Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Hello, I'm Back - Is Anyone Out There?

It's been exactly a year since I last posted and, although I may have been totally idle in online terms, it has been a thoroughly eventful 12 months.

As those of you who have been kind enough to read this blog previously will know, my father passed away in April of last year and, for various reasons, the practicalities of getting probate and executing his will fell into my lap and ended up swallowing inordinate amounts of time, pretty much eating up the whole of summer.  The strangest thing was that doing all this, and trying to support my mother, meant that I really didn't grieve or feel much at all emotionally about his death. until well into last winter.  Even now, I'm not sure whether I've grieved and come through it, or whether it's still there, waiting to jump out and mug me when I least expect it.

After all this, I had been hoping for a quiet autumn, time to rest and recuperate and get back on an even keel but, in October, I was offered a fantastic new job, a real once in a lifetime opportunity.......in Switzerland.  So, having visited the office (in between Zurich and Luzern) at the end of October, we managed to find a flat, register mini-Falaise for school, rent out our house in London, dispose of most of our possessions and stuff (fitting a large house-worth of stuff into a flat was never going to be practicable), go through the fairly traumatic process of mini-Falaise leaving her school, which she adored, and move, lock, stock and barrel to Switzerland, all of which we achieved by the middle of December, in time for a nearly white Christmas (it snowed on 27th December!).

Exhausted, discombobulated and unsure of how things would pan out, we saw in the New Year quietly, registered ourselves with the local canton, found that mini-Falaise had fallen in love with ice-skating but wasn't so fussed about skiing and got ready for the start of my new job and mini-Falaise's new school.

Well the good news is that my job seems to be going well and I'm thoroughly enjoying it.  Mini-Falaise's school, however, was the bad news.  For reasons (both academic and social) which I'd rather keep private, it just didn't work for her and she was changing from a child who bounced out of bed to go to school in the morning to a thoroughly unhappy child.  So, I packed Mrs F and mini-Falaise onto the train back to London, where they spent an uncomfortable few weeks until they could find a flat to live in.  Luckily, her old school welcomed her back with open arms and she was very quickly back to her old self.

So, we now live an odd,  split life.  I live in Switzerland during the week whilst they live in London in term time.  I fly back roughly two out of every three weekends and, as soon as term is over, they come out to Switzerland.  It's not ideal for me and Mrs F, but mini-Falaise gets all the benefits of her school in London and being around her friends, whilst spending her holidays cycling, lake swimming skating and roaming free in Switzerland.

Mrs F and I are permanently exhausted - Mrs F from the stresses of being min-Falais'e sole carer during the week and me from the combination of a busy job and seemingly spending much of my life in airports on Friday and Sunday evenings and the odd very early Monday morning - but it won't be forever and my 15 minute walk to work  along the lakeside, seeing the Eiger and the Jungfrau mountains in the distance is a definite compensation on a sunny day.

Apparently, losing a close family member, moving house, changing jobs and emigrating all rank amongst the most stressful things that people do and I did them all in the space of 9 months.  But, of course, there are only so many hours in the day and so, some things have rather gone by the board -this blog being one of them.

Things now appear to have calmed down a bit and we are all getting into our new routine and so I am going to try and start blogging (and engaging with other blogs) again.  I have a huge backlog of books that I haven't yet mentioned on here and so the original premise of the blog may have to be quietly shelved but I do hope to be much more active on here from now on.


Harriet said...

Great to have you back, but what a year you've had. The international commuting sounds like a real strain, but obviously the best option available at the moment. Thanks for sharing all this, and looking forward to some book reviews on here when you find the time.

Falaise said...

Thanks, Harriet! The commute is a bit of a pain but, on the bright side, I get the best of two worlds!

Anonymous said...

Glad to have you back too! I hope you can make the commuting work.

Falaise said...

Thanks, Annabel. Having them both here during school holidays is a godsend - means I'm not constantly going back and forth and lets me recover a bit! The second half of the year will also be easier as mini-Falaise gets a very long autumn half term so they can come out then as well.