I feel at my happiest on Kit Linge day. The one benefit of living here is that we receive clean sheets and towels (Linen kit) every other Thursday as part of the rental. I don’t know why this is the case, but it’s a bonus not to have to wash sheets and towels and even better to fall asleep on crisp, industrially laundered sheets. Even if they do smell of vinegar.
And today is no exception. It’s Kit Linge day and five weeks until I leave. And twelve weeks until I return.
Yes, I’ve agreed to come back for another year, subject to pay negotiations, which all seems very high-flyerish, but isn’t. I’m not the head-hunted type, except perhaps now by the Arab teenagers I called assholes last Saturday night for throwing a coke can at me. But it’s nice for once in my life to say: ‘Yeh, I’ll come back, but let’s see your wallet first.’ Of course, I didn’t quite put it like that. As I’ve said, I’m not the head-hunted type. It was more: ‘If you would be so gracious enough to consider a meagre pay increase for your hard working servant, then I would be thrilled to return.’ But I’m not a drooling sycophant either. In fact, my exact words were: ‘I’d like to come back, (long pause and hand gesture resembling a slow weak karate chop onto the table) but I need a wage increase.’ I remember it because I’ve been rehearsing it since October.
So that’s that. I have work up to next July and it’s somewhat comforting to know I won’t be facing the spectre of unemployment for the foreseeable future. Whether I’ll feel comforted by this thought in late November trudging up Cours Lafayette with a Lyonnais gale full in my face will be a different matter. But at least I’ll be prepared for it this time. Hat, gloves, scarf. That kind of thing. And mentally as well. The days when I’ll want to hack my head off with a scythe will come; but this time I’ll be ready with a blanket and a cup of hot lemon.
In addition, I’m sacking off this flat. Although, when I told my colleague that I get clean sheets every two weeks. His reply was, ‘So, you’ve been living in a hotel for eight months.’ Which thinking about it, is probably nearer the truth.
Either way, I won’t be here when I return in September and so will have to find some other abode more to my liking than these four walls and view-of-Mosque window. I’ll have to get on the case as soon as I return so as not to end up here again. I can imagine the scenario: ‘Here is your key Mr. Ogley. Number 215; go straight up the stairs and it’s the first…oh, but sorry, you know where it is, it’s the same as last year….’ Scythe at ready.
That won’t happen. I’ll break the bank if necessary to find a good place. And French banks don’t seem as secure as UK banks. There’s no screens or anything. Just neat desks with petite ladies sitting behind them. ‘Give us your money!’ I would point my gun at them and then remember French banks don’t keep money in their branches for this very reason. And in fact, according to the newspapers, if the Euro collapses, they won’t have any money, in their branches or anywhere else. The Swiss will have it.
That’s my plan: good flat, good woman, good times. In many ways this might never end. We could arrive at the terrifying situation of Blogley in Lyon 15,768. My blog stats would simply read:
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