Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Two steps forward....

Posted by Rosie

Ben broke his arm at about 5pm on Sunday and he finally got back home yesterday at 6.30pm, sporting a very fetching knuckle to upper arm cast which not unsurprisingly he finds a bit heavy! He has been really good so far but we do worry he may find three months of not riding his bike or swimming or tree climbing or generally doing what boys do, rather boring. Any ideas for activities that will keep him occupied would be much appreciated.

Boredom could have started today as we dragged him into Vire because we had to go to L'Assurance Maladie Office AND go to the Tax Office AND go shopping AND go to the natural materials supplier. All planned for yesterday but thwarted!

The French Health System works that you pay for medical treatment and are reimbursed via your Carte Vitale BUT, living in France and not working, as is our case at the moment, does not give you automatic entitlement to a Carte Vitale. We were initially covered via an Anglo-French agreement but that entitlement ran out in January and since then we have been running round in circles, jumping through hoops and generally getting very frustrated with French red tape. And to make matters worse without Carte Vitales we cannot claim the equivalent of French child benefit. So today, with everything we hoped we needed we trotted off to the Office of L'Assurance Maladie to try again.

Oh dear - when our number was called it was into the office of "The Really Grumpy Official". Keep calm, keep handing over the relevant paperwork, keep up your best French, keep small boy with broken arm entertained, keep fingers crossed. This time we had everything we needed and our dossier has been sent off to another department who will process our claim. "The Really Grumpy Official" actually cheered up as we proceeded (I think he liked children) and seemed slightly optimistic that our claim would be successful and if so any payments from January would be covered. I sincerely hope he is right because I don't want to think about how much a broken arm will cost.

Tax Office next which is normally heaving but by some strange piece of luck was completely empty so we were in and out in minutes. Onward for shopping. Well we would have done had the French farmers not been on strike and blockaded all the supermarkets. Never mind - just one visit left although this was could to take a while - the natural materials supplier where Simon had lots of questions to ask. The only problem was, the man he needed to talk to was out today on a course. Ahhhhh. Ben might have been happy to get home earlier but we had only managed to do half what we had planned and will have to go back another day. Ho hum - Keep smiling - this is France, two steps forward .........!!


  1. oh dear! I've never broken anything but it must be horrible to be in a cast. Sorry, no ideas for keeping boys entertained in these situations ~ i hope he's right handed!!!

    You'll get there evenutally with all the red tape. You can not be the first people to move from England to France, it'll be okay. Wishing you all the best though that it happens reasonably quickly!

    Vive la France!!?

  2. Honestly, after a short intial difficult period he will be able to do anything using his cast laden arm. Wee boys are hugely resourceful. It's the parents who worry more!

  3. You're right - he's doing really well despite being - yes - you guessed it - left-handed!!

  4. We live in Czech republic and, if it's any consolation, we have to live with this sort of red tape too. I'm sure we could spend hours comparing notes!

  5. Hello Dianne - welcome to the blog and yes - I am sure we could compare notes. Do you speak Czech. I hope so!!


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