I managed to get a couple of walks in this week, probably because as I was just talking myself out of going for a walk an email popped into my inbox from Country Walking Magazine - which I subscribed to a couple of years ago yet never read! Oh it's a lovely magazine but it's UK based so while the articles are indeed interesting it's not very relevant to me! I got a walk in down at the lake at Passy and then the next day I did the easy local circuit - the one we used to do during lockdown when we could only leave home for a maximum of an hour a day. Well that is everyone except politicians had to stick to the one hour limit. Rules never have and never will apply to them you see! Anyway I went past the local allotments and stopped for a nose at two men working there but speaking a language I couldn't make out. On the way back I passed a garden where a young lad was playing a competitive game of football all by himself and rattling away non-stop. It tickled me no end! I wonder who won!
When I got back I noticed that the celery base that I had stuck in a bowl of water a week ago had started to root, so I planted it and am now pathetically delighted to have a new head of celery growing in my living room! I guess that could be a handy side gig - selling celery at the local market (as long as no-one needed more than one head of celery every three months)! I also got round to dismanteling a little greenhouse that I bought, intending to use it on the balcony (high winds permitting) because every time I tried to move it it fell apart! So then I had the bright idea of glueing the parts together, except I had it on it's side to squirt the glue into the holes when I realized I might well have ended up glueing it to the balcony on its side!!!! Luckily I got it upright and now have it at the end of my balcony, up against my bedroom wall and hopefully secure enough to withstand high winds through the good graces of a couple of bungy straps! I also spent a couple of hours in my (very small) veggie plot today cleaning it up - it feels so good to be working outside again!
In other news, I've mentioned before a very large website that I began following (still do occasionally) when my husband left. It talks about dealing with infidelity and in many cases with narcissistic personalities. I'm not on there so much any more as I feel it was there when I needed it and it's time to move on, but I was asked last week if I'd become one of the moderators on their FB group! I told her I'd give it some thought but in the end I had to be honest with her and say that I often snoozed the group for a while as I don't want to get dragged into thinking about "that time" any more. She was very nice about it, but I'm glad I made the decision that I did! I don't need the extra responsibility (or aggravation)!
I had a lovely surprise message from a close colleague of mine last week where she told me that she'd resigned (she must be early 40s - if that) as she has been offered a very good job at the Asian Central Bank in the Philippines! I knew she'd been frustrated for quite some time. Frankly she was probably too intelligent for our HR department so during her time with me she learned our HR rules and regs pretty much inside out and studied HR law in her spare time - although there can't have been much spare time as a married mom of two young kids. So hats off to her - I'm delighted for her! On a slightly less spectacular but equally happy-making note, Jen told me that her boss had mentioned to her the other week that they might (just might) be able to take her on permanently in September. She always knew the job was just temporary but she likes them very much, says they are very human and it's so darn convenient time and distance-wise. Fingers crossed there then! And then just today Jordan called her to say that the company he is working for through the temporary agency would like to take him on too! He's going in Monday to talk to them and is in a pretty good negotiating position because (a) the temping agency obviously costs them a lot of money and (b) you can't get plumbers here for love nor money - hence he's working with 20 Romanian plumbers! Again, fingers crossed! Jordan and Jen were married four years yesterday so as of today he can apply for French citizenship and it is more or less automatic - he just has to submit his paperwork! I'm going over there tomorrow to go shopping with Jen and since I now have two beautifully sorted freezers (plus a complete list of contents) I decided on the spur of the moment to make a batch of hummus and flat breads to take over, plus a chicken and mushroom pie. I tell ya, I'm so pleased with my nice clean freezers I feel like putting a sofa down in the basement (it's unfinished) and next time someone comes over just casually opening and shutting the doors to see if they notice! I know, little things please little minds, right!
Annnndddd the ongoing uproar over Macron's proposed pension reform bill has, I think, reached its pinnacle! I watched a programme on it last night and it is much more complicated than just raising the pension age - which is something he would prefer to do rather than, say, increase taxes on big earners/companies! Anyway, the bill went through the National Assembly and on to the Senate - which voted for it but with some amendments, one of which was the abolition of most of the 42 special pension regimes, although oddly enough not the special regime which allows Senators themselves to maintain the current more favourable conditions! Macron's party do not have an absolute majority and would therefore most likely lose the vote when this reform goes back to the National Assembly, so they have yet again (for the eleventh time????) invoked Article 49.3 - which allows the government to pass a reform/bill/amendment without a vote! Eleven times since Elisabeth Borne was nominated Prime Minister in May last year, that is! So the country is in uproar and a vote of no confidence has been put forward today - which will be voted on on Monday - and if passed the pension reform bill will be dropped and I believe the Government has to resign! I don't know what will happen (what deals will be made behind closed doors), but this is to my mind one of the most contentious situations I have seen in France in over 30 years of living here - and there've been a few!
And finally, WAY TO GO THE DUTCH FARMERS! The Rutte Government has been pushing "net zero" policies for some time now, one of which was to drastically reduce the use of nitrogen fertilizers in Dutch farming (Netherlands is the world's second biggest exporter of food apparently). So 3,000 Dutch farmers were going to be offered XXX amount for their land, and if they refused their farms would be expropriated! So a land grab on the pretext of "saving the world from death by cow farts"! Well the Dutch farmers have been protesting for months now and in yesterday's provincial elections, the BBB Party (the farmers' party) won a landslide victory and are now the Netherlands' biggest party! Of course, as I said above, deals are often made by minority parties behind closed doors, but this news is fantastic. Well done the Dutch farmers, and well done the Dutch people who supported them!
|The Dutch farmers' protest!|
Edited to add: after I published this I just saw Neil McCoy-Ward's video and he talks about the situations in France and the Netherlands for the first ten minutes, if you're interested (here)!
I'm a morning person, so I'm usually in bed by 11 PM. I've been watching, on and off, the bit about Macron and his pension plan. We have the same problem over here with the Conservatives wanting to raise retirement age. They are the ones who keep plundering the Social Security fund, so I wonder what they're going to do if they manage to water it down, just put the government deeper into debt, I guess.ReplyDelete
The protests about the pension reforms have been rumbling on for a while now, but since I don't have a French pension I haven't really looked into it much - until last night. It was a 10 minute synopsis of the situation, which is a really complicated one anyway, but to be obliged to work longer for what is a pittance of a pension just stinks (in my uneducated view)! We'll see what happens on Monday I guess!Delete
It's been raining steadily here for over twelve hours now and it lulled both my husband and me so much that we both slept incredibly late. My head is as fuzzy as a kiwi this morning.ReplyDelete
I love your description of how proud you are of your freezers. I completely understand and would feel the same!
It's lovely to sleep in when it's raining isn't it - it can't do any harm in any case, and I hope you're both feeling better now. And yep, I'm so proud of both my freezers and my celery plant I'd post pictures on instagram (if I was on it)! Doesn't take much to please me!Delete
It is so nice to see your story about the Dutch farmers doing what they've done. I've also watched a bit about the pension reforms. I hope it turns out well. Unfortunately, here in the US it seems we are so divided on so many different levels that I don't think you can get people to fight for what is right. Divide and conquer does seem to be our governments moto. Can't blame them really. If we all were to stick together we could get rid of all of them and their ridiculous policies.ReplyDelete
The Dutch farmers are fighting for their livelihoods. At first I heard they wanted to take over 3,000 out of approximately 12,000 farms, but Neil McCoy-Ward said yesterday they were looking to take 9,000 farms!!!!!! Already several farmers have committed suicide over this issue and all for what? Cow farts!!!! As for the pension issue, while 64 may not seem old to people in other countries, there are quite a few other issues that will make people's current situations far worse. 64 would just be the EARLIEST age at which they can retire. It's really kicking off but sadly I suspect the censure motion against Macron won't go through because of "political manouevering"! You're absolutely right, if people had stuck together we wouldn't be in this mess right now. And don't get me started on 15 minute cities - more on that to follow!Delete
You can become the "celery lady" LOL. Good on those Dutch Farmers. I suppose eventually people will just have to eat fake laboratory food when there is no farm land/farmers left.ReplyDelete
My celery is now about five inches tall - it's so exciting (doesn't take much to please me does it). But regarding the Dutch farmers, from what I hear they are incredibly efficient anyway and willing to work with the government. Hopefully people realize "no farmers, no food" - or no REAL food, that is!Delete
So glad to see Jen and Jordan being rewarded at their jobs! Good job on the celery - I can't grow anything, don't have a green thumb at all!ReplyDelete
Jordan had an interview with the owner of the company on Monday and is waiting on an offer - they want to make him foreman apparently. I'm thrilled for him (gotta wait for the offer though. And the celery (my baby) is about 10 inches tall now and I have its little sister (ginger) soaking at the moment. Not so sure that's gonna take off though but who knows!Delete