25 October 2013

Different days, different sunsets

The weather is changing again. Rain moves in today. That's normal for October 25. Usually, in northern France the winter rains start around La Toussaint, which is November 1.

Above is a sunset over the vineyard from three or four days ago. Sorry about the utility pole — it's supposed to come down soon, when they finally hook up the big ground-level transformer out back and start sending current through the underground wires they've put in.

And the second photo is a closeup of the same sunset, taken a few minutes later. Those wires will disappear one day soon too.

Those first two photos show typical October sunsets here in Saint-Aignan. I'm not saying that we see such a show every day at dusk, of course. But the third photo, just above, is a rare occurrence in October. It looks more like a July or August sunset. We've been pretty lucky with the weather over the past week or two.

I mentioned a day or two ago that the grapevine leaves were taking on their autumn colors. These Chardonnay vines are a good example. The grapes were harvested about three weeks ago. The sun is setting behind the trees that border the vineyard.

Yesterday I got some more good news, to go along with getting the speedometer in my old Peugeot fixed for a good price, and getting an important bureaucratic snag sorted out. Yesterday's news has to do with taxes.

I've been collecting two different retirement pensions from the U.S. for several years now. I recently learned that retirement pension income from the U.S. is not taxed in France. (For French retirees residing in the U.S., French retirement pension income is not taxed by the U.S. federal government either.)

For years, I had been declaring my pension income as if it were French-source income. I did the same this year and paid the tax bill in France. Live and learn. I filed an amended tax return in September, and yesterday I got a letter saying the money will be refunded to me soon. I don't need to do anything but wait.

In addition, another tax (the taxe d'habitation or resident's tax), which is paid by all homeowners and renters in France, is at least partially based on the taxpayer's taxable income. My taxe d'habitation will now be considerably lower than I thought it was going to be when it comes due at the end of November.


  1. The first photo is really beautiful. I love the glow over the vines.

  2. I agree with Susan...
    and you could Pottyshop in a clef and some notes on the second... it would look good I think.

    "It looks more like a July or August sunset"... yep!
    And there is still some heat in that sun... I can't remember having to strip to my tee-shirt in late October before!!

  3. That's great news Ken....who likes paying so many taxes anyway?

  4. Wow! Great tax news, and good job on the Peugeot speedometer fix. And, of course.... amazing (!!!) photos today!

  5. Gorgeous photos and excellent news about your taxes!

  6. Nice to hear from you again, Nadege.

  7. What a lot of good news! Beautiful sunsets, wires about to disappear, money refunded, taxes reduced! You should have had a party!

  8. Kristi, we are having a little party this evening, with a friend who is visiting from England.

  9. Love this post full of fall color and good news on your taxes.

  10. We had a similar discovery two years ago on Glenn's Canadian pensions. They are taxed in the US the same as Social Security income. He filed amended returns for several years - three, I think.

    Re the power lines - I'm pretty sure they are running underground wires just so your photos will be uncluttered!!

  11. The sunset photos (especially the second) are magnificent. That's great news about the taxes.


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