Pass me the gin would you??

Clare here. I have been a little missing in action, and thankfully Donna has been dashing around in the background with the new website and forum... not sure when she sleeps really!

So I told you I had this elbow and wrist pain and it was getting worse quite quickly, well as my Doctor was retiring I thought I must go and get something underway really. It turns out our Doctor is retiring early as he has cancer, I was shocked. To spend all your career caring for everyone else eh and then this. Very sad indeed, I send him my virtual hugs and support. So, we are still looking for a new GP here as they seem very thin on the ground around my area.

Doctor said you have carpal tunnel syndrome and something with your elbow but the wrist really needs tests as priority. He then proceeded to inject me in the under side of wrist with anaesthetic, trying to replicate my hand going dead symptoms. Fortunately Martin was with me to drive and we had to dash around Super U afterwards!

He referred me to a consultant, whom I met with this Monday. His Dr profile on line said he spoke Romanian, French and English, He was fantastic and so kind and helpful until he rigged me up to his electromagnetic machine! He warned me it may hurt a little. He was right it wasn't too bad but he did both arms and then I went from 1 good arm to zero!

I left with his invoice of 250 Euros, of which I paid 97. I am getting to grips with the medical "remboursement" system here, well I thought I was until this afternoon when I decided to go online to our Mutuelle and try to claim back something. I wasn't planning an admin afternoon, just sort out a couple of things, including read the electricity and get my PayPal back up and running as that had been suspended! Honestly I haven't been spending on it!

The Mutuelle company wanted scanning in a paper of something I forget which and then proceeded to waste another hour of my life I will never get back trying to find it on the Harmonie Mutuelle system! Finally Martin took control of the laptop and logged me in successfully and found the document, saved it and sent it on its way to the Mutuelle (the first one, not Harmonie.. still with me??)

I don't normally pour a gin and tonic at 4.10pm. but today I have. Bugger it I think were the words I used. Martin has excused himself to get some shopping in. Sunday is the 14 July, Fete National, Bastille Day, and the shops will be packed leading up to it so into the foray he has gone! He is a really good shopper. I am not. I get fed up, distracted, and actually a bit bored when I can't find what I want and don't get me started on the price of fruit and vegetables!

So back to the medical situation, I now need to find a surgeon who I can make an appointment with and go and see, taking all of my records with me. The First Consultant said well it's almost August so they will all be away until early September. I replied it isn't urgent anyway and October probably suits me!

Meanwhile, the garden is as dry as a bone, and we are out of water in the cuves. Thankfully we are not on a water restriction here, other parts of France are, so we can save the vegetable garden from dying of thirst and water with big watering cans. Well, I can only carry with my good arm, so Martin is roped in to help again.

The french beans look good, the strawberries have been tasty and are making new strawberry plants, the shallots are harvested and in store. I planted some sweetcorn after harvesting the shallots, and they are already about 6 inches tall, so although late being planted we should have some to eat in early Autumn. We miss fresh corn on the cobs, its rare we find them here. Vacuum packed ones, ugh no thank you. The peas look very sad, I hope with extra watering they may yet perk up. Several tomato plants gave up last week, and the rest are growing and flowering, they are still behind, but alive!

I decided this morning to sort out the weedy west facing border, where nothing really grows well. Well, almost nothing, some periwinkle I put there is growing and some honesty seeds I grew last year have flowered all spring. Now though it is weedy and dry looking. I watered it and pulled out as many weeds as I could, then planted 4 cuttings from a friends garden, I must find out what they are, but they thrive in poor soil at her garden so I am trying them out. I was just thinking I must fetch some more water when I realised my trousers were falling down and almost around my knees! I stood up carefully and with a comedy moment pulled them up gracefully and walked across to the house clutching them! No neighbours were looking so I think I got away with it!

In other gardening news, I found an offer in the local "Loudunaise" magazine for a composter for 10 Euros, so a few weeks ago I emailed them to say Oui Merci. Last week they emailed back saying your composter is ready for collection between 10 and 12 and 14 and 16hrs on Vendredi! What happened if you weren't around between these specified hours I don't know!

We set off to collect, and came away with lots of useful information about how to make the perfect compost, and a lovely little green caddy for the kitchen waste. Now, we already have 2 composters, so this isn't new to us, but the information is helpful and I am learning about getting the mix right!

Is anyone else being plagued by flies? This year seems to be the worst we have had. I don't like using the fly catcher things in the garden, but we had to, plus Martin is great with the swatting electric bat which kills them. Some of these seem to bite us as well and more visits to the Pharmacie followed for more creams!

I am enjoying my Bombay Sapphire Gin and tonic I must admit. I went right off gin and have barely had a sup of it for 2 years, maybe the odd one at Christmas. With the heat and paperwork hours it has become the aperitif of choice chez Hill normally around 6.30pm!

Until next time, A bietot, Clare X

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