Warmer Weather At Last and A Fantastic Day Trip to Italy

23 Apr

It seems it seems that the weather is finally warming up – we have had mainly sunny days for the last week although the nights and mornings are quite cool still.

We have been here 3 weeks now and we’ve been working away on various parts of the property, weeding gardens, pruning, staking, tying, edge trimming and mowing. It didn’t really seem like we were making a dent in the list of things to do and it was sometimes hard to see what we had done. But then this week with the improvement in the weather and lots of part finished jobs being completed things started to look really good. Now with the amount of rain that we have had the grass is growing uncharacteristically fast but at least it looks really good once it is cut.

On Tuesday we received our first bank statement which was cause for excitement because it meant that we could, at least in theory, complete the paperwork for our car. On the same day we got a telephone message from the bank asking us to return & sign a couple more papers. Wondering what sort of curveball was going to be delivered I printed out a copy of our marriage certificate because it was the only personal document that we hadn’t already given them. So we headed into the bank feeling well prepared and it turned out that all we really needed to do was to sign one more document. No more hoops to climb through. It was almost an anti-climax!

On Wednesday night I installed the bank’s app on my iPhone and it told me that our credit cards were now ready to be collected. So on Thursday we made another trip to the bank and without any fuss collected at new French credit cards. It was quite amusing in a way because when I offered identification the lady behind the counter just smiled and said, in French, “No, it’s okay, I recognise you”.

On Friday we took the new bank statement, the only remaining requirement, and went into the ‘Carte Grise’ office in Draguignan. Things were progressing well until we said that the car should be registered in our joint names. Remember that marriage certificate that I didn’t need the bank? It was still in my bundle of papers and was exactly what I needed now. A lucky save! They do love paperwork, goodness only knows what they do with it all. There must be warehouses full to the rafters with boxes of useless papers like the ones we furnished for this exercise.

Once the paperwork was complete the really interesting part started. They actually make your new plates in the front of the shop on a table while you wait. Then they take them to your car remove the old ones and reveal the new ones on. Absolutely amazing! I was so taken by this that I recorded the process of my camera. Check it out on you tube… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6BP11nZCsA

Saturday was a big day. James and Lavinia drove us to Italy to visit Sanremo and Bordighera. We left here at 830 in the morning and didn’t get back until 830 at night. It’s a two hour drive each way on the A8. The weather was perfect although on the coast there was a very strong wind and the seas were pounding the breakwaters. The water was quite agitated causing some interesting colouration as well.

I don't think I would like to be in such a small boat today!

The marina looked very calm.

The first stop in Sanremo was the markets. These were quite large and had a very good produce hall where we purchased various foods for Sunday’s lunch. Speaking of lunch, we had an excellent lunch on the marina. The calamari was to die for.

It was all there...

I need a piss. Call the station for me and ask them to send a relieving officer! 😉

I have no idea what was so funny in the produce hall.

After eating it was time for some walking and of course, taking photos.

Not so obvious in this shot but it was blowing furiously. I had to spend an hour the next day cleaning salt spray off my lenses and camera bodies.

Looking more like a washing machine than a tranquil Mediterranean beach.

Flags hanging on for dear life!

The colouration bands in the water looked great.

Looking down from the road out of Bordighera

This guy will be wishing he stayed in bed this morning!

James and Lavinia invited some local English friends over for lunch on Sunday so that we could get to know a few more people before they head off to England next weekend for 3 weeks or so. Lunch started at about 1230 and by the time we’d finished it was 7 PM! We met some delightful people, ate some lovely food and drank some very nice wine. Nek minit, the weekend was over but what a treat was!

It is a tough life!

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