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233. New Year 2014

To anyone reading this blog, friend or foe, I have to say thank you. Even though I haven't come up with new posts since my return to France from Ireland there are still people coming here to read my lines. Thanks.

It is strange how a certain way of life shuts you up. Nowadays I just shrug my shoulders and shut up being totally marginal and feeling completely unwelcome, unwanted and useless.

In the English customary habit I am going to write a newsletter of the main characteristics of my past year. The French don't do that. Family news remain more private perhaps and the Christmas mandatory correspondence does not happen. So here comes my 2013 newsletter.

In June a young woman Helper from Japan came to stay with me. She was very friendly and sweet and spoke enough French to converse. She was eager to help me in my garden in Chazelet but as she had no notion of gardening at all, I realized I would not be able to manage that garden for the year anyway. In a garden, there are definite things to do at a given time and if you don't do it in time you miss on it for that year! So I gave Chazelet up much to my despair... and to my garden neighbour's despair too so that she started planning and suggesting out loud what I should do in my own patch. That angered me further so that I shouted at her to mind her own 'onions' as the French expression goes. So that... we are not on talking terms any more!

What else has happened? My own retirement pension being very low... having spent most of my life looking for a job... I used to receive a basic extra pension from the State. But as you must reside in France to get it, it stopped in May because I was in Ireland... where I had gone to hopefully find a paid job, among other reasons. On my return to France I claimed the pension again but to this day to no avail. I have been sent several letters asking for proof of this or that as if I was a cheating slop... Getting depressed being of no use I decided not to open my mail any longer. Tending my grassy patch around my house in St Civran kept me busy anyway.

At the end of June a young Chinese woman from Taiwan arrived at my place as a Helper. Luckily she could speak English to me and Japanese to Ayumi and I could speak French to Ayumi and English to her. My intention and efforts to learn Chinese back in the 1990s never came to anything practical. Soon however I found I simply could not feed the two girls. I fell sick. They helped feeding me. And then they left.

In the hot and dry summer months I had my grand-daughter stay with me on and off. I love that. And then an Australian woman Helper came to stay a week and taught her to swim in a nearby lake. And then I drove her to her next Host in a haunted castle!

By the end of September I was getting fidgety and at a loss for new ideas of what to do with myself. I ended up staying at my son's in the prefecture city of my district. Staying in a properly heated apartment and eating regular meals was great. Talking to my son, a blessing. I also spent time walking around in town taking photos that I uploaded on my flickr photo account. However I realized that I had aged and felt tired when my grand-daughter and her half-brother came to stay. Screaming and fighting kids are not my cup of tea these days...

Now the new year has arrived and I have moved back to my house in St Civran. I have plans. Sure. And dreams, of course. But it seems that whatever I try to do is always doomed!... Let's see what 2014 has in stock for me!!!

Bonne Année 2014 anyway.

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