Apologies for the scarcity of blog posts recently - there is an awful lot of upheaval and change going on for P and I at the moment - and it's led to a distinct shortage of time and little cheerful news to impart.
Very long story short, after two totally crappity crap crap crapulous years in which we have endured redundancy, unemployment, bereavement, health problems and being stuck in a crappity crapulous rented house for much longer than either of us had ever anticipated (we were two days away from cutting a deal on a beautiful house to buy when redundancy hit us as a bolt from the blue) I am heading back to Bristol to live whilst P has been forced to find work abroad.
Upsides of all this are: we are - finally - going to own our own house; I'll be just round the corner from my Mum (and Lily the cat;) my sister, nephew and brother-in-law are only a short car drive away; I know the area well and still have friends there.
Major downside, of course, is that P and I will have to live apart for however long it takes for him to find work in the UK again. It is hard to believe, with unemployment apparently falling rapidly, that a specialised solicitor with years of industry experience, who speaks three languages fluently (and two more to a pretty high standard,) and who has more qualifications than you can shake a stick at has, after two years of exhaustive and relentless job applications, found it totally impossible to find work here.
If it had happened to anyone else I would have thought they were not trying hard enough but I can honestly say that P has exhausted every avenue either he or I could think of. He has been prepared to do any sort of legal work within his field of speciality, at any location within the UK. He has written hundreds of speculative letters, 95% of which go completely unanswered, applied for any and every job he thought he might have any chance of getting - again, the vast majority of those applications go unanswered - and attended several dozen interviews (astonishingly enough, even after attending interviews he often never hears from the company again. It is so rude and disheartening and when, exactly, did it become OK to treat people in such an appalling manner!!)
Eventually, back in the summer, we knew we'd have to start thinking outside of the box (and, indeed, outside of the UK) and he has now been offered short-term contract work in the Far East. He's also got a couple of applications still on the boil for legal jobs in Switzerland (where he was born and brought up) which we are desperately hoping will come to fruition as Switzerland is a darn sight nearer to the UK than the Far East is.
So yeah, it's a difficult time and somewhat bittersweet. Sweet because I'll be much nearer to my family but hellishly bitter because P won't be there with me.