Thursday, January 10, 2013

I need to get back on track

Yes, this last week or so has seen a few changes, some positive, and some, rather like Bill's news, quite negative.

There has been a great deal of organisation to do with Bill. Mainly because what with one thing and another it was not possible for his daughter to fly here until yesterday. She speaks hardly any French and so Marianne, who had undertaken to do some of the back office work, has ended up driving her around and acting as translator. In fact, Marianne needs a medal for everything that she has done for Bill.

Anyway I've been handling communications, helped by Liz and Rosemary, and I think that between us all we have managed to organise everything.

It has not been easy though, and it highlights a major problem that is going to happen more and more as time goes on. Many people have come to France, and indeed to other places in Europe, to retire. Thay have left behind their old haunts, their families and friends, and they are totally isolated here. Add to that the fact that they aren't aware of the laws, habits and customs of the country, and then the fact that French authorities, from the local mayor upwards, have no idea of what a British Birth Certificate or Marriage certificate looks like, and you can see the kind of problems that might arise as soon as someone is taken seriously ill.

It really was lucky that Marianne, being quite interested in Bill as a friend, having lived in the UK for over 20 years as a schoolteacher in a British Comprehensive is the kind of person who is not easily brushed aside by authority, was on hand to take charge of events. But tomorrow at 14:00 is going to be a very sad occasion indeed.

Other events include the fact that I seem to be living something of a nomadic existence just recently and there is something going on that has diverted my focus away from my goals. Benefits in one side of course create disadvantages on another and I have to find a happy medium somewhere where I can put everything into balance.

Not only that, but there is a new addition to the family. On Tuesday night when the temperature plummeted to well below zero, we arrived back here to find a very cold and soggy moggy outside the door. A handful of Munchies cheered him up but next day when we went out to fetch wood, there he was again and followed up all the way down to the forest, hanged around while we cut wood, and then followed us back. Of course Cécile took pity on him and gave him, against my better judgement, a huge plate of Munchies. So, as you might expect, when we came downstairs this morning, guess who was yowling outside the front door?

He's acquired a name too. Cécile tried all kinds of combinations of vowels and syllables, and it seems that his ears pricked up when she tried "Raoul". Consequently, next time I'm downstairs with a camera in the daylight I shall take a photograph of Raoul the cat. I wonder how long it will be before he will be sleeping on the sofa up here by the fire?

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