15th March 2009

At last - the warm weather has arrived in our region. This last winter was much colder than usual. But the last few days have been gloriously warm and we have been sitting out on our terrace to enjoy lunch.
However, my relaxation was spoiled by two events - the dentist and the tax man - surely the two most dreaded things in anyone's life. The first was much soothed, though, by a wonderful woman dentist in nearby Cordes. Her name is Dr. Julie Bacque and she is so so gentle. Although I needed root-canal work + crown on one tooth - because my old UK filling was more than 30 years old - the only pain I felt was via my wallet! The cost was high - 400 euros - but this was tempered by a reimbursement of 230 euros by CPAM (the French health service) and 70 euros by our top-up health insurance. (I do like the top-up health insurance system because you don't ever need to claim - it's done automatically by CPAM). So, not too bad. The second - the dreaded taxman - was necessary because I had misunderstood the complicated French tax rules. (I never had to complete a tax return in the UK). I had 'foolishly' thought that because the interest paid on my one English bank account was paid 'net', I didn't need to declare it on my French return. Wrong! So, now I need to pay the UK tax for the last few years again and hope to get reimbursed sometime in the future via the double-tax treaty. Let's hope all this is in my lifetime.....life's too short.
But at least I can now relax again in this glorious sunshine - at least until the next unknown French problem hits......

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