Tuesday, 2 February 2010

We started our French lessons on the 22nd – beginning right at the beginning! Our teacher is French, but lived in UK for 21 years, and we get on very well with her. We are having a lesson every week, so we hope to get more confident soon.

On the Saturday we drove to Brantome, just over an hour away in the Dordogne. There was an exhibition of English speaking businesses, and I wanted to see if I could make any contacts there for my own business of property photography and floorplans. It turned out to be very small scale, although I was able to leave info with a few people. It’s always a delight to visit Brantome anyway – we have stayed there a couple of times.

The Sunday 24th was Judy’s birthday, so we went out for lunch. Research on the net found us at the Relais du Bas Limousin, which is a very friendly hotel and restaurant with excellent food – a very enjoyable meal.

Talking of Judy’s birthday, the postal system here is not the fastest in the world. As I write she is still waiting for two lots of presents, and one of her cards only arrived yesterday.

I mentioned starting my own business – well “Imagerie de La Proprieté” has now been set up as a company under the recent “Auto Entrepeneur” regime. This is specifically for very small businesses, and means I only pay tax and social charges on anything I actually earn. I am waiting for my Siret or registration number, but I have started marketing, and hope to get a website going soon.

A couple of interesting car related incidents. We went out for a drive last Tuesday, and in the depths of the countryside discovered we had a puncture. I crept into the nearest town – Pompadour, and the garage repaired if for me for €15. While we were waiting for it to be done, we investigated a new restaurant we had heard was being opened by an English family. They told us there opening night was on Saturday, so we booked a table – got to support each other!


By the time we were due back in Pompadour for our French lesson on the Friday, the snows had returned. I thought if were careful and stuck too the main roads, we should have no problem getting there. Halfway there we turned a corner on a road leading downhill, to find a surface covered in ice, and a large white can with its nose in the ditch and the rest of it occupying all our side of the road, and a fair bit of the other side too. I braked as gently as I could and tried to steer around it, and as we gently, and inexorably, slid towards the van, I may have uttered a prayer or two. In the event we just clipped bumpers, and knocked back our wing mirror – no damage to either party. I stopped to see if I could help, but the van driver needed a tractor or similar to pull him out. We pushed on, and weren’t even late for our lessons.

Unfortunately the snow still hasn’t fully cleared even by today, so our visit to the new restaurant in Pompadour had to be postponed, as the roads get very icy at night. A treat to come!

Ah yes, I have worked out how to use the panorama making programme on the computer!

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