Saturday, 9 March 2013

A lovely spring day!

Well, all it took was a bit of sunshine and all seems well again!

My last post found me pretty much in the doldrums and I think it's true to say that it's never one thing that gets you down, it takes lots of little things doesn't it.  And equally, when you feel brighter, so all those little irritations melt away!

So, for a quick update, I saw the orthopaedic surgeon on Thursday and he is sending me for a different type of scan on my shoulder.  It would appear from his reaction that it is the norm over here to not be able to have an MRI scan if you have lens implants in your eyes!  His secretary told me she would ring the next day with my appointment.  There was a time, not so very long ago, when the thought of having to deal on the telephone with someone who doesn't speak English would have cost me a night's sleep!  It is a wonderful feeling to know that it is not the case now and when the lady rang, I understood what she was saying and when my scan appointment will be and when I need to see the surgeon again.  (Well, I think so anyway!!!). 

Bank wise - I cheated and used Google Translate the other evening to pen an "angry email" to the lady we'd been dealing with at the bank.  She responded the next morning with an invitation to come in and see her that day (usually you have to wait for an appointment which can take a couple of weeks!).  We were there about 45 minutes in which time she sorted out all the things I'd complained about and she seemed genuinely concerned that we were angry.  We now have full access to the new current account, a cheque book, bank cards and Internet access codes! She transferred some money into the old account because some pesky direct debits have still to be changed over and at the moment, all looks good. 

Before moving on, I must just add a few words about culture again.  You see, it can be so frustrating for us Brits to have to deal with the French bureaucracy but when I calmed down and stopped to think about it, I reminded myself that one of the reasons we love this country is that in so many ways it is like England used to be.  Well, in England years ago, people didn't change banks very often - in fact, loyalty counted for a lot in those days.  Now in the UK, people are actively encouraged to change everything from banks to utility companies and as a result, the mechanics of doing so have become slick and efficient.  In France, generally, the norm is to stay with your bank, your car, your house and so on.  It's easy to see then, that when a Brit comes along and wants to change their bank for example, it's not an everyday occurrence and you have to make allowances for that.

Anyway, I gave today's posting the title of "a lovely spring day" because that is what we've had - even though this morning you would have thought it would be anything but that.  We drove through the rain to go to the dogs' training session this morning but when we got back home this afternoon, it was to glorious sunshine!  And to prove it, here are some pictures of our lovely spring flowers coming up all over the garden.

While out in the garden taking these photos, I spotted a small, bright green frog on a leaf on the shrub in the larger photo above.  I hope you'll be able to enlarge the picture below to get a good look at him...

And finally...we now have a security light above the main barn.  Hard to believe that this barn used to just stand open, without any doors.  Now it has its magnificent doors and the security light above them.  Danny fixed it up there a couple of days ago and each day we've waited till it got dark to see if it works!  Finally, last night it did!  There's a sensor which detects movement so if someone walks up the drive the light will come on.  There's just one problem in my humble opinion.... usually we have our shutters closed and the curtains drawn so I wonder how we'd know if the light comes on.  But no doubt Danny will explain that anomaly to me!!!

Here is the barn with its new security light.... the style is very 'French' by the way

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