France, Felines, and a Funny Story

This post is in two parts. Firstly, this is something I wrote just after my 3rd house sit which was in France.

Written for Facebook in October 2018

I thought I would do a little update on how I am finding the house sitting. Now that I am here in Ferney-Voltaire and doing a longer sit, I am reaping the benefits. The first couple I did were short, and although I really enjoyed them they were very different from this one. At this sit I have three gorgeous cats who are great company.

I am finding it very relaxing. Although I am still working online the fact that I am away from the distractions at home means I can do several focused hours of work each day and be left with time to read and rest. The centre of the town is close and there is a pleasant walk to it through the park so each day I walk in and buy a few groceries. I deliberately only buy a few so that I need to go out the next day and get some air.

Ferney-Voltaire, France

One of the lovely things about this week has been that one of the neighbours came and invited me out for a walk on Sunday and today we went out again and had coffee. It’s really good to have contact with someone local.

I am also enjoying the warmth. This particular house has been recently renovated and has underfloor heating. Even during the day, when the heating is off, the house remains so warm that I am walking around barefoot all day and haven’t even needed a dressing gown, which makes me feel rather guilty as my hosts went out and bought one for me! Oh, and a washing machine and dishwasher, both items that I do not have at home, are a great novelty for me.

So all in all, I am loving it and I think it will be really good for me. After this I will be home for a couple of weeks and then my next sit is in the very north of Italy with a view of Mont Blanc followed by a sit in Portugal for a couple of weeks before returning home again for Christmas. Next year is also looking promising with 3 sits already booked. This may turn out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. 

And now for the funny story…………

If you read my previous post about Ferries in Lisbon you will have read about one of my ‘am I safe to be let out’ moments. Well, this is another one. I hope it keeps you amused.

Written on 2nd November 2018

I got the bus to one of the local towns, Gex, about 25 minutes away. There are ticket machines on the buses but when I got on the driver told me the machine wasn’t working so I could travel for free. Everyone else must have had weekly tickets or something, because no one seemed to be paying they just got on and sat down. So, I’m sitting there thinking, this is great, I saved myself some money, when the bus was stopped by the police. There were several police cars and lots of police officers and they boarded the bus. For a brief moment I panicked and thought, surely the police don’t come on to check for people without tickets, I had visions of myself being carted off to jail for not having a ticket. They were checking ID’s thankfully, not looking for master criminals like me.

Anyway I arrived at Gex and had lunch there which reinforced my belief that France is expensive (it was €20) I won’t be doing that again! Of course, stupidly, I had arrived at about 12.30pm just when everywhere was about to close for a 2 hour lunch break.

Deserted streets of Gex

By 2pm I was tired and wanted to go home but there were major road works, the bus had been diverted, and the bus stop no longer existed. I walked around for ages trying to find where the bus left from but in the end gave up. It was very frustrating because three times the bus I needed drove past me but I couldn’t figure out where it stopped. So, I decided to get a different bus to another town where I thought I could get a connection back to Ferney-Voltaire, where I am staying. I had to wait an hour for it!

The town I went to, Divonne des Bains, was lovely but when I went to the tourist office I discovered that there were no more buses until tomorrow. At that point I had visions of me having to stay in a hotel and 3 starving cats at home eating the furniture. So, I had to wait another 2 hours and go back to where I came from in the first place to get a connecting bus. Thankfully the girl in the tourist office told me of a different stop to get off at so that I could get the connection back here.

Divonne des Bains

I am not convinced that I paid the correct amount to the ticket machine but I thought if I got arrested they might at least give me some dinner (the very expensive, in my opinion, lunch was lovely but I wasn’t exactly stuffed full). However, no one came to arrest me, no police appeared, and I got home without any further mishaps.

I had bought some groceries when I was out so, when I got home I started to cook and quick as lightening one of the cats got my steak and tried to eat it, I didn’t care, I was so hungry I would have eaten the cat, so I rescued it, cut off the end he had got hold of and cooked it. I am sure the heat killed any germs, if not I may be dead in the morning, but sure, then the cats can eat me. I have now been fed and watered and am about to crash out on the sofa.

And so, the adventure continues………………………….

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