- First week of unemployment proceeded satisfactorily; neither a model of productivity nor an entirely slothful wallow (more’s the pity). Spa day, leisurely lunch by the lake, bit of work (design stuff and freelance stuff), signing on at the unemployment office. Respectable, all in all. Utter lack of any housework whatsoever. Oops.
- Signing on is of course v weird. Perfectly pleasant and civilized in itself – the office is naturally very bureaucratic but I think overall friendlier and less demoralising than it might be in, say, the UK. I don’t think it has the same stigma here; I keep hearing the most unexpected people mention their experiences at the RAV. I’m very grateful to get paid to do nothing (other than look for a job), that’s a first and a rather lovely one. The (quite reasonable) pressure to find a job, though, might become problematic. You’re supposed to provide proof of applying for 10-12 jobs a month, which is significantly more than the number of suitable job ads I’ve been able to find. And (again, reasonably-ish) you’re not allowed to turn down any job offer within a distance of 4 hours daily commute. I mean… I can see some potential issues. Not just on the commuting front.
- Annoyingly, it seems I’ll miss out on benefit for the three weeks we’re in SA in July, because one is allowed to take a break from job hunting for exactly one week after every three months of claiming. Again, fine in principle. But does not connect with the reality of parenting. The only reason we’re going in the middle of Cape winter is the lack of childcare over the summer holidays. So, bah, ugh. Taking an expensive holiday at the wrong time of year and it’s costing us a few thousand francs more than it needs to, because RULES. Sulks.
- Never mind that! On Friday I took the kids to the library and it was glorious. We hardly ever go, for reasons including lack of time (work etc) and superabundance of unread books at home. But it’s such a nice library. And the joy of seeing the kids sink deep into the exciting possibilities of all the books (both there, and at home with their haul) is just wonderful. More librarying must follow.
- And on Saturday we had an unexpected party! Way back in university days I lived in a flat very conveniently situated for campus, and very much enjoyed having friends popping round constantly. I thought for sure that was the way I wanted to and would live my life – open door policy, gin flowing. Sadly it hasn’t quite worked out that way and these days I’m frankly too damn exhausted to find the notion quite so appealing, but turns out my new best friend* next door has this kind of a home, which means I get to enjoy the impromptu gatherings as a guest, which is all kinds of awesome. Meeting new people! Hanging out and drinking prosecco and not having to cook supper while the kids also make new friends! It’s so good. Well organised, me.
* At least, best friend in this country