Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Quite a busy couple of days – for us at least. Tuesday we were in Objat, with two main purposes in mind. We have received a social security number, but not yet got the actual “Cartes Vitales”, which are the ones you present to doctors, chemists, hospitals etc. Judy discovered that for getting a prescription the social security number was enough – although we should get the Carte soon. Although this pays for most of your treatment, it is recommended that you get top-up insurance which pays the rest and will cost about €1,000 a year for both of us. One rather surprising element was that our new doctor had asked if we had had tetanus jabs recently. We haven’t, so the prescription included two doses for tetanus, diptheria and polio, which we were sternly told to take home and keep in a plastic bag in the veg drawer of the fridge, until we took them to the doctor to give to us.

The second thing we had to do was to change my mobile from pay a you go to a contract. PAYG is fine, but here the cards are time limited – even one for €25 may only be valid for a couple of months. The nice lady in the phone shop told me that if I did take out a basic low-cost contract, I would have to have a new mobile number. To keep my old one would involve a discussion with Orange customers services. After a bit of thought I decided that 1. Only a couple of people have my mobile number so telling them a new one wouldn’t be a problem, and 2. I hate talking to customer services in any language. So a new number it is.

We then went to look in the local wine merchants in the town. What a great place. A huge choice of wines, from the really expensive to, and I kid you not, the draught white at €1.20 per litre (or red or rosé) which comes via a baby petrol pump straight into your plastic bottle or other container. What a lot of experimenting we have to do….

Today we had a drive around looking for a couple of last Christmas presents. (By the way Christmas cards are on their way as soon as the lady in Voutezac post office gets a new supply of the relevant stamps). We first went to Donzenac, a really pretty mediaeval village about 20km away.

 Sadly, and not surprisingly, nearly all the interesting shops have shut over the winter, so we’ll have to keep on looking. On the way back we called in at the vet in Pompadour to check that they can give Bertie the jab for his pet passport the day before we hit the Chunnel for an English Christmas – all OK.

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