Added on Friday 5 Feb 2010
Having spent the last few months in a sort of cyber limbo I am glad to be able to report that we are back in the land of living. All this had happened after Fiona's hysterectomy, my overdose of anti-biotics, the computer crash and no money from the Government as well as Christmas. They do say that things come in three's don't they? Well we certainly had a few years worth of dramas and problems.
A month after Fiona's op I went along to the doctor about the constant pain I was having in my leg and after having listened and looked at the problem I was prescribed a huge amount of anti-biotics. This certainly stopped the pain but sent me into a darkened room for two weeks, all of which meant I could not help Fiona with shopping and other things about the house.
After coming out of purdah I then discovered that the computer was being a bit iffy and had to give it to Laurence our computer expert who returned it some days later saying that the hard drive was getting a bit unreliable with it sometimes connecting and sometimes not. Despite having an installation disk it kept on going funny and at the end of January it finally gave up the ghost and I realised that I had to do something dramatic like buy a new computer or something! After talking to a few friends I realised that having a hard drive give up was not that much of a problem (apart from the lost data) and I discovered that a shop in Sarlat had them for 45O so I settled on that as my first line of defence. Once the new drive was fitted (and a promise to myself to save everything in the future!) I discovered that it still would not connect to the internet, despite having a complete set up disk for my system. So once again a phone call to Laurence. He came with a USB key with some driver on it and within 10 minutes had it all up and running and connected. Wonderful! One problem sorted with the added bonus of having the system completely cleared out so have started afresh (albeit I had lost a lot of my previous files). In the process of waiting for my computer to be returned from visit to Laurence I had decided to do some tidying up on the desk and now have it stripped to the bare minimum.
After my stint of two weeks with anti-biotics I am now feeling much better and I am pleased to say that my leg has almost healed up (even though the last op was 6 months ago) and am not quite so bothered about my health that way. It is still albeit uncomfortable to walk but I reckon that is as much psychological as anything else. The extraordinary thing about my new found spirit is that I decided to get the bike out from the cave and see if I could 'go it'. The bike has not been used for two years and obviously needed a bit of maintainance which I duly did and surprised myself by trying it out and finding that I was reasonably competent on it and, what is more, I really enjoyed it and although the weather has been very wet and there has been deep snow falls, I really do enjoy it and find it much easier than walking!
In September last year I became a pensioner (or so I thought!) and the French Govt. thought so also. This became rather strange when no-one thought that I existed and no money was forthcoming from any source so it left us with arranging an overdraft from the bank in order for us to live. Unfortunately this went on until 2 weeks ago when we were advised to send a recorded delivery letter to the authorities. By law in France anyone sent a recorded they must reply to a recorded delivery letter. Within a day or two payment was made so that was great but, when I look back and think about the number of phone calls, letters and e-mails that we have sent to both the British and French pension authorities without any result it makes me want to weep! But then one lives and learns......I think that I have gone through a very steep learning curve in the last few months!
Despite all the problems that I have listed here, and we have had many more than I have mentioned,
I am quite upbeat about life...mostly helped by Fiona's recovery which seems to be going well. Although she does not believe this because she has never had an operation before and I think that she thinks that it should be in and out and all is well, a bit like putting a car into the garage and out it comes and all is well! If only!
Fiona is getting better by the day and of course it will take time and with some kine (physio) at the moment for a few weeks, and time, will bring her back to normal fairly soon. I have every confidence with that.
The weather has been rather severe recently with snow and ice, torrential rain which has rather depressed us lately but at the beginning of February I think that I see signs of things getting better.
I certainly hope so!
Rural France? I love it (well sometimes).
C. Barry Paton. Feb 2010.