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February 1, 2014


We are definitely making progress in a few areas even if the medical stuff can surprise and confound us occasionally. For example, we got a letter from the doctors’ office asking us to make an appointment with our GP. We did and when we got there he asked “what can I do for you?” Turns out the system creates these ‘invites’ after a certain time period but the doctor didn’t need to see us or have any updates for us. And they wonder why they have backlogs and waiting lists! Our other medical issues are slowly getting sorted, more news as it develops.

I suddenly realised that the warranty on the weedwacker that packed up in France was running out so I called the nearest repair centre and to my grateful surprise they said they would come and get it – done deal! It will apparently take a while as Ryobi have parts supply issues but it is covered and will be fixed.

Having sorted out the rental on the bungalow we took a slight step backwards as the landlady has made it clear that she does not want me storing my shotgun in the house. This could have been a problem as I didn’t think I could get a permit without the secure storage but then I received a call from the firearms department to make their second inspection. I explained the problem to them and they said I could still get a permit if the gun was in remote secure storage (which it is) – they said they would send the permit immediately, it arrived two days later! Another result but it does not list my gun specifically so I’m sending it back for correction after discussion with the firearms people.

We spent some more time in sorting out the garage, moving the remaining books and photos into the house and relocating stuff we won’t need for a while – like Christmas decorations. We brought June’s big boxes into the conservatory and she is plodding through all this and sorting stuff ready for binning/charity shop or keeping. That’s another five boxes less but it is amazing the stuff we still have.

One of my sales on eBay went a bit pear-shaped; the buyer of one of the cameras demanded a return and refund because it didn’t fully work. Given I had listed it as non-functional; no returns accepted I thought this was a bit cheeky and we had an email dialog through eBay messaging. However, he would not budge, threatened me with negative feedback and complained to eBay. I contacted eBay and they agreed with me that he had no grounds for a refund and having threatened me he had broken their rules. eBay deleted all his negative comments and eventually all trace of the transaction as he had made negative replies to my positive feedback to him. So, I still have my 100% reputation and further sales are going well. My multi-system VCR and the video converter have gone as have the old family Swedish Christmas posters.

Next up is going to be the gardening equipment and that gave us a mystery, one box appeared to have gone missing and it contained all the batteries, chargers and spares for the mechanical tools. It eventually came to light when I found one box mis-labelled, what I thought was spare wrapping & packing was in fact the missing tools. Then, out of the blue, the weedwacker repairer called, all is well and it’s on its way back to me – sorted!

The car mechanic who is supposed to be fixing the reversing sensors has been a no-show several times and I’m starting to get annoyed with the dealer – all calls result in “I’ll call you back” but he never does. I’ll probably end up sorting this elsewhere.

We have been looking for both Chinese and Indian restaurants that offer seating and are open at lunchtime but they all seem to be take-aways for evenings only. Then we got a recommendation for a Chinese place not too far away which had very interesting reviews, claiming to be a genuine Beijing style café. Parking there was a nightmare and we had to give it up on one occasion but the second trip was well worth it – it really is authentic Chinese cooking, best I have found outside Asia for several years. We will be going again!

The car had started making funny noises and I was getting concerned as I am going to need it to be reliable over the next few weeks so I ran it into the Hyundai dealers for a check-over. Initially they frightened the life out of me, suspecting a loose flywheel which could cost over £1500!!!! It turned out to be a failed belt tensioner which costs £140 so I had that done on Saturday morning. There are some other issues but trying to get the original dealer to honour the warranty isn’t going to happen so I’m resigned to sorting it myself. Part of this little saga included a drama on Saturday morning as I was leaving to go to the dealer – the alarm remote locking switch battery went flat and I could not turn the alarm off or start the car. Luckily we do have a second alarm remote which, although broken with no electronic bits inside, turned out to still have a battery in it – which worked! I asked the dealer for a price on a new remote – £128.00!!! A quick eBay search found one for £29.95 – sorted!

There is another issue with the car – the rear lights fill up with water which is not good. The dealer priced up new ones – £170 for the right hand one, £110 for the left hand one – go figure! Anyway, a tube of silicone sealant should sort this out and even I can handle that and probably do a better job. I guess this is what I get for buying a cheap car off a back-street lot but it was expedient at the time to replace the Peugeot; maybe I’ll go looking for something better a bit later.

This has always been tax time and this year I had to think about three tax returns; US, France and the UK. The US was easy apart from the new requirements to report foreign bank accounts – we don’t owe Uncle Sam anything. The French system requires that people pay 1/3rd of their estimated taxes by February 15th and as we were resident in France for 2013 we will owe something – the 1/3rd of last years bill was duly sent off. A call to the UK tax office revealed we don’t need to make a return at all so next year it’ll just be the US and it is possible we won’t need to file that either. Another result!

Anyway, we soldier on; the weather is wet & windy but we have escaped floods, wind damage, snow and frost so far and we are now into February.



David & June

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Mrs Niklasson's Adventures

Home is where the heart is

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