October 6th: It has been a year to the day since I moved into my quirky but beautiful old house. And the past three days have been just so full of love happiness that I am extremely happy today even if a little tired. My gorgeous daughter flew to Limoges on Wednesday and spent a short but wonderful visit with me here in France. The sun is shinning today, I have treated myself to some oysters from our local Saturday market and my two cats are out enjoying the warm weather. Life is good and I can’t imagine how it could improve very much right now.
Hugo made sure that my daughter was made very welcome too…
I managed to sell my old car to a charming man from Perigeux who will transplant the engine into the same model used by his two children. It’s nice to know that someone else will benefit from the good engine that it had. In order for sale to take place, I had to drive to Limoges the day before and leave the car in a car park and return home by train. The journey home was inexpensive and comfortable, I may use the service to enjoy a day out in Limoges at some point. The next day we exchanged car for cash in the station car park on the afternoon of my daughter’s arrival. Unfortuantely when I bought my train ticket, I believe it’s where I lost my driving licence! Now re-applied for!
It’s the 11th today and I have recovered from the visit to Lyon and back in two days. Something I may do quite differently next time. Travel in France can be very Paris based. For example, if I wanted to take a train from Limoges to Lyon, it would take me to Paris to get the TGV and then 5 hours plus to reach Lyon. But I now know if I drive west to another station I can get a train that will go direct but not as fast as the TGV. Before I had set off, I received a text message regarding my appointment asking if I would be able to change the time of my rendez-vous from 11.30 to 9.15. I was ok with that as it would mean that I could begin my return home earlier, and agreed. This was my first visit to the hospital to begin the a process of discovering if I am suitable for surgery. The first contact was with a psycharatrist who agreed to allow me to continue to the next stage with the hospital. I now await a letter with my next rendez-vous. I would generally prefer to drive to anywhere if I can and hence a 4.5 hour journey putting me and my Megane to the test. I am happy to report that the car dealt with the journey extremely well. Me, not so well! On the trip down it was a sunny day when I set of about 2pm, so the roof went down and the wind blew in my hair as I began the long drive.
Other than stopping en route for a snack from a supermarket, I drove non stop to Lyon avoiding motorways and toll charges which would have been 50-60€ for a round trip. I booked a room via AirB&B which appears to be a popular method of finding somewhere nice, often in a family home here in France. My arrival in Lyon was around 7pm, I parked near my accommodation and soon met the French family I was staying with. They were very welcoming and my room was fine, although my bed a little short in length. It was quite early in the evening and I was in need of something to eat. I had already researched where the restaurants were and set off in that direction. At the time I did think I should eat a salad or something healthy and light. Well that didn’t work out as planned! I felt that I should make this a special time in view of the importance of the visit to Lyon. I found a busy bistro that looked quite nice and I had walked far enough.
Une table si-vous-plait!
In good French style custom, I ordered a kir while surveying the menu. There was too much choice and I hadn’t eaten any meat for a while. I ordered an entrecote steak with a regional Cote du Rhone red wine. I noticed one of the menu items involved a heated stone on a metal stand and you cook a selection of meat on. The two young men on the table next to me ordered this after having eaten big salads for starters.
I finished my meal with a cafe gourmand and a nice cognac. I had hoped that may have secured a sound night’s sleep, but it didn’t. I woke several times that night for two reasons. The first, I never sleep well the first night anywhere different. The other being that I was a little concerned about my pending appointment the following morning and the thought of traffic jams. I would never have found my way into the centre of Lyon or located my accommodation or the hospital on the following morning without Sat Nav!
The Wedneday morning I arrived at the hospital in good time for my meeting but waited far too long to be seen in view of the re-scheduling by the physchatrist. However, I did manage to keep calm with an attempt at meditation and relaxation. I was eventually seen and had expected something much more enquiring and in depth. Only to find a very basic set of questions asked of me. After acquiring the minimal amount of information he stated that I was already very advanced in my transtion. This was a reassuring remark and I softened towards him – very slightly. He continued by informing me that I could take a simplified route and handed me a sheet with a list of individuals that I need to obtain appointments with in the near future. An ednocrinologist, surgeon and another meeting with him. I now wait for a letter informing me of pending dates. The secretary mentioned the surgeon was in great demand and was unable to give me an idea of the time scale. I am fine with that for now. I also have a meeting with a cardiologist in just over a week. I hope to learn if prescripition of correct hormone treatment will be viable. I suspect it may not and prepared for the response. I am not sure if or how that may affect other aspects of what I have applied for in terms of medical procedures.
I have time to reflect and consider recent developments, but for now I need to get back to damp walls, and a shower room that is in need of completion. I am making efforts to build my social network and have invited a very sweet French couple for a meal. Date and time to be confirmed but it appears I am making a three course meal including a Thai red chicken curry. My laser treatment has hit a problem and I am seeking some advice on the matter. I need to try resolving that somehow soon.