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highs and lows

The summer season has ended.

Despite the difficult start with many hiccups in France, which means fewer bookings, we should definitely not grumble.

Not only guests from the Netherlands, but also from France itself.

For me a bit exciting because of this I had to use my basic French and to what extent would I make it? Can I manage to guide french guests through the gite and tell them details?

The ultimate test came once when I had to take the course for my certificate to run a Chambre d'Hote (in my case a "Gite d' Hote") with proof that I prepare and understand knowledge for food and drink to serve.

A big victory for me personally because I had to drive to Caen alone.

And then also follow a course in the French language for a whole day ...

I found my way.

I also managed to find the entrance to the building, which was completely on the other side than what we thought.

And there you go: a classroom in its entirety that is corona proof.

Mouth mask on. Hand gel everywhere.

Each a double desk for themselves.

And a teacher you should try to understand in French ..

Fortunately, there was also a spreadsheet on a screen and the teacher tried not to speak too quickly.

Every now and then asked for something in English. That went quite well with him.

I was glad there was lunch at noon.

This was given in a restaurant elsewhere so we went there with 4 people in a car.

Including mouth mask, though.

I was a little uncomfortable with it.

In the restaurant we had a large reserved table. The service also went with a mouth mask and it was allowed to go off at the table.

Otherwise it is difficult to eat.

Gosh, it was really nice and the food was very good.

And fell in love with the dessert buffet.

Anyway, I even followed a conversation and participated in yes: French!

Then back to the room where the second half started.

It was quite easy for me. Was able to follow everything well and understood it.

Don't ask me to retell it in French or to answer questions in French ..

Before I knew it, the day was over.

Closed with: the certificate!

Whether it is a sham or not, I am very happy with it.

I will soon be able to get my permit for a restaurant.

Fill in the form, include a copy of the certificate, hand it in at the Mairie and my permit has been received.

How hard can it be?

Now that we are working on milestones: after many months of waiting, submitting documents again, deleting applications and resubmitting, we finally succeeded: we have our carte gris!

That means that we finally have our French license plates.

Sounds easier than said, because they still had to be picked up at the office that processed our request.

In French...

You get it: I was pushed forward by Erik at that office to have my say.

A woman behind a glass screen didn't look at me too friendly.

She wanted the original documents, which she could then copy (again?) For the archive.

Then I got a flood of French words over me, while I had clearly said that I did not know very much French.

I understood her but could not answer her.

I asked if she wanted to slow down.

That look again.

Whether we had the insurance papers (those from NL).

Yes. I gave them to her, not that they were useful because the license plate changed and moreover the car turned out to be no longer insured because we already lived in France.

But oh well. Detail.

She was difficult and said that we first had to take out a French insurance.

But yes, no license plate is known, no insurance.

Typical French.

So I stopped and looked at her too.

With a sigh, she called her boss.

And yes, he said it was okay.

We could finally get our license plate.

Which were punched on the spot in a kind of enlarged credit card slider from the past.

We promised to email her the insurance information as soon as we got it.

Not done until today.

Well the insurance. Simply online.

They are also becoming modern in France.

I was very determined not to write anything more about it.


But the numbers are rising again all over Europe.

Also in France.

And the inevitable has happened: France has gone into lockdown again.

Confinement is back again, just like the first time: with a certificate on the street, to do some shopping.

With the difference that we are not allowed to leave our department now.

I have to choose where I will get the groceries.

But there seems to be a lot of hoarding again so there will be a lot of empty shelves.

Confinement is now until at least December 1, but even after that.

Dutch guests who would come after having already rescheduled their previous booking due to corona, must now reschedule again to another date.

Actually, I am completely done with that corona.

I think many with me. But yes, we just have to focus on not getting rid of it yet.

Although it would be nice to be a little more carefree about this at Christmas.

No bookings also means no income.

That will be stew at Christmas!

Looking back at our highlights, I enjoy doing it.

Now again a dipper with the corona lockdown.

But we will get through this too.

Autumn has begun, summer is over.

Outside the temperature is still pleasant.

The strong wind blows the leaves off the trees.

The colors of autumn will fade and give way to probably a wet winter in which the rain lashes against the windows and the water flows back down into the valley.

In the house we heat up the wood stoves.

We have to burn 8 cubic meters of wood.

Fortunately, we have already collected some from the farmer, the rest will wait there until after the confinement.

Look back on everything with a hot cup of coffee.

And think of spring, which will undoubtedly come again, with hopefully fewer lows and more highs.

But first Christmas ....

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