Hello. Here’s a bit about me and this blog.
(Most of you will know this, given that you’re highly likely to be a family member or close personal friend).

I’m a 30-something Brit abroad on a year’s sabbatical from my job (/real life) until June 2015. Having no substantial responsibilities (mortgage / kids / houseplants) and an unfulfilled desire to learn a language properly – i.e. speak it fluently – and live in another country before I gracefully accept middle-age, I decided to take advantage of my employer’s career break policy and try to avoid sleepwalking into my 40s with no discernible achievements to my name.

I picked France – mainly because I have a basic understanding of French from school, but also because I love cheese. And wine. And bread. And it’s close enough to get home quickly and cheaply if everything goes horribly wrong…

Having (slightly begrudgingly) ditched the idea of Paris due to the high cost of living and low language-learning potential, I settled on ‘The South’, narrowing this down to Nice for no reason other than it was on the coast (why not get some guaranteed sunshine into the bargain?) and a big enough city to make me confident of finding work easily.

Yep, work. Sadly, despite the lack of dependants (human or vegetative), I still need to earn a living – and ideally not one that requires bilingualism, at least until I can hold a conversation without stopping mid-sentence to ask my co-converser ‘Parlez-vous anglais?’

And so I embarked on my grown-up gap year in April with a crash-course in teaching English as a second language. That’s right, not only am I moving to another country where I don’t speak the language and know next to no-one – I’m also planning to do a job where I get to confront the stuff of nightmares for me (namely speaking in front of large groups of people) on a daily basis.

*Pause for wave of nausea to pass*

This blog is going to serve 2 main purposes: to keep you lot up to date with what’s going on to save me having to have the same conversation 50 times; and to be my own record of what I get up to over the year so I can look back when I’m old(er) and grey(er) and remember a time when I was young(ish), carefree and willing to take a bit of a risk in life.

It’s not going to be groundbreaking stuff. It’ll be whimsical and rambling and probably a bit boring, though I’ll endeavour to keep you entertained.

Feel free to live vicariously through / complain bitterly about / seethe inwardly over my adventures on the continent – but please say nice (ok, and ‘constructive’) things, at least until I’ve got the hang of all this!


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