14 January 2022


The view from the château in early spring.

4.30 am.  The phone rings.

It can only be one person.  I stagger out of bed to answer it.

Me:  hello


Me:  hello Dad, what's wrong?

Dad:  nobody's been

Me:  it's four thirty in the morning

Dad:  well nobody's been

Me:  Dad, it's four thirty in the morning.  Have you got up?

Dad:  yes

Me:  well go back to bed, it's the middle of the night


Our lime tree after its last haircut in February 2015.

The announcement yesterday that the French will now allow entry into France from the UK is great news but the timing is all wrong.

We have a number of commitments next week that might result in further appointments and until we know that we are not in a position to book a crossing.  It's now looking rather like we will be going in mid March as usual, after a full six months away.  Again.

Sadly, had we been able to travel in late December when we planned to, it would have worked out fine.  We had hoped to be there for a couple of weeks in order to finally put the house and garden to bed for the winter and, hopefully, oversee the pruning of our lime tree which is now overdue.  We have been in touch with our new gardener (the previous ones having crossed us off their list of clients last summer) but apparently the timing isn't right and the weather is all wrong. 

I have to wonder what has been achieved by closing the border to the UK for three weeks, other than pissing off a lot of people on both sides of it.  British holiday makers and the French hotels and other businesses that lost out on their custom.  

Another timing issue is when to apply for our visas, the VLST's that will give us freedom to come and go as we always used to.  They require an interview at the French Embassy, Manchester being our nearest office.  And they cost £150 each with all the add-on charges.  And we will have to go through this cuffing palaver every year unless we become French residents and go through all the palaver associated with that.

Brexit.  How to complicate life for so many for virtually no benefit to anyone.

Still, it looks like time is running out for the elitist tosser currently in number 10.  Who declared that a "close family member" conveniently tested positive so he could justify going into hiding.  Although even that is his own bending of the rules for his own purposes, which currently say that fully vaccinated contacts no longer have to self isolate!  Let's hope enough people will now realise how they have been taken for fools for too long.

Bon weekend!!


  1. Oh dear! What a load of niggly hassles. Enough to make you extremely disgruntled all round. I hope things improve soon.

    1. Our new GHIC cards arrived today, which we need for the visa application. The old ones would have expired in the middle of the six month period so I doubt they would have been acceptable. The registration document for the new (old) car also arrived, which we need to have with us when we travel in France. (We swapped the ancient Ford for a slightly less ancient Peugeot.) So we're a couple of steps nearer applying at least.

  2. How complicated all this is, especially when you are so concerned for your Dad. I hope things are resolved speedily for you all

    1. We're at the age where we hoped things would become less complicated, not more so! How wrong we were!
      We have been tempted to go the way so many second homers have gone and sell up but we're not quite ready to throw in the towel just yet. We love the place too much.

  3. Oh dear me, Jean! I think there is sadly only one answer for you and your dad with the way he is now.
    My sister is in an awful position with her husband. She didn't want him to go into care but he was rushed into hospital 2 months ago, and is now end of life. She tried for so long to have him at home but in the end it's been taken out of her hands and he is being fast tracked into palliative care and will be "put" in a nursing home chosen by the social worker at the hospital and if he is still alive after four weeks, the family can chose to move him, should they wish. She was allowed to see him on Christmas Day for one hour, which was traumatic for her as he refused to open his eyes and when she tried to take his hand, he pulled away. She hasn't been allowed to see him since. (Boris take note)
    That is not the position anyone would want to be in. With love, Elizabeth

    1. Elizabeth, we are holding out against a care home, managing with help bought in from outside, for as long as we can. For precisely the reason at the end of your story about your sister. If there is a crisis and matters are out of our hands that's different, although the 4.30 am phone call must not be repeated. We have our own lives to live and I can't put up with that.

  4. I just heard a podcast about your Mr. Johnson (BTW I had to look up 'tosser') apparently even his dearest are upset with the miscreant. I did not know.

    How frustrating and sad to hear about father.