker, with an even longer title talks about the problem of sub-prime mortgages in America, which seems to have caused the current crisis.
Finally the talking is over, no one has any questions Hooray!
I hang back a bit as I do not want people to think that I am only there for the free food and drink. I listen for the strains of a distant orchestra.
Yes. You’ve guessed it. Not a saucisson, not a Semillion, not a sonata.
Every one leaves the building, they get into their cars, and away they go.
I make my way home, clutching my biro, stomach rumbling. Never trust a French banker, or even a bunch of bankers. Bigger bankers is not necessarily a good thing.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Time check

Just over a year ago S and I were on holiday in Albi for a couple of weeks. The point of the trip was to have a look at the property available that might be within my budget and which might generate a small amount of income.
I had been logging on most days and scouring various French Property web sites which I had discovered in the pages of my monthly issue of “French Property News”. I must have spent weeks worth of time in search of the ideal French location and / property.
I read tales of people who had sold up in the UK and who on a very small budget. (Their idea of a small budget being about 4 times my available budget) and had bought a chamber d’hote, or a cheap chateau, a vineyard, fishing lakes, hotel, bar etc etc. Many of the people were retirees or frazzled executives quitting the 24 hour rat race, cashing in on the high value of their Southern England properties and rates of exchange which would can only be dreamed of today.
I watched television programmes about seemingly clueless people who took on impossible tasks, converting a chateau into a high class b &b in France, or in Slovenia. Almond farming in France, or even snail farming. Some people barely out of their 20’s had enough money to sell up and buy a property at home and one abroad. Oh how I agonised with them over their dreadful dilemma (not!). Some were obviously complete wastes of space with no intentions of buying anything.
Anyway back to the plot. In the middle of the holiday I had arranged to spend 3 nights in a town south of Toulouse to have a look at a property which might be suitable for my purposes. The estate agency set up about 5 other viewings for us and over the three days we travelled to different areas of the Department.
Back in Albi once more, I bought the building in which I now live, by text message.
So what? Well it was just over a year ago i.e. on the 18th March 2008.
I was still doing my job in the UK, but my house had been on the market for about 8 months and it was likely that the sale would be finalised.
In fact, when I came back from the holiday, I had 3 days to pack up, put my belongings into storage and move out prior to exchange of contracts.
The sale was completed and a few weeks later the estate agency had collapsed as plummeting house prices bit into their business. Phew!
I worked on for a short while, thought “f**k it” and handed in my resignation.
This is where I went wrong. I should have got my self sacked, and then I would perhaps have qualified for unemployment benefit or some sort of job seekers allowance in France. Also if I had worked long enough to literally earn a couple of hundred pounds more, I would have qualified for a further 6 months reciprocal medical cover from the UK. I finally arrived to live in France mid August last year.
So here I am coming up to my first year of unemployment, on the 1st May, living in France. Ces choses arrivent!
I wonder what will happen in the next 12 months…….. It is amazing what can happen in a short space of time if you stop watching the TV and do something less boring instead.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009


The plant festival / market was on today, so I set off once again to see if it would really be there. Fortunately it was, and there were lots of people there selling, buying and just looking at the plants on offer. The sun was shining, so it was quite pleasant, and now that it was under a new roof, there was little danger of it being a washout, unless the rain made vertical progress.

There were the usual array of green plants and shrubs, completely unidentifiable to the untutored eye. There were flowers, small climbers, a bonsai stall, with none of the tiny trees having any visible prices. There was someone selling hand thrown and painted pottery, an artist from Emma’s atelier selling hand painted flower pots and sections of clay pipe (not the small smoking implement variety). There was an element which had a touch of the Irish about it. O’Hara’s Ikebana stand offering ikebana lessons as well as two small flower arrangements.
A man was selling wooden bird boxes, and a woman who was knitting away quite happily, was selling wooden buttons. I think she must slice up suitable branches, strip off the bark, put in the thread holes and polish and varnish the discs. A money making scheme if ever I saw one.
I bumped into C from the choir who was looking for a clematis. I was standing in front of the clematis at the time. At 13 euros 30 for a plant in a pot, she thought that they were too expensive. I asked her if she had a big garden. She said that she didn’t. Her garden was on a slope, so she had made it into terraces. To cut a long story short, she has five separate gardens, none of which sounded very small.

The sky started to cloud over and I set off home as I had not brought a coat with me, and did not fancy going all wrinkly.
Next weekend there is a brocante (overpriced antiques) sale in the centre of town. So no stop to the free entertainment.
Monday’s paper explained that this event filled an empty slot in the town’s calendar of events and was a first. It remains to see if the Association, who had been planning the event for the last 4 months, will want to make it an annual event.
They also mentioned the ikebana stand. My suspicions were confirmed that this was a hobbly strictly for the girlies. “On a remarqué aussi la démonstration d'Ikebana, cet art du bouquet floral japonais qui, semble-t-il, a surtout plu attiré des dames.” La Depeche

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

On the game

On Saturday evening I went along to the local primary school in the next street. As I walked down the road, I saw three gendarmes on the pavement up ahead, their police car across the road parked in the entrance to the medical centre, and with its lights flashing. Slightly further down the road on the opposite side was a small knot of about 5 spectators.
I carried on towards the police and a fire engine with sirens going, hove into view and headed towards me, literally. I thought I was going to become a pavement statistic, but it stopped at the kerb about a metre from me. I stopped briefly then proceeded again, only to stop one pace later as a door in the side of the vehicle swung open towards me, blocking the pavement and my progress, as some firemen piled out.
I started forward again, past all the uniforms, turned the corner and continued on towards the school.
Yes tonight was the first event on the local friendly society calendar. I was expecting about 5 people to turn up, but soon there were about 30 people ranging from a 3 year old, teenagers, through to the more mature 40 pluses.
There were a range of games, including a very old Monopoly set, which had Paris railway stations etc and whose money was in the old francs.
However I was there to play one of the French nations favourite card games, Belote.
Do you know how to play?
Ee dus not noe owe to play…..
Eventually I was sat at a table. Me, my partner, two opponents and an extra person to assist me.
The card sequence of values is different from what I am used to from whist, rummy etc. and having the attention span of a gnat I was a slow learner. Still by the end of the evening, some three and a half hours later, they seemed pleased with my progress. So thanks to them, I had an enjoyable evening. I may even go on next month’s family car rallye / treasure hunt / meal. (I must remember to take along a plate and cutlery. Something which is the norm at community meal events)
There were also cakes and crepes that people had baked and brought along to share during the evening. I will have to learn how to bake something to take along, but I cannot think of anything suitable British to take along. Perhaps rock cakes, as they are supposed to be hard? I will have to consult with my culinary advisor.
The teenagers had been keeping an eye on the police situation, and from what I could gather, the son (who lives in Paris) of the man who lives in the house on the corner had not heard from or been able to contact his father, so he had called in the cops. I had noticed that his mail box had not been emptied for the last week or so, but it is a teeny box, smaller than a cornflake packet. The firemen went up ladders to look in windows, but I do not know what the outcome was. Certainly no windows or doors appear to have been forced open, and the mail box is still stuffed with post and publicity….

Monday, 20 April 2009

A boy named Jesus on the staff?

This is what happens when you are a devotee of your town’s web site. You go to see the plant extravaganza under the newly reopened Halle (Thursday evening witnessed by a crowd of about 3 people and a whippet) complete with plant experts giving talks.
I amble into town and this is what the Halle now looks like.

Thinking that I might be at the wrong Halle I dodged the ever present dog? turds and headed to the other Halle beside the Abbey. Nope no plant fiesta there either. There was however, this chap dressed in typical Frenchman about town garb, du moyen age. He had these two long poles with foam taped tightly to one end of each stick with brown parcel tape. I noticed him due to the clatter he made when he dropped a pole. I had arrived just as he had decided to take a break and he headed off to the nearby café. After some time (I am a patient man) he came back and started twirling his sticks. Sometimes one stick, and sometimes the more tricky two stick combo. Now this is either some kind of medieval martial art carried out by men in sandals but without white socks so not British) and the foam ends covering or replacing sharp wooden or metal points or blades, or it could be flaming torches.

Unfortunately my camera is not fast enough to take moving targets at the instant that I press the shutter so most ended up as back or side shots. At least the Abbey wall didn't move.

They do like their flaming torch processions here and I noted just this week that at some point during the summer there will be a flaming procession, followed by a display of dextrous fire twirling. This could be one of them getting some pre- lights out practice in. If the latter is the case, stand well clear as he keeps dropping his sticks. Especially dangerous are the lunges where either one at a time or both together, the sticks are thrust out from the body in a lunging motion, the grip on the sticks is released, they shoot forward and in theory are caught and held with about a foot of stick still to spare. Tricky especially as the sticks must be pretty heavy at that point and they should be deployed to the same length.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

There’s bin changes

On Tuesday last week the publicity in my post box held news of the changes to household, recyclable and green waste collections which starts on Monday 20th. I read it carefully to note changes to the days affecting me. No green collection was listed for me. I went to the Mairie after my French lesson to get some yellow sacks for the recyclable collections and to ask about the green stuff.
I had to go to the Technique department where I have previously handed in my building alterations request forms,
The lady from my first visit was on duty and she volunteered my name (could this mean that she had just dealt with my forms?) and gave me a roll of bags. I explained my green collection dilemma and she looked over the leaflet that I had brought along. She then phoned another department and after they had in turn gone to consult, the verdict was that someone will phone me next week….

Saturday, 18 April 2009

French pests

A busy few days dodging in and out of the rain and the heating has had to go on again. Managed to just finish my French learning book at noon on Friday just as the place closed for lunch.
A quieter few days as Mr Teacher was not there. Perhaps his wife has bumped him off?
No hot water yesterday as the timer switch on the fuse for heating up the water tank has finally died after waking me up constantly switching itself on and off in flurries of activity throughout the night for the last several months.
In France the “cheap” electricity tariff operates between eleven thirty at night and half past seven in the morning. The water tank fuse has 3 settings. Off, on, and automatic.
Last night I sat up waiting to see if the fuse would click into action, but nothing happened, so I got out of bed and switched it to on, I planned to get up again after a couple of hours to see if the water was heating up, but woke with a jump at half past four instead. The good news is that I can still get hot water.
I have a number of electrical issues that require sorting out, so this will push me over the edge to find an electrician sooner rather than later.
I went to the supermarkets on Thursday lunchtime instead of my usual Friday trip. I made a detour to Lidl’s as their publicity indicated that they had over the bed mosquito nets for sale.
Having been assured that we are in for a scorcher of a summer as winter and spring have been so bad, I will be able to sleep secure in the knowledge that none of the little buggers will be able to get me whilst I sleep. I have already installed the curtain and its support and it now rests in the pre-deployment position. Now I have a view of an alien space ship, or a UK size condom. if I lie in bed looking up at the ceiling.

If it decides to deploy itself during the night, I will probably hit my head on the ceiling as I leap out of bed.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

And another bloody thing…..

Well it was a quiet weekend, probably one of their wettest Easters ever. I don’t know how the open air jazz festival fared at Mirepoix, or the various street processions went. Probably with a splosh.
On the TV there was a news item showing families on a ski slope, skiing downhill looking for the buried Easter eggs. One enterprising family had gone hi tech and had a small metal detector to aid them in their search.
The sun finally popped out briefly on Monday afternoon, so I walked into town to see what delights had been laid on to celebrate Easter. There was a small market, but the only stalls which don’t appear at the regular market, were 2 stalls selling identical brightly coloured sweets and a kebab stall selling Cajun kebabs.
The bee and his family reappeared on Monday, with another lady in tow. I learned today that it is Bee-boy’s sister. So the little room is host to 4 adults sleeping on the floor on mattresses.
Madame says that they will probably be here all this month as the bees need feeding up prior to moving the hives to various bits of farm land to pollinate farmer’s crops. Then they will be back with a big camper van July/August to cope with the bees making their honey.
More fashion news. Further investigation has revealed that Madam’s car seat covers, as well as being a fashion statement, have short sleeves. In short they are tee-shirts. Brilliant idea! Say you are out and about in rural France and you stumble across a “Mancha’s Muncheria”. You decide to give the recommended “Kim’s ketchup kofé” a try. Finding the yellow décor a bit on the custardy side, you decide to drink it in the car. Of course you spill the drink all over your new, white blouse as you stumble out into the gloom of the daylight. What to do? You’ve guessed it. Just whip of your dirty top and replace it with one of the tee-shirt seat covers.
Of course the head rests do not currently have any covering, but I reckon a couple of pairs of knickers or Y-fronts could be a future life saver……
Remember folks you saw the idea here first.
French “lessons” continue and I go to study 4 times per week for roughly 2 and a half hours per time. All being well, I should finish my text book “Bled Vo.1” by the end of Friday, This last week the tempers of the people who run the “school” have been rather frayed and their arguments have been getting louder and more prolonged. I think some of the rules governing the training requirements for some types of students have changed. Some official type lady, possibly from the ANPE who send and pay for the students, came out lasr Friday morning and it was all very calm for the duration of her, seemingly” unexpected visit. Things have not been the same since then. Madame is remaining calm, but her husband keeps losing the plot and shouting at his computer and his wife.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

The grass is not always greener

My little triangular patch of grass at one side of my parking area is seeing a fair bit of action these days.
Farmers with vast wheat fields may get a crop circle or two, I have to make do with a black ring.
You go to bed with a few daisies on your grass and wake up to find out that someone has given you a black mark overnight.

I am pretty sure that Bee-boy had something to do with it. I passed the open back doors of his van on Friday morning on my way to my French lesson. Inside his van sere some poles with strips of white sheet suspended between them. The sheets had words on them which I could not read, but as Bee-boy and his dad were standing at the back of the van, I continued on my way.
As I suspected the bee keepers have been protesting. This morning’s Depeche newspaper had a story about a demonstration by bee-keepers outside the local Ministry of Agriculture and included the following photo.
photo from La Depeche
Bee-boy may well be one of the protesters in the photo as he was wearing the one-piece white overalls when I had seen him.
Bees in 2,500 hives had been killed off last year in the Ariege. That is half of the bee population here. The problem has been traced to the chemicals used to spray buildings where cows are kept, to prevent cattle getting / spreading cattle catarrh. There was also a major problem with sheep health here last year. Pathological tests on dead bees have found that all the bee hives within a certain radius of farms using the spray had died.
So what do you do? Let the cows and sheep die and save the bees?
Well since we need the bees to pollinate just about every plant, I would have to side with the bees.
I think that Bee-boys parents may finally have left the studio after living there with him for just over a month. But I have been wrong before. Would you like to live in one small room with your parents for even one night?
Madame has had an accident in her car and it is now with “the experts” at the Renault garage. Although I tried to find out what happened, she kept giving me the location of the accident.
She is not without transport though, as Bee-boy has loaned her his very old Peugeot estate car to use. Imagine a very battered greyish vehicle, full of rubbish, with tatty, faux fur front seat covers.
I note that it is now sporting white cotton covers complete with Japanese calligraphy and pictures.
Perhaps now, women throughout the world will admit that they cannot compete with the average French woman when it comes to style. I don’t know how she will overcome the smashed front indicator light and housing though.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

No shit!

I went to the ANPE to speak to my advisor about my recent letter. When my turn came, I was told that she was on holiday for 2 weeks. I showed my letter to the man on reception and asked if it meant that as well as not being entitled to any unemployment benefits, I had to quit my two courses. He glanced at the letter and said that carrying on with the courses was no problem. So that’s good enough for me. In the words of the TV programme, “A prendre ou a laisser” Un, deux, trios, je continue (“Deal or no deal” in the UK, my dad’s favourite programme)
The sun was shining and it was summer again as I walked home. The grass got cut and I did some studying.
While I was in the house, I saw one of the ladies who lives in flats across the road, with what I assume is a new puppy. She walked about with it and talked to it. She put it on the ground (wearing a lead), picked it up, took it to some grass across the road. Picked it up. Walked across the road, looked around, then walked onto my property and put it down on my grass, which is located at waist height.
When I cut my grass later, there was no little calling card waiting for me. Am I alone in thinking that this is a bit of a cheek?
I am sure that she won’t do it again. If she does it will give me a chance to practice my French. Now where is that dictionary?

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

A little prealable

The weather has not been good, so I have not been out much. The last choir practice was held and we are now on two weeks choir holiday. The dates, times and venues for our 4 performances of the Petite Mess Solonelle in June are now confirmed. No pressure there then.
First stop, the Mairie (Town Hall) first floor. Someone eventually appeared. It was the lady that I had seen late last year. You have come back to France, she said. I was only away for 2 weeks over Christmas, I replied.
I explained my building issue and she directed me to the 2nd floor. Before I went, did I want my voting card? I said that I would take it, and she riffled through a box of cards and gave me mine.
Up on floor two, a fashion model beckoned me into her office. I explained my quest and gave her my “projet” dossier. (I had photographed the existing structure, put together some words about pulling it down and replacing it with a brick structure, complete with rough sizes).
She looked through it and said that I need to fill in a “Declaration prealable Constructions, travaux….”
She printed the forms off and asked if I would like her to fill it in? I jumped at the chance of some help and the paperwork was duly completed, and I dated and signed it. She attached my dossier to the forms and gave me a copy.
She then gave me a receipt. I now have to wait 4 weeks until they send me the paperwork saying that I can go ahead or not.
I then explained that I wanted to replace a house window with a double glazed unit, and put a little window or vent through a side wall for the ground floor studio.
You will need to fill in another form, she said. Any work on the outside of my building or land would require permission, even if it was painting my boundary wall. The good news is that you can put lots of things on one form.
She printed me off another 3 page form. I now need hyperactive man to appear so that I can get details of sizes of the two units.
Hyperactive man turned up late Sunday afternoon with another daughter. You will need to get permission from the Mairie before the work can be done, he said.
I explained that I had already completed the paperwork tor the shed and had still to do one for the other bits of external work.
I have to contact Hyperactive man once I have received the permissions to begin work.. Madame has his phone number....

Monday, 6 April 2009

Getting the bird

Spring is Sprung

Spring is sprung,
De grass is riz,
I wonder where dem birdies is?
De little birds is on de wing,
Ain’t dat absurd?
De little wing is on de bird!


Out of instep?

Last week I went to see my Instep advisor again for my regular appointment. Since my last visit, I have put two CV’s on to the ANPE website and one onto a global internet CV service. My pursuit to perfectionner mon francais continues for two and a half hours of studying by myself, four times per week.
My quest for tourism training is still stalled, waiting for the elusive APF advisor to contact me. Although her office is closed until 11th April, my advisor tried the lady’s number and left yet another message for her to make contact.
We danced the usual circles. I showed her a piddly little job vacancy that I had printed out. She looked at it. Basically it was 20 hours per week playing scrabble etc with teenagers to adults in the evenings. No, I could not do that because, look there, you need that qualification which is a 2 year course…
What about an apprenticeship? You are too old.
I pointed out that this was ageist and she just laughed, so no avenue there either.
My homework for the next meeting is to read the code Rome descriptions of 2 different types of management job, and to think about my strengths and skills and what job or “project” I could aim for.
My advisor had the brainwave that mobilisation vers employ was probably not the best scheme for me to be on. Instead, I should be on another one which lasts for 4 months, 7 hours per day, 5 days per week. I would be with French people seeking work, my language skills would improve, I would also have two, two week placements with a company as part of the scheme. (I would also not be her headache any more)
She phoned my ANPE advisor to suggest a change of course, but my ANPE lady was not for changing. So for the moment at least, I must bob along in the paddling pool.

On Friday I received a letter from ANPE saying that I did not meet the requirements to be helped into work. This meant that I had the weekend to dwell on what this letter actually meant. Did it mean what it seemed to say, i.e that I was not entitled to be on the mobilisation vers emploi scheme or to my French lessons?
Next job, permission from Mairie to carry out external work to my property.