This time last year we were busy driving all over to get the car re-registered. Now…The car needed a service, so I booked it into a nearby Ford garage. Only 10 minutes away so I thought I’d leave the car and take my first cycle ride of the year. Firstly, it was 10 mins by road but an hour by bike – 10km each way. Secondly, the road and track are not as flat as I’d thought and thirdly I’m not as fit as I should be. One way, and lunchtime to recover but returning I must have looked pretty knackered since, on collecting the car, the first thing the receptionist did was offer me some water! In filling out the forms for the car she asked about the kilometres. “82 thousand” I said “Auhourd’hui?” she said with a laugh having meant how far had I cycled not the car mileage. Anyway, car all done and ready for our 5 hours drive this Tuesday to Giverny – Monet’s garden and to meet Delia’s long time best friend from Sydney, Stephanie and Rob, her husband. And my bum only hurt for the next day.
In the meantime, last week… Having paid our social security on-line for over a year, suddenly the computer says “No” – well it actually says that no declaration is currently outstanding In the UK one would usually say yippee and wait for them to sort things out but in France the next thing will be a letter (Avis Amiable – friendly advice) telling use the penalties we now owe for non-declaration. Anyway a bit of tippex on an old declaration (well, the computer equivalent) and sent off by registered post.. fingers crossed.
Also my income tax is due to be declared before 19th May or we will be fined. I have no communications at all for this, eventually I have found the forms online and am girding my loins in preparation for completing these before the deadline.
It being my birthday yesterday I got some presents – one arrived a bit early. It had to be opened because it was fresh cheese in reflective insulated box with an ice pack – very special – from Bill (Delia’s dad) and very tasty too – my favourite being a soft sheep’s cheese “Pérail de Brebis” from Midi-Pyrenees – well my favourite so far!
Also on the subject of food was a table for 10 and delightful meal out at “Le Soleil Couchant” – The Setting Sun ‘ a common English Pub name. This was very English with English signage and menus etc – fish and chips for me was lovely and live music was welcome too. I prefer something a bit more French, not trying so hard to appeal to the ex-pats. I live in France for the Frenchness and not for nostalgic aspects of missing England.
And here is a Delia original I received on a birthday card. I have called it Le Soleil Couchant