It has been quite a while since my last update, once again. Usually I do an email one, but I’m going to trial it through my blog as I REALLY need to streamline my channels of communication! Besides, I pay for this website and blog, so I need to get my money’s worth!
I haven’t looked at my previous update to see what I mentioned, so I’ll do a quick summary of my last two years, and then mention what I’m up to now.
Two weeks ago, I finished up almost two years in France. As my day job, I worked as an au pair on a permanent basis for two different families of three children each. When I started, they were 8, 5, and 3, and 7, 4, and 1, respectively. I’m still in regular contact with both families, and overall loved my time with both, through the ups and the downs. I also babysat/short-term au paired for several different families around Paris and Paris region.
Singing-wise, I was taking private lessons with two different teachers, practicing at a studio several times per week, and performing where the opportunity arose. Highlights of these performances included singing Jean-Claude Wolff’s “Escaliers disloqués” with his group Traces d’aujourd’hui, and performing works by Mendelssohn, Schubert, and Jean-Charles Gandrille (who was also at the organ) with the Chœur polyphonique de Rambouillet. I made some great contacts and did some cool things, but it is certainly difficult starting out in a new country without being at an institution! I unfortunately had to turn down a very exciting opportunity just recently, as plans were too far advanced for moving across the channel. However, I’m looking forward to doing some more performing in France from time to time!
Writing-wise, I published my second book of poetry in e-book format (available on Amazon - see the “Products” section of my website) and completed the first draft for an opera libretto. I need to complete the second draft, and then we’ll see what happens with that. Book 3 of poetry is also ticking along nicely.
I spent plenty of time travelling, exploring, learning, and absorbing inspiration. My country count is now up to 12 - it was only at 2 before 2017. This period of my life has been a great time of reflection, of repurpose, and a much-needed aside from the music world (though at times I missed it so much!). And for those wondering, yes, I am now fluent in French. I still make grammar errors here and there and don’t always know the word I want, but I can communicate without issue the majority of the time! Hopefully I can keep up a good level now that I’m back around English speakers!
So, now London!
I moved over two weeks ago, with no job in place (I haven’t been jobless in YEARS!), and no permanent accommodation. A friend is very kindly letting me stay with her while I sort out things on the job front. I’m going to be nannying again in a live-in situation for about the next year, and will be aiming to get back into the arts/music world in whatever capacity I can as soon as possible after that. I’m being very picky with jobs; the demand for experienced nannies is so high, and after two years of experience, I also know what makes a good match now (to some extent!). I’ve met some wonderful families and there are some great possibilities, but am yet to find my new family. Hopefully will have an update on that in the next week or so! In the meantime, I have been enjoying exploring London in my free time!
On the singing front, I will be doing some similar things to what I was doing in France, around my day job hours. My main reason for not focusing primarily on singing at this point is financial: I have a student loan to pay, I’m heading quickly towards 30, and the cost of full-time training is simply out of my reach right now, even with scholarships. However, with all the thinking and reflecting of the past two years, I’m feeling ready to start planning and mounting my own projects, so will start committing to that once I know how that can be managed into my schedule. I’m lucky to have quite a few contacts over here, so with any luck, the ball will start rolling a little quicker than it did in France, especially now that I know a little more what I’m doing.
And writing…like I said, take 2 of my opera libretto, book 3 of poetry…and beyond that, more blogging, maybe start some more libretti, and hopefully find enough time to work on other ongoing projects.
After two weeks here, I’m settling in nicely, but I do miss France a lot. I never imagined how difficult it would be to leave, and was holding back the tears while on the Eurostar hurtling towards London. Maybe one day I’ll be back to stay, but at the moment I just need to keep following this crazy path that I thank and complain to God about quite regularly. It may look amazing from the outside, and it certainly has its incredible points, but so far this journey has also been very challenging. I feel as though I am certainly on some kind of path “less traveled by”, and I hope that it does make all the difference, in a good way! It won’t be boring, in any case!
Thanks for reading, and I’ll get back to any responses when I can :).