In France you pay for a lot of things via stamps (timbres): everything from traffic fines (none yet - fingers crossed) to visa's. The place to buy these is not the post office but the local tabac (news & tobacco agent). There is always at least one of these in most towns.
In the last week I've been out and about stamp collecting. I need five of these special stamps for my Carte de Sejour application. They are issued by the Agency Nationale de l'Accueil des Estrangers et des Migrations and cost 55 euro each!
After searching far and wide we managed to find some in Belves (pronounced Bell-Vess) today. They only had six stamps left, so we bought five and I'm still looking for another five for Ange's application.
Tomorrow I'm heading off to the provincial capital, Perigueux to hand these precious babies over in person and to seek out some more for Ange.
Ange is off by train to Bordeaux, for her (residency) medical check-up, which we had previously postponed.
She had me point out all the best shopping streets on the map but has promised not to buy anything. I think she meant that she wouldn't buy me anything.
What about the kids I hear you ask? They are going to school tomorrow: Yes I know it is a Wednesday but it transpires that Friday is a major holiday (VE day) and so there is no school on Thursday, Friday and Monday.
They will most probably have next Tuesday off as well: there is a one-day Teacher's strike. We will have to put them to work in the veggie garden.
Did you understand all that.. just as well it wasn't written in French.