Where do I start?
Or do I even start!
I think I have to get it finally out of my system, off my chest, so to speak.
Crovid19 has to be one of the cruelest things that, has hit this planet for many years. I know there have been others pandemics and they have been far worse, ie Spanish flu, all wars of course but in retrospect, I was either not alive or they have not directly affected my life! Until now that is........
Crovid-19 and the year 2020.......
For me, it should have been the year of all years business-wise! It was all still brand new and my first season in 2019 was brilliant and 2020 was set to soar. Then dreaded Covid virus hit! At first, I didn't think too much of it and then lockdown happened. Bookings were canceled, weddings moved to next year, fetes and festivals gone, it was still not too bad and I was still trying to see all the positives at this point. It was still an unknown and spending time with my son was a gift.
When lockdown ended in May, I was not able to work immediately. My main source of in come being my vintage ice cream van. Nothing really happen again until July and August, but by this time we were already in trouble financially. Yes, we did get some help from the government, not enough, unfortunately! All the money I brought in for those months went on trying to clear off the overdraft and charges the bank charged us. To be honest they were soon crippling! the debts ramped up by trying to keep paying the rent, normal bills and feeding ourselves. Still, we plodded on because I still had festivals and wedding in September, until the British and French government brought social distancing and gathering number restrictions in again! Boom and we were back to square one! No work again.....which, please don't read this wrong, I do completely understand. Of course I understand but it doesn't put food on the table now does it? This is what I find so frustrating, I do realise it is for the greater good! Still, it does not help my mental health or explain how I am going to support my family!
The thing I do find frustrating is anyone still choosing to go on holiday, I just find it completely irresponsible and completely selfish!!!!! There IS an epidemic going on, it's not as if you didn't know!!! Rant over!
Anyway, fast forward to now and I just cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. We have had, so far, almost daily calls from the bank to clear our overdraft, to the response from me "are you going to pay my rent?" or "Give me a job?"
No of course not.
September has to have been both one of the worst and most fabulous months on record..... Such highs and lows do really go hand in hand.
So here goes, deciding what is a priority to pay, rent, electric, gas or food........
So we plumped for food and rent because we thought, utilities can't be turned off right.......! So wrong...... What else were we supposed to do?
Yep, they can turn your electricity off and we spent 4 days without electricity, hot water, or heating (just thankful it was not cold) even with a 3-year-old..... I was so ashamed, embarrassed, useless I had let my family down because I could not support them! I had never in my whole life have I ever been in this situation. It was completely demoralising! I just did not know where to turn or what to do, all I was doing was crying in secret. So hurt.
I am just so so pleased that I have The Very UnFrench Wives Admin team to assist. Thank you to them for all their kind help and advice. I took a deep breath and went to see a corporation called the CCAS here in France. They are kind of like the citizen's advice in the UK. So far they are helping us out in everyday possible, to get us back on the right track..... It's going to take months but we will get there in the end.
I am just so so grateful for all of the support we had from family and friends to help us out of this situation, #greatfulheart....... You all know who you are, BUT and it's a big BUT, I just don't know when it's going to end...? The numbers in the last few days have jumped in the wrong direction dramatically and I don't see it stopping by the time my season starts next year. The last thing I want is another failed season......! What do I do, wait it out or find another career, hide, run away... I really don't know?
The one thing I do know for sure, is that there are only a few weeks to this year-end! I will be praying to the universe to find a solution and try and keep as positive as I can. Thats the best I can do right now.
Oddly, I am learning is the creature comforts we do have, we really don't need, so long as we have our friends, families, our health (I know cliche) but it's true, everything will be okay and that for now is what I will to hold onto.
I have had one of the best weekends so far in this crappy year, with the family making tents out of blankets, baking bread, and going for a bike ride to the station to see the trains!! So life is really not completely bad nor is it that complicated in the end!!
If I can help anyone with advice or point you in the right direction, please feel free to contact me and I will help you the best way I know-how. Please do ask because I can assure you, you are so not alone.
By for now #UnFrenchTia xx