15 November 2012

Life in the fog

It's really foggy again this morning here in the Loire Valley. The low temperature is the same as it has been for days on end: in the high 30s Farenheit. I can't complain, really — it's not freezing cold, it's not raining, and it's not snowing. But it sure is gloomy.

Callie on her morning walk around the edge of the vineyard

I just saw a report on TéléMatin about the release of the 2012 Beaujolais Nouveau wine, which happens on the third Thursday in November every year. It seems the grape harvest was only 50% of normal this year, and a lot of the vignerons in Beaujolais are facing financial problems. More gloom...

Cherry tree

I think we got the problems with our 2013 enrollment in the French national health system cleared up. We re-applied in September, as we do every year. Around October 1, we got a letter saying we needed to send in some more papers. We did that. Then last week, the woman who's handling our enrollment called and left a long message on our machine. She said she still hadn't received the papers. Who knows why? We definitely sent them. Lost in the mail? Lost in the bureaucracy?

Winter vines

I'm glad the woman called us and didn't just cancel our coverage. She gave us another week to complete the enrollment. Every Tuesday, the health insurance agency sends an employee down from Blois to hold office hours in Saint-Aignan and meet with people who need assistance. We went in Tuesday morning. We were third in line — there were 12 or 15 people in the waiting room by the time we left — and after a short wait we explained our situation to the agent. He took the papers, stamped them to show the date we brought them in, and assured us he would hand them off to the right person at the main office in Blois the next morning.

Autumn leaves

I hope it's all straightened out now. Things like this still make me very nervous. I guess it's because I feel like having such affordable health insurance coverage is almost too good to be true. Now we have to wait for a letter telling us we are re-enrolled... or not.


  1. Dear Ken, A friend of ours from Lake Summit in North Carolina sent us your blog. We live in Cellettes and on rue de la Renaudiere. I loved your photos of the autumnal leaves. I have not been down there in 5 weeks because I have been ill. I am glad you have the photos as they give me cheer!


  2. Hello Gwen, nice to hear from you. I wonder if you've been in Cellettes for a long time. We've been in Saint-Aignan for almost 10 years now. Funny coincidence about la rue de la Renaudière... Hope your recovery is speedy.

  3. Gloomy is just that, isn't it? I'm glad you had a chance to get out of the house and take a drive to Blois, even if it was for a stressful reason. (And, the vineyard looks great even in the gloomy fog!)

  4. Foggy here too this morning in LA. My neighbor got led off and is freaking out about health insurance since he lost his coverage for himself and his family. So sad!

  5. The colors in the last picture are like the essence of autumn, I think.

  6. For once it has been nicer here than where you are !! Mild and sunny today....but I'm not boasting - it won't last !! The season of mists and mellow fruitfullness, for sure (or was that last month?)

    I hope you get your paperwork sorted out soon. I feel nervous for you.

  7. I used to like foggy days (when I didn't have to drive in it). There's something magically mysterious about them.


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