The end of another busy and productive week when we have achieved some real successes and not just in the redevelopment of the gîtes.
Firstly, we have received a Certificate of Conformity for our car from VW France which allows us to progress its registration here. There was some discussion as to whether a Certificate was required or if the new UK V5 (registration document) sufficed with different people giving us contradictory views. Having decided we should request one, VW sent us a ‘dossier’ which we had to complete and return, with a sizeable cheque, again having received contradictory statements about whether we should be charged (there is a pattern forming here …)
To complete the dossier we effectively filled in all the details given on the V5 and then we send it in – with a photocopy of the V5 (and the sizeable cheque). The certificate then arrives (weeks later) with all the V5 information this time on a piece of white paper!!
Now, among the many questions I have about this system is, why can’t I just provide our Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) which is unique to the car, allocated by VW when they manufactured it and can only be our chassis. All I should then need to answer is ‘Have I made any alterations to the car?’ like adding a fifth wheel or changing the engine from petrol to baked bean juice! However, having received the certificate, we only now need to pass the Controle Technique test on Wednesday (French MOT) before we can start the final (minimum 15 day hurdle) to formally register the car!
Next success was that after 7 weeks, ERDF – the electricity distribution company have made contact with me. To be fair, they also rang last week immediately after I chased them by email but, as they needed more information I was told to expect a phone call that afternoon and sure enough it came a week later. Progress next week I hope.
Finally, and most reassuringly, we have now had the bathroom items delivered that we were waiting on in last week’s blog, well most of them.
You may recall it took 3 deliveries to get all of our kitchen bits, well we have now had 2 deliveries for these bathrooms and are almost there – one more to go! We knew when we bought the items (mid-March) that not everything was in the shop so we were happy to wait until 5th April to have them delivered. When that date came and went without contact, I left it the obligatory week before chasing. By this time they had received some of the previously missing items but had sold out of some of the other items that were in stock before – my items, that I had paid for, that I needed, that I wanted … Our first client can be reassured they will now have a bath and sink but they may struggle if they want to shower …
However, despite all of the above providing amusement and frustration in (near) equal measure, we have had such perfect weather it is difficult to get annoyed it’s much easier just to light the BBQ and relax! Three nights we were able to sit outside until after 9 having dinner and appreciating what we had. Only on one evening did we have to go to the pub to celebrate Cathy’s 1st anniversary of opening – our own 1 year anniversary of visiting Kergudon when we were looking for something to but happens next week.
Work has progressed really well in the gîtes. We have completely ripped out the kitchen in Granary and started to install the new; we have divided the eaves bedroom in Granary into 2 bedrooms, a twin / double and a single; applied paint to the existing lambris in Hayloft; ordered all of the new Hayloft furniture and gîte garden table and chairs; replaced the mis-matching and unattractive exterior lights for all the gîtes for something more sympathetic and appropriate and Dave has planted 20 hanging baskets, our granite troughs and cauldron which will make the place amazingly colourful in summer. Overall a good week.
With all of the above it is difficult to say there are disadvantages but of course there are. We knew when we moved here we wouldn’t be able to catch up with our friends as often as we would if we were still in London and join the many social and sporting get-togethers and next week we will miss what promises to be an amazing party. Our very good friends Mr. and Mrs. Mal and Emma Instone are having a combined 80th party (40 years each) and we would love to have been there to celebrate with them. We absolutely will be in spirit and will have to delay our celebrations until we see them at Kergudon in the summer. However, we will lift a glass at the appropriate time, send them both all our love and best wishes and carry on with the painting …