Cloud Fifteen

Life as a Londoner west of Paris

Goodbye 2017

2017 has been quite a year. We started it as a newly engaged couple looking forward to a wedding in the autumn, and with me having been working a mere 3 months as French speech therapist in independent practice. I’ve already talked about the work milestones that have been and gone over the year, but most of it was taken over by one thing: wedmin!  Continue reading

2 years

I woke up today and realised I’ve been living in France for two years. A lot has happened in that time: I’ve taught English to young and old (well… 6 years up to about 40), translated the French Highway code into English, attended an interview at Le Cordon Bleu, worked as a report writer for a market research company, become an ‘orthophoniste’ and practised here for 10 months…. and got engaged! Continue reading

The 3 Kings’ Galette

We’ve reached the end of January and finally seen the back of the Galette des Rois. This more or less passed me by last year, but the start of 2017 has been a veritable frangipane feast. I have sampled not one but four versions of the traditional dessert in honor of the Epiphany, a sort of tart made from flaky pastry and filled with almond paste. Continue reading

How to work as a speech therapist in France – final instalment!

The day after I returned from the September conference in the South of France, the postman arrived with the long-awaited signed-for letter from the speech therapy commission. I ripped it open in trembling anticipation, imagining that some minor – or major – error might have invalidated my entire dossier. Continue reading

L’île de Porquerolles

I’m writing this in the TGV from Marseille to Paris, travelling at a mind-boggling 300km/hr. Someone on the train has just managed to hijack the loudspeaker system and inform passengers that ‘due to a problem with the air conditioning, the buffet bar will be free of charge for the next half an hour’. Continue reading

La Rentrée

The end of August is here, which means that la rentrée is imminent. This term, which literally means ‘the return’, is mainly used to refer to the start of the school or academic year, and features heavily on TV ads from at least mid-August.  But la rentrée isn’t just about school; sa number of people take a whole month’s holiday off in August, so it can also mean going back to work after the long break. Continue reading

How to work as a speech therapist in France – Part 2

After my brief spell as a couch potato, I was fully prepared to get on with the business of hunting for speech therapy placements in the 5 areas I had been allocated (see Part 1). A few weeks before the accident, I’d sent out 6 letters to the 6 nearest places registered to offer placements for the equivalenceContinue reading

20 Books for the rest of 2016

While life has been somewhat on hold, favouring supine activities, I’ve been writing some lists. A recent episode of La Grande Librairie on France 5 asked a handful of authors to come up with books to pack for the summer holidays, which got me thinking about what I should be reading. Then, the other day, I discovered a new blogger called Franglaise Mummy  who set herself the challenge of reading 52 books in a year. I don’t feel the need to take that on, but it made me think that writing a proper list of books to read might get me reading more… Continue reading

English sticks

And so my piece of investigative journalism into the French medical system continues with two visits to the généraliste and one to the pharmacy to stock up on supplies.  This was how the week went: Continue reading

Vital Card

One of my six month objectives was getting my Carte Vitale, which finally arrived this week, 8 months after becoming eligible as an autoentrepreneur. I was amused that after weeks of chasing and a letter in March informing me that ‘les délais peuvent être longs’, when I did receive the form requesting a photo, I had a total of 14 DAYS to respond, or risk forfeiting the card altogether!!

carte_vitale_cnmssAt any rate, what I least expected was needing to make use of it quite so soon… Continue reading

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