Monday 29th February 2016
An extra day this year.
The latest problem is that we do not have phone signal nor Internet so we have no connection with home.
Probably people at home are saying, that's good, we won't be troubled by Allan and Dorothy for a while. Unfortunately we feel cut off and with no way of getting news, good or bad from the family.
We went to the Marie (Town Hall) this morning where they have an Internet library. Their free wifi system could connect to our phones but only after Dorothy gave her E-mail address. This was still useless for Allan's phone as the system wouldn't accept his E-mail address as being valid, so to get around that problem, Allan checked that Dorothy was still able to use the phone and then used Dorothy's E-mail address as well. So that is how we can connect the 'phones to the Internet but only within a few feet from the Marie!
The computer was still cut off from the world and all of our attempts to connect had failed. After many tries the librarian tried as well but he was still unable to make a connection. He then used another, but private, connection and luckily using that one we were able to access the world wide web again. The bank account was checked, the E-mails checked and finally the Blog for the last three weeks was uploaded. There were a few extra photographs for previous weeks and now it is all up to date.
Just as we were leaving, when the librarian was going to lunch, we noticed one little mistake on the last page. This will be corrected tomorrow, we hope.
Outside, we looked ahead of us and
there was the Church Spire against the vivid blue of the sky, visible between
the Marie and public meeting buildings.
What a lovely sight.
We have had some freezing cold nights but to our joy no rain since we left England. During the afternoon whilst the sun was shining Allan filled the motorhome water tank (with water!), oiled the door and locker hinges, Dorothy was busy with the laundry and the Hoover (It is actually made by Hoover) and Allan did the mat shake (no it's not a dance!).
After making good use of the nice sunny weather, we had a relaxing evening, glass or two of wine and a film - the luxury of being on electric hook-up!
This morning after breakfast we returned
to the Internet Library.
The Internet Library, taken from the river bridge on our way there this morning.
Our first task was to sort out the last little problem on the Blog. We checked the E-mails and everything else and then we made contact with our phone and Internet provider in England with a chat message. After much typing we find that they have changed their partners in France and although in the past we were well served in this area of France with "Orange" they have now teamed up with F Bouygues and Free, neither of which appear to be service providers in Rugles. As a goodwill gesture we were given a £5 discount on each of the phone accounts but this means that we still have limited contact with home and no internet on the computer via the mifi dongle.
View across the river from the Internet Library.
During the afternoon Dorothy read a book and Allan looked at some Family History magazines.
The sun is high in the blue sky and
although we had a light shower of rain last night everything here is dry and
beautiful again. The green grass leads down to the little river that flows through
the park and continues on to the village. The only two setbacks are that the
phone and Internet are not working and the pigeon's, ducks and geese are so
bloody noisy in the morning. However It does get quieter during the day.
The diet has really kicked in now and after a light breakfast of cornflakes and coffee! we walk over to the Internet Library to check the E-mails.
During the afternoon there is some sort of success as we have intermittent access to the Internet after a phone call from Three's technical department. We noted that there is snow in some parts of England, they can keep it as we don't want it. However snow is forecast for Rugles in Eure for next Wednesday - surely not!
There is a man in a motorhome quite near to us whom we saw here last year. He seemed to be having trouble with his engine starting and when we saw him drive a car close to the front and get out some battery leads, we realised that he had a battery problem. We have a battery booster and quite easily got his engine started. Big smiles all round, not any idea of what he was saying but he sure looked a happy man!
As Dorothy is getting over a cold
we have not ventured out as much as we would have done usually but this afternoon
we decided to go for a little stroll around the park. The trees are beginning
to bud and it looks like spring is on the way.
The old water mill is looking very tired in the late afternoon sunshine.
On the way back to the Aire-de-campingcar Dorothy exclaimed that there was a great deal of warmth in the spring sunshine
but Allan thinks that there is a lot of chill in the late afternoon breeze.
And then shortly after arriving back at the motorhome, there was a short shower of hailstones.
We have been in France for a week now. If it was a two week holiday we would probably be on our way back home but this is not a holiday, this is living, welcome to France and Welcome to my World.
The phone signal is quite poor and sometimes we have a phone signal and sometimes we don't.
The French man was trying to get his engine started again, so yet again we helped him out. We hope that this is not going to carry on as, when Allan put a battery charger to this man's motorhome battery, it immediately showed it was fully charged and then our battery tester showed more than 13.5 volts, so there was no problem at all with the battery!!
In the afternoon
we went for a walk to the top of the town
returning through the main street to buy bread on the way back
Here we noticed that
there were street barriers ready to be put in place to close off the streets.
Could this be for the market?
When we returned to the Aire de Camping Car, to use it's full name, we took a photo of the sign.
The "P" shows parking spaces, lots of them and in most of France they are free. The second sign says Welcome to camping cars (motorhomes). Please come to our town or village and use our facilities there is no charge and we want you to come here and be happy. The third sign says why they are willing to welcome us here. It's because they want the tourist Euro's in the shops. All of our shopping for the next few weeks will be in France.
On Wednesday we mentioned that Dorothy is getting over a cold. She has almost certainly done this by passing it on to Allan!!!!!
There was a lot of
rain all last night but when we got up, had showers and breakfast, the clouds
moved on to reveal a bright blue sky. It is still pretty nippy outside at only
4°C but Dorothy found out that a lot of roads have closed in Yorkshire due
to the snow so we are happy to be here.
Dorothy has certainly passed her cold onto Allan so we will probably stay put here in Rugles en Eure a little longer than expected. We were only coming here to charge up the batteries, but there seems to be little point in moving on at the moment.
After being in all
day Allan decided we should get some air and so we took a short stroll around
the town. Some of the things we saw............
more Lavoirs along the riverside
A phone call to mum rounded off the day.
Congratulations to our friends Doug and Jan H on their 39th Wedding Anniversary today.
When walking around
the town on previous days we had seen barriers in place to close off the main
street to the traffic. We were hoping that this is for the market which is taking
place today. With much excitement and anticipation we approached the market
square and would you believe it there were only four stalls, not the huge street
market of our dreams. There was one small mobile fish stall, one organic vegetable
stall and one with rabbits, chickens and eggs and a few bits of cheese. On the
edge of the square was a stall selling honey sweets. At the honey sweet stall,
after seeing the man's leaflet, Allan thought that they were Circus Animal strength.
Imagining that they were for Lions, Tigers and Elephants he tried one anyway
and found it was a pretty normal sort of honey, sugar and glucose cough sweet!
It was not good or bad, just an average sort of cheep sweet so we didn't buy
any of them. It was only later in the day that Dorothy suggested that they were
to raise money for circus animals. Allan is not good with this French language
Allan was not feeling too bright and so we returned to the motorhome.
In the evening whilst writing this the Church bells started up again. 6.15pm and they want to ring them AGAIN. The French love their bell ringing and we wonder what it is for this time. Perhaps a wedding, a service, say your prayers or just to make sure that they work. Believe us, they work!!!!
Allan's cold has turned to second degree MANFLU of the worst type, so we decide to stay here a little longer (for him to recover, he he!)
Congratulations to our friends on their Wedding Anniversaries today. Viv and Pete S 45 years and Martin and Dawn P 40 years.
It is Mother's Day today. Sending love to Mum and remembering Allan's Mum who is sadly no longer with us. And a very special FIRST Mother's Day for Frankie - have a lovely day xx
James sent a message
to Dorothy for Mother's Day, which she was very pleased to have. Dorothy told
him that here in France it is Grandmother's Day today so James duly messaged
back a Happy Grandmother's Day from Scarlett!!
Mother's Day in France is on 29th May this year (she had two Mother's Days last year) but Father's Day is the same as in England!!!
Across the park we
have noticed that the Sunday Fruit and Veg stall has set up so later in the
morning, as it was lovely and sunny, we went over to take a look. There were
four market stalls laden with some really fresh looking fruit and vegetables
that you don't often see in England. We purchased some fruit and veg and managed
a nice chat with the lady stallholder.
Dorothy even got a colour coordinated plastic bag (for free!!)
We were remarking at how low the river seems to be around here.
We returned to the motorhome via the town and most of the shops are open. The corner store, butchers, flowershop and bakers were all doing good trade. Dorothy had to queue from outside the door to purchase some bread! Contrary to the popular belief, France does not close on a Sunday.
Allan has now developed THIRD degree Pneumonia and his nose is so bunged up that it may well explode at any time, spreading snot to the four walls of the motorhome. As he was born under the sign of the Lion (or tiger on the Chinese scale of things) he is determined that this will not, WILL NOT, stop us doing anything. It's a case for Doctor Gordon's remedy and some tonic water or as it is known here in France, Doctor Gibsons, made with Juniper berries, Coriander, Orange peel and other botanicals. A most delightful medicine. Little did Allan realise that he had finished the bottle yesterday evening as he was so poorly! WHAT!!! (you probably heard him shout from here!) We know where we shall be going in the morning (if Dorothy lives long enough to tell the tale)!!!
Hey, was that a song by Jim Reeves up there somewhere?