Thursday, 31 January 2013

Next in Jan 2013

After Frederick has taken so long to get things moving I have been down to the Mairie (town hall) today to see if there's anything they can do to help with our electric problem. Thierry phoned Séolis while I was there and really had a barny with them. But they won't budge on their opinion. Apparently someone else who had a similar provisional electrical supply had a house fire and tried to sue Séolis so they now will not allow habitation with this sort of supply :( So Thierry arranged for a meeting at our house with Frederick (electrician) to see if we can resolve the issue. His answer is to connect to our neighbours barn which has electric in and run it to our house, our neighbour agreed and Fred said he'd do the job and now we are just waiting for him to get on with it. It he hasn't done it soon I'm going to shout at him (well maybe not shout but politely tell off in French (again)).

Also Thierry said our original bill for the connection to the house from the road was way to dear so he has a copy of our bill and said that he will look into seeing if he can get us some reimbursement - I'm not holding my breath though. luckily we get on very well with our village mayor and as he's also a neighbour it's really handy for us to catch him for a chat. Sometimes we speak to Thierry the major and sometimes Thierry the neighbour and I'm sure he sounds different in each context, the formal Thierry is so different to speak to, but luckily for us he's a lovely guy. We have even had dinner with him and his family once and they where so thoughtful, specifically as I'm a vegetarian which is so odd in France, i may as well be a green alien I'd probably not raise as many eyebrows as when I say I'm a veggie. Dave still eats meat so at least they don't have to cope with 2 of us.




Calling the french breakdown people.

 I nearly forgot to say, to top off a fun Jan 2013 I broke down in the van the other day. Well it was a sort of break down, In the petrol station at SuperU I put ,y key in the petrol cap and it broke!! the key that is not the cap. The young lad who works there tried to help me get it out and get started, we got the key out (luckily after I had filled up) then I tired to start the van with said broken key - no way Jose was it going to work. So I has people behind me and I had to keep telling them in my best French - no I won't be moving, please use another pump. Then the fun process started of calling the breakdown people, It took me 3 attempts to get through, you get a automated phone line with options to chose from. It's really hard and getting the right line is hard, the first time I got through they hung up on me for my bad French.  Second time I heard the word étranger - meaning stranger or foreigner, and selected that option. At last I got through to the right people and I must say was glad they spoke english, as there were words that I didn't know in French- it also made me resolve to improve my French so this didn't happen again.  So finally 2 hours after I entered the garage i got to leave it on the back of a huge breakdown truck - well I was in a transit van. i managed to converse with the driver ok 

though. You should of seen Dave's face as he came home from work to be greated by me being dropped off the truck with the van. So now I have ordered new keys for the van :)

All about the Carte Vitale

So how I hear you ask did i finally get the CPAM to accept my application for medical treatment? well it went like this, Dave got accepted quickly as he is working for a french company here so everything was easy for him, as I'm not working for a employer things are harder so I had to jump through loads of hoops. What i needed was as follows:


  •   Forms from CPAM filled in to say that i am entitled to care due to my husband working and he had to sign and approve my application.

  •  Form S1 from the UK national insurance people filled in showing my right to medical care in Europe. Make sure the form is clear, my forms got rejected 3 times by the french authorities as they thought they where photocopies, mostly due to the naff recycled paper the UK authorities use.

  • Certificate of earnings from my last employer stating a full years earnings as the entitlement of healthcare seems to have a basis in income, I'm still not sure why but to be entitled to a S1 form i had to be over a certain earnings limit. I really don't know what happens is you didn't have a job in the UK before moving here. 
  • Copies of my passport - take the original they will copy it.
  • A RIB form (relevé d’identité bancaire) from the bank with full bank numbers and details on.

  • Translated copy of my birth and marriage certificates - translated and stamped by a court approved translator, you can't just ask a friend, this cost me 90 euros!

  •  Copies of 3 different utility bills here in France to prove residency - this is hard for us as we don't yet have running water, there's no gas in the village and we only had the electric bill. They accepted a telephone bill and the telephone connection bill.

  • Copy of a bank statement.

  •  All copies must be originals take all your papers to the office and they will copy them they will not accept any photocopies that they don't do themselves.
So after all this I have a attestation saying I am  entitled to healthcare in France. I am now just waiting for the papers to come through for me to fill in and put a photo onto to send back to get the magic much required Carte Vitale! Next job is to go and get our top up insurance sorted out now I have a social security number.





January 2013

January 1st is a bank holiday here so Dave has a day off work which is lovely. We have had a nice quiet day at home.

2nd Jan.

Such fun and merriment,  had a letter from Séolis (electric company) today saying that our provisional contract is up and they would like to come and do a inspection if we wish for a continuation of supply. So I go up there with Thelma to help with any tricky french as I really don't want to mess this up and they say that we can no longer live in the house with this type of supply :)

So we try and make it look like its a building site which in essence it is at the mo but they won't have it and we get a letter to say they are going to cut us off.

Now I'm annoyed last year we got quotes from some electricians and decided to go with our local chap who has a business in our village. We accepted his devis (quote) in July 2012 and i have been chasing him up since but he is so busy. I did tell him it had to be done before this January, but he told us it wouldn't be a problem and now it is.


So in my best yet polite French i give him a rollocking and tell him to get a move on. 


Unfortunately laws have changed since we accepted his devis and now to get our certificate of conformity we must have 4 rooms finished and with the electric in ready to be inspected by the consueil for the certification. This includes a lounge, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom :( we have the lounge and bedroom but must build a indoor bathroom (our current one is temporary and in the barn) and appoint it ready for Frederick (electrician) to work on. Also even though our kitchen is temporary and we will have a huge new one in the barn after renovation into part of the house, we must put in cooker switches, washing machine ones and dishwasher ones. What a pain in the butt. 


And so it starts more building work, Dave and I are moving on ok but it seems a near impossibility to actually get Frederick to turn up here.  But the lounge now has its wiring done and we have started in the kitchen. Here's what it looks like at the mo.




Butt as Dave and I are both cup half full people we look on this as a positive thing to get us moving along. We have a generator and oil lamps so the quicker we can get the work done the quicker we can get the consueil to inspect and hopefully get our proper supply of electric. 

     Some good new though I have finally got my attestation de droits de assurance maladie, through. Which is basically the precursor to my carte vitale, and i now have a french national insurance number and am properly registered. 

December 2012

We have been insulating the roof upstairs, one of our local shops had a sale on. They very kindly post special offers through the letter box every Monday here to let you know all the special offers locally, and a local shop (well localish) called Espace Emeraude had a really good offer on insulation. Espace emeraude website 

So now we are getting ready for visitors at Christmas, but we also have to cut a hole in the ceiling in the hallway to make a indoor staircase to access upstairs so we don't need to get wet going outside to get up there. 

Today we have been down to a local charity shop to buy some rugs for the room upstairs to make it a bit comfier. This charity is great as it helps homeless people by giving them somewhere to live and the accommodation being paid for by them working in the charity shop. http://emmausmauleon79.meabilis.fr/emmaus/ It's a great idea and you can pick up some real bargins, we also bought 2 oil heaters that normally cost about 120 euros each and we bought 2 for 70 euros.

We have also run lighting upstairs so that's good too. 


December 18th

I went over to La Rochelle to pick up Ruth and Zameer, they were ths last ones off the plane so had me a bit worried, which meant driving home in the dark and it's only my second time over to La Rochelle on my own. But all was ok, on the way back we stopped at the boulangerie at St Pierre du Chemin to buy some prefou ( a local Vendee speciality garlic bread) and it's Ruth's favorite so we buy roquefort stuffed one and a goats cheese one - yum. info on prefou website

So now it's time to go and by the decorations and the tree for Christmas, we kept all our lights but need new decorations. This is fun and we get a huge tree, luckily the room is huge as well so it will fit in ok.




Christmas

Had a lovely christmas with the kids here, it was our first Christmas here with electric and as residents and we had a great time.



The animals found the whole thing a bit tiring.
 Ruth and Zam went back to the UK on the 29th and we will miss them. The house feels strangely quiet after the have gone.


One really good thing has happened we have paid the water company to come and connect us to the mains water to save us having to pump water out of the well all the time, I don't know when they are going to come and do it but hopefully it will be soon.


Dave and I were meant to be going out for new years eve and due to a change in our hosts circumstances we had a evening at home. It was lovely just a bottle of bubbles and Jools Holland.


November 2012

Finally got the roof finished!! Yay! we are only doing the front of the roof at the mo because of the weather and Dave's hand have made us late with the work. As the back of the house doesn't leak we will do that as soon as the weather improves. But at the moment no leaks at all -  It's brilliant as Ruth and Zameer are coming down for Christmas and will need to sleep upstairs. 







Also after all the bad weather last month and the ground still being waterlogged we decided to make a path up to the chickens cage using the broken old tiles. It works really well and when it's finished will hopefully look nice.

Mid Nov.

Dave's hand is healing really well and has come together well, his hand is smaller after the operation and he has to stretch it every day so stop it ceasing up but we are really pleased with the results. The bills are not so good as due to some lost income (his bosses will pay some and some sick pay but we wont have a normal months wages) and the hospital bills that have started rolling in we are having to pay a lot out at the mo.

End Nov 


Sadly I have to go back to the UK for a few days as my uncle has died. So will be away for a week, Dave can't come as he has just gone back to work after time off due to his hand so I will be traveling on my own. As we are in rural France the ways to get home are limited. The airports only running 1 flight out a week and the train times don't work for meeting the family so back by foot passenger on the ferry it is.




October 2012

Chris and Bill  are over for a few days from the 4th, it is really good to see them. Glad I cleaned the oven I just knew that she'd want to do some cooking. So luckily I didn't  embarrass myself with a dirty oven. This time we didn't really go out and about lots just spent time at home relaxing and enjoying time together. Sadly Dave had to work but he was home every lunchtime and evening.

October October October what did we ever do to you?


Woke up this morning to the lovely view of a lake in place of where our drive should of been, I knew that it rained last night but blimey didn't expect that. The road is flooded, you can't even see that there's a road there, Our drive is totally flooded and looks like a brown lake, luckily the chickens cage is on the higher land and the water hasn't reached that far. Sid phoned up to say did we know that our canoe was down the road as was our bridge. As it's a Sunday Dave was home which was lucky and we waded out to retrieve our things. Such fun. the back barn flooded from the water running down the road and also into the front barn which meant that a lot of our things that were stored there got damaged, including a whole case full of our smart clothes that had been put there to keep them out of the way of the work and dust that was going on in the house. Not a lot we can do just wait for it to stop raining and then clean up.









When the waters finally receded our garden is just doing a great impression of a swamp, the grass is brown with the mud that has been deposited on it and everything is just a mess, loads of stuff in the barn got damaged or coated in mud. Not Happy :( But at least know we know it can happen we can mitigate against it happening again. Spoke to Thierry and he said that it last happened 8 years ago so at least we know that it's not regular. I think we will have to make the land higher as because we are at the bottom of a hill the water runs off the road into our garden and if we also build up the banks of the stream that will help. 


Because of the weather I have had to have a break in doing the roof, missed about 3 weeks work due to the rain which is a pain as it will put our finish time back. But what can you do?



MORE TROUBLE!


Dave was working on tree in the garden and a gust of wind blew the tree back at him blowing the chainsaw at him while it was running. It missed all his vitals and could of been a lot worse but did cut him through the hand. We thought that he was going to loose his little finger as the cut ran right through the hand from side to side. It looks  horrific, as you can imagine a chainsaw can do a lot of damage. 

So we rushed to Bressuire Urgence  (emergency) thanks to Martin who drove us there as we didn't know where it was.  

TOP TIP - if you move abroad don't get so caught up in your work that you don't find out where the hospital is.


If you need to go to hospital in France, Health care isn't free, luckily I am a organisation nut so had Dave's carte vitale in my bag. I had to produce it to show that he was entitled to care in France before they would treat him. He will still have to pay for some of the treatment as the government usually pay about 70% of the care costs. We kept on intending to get top up insurance but where going to wait until I have my Carte Vitale as then i will have a social security number before getting the insurance as you need that info to apply. Pity we didn't just do Dave for now as that would of paid for all the treatment. But hindsight is a great thing.

The language was really testing, I did my best to answer all the questions but it's not exactly the sort of thing that you learn at a french class. If you  need to go to hospital its good to know some basic things in french, write them down before hand if need be, and maybe keep with your carte vitale (medical card) such as:


  • when was your last tetnus,
  • How to explain pain. 
  • Parts of the body.
  • Allergies if you have them 
  • Illnesses if you have any
  • What medications you are on if any. 
 
The doctors at the hospital were not sure if Dave had severed the tendons in the hand and because it was a dirty cut they put his hand in something like iodine, it was betadine i think, they did inject it before to make it numb but didn't give it time to work before they plunged his hand in, I thought he was going to hit the ceiling.


The doctor at the hospital wasn't happy with the injury so arranged for us to go and see a specialist hand surgeon.  This is where the paid for care in France differs from the UK, we where taken to Angers (about 2.5hours away) by ambulance with Dave on 4 different kinds of drips to go and see the specialist on the same day as the accident.  Blimey if we where in the UK we would of had to wait months.

Got to the hospital late afternoon and had to go through the whole paperwork procedure again, they took copies of his french carte vitale, his UK E111 and loads more before we were asked a strange question - would we like a single or double room? I was thinking he was going to be kept in over night and I might be able to stay as well so I said double.
 Then we were taken up to our room... 
It was a twin with old man in it :) he had to share. At least we now know it is the least expensive option. 
Now the funny bit. Dave had to have a shower in betadine - mmm lovely, trying to keep his hand safe and the dressing dry, and then he had to put on blue plastic throw away pants, hat  and dressing gown. I so wish i had a camera with me :) After about half a hour a nurse came in and whisked Dave away, they said he was going to the bank! confused? we where. We thought it may be a consultation type thing but no he was gone for 2 hours! They did the operation right there and then. Dave had to stay awake for the op, the  surgeon cleaned the wound, the put a camera into his arm pit - we found out later that this was so they could find all the nerves in his arm. Then they injected each nerve individually with anesthetic to deaden each nerve before commencing repairing his hand.  He came back to me fully awake and operated on. The nurse came in and made him eat a dinner which he didn't want to as it looked horrible. A few hours later they discharged him, with a huge hand all bandaged up and a rod holding it in place.
 
As we were so far away from home with no transport we were very lucky that a friend drove all the way there to pick us up. Thanks Vaughn, its a long drive there and back. It was funny but Vaughn was hungary and as we hadn't eaten all day (apart from Daves yucky food for him) we popped in to a nearby McDonalds. First time for me in 21 years!

To top off the day when we got home we found out that we had visitors. Our friends Paul and Maxine and 3 kids had turned up for a impromptu visit on their way down to southern France. They were wondering where we were and luckily for us our neighbours Sid and Joy took them in - they hadn't met them before, and gave them some dinner, wine and a hot fire and put the girls up in the spare bedroom. Max and Paul where going to sleep in their campervan. We got home in time (about midnight) for a quick hello and goodnight before falling (gently in Dave's case) into bed. 

The next morning  we all had a lovely french breakfast with fresh bread bought that day before Paul and Family had to leave, it was nice to see them however fleetingly.

Dave has to go and see a nurse every 3 days to get the dressings changed and the wound cleaned. Things are a bit different here, you have to buy the dressings and then take them to the nurse who follows the directions of the surgeon who gave us a perscription to give the nurse to tell her exactly what to do.  She is lovely and really helpful, our French is improving and we have learnt quite a few new words due to this incident. The surgeon also signed Dave off work for 3 weeks, his boss took it well. He's very frustrated being stuck at home not being able to do anything but he heals quickly so that's good.

One positive thing, after months of washing our clothes in the bath my mother in law bought me a twin tub!! She even paid for it to be sent over here from the UK. How posh are we? It does the job really well and my hand appreciate a break from constantly being in hot soapy water. 



As for me the weather has improved so its a case of high ho high ho it's on the roof i go. More roofing to do :) 

 

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

August and September 2012

August

 Not a really busy month this one but is so hot it's bliss. I seem to be spending  most of my time cutting the grass in the garden and field and having lovely walk with the dog. Dave and I found a lovely lake called Le Lac de Rochereau and its really lovely, will hopefully get the canoes out and go canoeing soon.


Ruth and Zameer come over for a few days and we have generally a lazy relaxed time before the total madness of th e Olympics continues. Also  went canoeing at Mervent on the river there which is really nice and hopefully we will visit it again many times. 


We went to our first village festival today. It's huge loads of people from other villages come as well because it's a Moules et Frites (mussels and chips) festival. Not so hot for me as I'm vegetarian but i had the chips and some cheese. Everyone sits down to a meal together, there's live music, a dance floor and a games and rides for the children. Really nice atmosphere and great to fit into the village and get to meet people. 


Did I say that the day yesterday I went to help get things ready? They always need help so as part of the village I thought i should join in. Dave was working so got out of it. The job was.. hold your breath here.... cleaning mussels ready for cooking - Yuk.  As a vegetarian I have never done it before but to help fit in to the community I did it.  There were about 60 of us there and we literally had tonnes to clean. As soon as you think that you have finished another sack of mussels appears but I have done it. 


Also as it's summer we had to have a obligatory bbq or 20 and are loveing the weather and just how light it is at night. That extra hours light compared to the UK makes so much difference.


More chickens have been arriving - all rescued by Dave we have 10 now and have had to build a larger cage, Dave made it himself it's lovely. We are getting loads of eggs a day now.



  

September


I found a brilliant website called  Le Bon Coin http://www.leboncoin.fr/

which we can search for things on a national or local basis and managed to buy 4500 tiles for the roof (both uppers and unders) so we can start work on the roof. Normally these tiles would sell for about 1 euro each and we got the whole lot for 500 euro's what a bargin!! Mind you we do have to go and collect them from a village 30 minutes away and it will take about 10 trips but it's still worth it.

The farmer that we bought them from was lovely he spoke no English and luckily understood my burgeoning French. He invited us for a apero which is a lovely french custom and we went into his house for a chat and drinks. They were so welcoming and friendly it was lovley, this is one of the reasons we love the french. More info on the custom can be found here http://www.french-property.com/reference/aperitif-drinks-france/


 So work on the roof started, Dave showed me how to do it and then I continued as he is still working long hours. Luckily I have a head for heights as we need to strip off the old tiles, re-wood the whole roof and membrane the roof and then re-tile it with new unders and uppers.







I have a feeling this is going to take a while to complete on my own, Dave helps at weekends but there's loads of work to do. But I must say I'm loving it, a bit sore on the back and shoulders from the work but that's to be expected.  So it's now roofing roofing roofing.


Dave's boss lent us his manitou this weekend to help with getting the tiles up to the roof, Dave's like a boy with a new toy. Mind you it does make a huge difference i hope we can borrow it again.






 

July 2012 part two.

London

Well what can i say? London's lovely for restaurants and eating out and all sorts of other things and nice to visit, but I am so glad we live in our old battered house in rural France. This pace of life is enough to send one doolally. 

Seeing Ruth in her element made it all worth while and the ceremony for the graduation was brilliant. We are really proud of her and she looks amazing in the whole cap and gown. The ceremony was really nice with a champagne reception afterwards with free champers was nice.





After the days ceremony's we went back to Ruth's  had a quick change then out to dinner. Chinese lovely :) The next day we went to the Natural History Museum which I loved and could of stayed there for days and then out for dinner again at a Italian eaterie. But sadly our time soon came to a end and we  had to go back to the ferry and home again. 

Mind you when we got back into France we were so pleased to be here and found it remarkable how much quieter the towns, roads and everything is here.

Also this month the continuation of work in the house goes on and we now have more chickens, up to 6 now they are mostly point of lay and very young but hopefully we will soon be having lots of scrummy fresh eggs.

July 2012 part one

This is a busy busy month, Ruth graduates this month with a 2:1 (brilliant Ruth I'm so proud) so we must go back to the UK, Dave's got a few days off so not a long break more of a speed run around the UK to see everyone. The van's being playing up a bit but we should get there ok.

*Spoke too soon, on the way up the hill over the bridge into Le Havre the van lost power and we thought we were going to miss the ferry, only about 1.5 miles from the ferry. Luckily we were early so had time to limp there running on 3 cylinders as one of the jets had blown. Was expecting to not make it off the ferry but we did and even managed to get the second ferry back to the IOW, where we turned up tired, p****d off and a little grumpy at our lovely friends Jo and Trev's house. Only to be greeted with huge smiles and a glass of wine, perfect :) big kisses to Jo and Trev.


Next morning we set off to go and see the family and guess blinking what - the van wouldn't even start.  Amid much cussing and turning blue of the air we were rescued by another good friend Helen who came out to try and jump start the van- unfortunately to no avail. The strain of the jets blowing and us trying to limp back into England had killed the battery. Think god's trying to give us a message? STAY IN FRANCE maybe? So after a lift to and from the shop and buying a battery we made it to the scrapyard to buy some new jets as they are £145 each if bought new and we needed 2 :( Bought them and then got on our way.


Saw the family for a very limited time with about 1 hour per mother and family but at least we saw them and i got to meet my lovely new niece for the first time as they were over from America on holiday as well. Had a huge shopping trip planned to stock up on English stuff like good old teabags and the delay due to the van meant that we couldn't  as we didn't have time. Bah humbug :(


Next day we shot up to Birmingham to see  Dave's family which was lovely and we had a much missed good old brummy curry - which  for friends who live in rural France you will know what a pleasure it is when you can get a good curry. The next day we had to  drive down to London to see Ruth whilst we where looking forward to seeing her we where dreading driving to the east end in our old transit van. I hate driving in London and think people who do it need a medal, it was made a bit harder by the fact that this was one week before the start of the Olympics. But thanks to some excellent directions form Ruth's boyfriend we made it there in one piece without hitting the Olympic only lanes.


Monday, 28 January 2013

May and June 2012


For the last 6 weeks i have been working on the house stripping off the plaster in the hall again and also starting the same job in the lounge.  






This hallway kitchen is only temporary as when we have renovated the barn we will be having the kitchen in there but this must be the kitchen for a while. The barn needs a new roof, floor and decent walls before we can think of building a kitchen in it. So will be finished next week then (not!)


Also back to CPAM as they now want my birth certificate translated by a court certified translator to get the medical care. Its a pain but is necessary. I have to say i have searched the internet for a definitive guide of how to apply for a Carte Vitale (health insurance card in France) and can't find one. Every website seems to list different information. So when i have finally got mine I will blog how I did it here if that helps anybody.

Finally passed the contrôle technique (mot) for the van and with all the paperwork done it just left it for us to go to the prefecture to register the van with the authorities here. I was quite nervous as they are well known for refusing the paperwork and making people get other things but it went through! Cost 300 euros import tax but it was worth it. Its now french registered which means no car tax and a MOT every 2 years!! Also when we go back to the UK we wont be liable to pay car tax there. Here when you have passed the contrôle they give you a sticker for the window to say you are mot'd and one for the insurance when you are insured so its easy to see who is legal. I think it's a good idea as it makes it easier to spot who's driving illegally.

Now we are fully registered here with the with the van I can drive long distances without worry, and my first long drive was to La Rochelle (1.5hrs away) to the airport to pick up a friend. My god  I was so scared, it's into a airport by the city and anyone who knows me knows that Dave normally drives the long or city drives. But I did it, made me feel like a learner again and my stomach was churning but I got there and back one one piece.

Our old (no pun intended Jan) neighbour from the UK came over for a week and we had a whale of a time, unfortunately we had rain for nearly the whole time she was here, typical eh. We didn't let it spoil our fun though, mind you we had to have about 15 buckets and bowls in the loft as we haven't done the roof yet and it is doing a great impression of a sieve. Dave and I slept in the attic with the leaks while Jan was here but even so it was surprisingly comfortable.

 The rhubarb that we bought from our old garden in the UK is going mad here, we have got loads of it - yummy.

So slowly and surely we are moving onwards not bad for living here for 3.5 months! 



Sunday, 27 January 2013

April 2012

The weather this month is brilliant, really hot which is so nice after the evil winter. 
Dave brought a chicken home from work today, she got left in the yard, we wanted chickens but weren't expecting them so quickly. Had to make a impromptu cage up with a cat basket and a friends nursing run.


  


 Also Ruth came over for a few days which was amazing, It was great to see her be a tourist for a bit. We went to all sorts of places including the chateau at St Mesmin and Bressuire and a visit to the beautiful La Rochelle.











Also we have been slowly removing the old rotten plaster in the hallway to get back to the stones. It's a blooming dusty job, I look like a snowman covered in dust and going prematurely grey. The hall looks loads better though and is starting to dry out


Today was funny, the local farmer moved his cows from a field near us to another one and they didn't want to play and started to go everywhere.






Update on the fun for getting our paperwork sorted out. The van failed it's contrôle technique (mot) needs a fe
w bits doing which we will get done, one of the things it failed on was it needs the number plate riveting on not screwed on, weird but we need to do it to to conform. We have bought some left hand drive headlights which we have fitted them so getting there slowly.


As far as my medical paper work is concerned i have had to get some forms from the UK to prove that i am entitled to the care. Luckily I worked in the UK as it is based on your earnings to get this form S1 so at the moment I am waiting for that to come through before i can proceed.



Saturday, 26 January 2013

March 2012

Dave's starting to fit in better at work, he's getting the hang of the job and the improving weather helps. He has had to start driving the huge articulated lorries in the yard. The space to get them into the wash is so small - about 5" either side of the lorry to reverse the lorries into, it's left hand drive as well so that's a bit weird.

 20th March Today after 2 days training Dave passed a driven exam and written exam for a forklift / Manitou today, everything was in french - the training, the exam and the examiner shouting commands at him. He PASSED!! 74% and that's a exam in another language as well blooming good eh, mind you his underpants are now history..

The weathers warming up and we have lovely blossom every where. Dave and I planted a lemon tree and 2 nectarines, a pear and a apple tree in the garden. Don't expect anything this year but next year should be good.

This month seems all about paperwork for me. Got to let all the authorities in the UK know we have moved abroad and also tell the DVLA that we will be permanently exporting the van. After that begins the never ending process of registering ourselves over here. There's so much to do, Thelma helps me by coming to all the offices with me to help with the language which is great as I'm sure my french isn't up to it yet.

  • The tax office say - go away and come back next year when you will need to register,
  • I went to get a quote for the connection of the water and booked a appointment for them to come and see the place.
  • CPAM - to register Dave's paperwork and try and get him registered for medical treatment here..
  • Going to our insurers to get the van insured and to up our house insurance.
  • Went to the tax office to get the paperwork for bringing a vehicle into France as we need to register with them to make sure we pay the import tax.
  •  Started the process for getting the van registration. First step was to get a french certificate of conformity to prove the English van is the same spec as its french counter part - bye bye 130 Euros.
  • Then we had to go to our Mairie (town hall) and get paperwork from them for the car as well.
If you are interested in how to register a vehicle in france this just about covers it. http://www.lost-in-france.com/living-in-france/driving/51-how-to-register-a-car-in-france
  •  Back to CPAM for one of many visits for me to try and get myself registers for medical care here. Lots and lots of hoops to jump through as I'm not working here. This is the start of a complicated process for me to try and get the paperwork completed.
I'm sure there were loads more paperwork to do but i seem to of forgotten things-  must be all this lovely cheap french wine.



February 2012



Planted a hedge between us and the lavoir with some of the willow cut out of the overgrown hedges to make a decent boundary between us and the road. Fidgets settled in well and is quite happy here we have found loads of new walks, some around one of the local lakes which is a beautiful place, really loving finding my way about more, as Dave’s always working I go out on my own to find new places. Pescalis is near us with loads of lakes and nice places to walk around http://www.pescalis.com/

The first time i drove a long distance from the house i was bricking it :( It takes a bit of getting used to driving on the other side of the road but I'm getting there.