Fiona Alderman: The Eye Van Comes to Salignac

the eye van small

Blogging from Rural France

When it comes to going to the optician in France, and especially in rural areas where we live, it is really quite difficult. Firstly, unlike the UK, where you can even go to Boots and get a complete eye test, it’s not like that here. You must go to the opthalmologist. You can expect there to be long waiting list, nowhere available locally but only in bigger cities. So, when I saw a van parked on the Square, bearing a large logo of spectacles, I was amazed.  Apparently it travels to several smallish villages in the region providing eye tests and even selling you new specs!

Not that easy though. I went in, excited even, but was told that I would need an “ordonance” ie a doctor’s prescription.Ok. Only problem is that our local doctor only consults on a Friday? That is another story.

Anything medical, ie testing for glaucoma or cataracts, he didn’t do. Ok, back to the drawing board.
I did manage to get to our doctor the next Friday and got the required paperwork for both of us, and will go back to the Eye Van next week. In the meantime how to get a rdv for the Opthalmo and where? There is an app called Doctolib for this sort of thing, and for everything medical all around France. I managed to get something for Barry in April, but couldn’t get one for me on the same day? Nothing until July. At least it is this year.

Le Petit Prince

the little prince

Le Petit Prince” by coutorture is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

A children’s book written by the award winning writer Antoine  de Saint Exupery, who was also a journalist and aviator, crashing down in the Libyan desert and where the inspiration came to write this now classic French book.

Delighting both children and adults alike, it is a fascinating story, about the man and the Little Prince.
The book, first published in 1943, both in English and in French, is amongst the 4 top selling books of all time, and was illustrated superbly by St Exupery himself. It describes  young, golden haired boy; a Prince, who falls from the sky from an asteroid. He is looking for a friend as he is lonely. He goes travelling throughout the Universe meeting lots of strange creatures: the Businessman, the Drunkard, the Lamplighter, the Conceited Man and the Explorer.  It is a tale showing the strangeness of the adult world, its faults and obsessions of self importance. The little Prince does not share these views and questions them. It is a lesson for children showing simple values and honesty.
The character of the Rose was probably based on the writer’s wife, Consuelo, the flower that the Little Prince looks after, loves, and whom he speaks to every day – despite her demands and attention seeking.
St Exupery himself, born into nobility was always passionate about trains, engines and flight. He had invented, at 8years old, a flying motorized bicycle but it exploded injuring his brother. He then sadly died of rheumatic fever aged 15 – a young blond haired boy “falling gently as a young tree” whose image he used in his book of his little Prince dying.
What lessons can we learn from the book that are still relevant and thought provoking today?
Many it seems. From remembering and valuing the dreams we had as children, the belief that there was magic all around us and that there is a difference between what is “important” and what is vitally urgent to do.  Getting too blocked up with inconsequential things and adult business to just realize the simplicity of things and then to listen to our inner child ?

A visit to Sarlat

Sarlat is a beautiful medieval town about 20 minutes away from us,  just a drive down the hill to one of the most well-known tourist attractions in the area. Over a million  people come in the summer to sample its delights, the gastronomy, the architecture, the theatre and the musical events.

Maison Lissajoux

maison lissajoux
However, at this time it is just nice to wander through the cobbled streets, have a quiet cafe/croissant in one of the many bars and just watch the world go by. I recently went with a friend to do just that. She had been recommended by her daughter to ” check out ” a great restaurant. Called Maison Lissajoux.  We went for lunch and were immediately captivated. Not the usual French bistro!!
Run by two charming French brothers, who had run a similar business in London for many years and who speak perfect English, it is a most delightful place to eat. As soon as I walked in, I knew it was going to be good. Even the decor is quirky – simple but with old fashioned tables, antique style cabinets full of home baked bread and eye watering pattisserie, and gentle music in the background. Relaxing. The food is excellent and described in detail beforehand. The service is not obtrusive either but they do come and check on how you are enjoying it all.
We both put a comment on Mausib Kussahiyx Trip Advisor for you holiday makers who might be coming this way!
Bon appetit.
Sorry for the late arrival of this blog. Health problems. Until next time. Keep safe.
Fifi’s stories from rural France. April 2022.
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This section: Fiona Alderman blogging from The Salignac Foundation France, Pat's Home Page Blog

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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