Thursday, 11 February 2016

Well it’s been quite a mild winter so far, touch wood! We have had a couple of days of snow, some quite heavy, but it has never settled. So much depends on where you live here, a few hundred metres in elevation can make all the difference. We recently met an English couple who were house-hunting, and they were quite surprised when I told them to invest in an altimeter!

I finally sorted out where my sinus pain was coming from. Our dentist got me to have an MRI scan (had to wait almost a week!), and eventually decided it was “just” a bad tooth. Out it came, and no problems since.

We haven’t had too many days out – while the weather hasn’t been too bad, it’s been quite grey and cold. We did have a very enjoyable day in Perigueux, window shopping and having a nice lunch.

With the fall in the price of oil, the cost of diesel for the car and heating oil have both fallen quite sharply. We topped up with heating oil before Christmas, and while the price stayed low, we filled up last week. Sadly the exchange rate has rather been against us – ah well its all swings and roundabouts!

The old favourites continue – I still manage to get to our bowls club most Wednesdays – followed by lunch out to undo any possible health benefits. The library seems to be in the depths of hibernation – not sure if it will actually wake up again!

Christmas itself was very quiet, just the two of us. We treated ourselves to a really nice meal out as our present, went to 6’ieme Sens in Brive. So many restaurants, so little time!

We recently discovered an ex pat organisation called Connect 87 which meets up in the town of St Yrieix, just over the border in the Haut Vienne, only 40 minutes away. I had never heard of them, but went to one of their monthly meetings to sell poppies for the British Legion for Remembrance Day. We were astonished to find some 60 people there! It was actually founded by some Dutch people, for English speakers. As well as the social meetings they also have a theatre club, choir, book club, gardening club and other things. Very sociable they are in Dept 87! Anyway they bought all my poppies.

I have carried on with my new hobby of finding old postcards of local views, and taking a photo from the same place. Great fun and Jude says it would keep me off the streets, except that is where the views are….

Our washing machine decided to trip all the electrics one evening. Called at the electrical shop in Objat, they came out the same day, took machine and lent and installed a temporary replacement. Two days later all fixed and re installed. Great service, shop local!

Judy had a problem with what we thought was an eye infection. Saw our doctor on a Tuesday, he tried to get an appointment with an ophthalmologist, but as he couldn’t get one as quickly as he wanted he gave Judy a note to take to A & E at Brive. Went next morning, seen very quickly by duty doctor, who referred Judy to duty ophthalmologist. She did a number of tests, and told Jude to go and see her boss at the hospital in Tulle that afternoon. More tests and she told us that Judy has cataracts in both eyes, and they have probably been present for over 10 years. She has referred her to another hospital for an operation, just waiting for a date. Before the end of the week Judy had also had a Doppler test on her carotid artery (went to hospital, got appointment for following week – they called us back in on mobile and did it same day) and blood tests.

Been for a few good walks, up to the other side of the dam at Le Saillant – when it was first built it powered the trams in Limoges! Also the standard walk around Lake Poncharal – Icare is definitely a water lover.

 Played around with my camera – is one Judy enough?

Also used the facility to take photos at intervals automatically, so took 300 of the bird feeder every 10 seconds:

The annual village report came out, the usual 64 pages of accounts and reports. The commune has an annual budget of over one million euros! Happy to find out that our Auberge, which shut about a year ago, has been bought by the commune who are now looking for a couple to run it - this certainly worked well with our boulangerie. Once again our house is on the front cover - no really, down there in the bottom right hand corner.

We have a number of people coming to stay soon, and lots more invited – just thought I’d give an idea of our accommodation in the overflow block…..running water…what more could you want?

 Just joking. Rachel our daughter is here at the moment – she’ll probably need a whole blog just for her….