It is 31st August tomorrow, the last day for which I shall be paid.
I was on a one year contract and our school staff numbers were cut and my contract was not renewed. Applications for dozens of posts have been fruitless. I have had three unsuccessful interviews.
On top of the lack of work comes a light on the dashboard telling me something about a particle filter. I phoned the local Peugeot dealer and the man in the service department says I need to get it fixed, or there could be significant damage caused. But, no, he can’t book me in, it will be October before he can take fresh bookings. And, no he can’t recommend anyone.
Would that I were in France, at least they could keep my car on the road, if not provide me with gainful employment.
The one storyline of the romantic comedy film Love Actually that I really like is the one about the character played by Colin Firth. He passes the autumn weeks in a cottage deep in France writing a book, before going home to England for Christmas.
To pass the dark months of November and December in the bright crispness of the Midi seemed a consummation of bliss. Having once spent a week at Halloween in the Dordogne, where at night the temperature might fall to minus five or less and in the day rise to the mid teens, it seemed an extraordinarily beautiful time of year. Markets were filled with autumn produce, log fires heated restaurants, and menus had changed from the summer fare.
The idea of going to France on holiday and just not coming back was one that was appealing for years. There was sometimes the thought of driving to the channel port of Ouistreham in Normandy to catch the night boat to Portsmouth and having a meal in one of the town’s restaurants and then thinking, ‘No, I’m not going back,’ and turning the car and heading back south to the sun. It was a silly thought, why would one drive across France if one intended only to turn around and drive back?
Perhaps it is a case of just deciding to go. I always loved the apocryphal stories of the group of Glasgow Rangers fans who were said to have gone to the European Cup Winners’ Cup Final in Barcelona in 1972 and decided to stay on, and who were encountered by Scotland supporters in Spain for the World Cup Finals ten years later. How much courage would that take?
Being a timid sort of person, I shall have to find substitute work and get someone to fix my car.