but I do have all sorts of excuses!
Firstly, for those who don't use Facebook and may therefore not be aware, I haven't been very well. Oh don't be alarmed as it was nothing serious, but something that started like a virus, which felt very much like the flu (except that I had a flu jab back in the autumn) and after two or three days, developed into a ghastly streaming cold.
In the midst of it all, I got two lots of bad news from friends in the UK, which on the one hand put my piffling cold into perspective but on the other hand really upset and depressed me.
I should like to think that those of you who read (and hopefully, enjoy) my blog would like to know the downs of my life as well as the ups! I'm not going to dwell on these recent "downs" but I feel it's only right to try to explain how things have affected me this last week.
Aside from what I've mentioned already, we have two issues running along in our life. One is the problem with my shoulder, which I've mentioned in earlier blogs. Well, yesterday I was due to have an MRI scan ahead of seeing the orthopaedic surgeon on Thursday. We were up and out of the house earlier than we even get up normally as we had to go to the hospital in Niort, at best about 45 minutes drive but this was early morning and we were advised to allow an extra 30 minutes for parking etc. As it was, the hospital is made up of various sprawling buildings with little on them to give any clue as to which might contain an MRI clinic. (Click here to see a plan of the hospital). After much deliberation, we opted (correctly) for the main building! We needn't have worried as I wasn't seen on time anyway and when I was, the doctor wouldn't do the MRI as he considered the implants I have in my eyes would make having a scan too risky. (To explain, I had the equivalent of a cataracts operation in each of my eyes, many years ago, to improve my sight). Already feeling down as I was, I was very upset (in fact, I admit it, disproportionately so!) because I don't know what effect this will have on getting my shoulder sorted out. The surgeon wanted the MRI scan ahead of doing keyhole surgery to repair a ruptured tendon in my shoulder. Oh and needless to say, when I checked out the situation on the internet, I was assured there was no reason why I couldn't have an MRI scan!
The other issue is the bank! Have I already mentioned that we are in the process of changing our bank branch to the local one in Moncoutant? At the risk of repeating myself, the bank (Crédit Agricole) appears to be run on a kind of franchise basis and it is not possible to simply transfer your current account from one branch to another. I refuse to bore you with all the details but suffice to say, having started the ball rolling on 16th January, here we are on 5th March still without cheque books or bank cards!
But why am I letting these things get on top of me? It's simple really and it comes down to the language problem. I'm convinced that the problem with the MRI yesterday was, at least in part, caused by a lack of understanding by the doctor of what I'd actually had done to my eyes. And, if I were having problems with a bank in the UK, I would be demanding to speak to the manager and threatening all sorts of things! Yes, I can make myself understood to a degree here but dealing with officialdom (not to mention the classic French shrug - which translates loosely as "well, if you don't like it, you know what you can do"!!!) is a whole different can of escargots!
Looking back over what I've written, I realise that doing so has been therapeutic because I can look back on these issues now and smile at them. And I must remind myself that I have had some successes of late, too. For example, I've been having some physiotherapy on my shoulder and because I was unable to find an English speaking physiotherapist, I am seeing a French one. And it's been doing me the world of good because I have had to speak French. He is very understanding and helpful and as I see him once or twice a week, we are building up a rapport so I feel quite comfortable and don't panic if I don't understand something he says or if I'm struggling to think of the right word to say.
Anyway, I must just finish by telling you we have enjoyed a couple of gloriously sunny and warm days. It really feels like spring is just around the corner now! Danny and I made sure to take advantage of the good weather and we got various outside jobs done. I'll leave you with these picutres of Liam, enjoying the sunshine and kitten Mo, deciding whether or not to brave the big outdoors!!