Monday, 23 November 2015

Friday the thirteenth

This is very weird to write. Difficult. Shocking. Painful. 

On the 13th of November 2015 something very bad happened that I'm sure you'll have seen in the news. Horrible people did horrible things. 

Friday morning I was running late. I managed to forget my bag with my class work in it after I'd come out of my flat. I had to go back. Up four floors. Grab it and beg Hamish to let me leave. I practically ran to the metro and only just made the train. Yeah, running for the metro is stupid when there's another in two minutes but I was very late. 

I was trying to catch my breath and I looked up. Opposite me in front of a folding chair was a weird man. I jokingly told my mother at lunch time he looked like a terrorist. I'm always joking about weird people in the metro. (One time I saw a women with a miniskirt and no knickers and she looked at least 60.)

Anyway. What made this guy weird was the initial shock lf the look on his face. He looked really angry but clam. He didn't look stressed. I've never seen anything else like that instantly I wanted off the train. Then seeing how he was dressed. Hah. He had one of those African menswear dress things. It was white or cream. Paired with black trainers, black joggers underneath, a black ski hat beanie thing, and a black handbag. No coat or jacket just a hat? That's normal. 

In the end to get away from this creep I got off at république. So did he, he got on the line 5 in direction to Place d'Italie which actually goes under Bastille. And that was that. I assumed I'd never see him again.

The rest of the day was fairly normal, I finished class. I went home. Hamish got walked. I babysat and then I got invited to McDonald's!

I left McDonald's at Ledru-Rollin at 9:15pm and I got back to my place at 9:36pm. These times are exact and based off of messages I sent to friends. 

I was going to walk Hamish. It was important because he loves his walks. That and he barks if he doesn't get walked enough. I stopped quickly for a ginger and lemon and went down. 

I was running late bit was nearly 10pm if not past it. The police had blocked rue bichat so we couldn't go to the canal. We were going up to place de la république but they'd blocked our road off too. So I started asking the police what was going on. He said they'd been an attack and I should go home.

I was a little scared.
I hurried home wondering what had actually happened. Why my street? My street has no importance it's just near république. 

I got back okay and texted my roomie. But no reply. This is fairly typical when she's out drinking because she puts her phone into silent, and I phoned my mother to let her know I was okay. 

I spent until 3am away and until 2am on the phone with my family in the uk. 

Around midnight Angela made it back, unscathed. 

But I'd been glued to my phone trying to keep up to date. Trying to understand what was happening. I said not long after I'd got back that I thought it was Muslims again. I had no idea how right I was. 

I could hear the sirens nonstop. Normally several at a time and the atmosphere was so weird. Instead of the noises of drunks going home we could hear the occasional person running. 

Eventually around 3:30am I managed to fall asleep. Only to wake up at 6:40 to a new day with new horrid. The whole thing seemed like a nightmare but I knew it was real. The death count was over a hundred and I just wanted to go back to normal. 

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Slow recovery

I'm trying to get better. To get through this. What can I do? I should've been there. Better me than someone else. I shouldn't have been at McDonald's. I should've gone straight out when I got back at 21:36. They'd have probably still been firing. The police wouldn't yet have been on scene. I shouldn't have had that tea. 

Sunday, 15 November 2015

I should be dead

Shots were fired on my road but I was running late. At that time I'm usually on my way back with Hamish. I walk past these events twice daily. This is too close to home. 

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

A life update on studies.

The beginning of this year things started looking hopeful. I had been doing French lessons offered by a charity where I actually had to pay and I was at a level that seemed lower than my own. But I'd managed to find a youth class that would pay me to attend and help me get into more studies or work. Giving me proof that I could speak French and everything. 

Towards the end of this course we had a trip out to the studying/working forum thing at Porte de Versailles and I didn't have much hope. I'd decided if possible I wanted to do a CAP petite enfance but there weren't many stands and only two for my chosen line. I found them quickly and got rid of two CVs. 

And then I got the phone call asking me to go to the group interview. Which was surprisingly easy. Simple questions and a lot of multiple choice. 

I got called back again. For individual interviews and then to see a family. Well actually two families because I'm a shared baby sitter. 

That went well and at the end of August I signed my contract. I started work the beginning of September. Then classes not long after. 

And now I'm all settled in with the babysitting and actually feel like I'm learning something in class. We do so many subjects it's crazy! But we don't do a very high level in most of the classes. Mainly the core things. I've almost finished my first aid training. Nutrition isn't bad. Social/medical science is interesting. 

The kids are great  I have two three year olds. They're at different developmental stages but I see the progress at least weekly. It's brilliant going to pick them up because they run at me and smile telling me about their days. 

Otherwise when I finish this course I'll be qualified to go further into pretty much anything child related, nurseries, I could be the lady that changes children at school if they don't go to the toilet if I study for it. Baby sitter. Baby sitter at their own home.

It's all good. 

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Cat milk

I've already written a lot about breastfeeding and how my plan was to let Alexandros self wean. And I think I've touched vaguely on how I'm actually studying childcare at the moment, or that may have been over on Wordpress...

I was in the metro bored as ever one day and then I had this really weird thought, about how people complain about late feeding mothers but animals feed much later than we do and nobody cares. 

And the whole thing of do animals actually encourage their offspring to wean at the earliest possible moment?

Based on what I saw of my cats and their kittens I'd have thought yes but now I'm unsure. Because although the mother cat would always hide from her kittens, when found she let them feed. And she would sleep high up, but somewhere the kittens could climb up to or would be expected to climb up to. 

So now I'm wondering if this was done to train the kittens to climb and the reward was milk, as in the mother rewarding her children for getting to the goal, or if I'm just being stupid.

I think this has potential to be looked into though.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Monday musings

Visits with Alexandros have been complicated since I started studying. Since then I've moved into a new set of classes that'll give me a childcare qualification and more of an opportunity in the working world. So it's better in the long term. Equally with these studies I have an afternoon babysitting job. 
But I don't have time off. I don't have the option of skipping class for visits. I'm obliged to get the kids from school otherwise nobody else will and I'll get into a lot of trouble. 

The social worker doesn't see it this way, he didn't want to move my visits to a Saturday, he wanted to cut a day out of my studies and when I said I couldn't he wanted to phone the centre. 

Eventually we managed to work out Saturdays but it means I'm no longer doing my English teaching weekly, and they've also cut my visits from four hours to one and a half. Claiming that because I won't speak to Alexandros in French he's not understanding anything that I'm saying. 

The thing is I don't like this and neither does the Parisian social worker. She's actually on my side that my visits should be longer and he should learn English. The real problem is he's three hours train ride away from Paris and I don't know when they'll sort that out. It's not doable for me. With everything else I'm finding it too tiring. 

So we've worked out a letter to send off to the judge, it's been sent and now I'm waiting to hear back. I've asked for weekends at my place. 

The social worker said that it's stupid I'm doing a childcare course and babysitting yet they rarely let me see my son. She said she'd stand up for my weekend visits even if the other social worker won't. 

I can see her point though. I'm studying childcare and babysitting at least two and a half hours a day. I'm alone with two kids around his age but visits are still treated as a privilege and not a right. 

Friday, 2 October 2015

Men spreading legs

There was a thing feminists stood up against within the last couple of years, men spreading their legs while sitting down on public transport. 

I found it mostly nonsensical because although I saw the photos on social media I'd never once seen it myself. I get the metro at least four times most days so I see a lot of stupid things, I've been sexually assaulted twice but I'd never crossed this until yesterday. 

I have to get the line 3 to go to my childcare classes for my work/study thing. Basically I'll get some kind of certificate which will lead to more studies or a job. It's a CAP, certificat d'aptertude profesional. I was amoung the rush hour traffic but it wasn't too busy so I managed to get a folding seat. These seats are big enough for two people to sit next to each other without touching, unless one person is obese. 

A couple of stops after I sat down a man sat next to me, not just spreading his left leg into my right, but shoving his whole body onto me. I shuffled over into my corner and he readjusted himself. 

I'm used to being packed into trains where everyone is crushing each other but it was the first time I'd had this. And after mocking the leg spreading thing as something that wouldn't be a problem once you'd sat down or similar I really get it. It's another excuse to make women feel uncomfortable, the same as creeps that blow me kisses or ask me my number. There's too many of these things to even list. 

I actually felt creeped out by this man, it was so weird. I'm hoping not to see this kind of thing again but sadly I think this trend is trickling over to France.