Posted by / Category London, Politics /

Monday mornings are always that little bit more difficult… So here I am, having a lovely cappuccino in the independent coffee shop around the corner of my house.

I love this time of the day. For me, it is an opportunity to organise the week and to try not to panic about the long list of tasks ahead of me. Two guys then enter the coffee shop. They are French, reasonably good-looking and fashionably unshaven. Typical metrosexual, with Armani jeans and Hollister T-shirts. They believe that nobody can understand them. Of course they do. Typical behaviour, isn’t it? They sit down and start a passionate conversation about their respective trading positions while sipping their skinny lattes. Things are not well. The French bankers have the blues.
Taxes are too high, you see. It is not worth staying in London any more. One is considering going back to France, the other feels trapped because his children are going to British schools, but might consider a move to Singapore. And the school fees are soooo high and have even been raised. Can you believe it? His wife is having her annual health check-up, paid for by the lovely private health insurance. She then has a spa appointment and will pick up the kids later today. One of them is going to the Philippines for their holidays (where do they find the time and the money?). Life is really difficult.
The trading floor has been reorganised and half of the team has been made redundant. It seems to me that even less traders are needed given that they have been shouting behind my back for the best part of an hour, and it is mid-morning only. When do these guys work? How do they make their money? Their concerns range from the French exit tax to their latest equity investments. The problem is that their company won’t pay them their generous housing allowance after a few years and they have been asked to go local. How rude! You see, it is not worth it, and they can’t finance their lifestyle on a local salary. Maybe they would like to be expats for life.
Finally, they stood up and left. They were still complaining. I couldn’t believe it. Come on, how can you complain when you obviously have so much? This got me thinking: my target for this week is to be grateful for what I have.  Time to stop complaining! I might be French too but I will make a point of NOT complaining. 


Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London
  • Suerae Stein

    That is a great target to have! Most of us tend to find something to complain about, even though there is always someone who has it much worse. You’ve inspired me – I will make the same target for my week as well!

  • Carolina HeartStrings

    I like Kerry’s comment about not accumulating. There are so many things that excuse could be used for. Like littering…. Sad these bankers have it so rough….

  • AnnMullen

    This morning my sister was counting her blessings. I was one of them. She is one of mine. I want to stop complaining. I think I will join this effort.

  • Further proof that the 1% are not like you and I, Muriel. And, they get that way with tax-free housing allowances that we never even contemplated…
    (Oh, but my son and I routinely converse in another language- but are reasonably sure no one else so comprehends- we don’t use it in NYC, Montgomery County (MD), South Florida, Chicago, or the Fairfax section of LA…)

  • Carol Tomany

    Good point, after a round of hospital visits with my husband, we find that everything is going to be OK. Time to count our blessings!! Thank you for the perspective!!

  • Thanks for this urban parable on a grey day in the city of Montreal. Gratitude is the key!

  • MuMuGB

    Is it still grey in Montreal! Well, for once we have a beautiful sunshine in London. I am grateful for this too.

  • MuMuGB

    I am very pleased that all is ok with him. You are right, it is time to count our blessings.

  • MuMuGB

    What is the language you are using with your son? I have come to the conclusion that, the more you give to someone, the more they feel entitled to it. Sad but true.

  • MuMuGB

    Congrats! I will try to stop moaning too. Easier said than done!

  • MuMuGB

    So sad…I think that they need a good dose of reality!

  • MuMuGB

    Great! I am trying to do the same. And I am amazed because it made me realise that I moan a lot. far too much. maybe, after all, it is a French thing.

  • MuMuGB

    That’s such a French comment! We French love to complain. It is a very bad habit!

  • MuMuGB

    I think that, on top of what you are saying, French simply log complaining. I also have to admit that i am struggling to understand how they can make so much money!