I hit the wall this week. I over did it, I suppose, and got sick. Walking the kilometre or so to take Louis to halte garderie made me feel like I’d been running (and I’m no runner). Getting up off the couch seemed impossible, though of course it wasn’t. It never is. (I once got out of a bath during the transition stage of labour. Therefore, it is always possible to get up off the couch. But it doesn’t always feel that way, am I right?)

Oddly, I could still write and edit. It may have helped my motivation that I was up to one of the steamier chapters of my book, but nonetheless, sitting at the computer was fine during the late morning, which is my best time of day. Late afternoon was horrible.

Anyway, I improved, gradually. But it did make me realise that here, far away from my family, we are a little short on back-up plans. If I’m sick but still technically able to look after the kids, Luuk is in a tricky spot. He can’t just take a sick day like in NZ. He has to provide a doctor’s certificate – even for a half day! Here in super-employee-friendly and self-labelled-socialist france, he can’t take a sick day without evidence it’s for real. Not even one. He can take a day without pay, sure, but unless he himself is sick, and can provide proof, it’s complicated. And costly.

If I’m the one who’s sick, too bad. Back in NZ there’d be a handful of people I could call on to help, but almost all my friends here have children of their own and I couldn’t bear passing along a cold/flu to them or their kids. Most of the time I don’t feel at all isolated here. I’ve got friends in writers group and french class and church. My diary is often cluttered with things. But I suppose this week I realised we’re a long way from home.

Nonetheless, I pulled through, and hopefully recover completely soon. We did go to a rugby came last night and froze our butts off (not quite literally but those cold seats tried their best). We got the tickets from one of the players and they were very good seats, nearly on the half way line and only twenty something rows back. It was by far the biggest stadium I’ve ever been to and we were supporting the home team which made for a great atmosphere.

Racing Metro vs Toulouse, in Paris

Unfortunately we didn’t win but it was nail-bitingly close. The Toulousians won by one point after the 80 minutes was up, converting a try they’d scored in the last seconds of the game. So close.

I will of course be drawing on the experience when I go back to editing my rugby player romance, ‘Icing on the Cake’ after I finish this draft of my newer novel.