Thursday, 17 December 2009

That time of year, again...

Yup, nearly Christmas and the whole thing starts all over again: resolutions to not buy anything made in China, to eat less, to be nicer, blah blah blah. Never works, but it's the thought that counts, eh? Not really, thought is cheap and actions do tend to land us back at square one, no matter how noble the intentions. Still, I've never been one for New Year's Resolutions and that certainly won't change as we exit the Noughties (who invented that word? Has he/she been executed, yet?). The Fingernails are going to love their gifts, as will Mrs. F, once she's got over the shock of the prospect of six months' worth of acting lessons. She's been banging on about how much she'd like to do it for so long that I felt it was high time to indulge her and fast-track her consciousness to something a little more edifying than the daily routine of keeping house and child-rearing. Nothing wrong with any of it, of course, but everyone needs an outlet, a means of self-expression, and my dearly beloved hasn't had that for many a good long year. It's extremely eco-friendly, too: just a few sheets of paper with the enrolment details and requisite scripts, then it's off to a local basement for a bit of sisterly theatre.

My choir is now 27-strong and sang magnificently this last Monday evening. We now have a strong backbone through accomplished singers in every section, allowing us to undertake much more ambitious and interesting repertoire than ever before. When I think what we started with, back in 2007, and what they're capable of now, my mind boggles. It's not as if we rehearse all year round, either; just five evenings before each service.

Tomorrow heralds the end of piano rehearsals for La Vie Parisienne. Not the greatest piece in the world, not the best actors in the world, so not really the best reason in the world to get out of bed in the morning, either. Still, it's work and I'm fortunate to be in enjoyable, gainful employment. And a very merry Christmas to you all, those unseen masses who never read my blog because I've not told anyone about its existence. That's quite a concept.


elaine said...

Hi Mr. Fingers, you don't know me, but there is somebody reading your blog - me - I like it :)

I'm writing because there is the remote possibility we (me + partner) might be moving to Toulouse. We've been in France for 3 years, but in the SE - near to Nice. He's French, I'm a Brit, and so far I've failed miserably to settle here. I have a nothing more than a feeling that Toulouse would be better for us. Any thoughts?

Thank you in advance, Ms Toes :)

Anonymous said...

My goodness, a comment! Thanks for writing, Elaine. I can certainly recommend Toulouse from the viewpoint of someone who is professionally and personally established and content but have to say there's no guarantee you'll enjoy it, as I'm sure you'll understand.

Having said that, I know quite a few people, French and Brits alike, who have very mixed feelings about Nice. It's not a city I know, but I have a feeling it wouldn't be to my taste, either, just basing my assumption on things I've heard.

Toulouse is a beautiful, unpretentious city with an enormous British community, mainly linked in some way to Airbus. Might you be coming for professional reasons? The job market is comparatively healthy and Toulouse is the country's fastest growing city. Real estate remains a lot more affordable than anything in the PACA region with prices in the best parts of Toulouse circling around the €4000 per square metre mark. Rents are around €12-15 per square metre per month in these areas. Go outside and it's considerably less (as are the less decent city neighbourhoods).

All I can really say is that the city works for us: we have good jobs, good schools (at least where we live), intelligent, stimulating friends and as decent a social life as you can have when you have small children! People aren't at all snooty, which is a plus; Toulouse always played the country cousin to the more refined Bordeaux, but the rise in the aeronautical industry and its offshoots has relaunched the competition a bit.

Anyhow, if your plan firms up, don't hesitate to contact me for more information; I'd be delighted to help.

Glad you enjoy my ramblings, too. I think I'll post something else, now, knowing there's an audience!

All the best,

er, Fingers...