The Illuminating French Connection!

(Rosie Morgan) #1

I won’t go into it all now, I need to unravel it all in my head first, but suffice to say that getting a new supply connected to an old existing building can be a nightmare. If you have the misfortune to have bad advice, or no advice, then getting in touch with the Consuel can be a totally inexplicable procedure. For older people who may not speak French or have internet know-how, it’s impossible to find out where to start. I went to my local Mairie (a proven source of help guidance and laughs, I’m sure they call me the mad english woman who’s building her house!!) who kindly showed me the internet site, and I took it from there. But imagine if you didn’t have internet, as is often the case if you don’t have a phone line, and add to that the trepidation of trying to understand a different language? In my area and I am sure many others, there is now no actual bureau where you can go and speak to a real person. Even when and if you have your supply, something as simple as paying your bill can arouse untold difficulties, heart thumping, palm sweating, incomprehension!!

Watch this space for more in my continuing saga which stretched over 15 months of hair tearing and swearing!

(Rosie Morgan) #2

Yes! That brought back memories of driving 8kms to a phone box that would take a phone card, rather than rummage for coins! AND, trying to avert your eyes from the urinal right next to the phone box…ooohhh, thank heaven for internet and mobile phones!! Well, not actually heaven…

(Catharine Higginson) #3

The internet has changed things so much its unbelievable…
When I first came to France, we were without phone or internet and I recall making calls from a coin box whilst trying to placate sobbing children who were parked outside , in buggies, in torrential rain. Happy days!