This time last year… Valentine’s day – and champagne for my gorgeous darling wife. Real champagne is less of an extravagance her than in the UK but still a treat. Winter Olympics keeping Delia occupied whilst I am working on one or two websites (actually for pay as opposed to creating blogs for us).
The main concern this week is trying to sort out the car. Initially back in the UK Delia had wanted to get a left hand drive car for France. Thinking ahead we had visited many left hand drive (LHD) Car sales places. Eventually I hopped on a train up to a place near King Cross to test drive a Peugeot 305. Nice drive, but the car salesman was very offhand about the documentation. I had read that car documentation was a particular issue in France and I finally decided that I didn’t want to be in France with the wrong documentation and the vendor in the UK. Anyway, after a couple of months of driving our right hand drive (RHD) car in France Delia decided it was not so much of an issue and we decided to keep it – especially since purchasing (and especially selling) a secondhand car is not the simple process it is in the UK.
I started the process of re-registering our Ford in France with the Control Technique or CT the French equivalent of the MOT. RHD headlights seem to be 3 times the price of LHD ones (both from the same supplier in Germany via ebay.fr). But anyway 500€ lighter, I now have a CT and RHD headlights – so I don’t dazzle the heavily-armed gendarmes speed checking me.. The garage told me I’d need to get a Certificate of EU Conformity from Ford in the UK. A bit of research suggested that this was not strictly necessary if I had a certain section of my registration document showing the correct details’ which they were. It seems that it depends upon the Prefecture I go to and apparently, even if refused, it’s worth queueing again to get a different person. Anyway, I found that I would have needed to re-register (again) when moving to a different department (i.e. from Deux Sévre to Haute Vienne). So even though I officially needed to French register the car after 6 weeks of being in France I reckoned that having the headlights, CT and insurance would stop me from being thrown in a cell by those same gendarmes at least until we finally moved. The registration process is at least another episode anyway so watch this space.
A Limousin speciality is a kind of potato pie – essentially slices of potato in a crème fraîche sauce encased in puff pastry. We just had a variation on this for lunch (treating ourselves for Valentine’s – we had planned a lunch out in Limoges but its raining so we decided to eat in… steak and chips followed by tarte au chocolat tonight!). Anyway, our lunch of Pâté de Pommes de Terre Limousin had all the above plus ham and emmental. Lovely.
I have just seen photos of my first grandchild, Dexter… born to Phil and Becca around 7.30 this morning in Swansea – fresh out of the oven at 6lb 14ozs! After a couple of days of ‘inducement’. He looks so tiny. More photos to follow after I visit in a couple of weeks.