Monthly Archives: March 2016

Visiting with new friends in France

Waiting for the appointments I was contacted by a lovely lady I sort of ‘met’ years before through an online forum when I bred chickens as a hobby.  She had been following my travels and had suggested I called by to see her on my way down through France – but it was one of those times when we just couldn’t synchronise things, but now I was back and within half an hour or so of her home so she contacted me again and very kindly asked me (and Phoebe) over to lunch.

Not only was I invited to lunch she drove over, put Phoebe in the back of the car and gave me a scenic tour of the area on the way back.  And what a lunch!  Gill is an excellent cook and I was treated to  a wonderful spread of homemade quiches and salads, and lots of lovely French goodies.  Phoebe really enjoyed the luxury of being invited to someone else’s home, and also being allowed to wander unrestricted round the garden.  So much of her young life has been spent on the lead or tied up in some way, as either we are on a caravan site, where dogs are not allowed to roam free, or we are somewhere that to leave her loose would be dangerous for her.  So she pootled around, up and down the stairs (it was a typical French house where the living accommodation is all on the first floor) and lay on the grass in the sun looking very contented.  While I have to say, poor Gill and Dave’s terriers were consigned to their night quarters, and sounded a bit disgruntled about the whole affair

Gill and Dave have a charming house and have lived over in France for more than five years now – having spent many years looking for their ideal home, and before that spending all their holidays travelling on the continent in a motorhome.  They, like me, love the area round here, and having lived in beautiful places in Britain before moving over that must say something.  Not only have they moved here, but later in the year their daughter and son in law are moving the family over to France as well, having bought a house last time they visited.

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Gill outside their French house with the typical local stonework

Having finished lunch with a most delicious cup of coffee ( I must ask her the name of her coffee machine it was so good) Dave and Gill took me for another drive around to see some local sites, and we stopped at a small park alongside the river where Phoebe could enjoy a good romp around.  IMG_2117

Riverside walk

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Phoebe getting a fuss

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We love sticks!

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River bridge with old bridge behind

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Old Bridge in distance

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Looking up towards the weir

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Water pouring over the weir like silk

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Old Mill through the trees

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Old street and square in town

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Town Fountain

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Gill trying to find fabled monster carp in fountain

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Chateau at local town

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Petanque Players in the late afternoon

A most enjoyable day.  Thank you both.

Well…….!

Well!

I haven’t written much in the last few weeks as I was not sure what to write, and in fact am still not that sure now.

The reason I headed back towards The Limousin was that for some time I have not been feeling well, and this now seemed to be heading towards a crisis, which I did not want to face in a layby in a country where I couldn’t speak the language.

I have been feeling tired for quite a while.  But then – I told myself – I had been on the road since the beginning of 2014. I had the stress of losing wonderful old Phoebe – followed by the full-on task of coping with a large, lively puppy, whilst travelling.  So it was no wonder I felt tired!

But it started to be more than just tiredness.

I have successfully treated myself homoeopathically for most minor ailments for many years now. In fact before starting on my travels I visited the doctors to see what, if anything, could be done about my arthritis, and he was annoyed to find my details were not entered on his computer system.  Though I felt it was hardly surprising as the last time I visited they did not have computers!

My original homeopathic doctor had died many years ago, and the following one retired some years later, so I resorted to buying lots of books on the subject and treating myself.  But this present problem seemed a bit beyond my self-taught knowledge.  On reaching the campsite at Parc Verger Lisa and Franc were both standing there waving to welcome me in, which felt like a lovely homecoming.  But by Friday evening I was sure it was going to need a trip to the doctors.

Being used to the doctors at home in England I thought….. Friday evening….. Surgery closed Saturday and Sunday….. phone Monday morning and if I am lucky will get an appointment for Wednesday.  But here in France – what a difference!  The surgery was open on Saturday morning and phoning in it was the young lady doctor who answered the phone – no officious receptionist to pugnaciously put one in one’s place.  She apologised but there were no appointments available on Saturday for that afternoon.  Ah well!  Then how quickly could I make an appointment.  For Monday afternoon – but each morning (including Saturdays) the surgery was open for urgent needs, so why not just come straight in and wait.  Wow! – What a difference.

Wonderful Lisa at Parc Verger, who had phoned and made the appointment for me, then kindly gave me a lift – as packing up Thebus and parking by the surgery would have been no minor task, Together we entered the entirely empty waiting room.  There was some one in with the doctor already, but after about five or ten minutes he left, and it was my turn.

The doctor came to the waiting room, greeted me, shook hands, and escorted me to her examination room.  Fortunately  she spoke a little English, and after giving me an examination wrote out an ‘Urgent’ letter for me to take to the local gynaecological hospital in Limoges, which is about half an hour’s drive away.

We did have to wait for a while, but I am sure no where near as long as it might have been in the UK, and having been examined and then given a hysteroscopy, the results of which were printed out and handed to me (though of course they meant absolutely nothing to me) I was given two appointments, one for an MRI scan and another for an Ultrasound, and a further internal investigation which would require a general anaesthetic.  I was told to wait and speak to the anaesthesiologist who gave me prescriptions and instructions for the procedure – the entire time taken up by this was probably about 3 hours.

I think by the end of the day my mind, which had been wavering about whether to return to the UK, was now pretty well made up.  I would be staying here in France.