Organisation is my middle name with a busy work schedule my days and weeks are planned with military precision. I am very aware of the law of balance. There are going to be times when life chucks in a couple of curve balls to keep you on your toes. And last week I had my curve balls.
Days before flying Paul had contracted a few 'man germs' which knocked him off his feet, so several days were spent bed ridden. Business admin and communicating to clients of the situation was necessary. On top of that the car decided to die. Having done a 120km round trip earlier in the week prior to his departure, Saturday morning the car decided 'non' I am not moving.
Having AXA Assist as part of my car insurance was a godsend. Twice I needed to call them out. The first call was made on a Sunday afternoon and they very kindly assured me that someone would be out to take a look. Sure enough 7pm on a Sunday evening a very nice French man, scratched his temple and came to the conclusion that the battery needed changing. Phew, as I was due to drive to Poitiers airport on Monday to deposit husband and light luggage. This pushed me right out of a comfort zone, as I dislike motorway driving and have avoided them at all costs in my 3 years here. I had collected many bonus points there and back though, rugby style, for overtaking 3 lorries in one hit!! Comfort zone and car back at Chez Wilkins, tick.
The next day, the car decided to flunk on me again. Another call to AXA Assist and 1 hour later the car was taken to a local garage for diagnostics and treatment. If I had not had this as part of my insurance, I would have been stuck. There are large distances between anything, and had I called up a garage for a recovery vehicle to tow my car away, I think this would have been quite expensive. My insurance is extremely reasonable and in sterling equates £272 and to have this kind of rescue service included in my insurance for me was and is a life saver.
Now the garage is about 17km from where I live. There is no public transport and thought of hitch-hiking along a busy D road was out of the question. Thankfully my parents were able to step in and ferry me to and from the garage on Wednesday morning to collect fixed car only to find that it couldn't leave their forecourt. A triple temple scratching moment. Had parents not been here, a good network of support would have meant that I could call someone to get me to the garage to collect my car, or not on this occasion. The car was able to be collected on Friday morning, working as it should be and back on the road.
Fortunately I also stocked up my pantry and the birthday dinner of beef bourguignon which was cancelled due to poor health was dispensed into meal for one boxes for the week. Oil for the paraffin fire was stocked up and the wood in burn size chunks should the log burner be called upon was at the ready. The use of WhatsApp played a huge part in the communicating with my husband. We both have French smartphones, although not usable outside of the country. I have no signal at the house for my smartphone, but wifi is pretty fab.
Being one of half of a marriage package, I am fortunate that I am not in France on my own and I wholeheartedly admire anyone, particularly females who move to other countries and get stuck in. What is extremely important is having a back up plan and a good network around for when daily life decides to become a bit of a diva.