We left Holland at just after 9.00 a.m. this morning for the drive back to France. We knew that the distance was going to be 1100 kilometers, as I had done it on my own once before. Leaving at this time meant that we would miss the early morning rush hour, which is always a great problem in Holland and we were hoping that we would hit Paris at a sensible traffic time.
Seems like we got it right, after a stop for coffee, driver change and fuel, once we had crossed the border into Belgium, we were making great time. Another coffee stop and a nibble at the sandwiches we had brought with us and I was then behind the wheel for the famous Paris Peripherique. No problem we were really lucky and sailed around and off on to the Bordeaux road in no time.
During our time in UK, I had been checking up on things in France, via the Anglo Info website and the Dordogne area forum. I had spotted that somebody was trying to sell an almost new John Deere ride on lawn mower. It appears that changing circumstances in France had forced these people to put the thing on the market, when it had only done 1.5 hours from new. After a number of e-mails back and forth, we had settled on a price and for delivery today to Loubes Bernac.
Since we came back the weather has improved at a steady rate, the forecast for this week is sunshine and temperatures around 16 degrees so it looks like I might be called on to get out into the garden. Firstly as it was a lazy Sunday, although being retired it doesn't really matter what day it is, we decided on one of the walks around our own area.
We had got a local authority map of walks in our area, which Phill and Shelagh gave us before they went back to Scotland. So we set off taking one of the designated walks near to us and above you can see a series of pictures showing firstly, our hamlet as we first set out and the some of the densly wooded areas we walked through. You can see that the walks are carefully marked out on the trees and even show, as this one does, that we needed to turn right. About two thirds of the way round we came upon this very small church and graveyard were whole families have been buried over the years, obviously a relic of the days when this was the norm and these people must have been local farm owners or workers.
The whole walk took us about three hours and it was so warm that we had to strip off our anoraks. It was very pleasant and just showed us what is in store for us around here for exercise. It is interesting to note that these walking details seem to be available in all the areas around the Dordogne, so anybody coming over on holiday is able to buy these maps from the local Marie offices.
We can't do anything around here without being constantly watched, with that "what are you doing now" look on their faces. These two think that everything has to be of interest to them and might eventually turn into something edible, such as all the fresh grass that we cut off our garden. That kept them quiet for some time, although Joan had to find a couple of carrots as well, before we went in.
We spent some time in a garden centre in Bergerac today. This place is very, very large but also very expensive. We are looking around for a nice table for on the terrace as we had to leave our big tiled one in Cyprus. We were not able to find anything that really grabs our imagination unless you are prepared to spend close to £700.00. Hopefully it is early in the season yet and things might improve, we can but hope. We also need a BBQ and that is a similar story. We did manage to buy some Shrubs and things to go along the new fences between us and the neighbours, so at least that was good result.
Today we had our first French lesson with Janette, over in St Foy-Le-Grande. We had got her name from Danielle, our neighbour, and it proved to be a good contact. We are for starters having two lessons per week of conversational French and as it is on a one to one sort of basis we should start seeing some results quite quickly, we hope. We will keep you posted on that.
Janette also does translation work etc. for people so we were able to also recruit her to start off the process of getting our "Carte Vitalle", which is the French medical card which we need a.s.a.p.
This evening, Joan and I went off to Duras, to the Calibri restaurant, where they had organised a Valentines dinner with a jazz quartet. A super evening, very nice food and good music in a small intimate restaurant that we have been to before and like very much.
Eileen and Peter, the restuarant owners, are off to Alicante tomorrow, with caravan and kids, but are talking about having another jazz evening in April, so hopefully that will be when Norman and Margaret are over, as we feel sure they would enjoy.
Having spent some time yesterday planting the things we had bought and trying to chase the moles out of our grass area, we decided, as the weather and the forecsat were not good, to go over to Bordeaux. Apart from an Ikea and a Leroy Merlin store there, we felt that there might be others selling garden furniture, but no such luck. It was a day out and a nice lunch in Ikea, but apart from that a bit of a wasted day.
Also Joan has been feeling a bit under the weather with a very heavy cold so that made it a bit difficult for her. We did however mange to find the French equivalant of Lemsip so hopefully we can clear that up quickly now.
We have also booked our tickets for a trip back to TRNC from 3rd to 17th March so it will be nice to meet up with old friends over there again.
Another hour or so of "Je voudrais" "Voici and Voila" ans also nouns which can be either feminine or masculine. We have to spend time practicing our numbers as well and have devised a method , using a pack of cards, with the picture cards removed. We are determined to get there but at this moment in time the old brains seem to be struggling to soak it all up.
The weather this week has been a bit unsettled so we are struggling to get out in the garden to get it straight before we go off to Cyprus. I will certainly need to give the grass another cut before then, so would welcome a couple of dry days a.s.a.p.
Before we went off to our second French lesson this week, we diverted to a couple more shops in Bergerac and finally succeded with a nice Teak garden table, with extending leaf, so that we can seat up to eight people. So that is one problem solved now all we need is a nice BBQ. I am coming around to thinking that we may buy that in the UK and have the company that brings stuff over regularily, fetch it for us. We will probably save as much as £100.00 over the prices here, lets see how it pans out. I am waiting for an e-mail from the transport company to get a firm price, so more of that later.
Prior to going over to Bergerac we also went over to the old place in Ferensac to do a final check on any mail that might have been there. Also we wanted to see if Mr Gerry O'Neil and family were visiting, as they still owe us the 850.00 euros deposit money and don't bother to answer my e-mails anymore. Guess I will have to start with the recorded delivery letters soon.. I have found out that legally he should pay back the deposit money within two months of us leaving, It is really aggravating when people can't be trusted.
Well it has been confirmed. I found a nice big Charcoal BBQ on the internet for £229.00 delivered in UK and a similar one here is in excess of 450 euros. The distribution company who operate the service of bringing stuff over for people, have agreed to a price of £40.00 delivered, so that is clear saving of at least £100.00. Now we can look forward to much use in the summer.
Yesterday evening, Danieele, our neighbour came over for a couple of drinks and we agreed to go out for dinner this coming Saturday and also to ask Graham and Jullie, our newest neighbours, to join us so that they can also get to know people around here.
Last day of this month and one that starts with a problem. At the end of last week Joan's bad knee started playing up and it has now swollen quite badly and making it painful to walk. She is now saying that if it is like this on Thursday she would not want to travel to Cyprus. We have made an appointment with a local doctor for this afternoon so that we can finally register here and maybe get some attention. Guess we might have to arrange an x-ray at the hospital and then make some decisions. I can always arrange wjheelchair assistance at the airports but Joan says that if she is struggling to walk around she is not sure she wants to go. Will have to play it by ear over the next couple of days.
|Powered by ABG Solutions|