Crooked House

A country life in France

To summarise…

Currently in the third week of Lockdown v2.0, with week four commencing at midnight on this coming Thursday. Today is Day 20 and I am missing a few posts!

We haven’t been doing a great deal – hence, I suppose the lack of diary postings. What has there been to note? “not much,” I thought, but in fact some fairly important/momentous stuff has been happening.

We have applied for our new Cartes de Sejour, required under the Withdrawal Agreement. Hopefully they will sail through as easily as our original applications. Really cannot understand why it is not an automatic reissue.

Having realised that he had failed to fully understand the requirements of the French Tax Office, the Crooked Man has spent many hours in trying to get our affairs straight by making a new Tax Return and to ensure that the French have all of the information that they require from us. It wasn’t easy and it took many hours over several days but we hope that we are finally square. There may be fines to pay.

We have also sent for our new EHIC cards, which are available to us as French residents despite the UK’s exit from the EU. That’s a Win for us, I think.

Things move on and we become more French with each passing day. I have noticed that I am starting to think in French, despite the fact that I know so little of it. I see objects and label them in my head with their French names. An example – I play a silly online game, a hidden objects game, and it is prone to hiding umbrellas. Whenever I see one, my brain goes “parapluie” rather than saying umbrella to me. I find when writing shopping lists, they largely come out in French – but that seems entirely reasonable, to purchase Fromage rather than Cheese (that said, we actually purchased some Cheddar this week… I feel so dirty)

Nell is unwell and has already had a couple of expensive trips to the vet. The second visit was a lengthy one and required two journeys to take her and bring her back later. Overall, it has been a significant investment of time. She returns next month. We wasted much mental energy over the possibility of her having Diabetes and whether or not to subject her to daily treatment, only to be told that she doesn’t have that. What she does have is an underactive Thyroid, apparently. She is being treated for that but I feel that there is more to be known yet as an underactive Thyroid does not explain her main symptoms of excessive thirst and urination – plus hunger. We are both feeling tired as a result of her dead-of-night toilet needs.

As a result of Nell’s urgency, she is tending to demand her morning walk as soon as her dad comes downstairs, which means that they are already gone whilst I am still in the shower. This means that I am not getting my walks in and weight is creeping on. It’s time to watch my intake rather carefully.

There has been cooking. The freezer is well stocked with ready meals now and I have also baked crackers for cheese and have had time to cook several nice dinners that have been a little different to our ordinary. Music has been made and music has been listened to. We have started to watch telly again now that the Crooked Man has repaired our computer’s annoyingly faulty PSU. We have progressed the alphabetic single-word-title movie-watching begun in Lockdown v1.0 and have done P is for Perfume. Next is Q is for Quills – downloaded in readiness but we haven’t yet found time to watch it. TV programmes being binged are Fargo, Star Trek Discovery and The Mandalorian.

There has also been shopping, of the online variety. I plan to post about my purchases over at woolgathering. The Crooked Man has spent many hours in researching drum kits. We have got as far as moving the sitting room furniture around and measuring up the remaining space but he has not yet put anything into a shopping cart. At this rate lockdown will be over before he gets his drum kit. Or is it mine? He says I can be the next Meg White and wants me to play along with him when he has his guitar out. I have been practising patting my head and rubbing my tummy but I don’t know how much that is going to help.

What there has not been much of is photography. I find myself without a header image for this post. I may have to go out and seek one! It’s the filling-in of the Attestation that puts me off. Such a performance in order to pop out around the village to look for something to point the camera at and, let’s face it, that’s not an allowable reason to leave home.

I have decided to add some interest to my life and a sparkle to the old man’s eye by dressing differently. I have long lived in scruffs – wearing out old clothes until they drop off. However I am now wearing what I think of as my “go to town” clothes. I am making an effort. It raises my spirits and I do believe that the man of the house is appreciative. This is, I think, what has catapulted me into the aforementioned shopping – not something that I ever undertake lightly!

All that I need now is a haircut. I somehow failed to get that done in the Lockdown interregnum. Things are getting very out of hand.

The weather has been fairly kind to us overall. Some rainy days but much pleasant weather and the chemins are moist but not yet knee-deep in mud. Today has seen 17°C and yesterday was mild too, so the washing is being done. The Crooked Man has spent this afternoon in washing the Batmobile. We have had many walks in shirt sleeves and have yet to resort to jumpers or fleeces. Sadly, our walks are limited to being local and short. We are allowed up to one hour a day and within a 1Km radius of home. It’s not much for a Border Collie, even one that has been dragging her heels of late.

The Prime Minister is speaking to the nation next week and we have every hope that some of the lockdown restrictions will be eased, if not lifted. I should like to be able to leave home as a couple and to shop together and maybe to run up to Saint Pardoux in the car and take Nell around the lake or something similar.

C’est tout!

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