Treats & Tribulations

This month has passed quickly…& not just due to the 28days! It has been a month of frustrations & tribulations but there have been lots of treats too to brighten up the days.

The broken wrist saga has continued throughout the month but is now looking as though it is almost resolved –at last. I went from a resin plaster to a nifty little splint which was moulded to fit my wrist & so was very comfortable to wear & as it was very light I could do much more. However the wrist was (& still is to a certain degree) quite sore & stiff so there are limitations to the amount of activities I can do comfortably. I have had 4 of my 10 physio sessions now & after a very gentle start with electrodes & gentle massages the sessions are becoming more aggressive to try & get this wrist moving again. I am still amazed by the lack of strength in it & the lack of mobility. We have definitely turned the corner now though & I was signed off from the hospital following the latest X-ray yesterday thank goodness. There are still moments of frustration – like when I cant open a sealed bottle, or work scissors satisfactorily – but things are certainly a lot better than they were. I did a bit of driving last weekend & again so long as I dont have too many gear changes or complicated steering to do Im OK & it doesnt hurt too much. Not being able to drive has been one of the major problems really. You can`t really survive for any length of time, living where we do, without driving.

Another of the tribulations we have had this month was to do with some B&B guests. I was a bit reluctant to take this booking for one night with an evening meal as I wasnt sure how we would cope with my arm being out of action. However we decided that we would do it. The French couple arrived earlier that the had said, I showed them to their room, explained the things I usually do, asked them what time they wanted breakfast, discussed the start time of the meal etc etc. They said they would go off to have a look at Issoire & would be back for the meal at 7pm...& off they went, never to be seen again! Geoff & I got the meal ready & sat like dorks with aperos all ready..& waited...& waited. At first we were a bit concerned theyd had an accident or had got lost, but then it began to dawn, especially when we got no response from their mobile, that they had disappeared. We were very annoyed as you can imagine & amazed at their rudeness. I would have been a bit miffed if they had said they didnt like the room or where we were, at the start, but at least we wouldnt have made the meal. I suppose we have been lucky in that during the 10 years we have been doing this now this is the first “disappearing act” w have ever had. Lets hope its the last too!
Our lovely gite tenants, Romain & Armandine have gone too now. They have moved into their “new” abode, albeit with no hot water & not much in the way of furnishings & fittings as yet, & we are very happy for them. They have yet to return the gite keys (we were away this weekend so missed them actually leaving) but the gite was scrubbed from top to toe by Romain`s mother I understand! After today when their tenancy officially ends we will have to start getting things back to normal over there as I suspect the place will need freshening up a bit. They have been really good tenants though & I have appreciated the bit of rent I have had over the winter months very much. I am a bit sad to see the place empty again  The good news on the gite front is that we have begun to get some bookings now – one for Easter weekend & another for a week in summer so things are moving at last 

Another little problem in our lives this month revolved around my inability to drive once again. Sylivie car was due for her CT (Fr equivalent of the MOT) & usually we like to have a pre CT check & annual service done on the cars before the actual test. We need 2 drivers for this…one to take the car down to the garage & the other to fetch & carry in the other car! I was persuaded to drive down to Sauxillange on the day (& of course back up again) but it was not a happy experience! There were a lot of gear changes & our roads round here are not exactly straight! Sylvie car passed her CT with flying colours though which was good news 

As if we didnt have enough to contend with, one of the final straws this month was that our PC went on the blink. It is getting on a bit now, our PC, & I have to say this crash wasnt entirely unexpected, but it was very frustrating never-the- less. We took it to a place in Issoire which has just opened only to find it being run by the same guy who built the computer in the first place! He was very proud that his handiwork had lasted for so long (almost 10years) but did suggest that it was about time for a change! He fixed up the PC (which I am now working on) but of course all our links to favourite sites & automatic sign ins have been lost into the ether, so we are having a trying few days attempting to get onto sites & changing passwords galore atm. I hate that…so time consuming & frustrating as neither of us are IT savvy so everything takes so much time  One of the outcomes of all this though is that this blog is probably going to have to be published on a new site as one of the sites I have used for 10+ years now is no longer interested in blogs like mine. Fingers crossed that I can do that change & get the links working! Meanwhile, Cedric, our computer guy is building us a brand new PC which will be good. However I suspect there will more annoyance ahead as we get to grips with all the new systems 

And now for the treats! February is always a nice month in that it contains Valentines day & Geoffs birthday. We went out for a lovely lunch on Valentines day at a newly refurbished brasserie in Issoire which we like. Great food...but not a rose or heart in sight! The French dont really do V day. However I did get a lovely card & some flowers so I was happy. Geoffs birthday was a bit low key apart from some cards & presents(which had taken ages to wrap due to a non cooperative wrist –using scissors was a nightmare!) which he opened in the morning. He was working until 9pm that day do no meal for him. However we did have a very nice time with some friends on the Saturday night which was a sort of combined Valentines & birthday meal, instead. Having got the go ahead from my physiotherapist to try some gentle swimming, we also treat ourselves to a trip one day to Royatonic, my favourite thermal baths & spa place. It was lovely being able to swim outdoors in the sunshine & in the warm water & we both felt better for it.

Our final treat was a weekend away last weekend. We have gotten to that stage in our lives where we no longer buy each other fancy Christmas or Birthday presents, preferring instead to have a little trip away somewhere instead. Having sorted out animal care with a neighbour, we went down to the south coast to La Grand Motte which is not far from Montpellier. Its a very straight forward drive down there, free motorway all the way except for the Millau bridge, & it only takes 3&1/2hours. We had a lovely weekend, the hotel was really nice, & we had sunshine & blue sky all the time. It was still chilly at night but during the day we were able to sit outside, drinking coffee on beachside terraces whilst watching the sailing boats & the world go by. Very relaxing & just what we both needed after the last couple of months. We drove along to Sete for lunch on Sunday & then drove back home. Because it was motorway, I was able to do some of the driving which meant that Geoff could relax for a while too. We both had a really good time…& I am now plotting the next getaway!

So, bye bye February & onwards & upwards into spring I hope…although the forecast is for cold weather yet for a while. Having said that, I have lots of spring flowers in bloom, snowdrops, crocus, violets, primroses & daffodils galore. We also have a new project ahead for the garden next month…but more of that in the next blog post. Now lets see if I can post this one using this new computer setup…
A bientot mes amis 