Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Our Declaration de Travaux was approved

I phoned our Mairie (mayor's office) during the week to ask about the declaration de travaux we submitted in May. As I've blogged before, I really don't like making telephone calls to France unless I really have to as it really makes me concious about how good my French isn't. Anyway, after 3 weeks of prevaricating I finally plucked up the courage to make the call, and is usual it wasn't as bad as I was expecting it to be, I was able to make myself understood, and found out that the travaux was actually approved in June, and that they'd sent me the approval then (which for some reason I hadn't received). Just the news I was hoping for as it means we can finally go ahead with the first step renovations to the old house - I phoned our builder and told him the good news.

Rewinding the story a bit and filling in some of the background to this momentous event ....

The main building we own in France is L shaped and like most older buildings has been built up over time. The bottom part of the 'L' was once a separate two bedded property and forms the bulk of what we currently rent out as a holiday home. Connected to this in the corner of the L is the most recent addition, a downstairs bathroom, boiler room, and upstairs corridor and third bedroom - collectively we call all this the new house house as it's comparatively the newest part; maybe some 50ish years old.

The rest of the 'L' (the upright) we refer to as the old house as this was once the original longere farmhouse. The walls are about 80cm thick (compared to the new house which are a mere 60cm) and outside you can see where the original thatch roof line was. Downstairs is one large room with a massive open fireplace, and upstairs the previous owner started converting into a liveable space and has built 3 bedrooms, none of which are truly finished. The old house is connected to the (rented out) new house by a doorway on the first floor which we normally leave locked thus disconnecting the two properties.
Next door to the old house is what was once the stable block for the farmhouse. Downstairs in the stables is a large room with animal feed troughs down each side and upstairs is the old hayloft.
The photo above shows the old house and stable block with our current Gite to the left. Since the photo was taken the outside stairs that went up to the hayloft have been taken down as they were unsafe.

When we bought the French house one of our desires was to buy somewhere that had some scope for being a future renovation project. It's our long-term aim to convert the old house into a second 3 bedroom Gite, and ultimately (funds and time permitting) to also convert the stable block into a third 3 bedroom Gite. All of this is some way down the track as although the old house and stables are water-tight they're both really just empty shells. Neither part has any heating, toilets or bathrooms, there's only a single cold water tap in the stable (no hot water), although there's electrics in place it's been done as a spur off the main house lights and hasn't been wired direct into the main fuseboard, etc, etc.
In other words there's a lot to do before we could even consider sleeping in there ourselves, let alone renting it out.

Although we're prepared and able to do quite a lot of the works ourselves we decided to kick start the renovations by getting a builder to do some of the initial work:
  • Replacing the two windows and oak frames in the old house downstairs that overlook the courtyard between the two wings of the 'L'
  • Replacing the upstairs door in the old house that opens above the courtyard with a new window and frame
  • Putting in an upstairs bathroom, shower, sink and toilet to the old house
  • Putting in two new windows in the rear wall of the old house lounge (not an enviable task as the walls are 2 feet thick!)
  • Running hot and cold water pipes from the Gite into the old house
  • Putting in a proper electric supply to the old house
Last year I went to the local mairie's office to find out what type of planning permission I'd need and was told that as we were not extending the habitable space in the property (the whole house has a certificate d'habitation) so all I needed was a declaration de travaux (i.e. permit to work). I just needed to complete the form and submit it with three copies of 'before' and 'after' photos.

In April when we were over I dropped the form and the photos off. I had blown up some photos of the different sides of the Gite to show what it looked like before, and then drawn new windows and written 'nouveaux fenetre', etc on them to show where the new windows were to go. To be on the safe side my plans included all the window replacements (even through I don't think these need permission) as well as the two new windows, and we also submitted for permission to put in new velux's and windows in the stable block even though we're not planning on starting to convert that end any time soon.

In May I received notification that our submission was incomplete and that we needed to provide before and after scale drawings of each elevation and floor level - unfortunately just drawing boxes to show where new windows were to go wasn't going to cut it with the Mairie.

So when we were over at the Gite at the end of June we spent quite a bit of time measuring every dimension of the old house and carefully drawing up proper scaled drawings of each elevation and floor level using Microsoft Visio.

The big advantage I found of doing the drawings in Visio was that everything would be automatically scaled (e.g. to 1:75 or 1:100) even through it was a bit labour intensive to do each view manually. Doing the drawings meant that we could actually physically plan out where the windows, sockets and kitchen were going to be in the old house; and it's a good job we did as we found that our window sizes were too big and the windows were about 1m out from being lined up under the upstairs velux's - we'd forgotten to allow for the thickness of the exterior walls when measuring up. More re-measuring and re-drawing and it finally all fitted in place and the end result looked great.

We dropped the new plans off at the Mairie at the start of June and sat back and waited. And waited, and waited. You're supposed to hear either way within 2 months so after 4 months I was beginning to wonder what was happening - had the neighbours complained, was the Mairie still laughing about our poor explanations of where the new windows were to go? Finally plucked up the courage to phone them up only to find out that the approval was given on the 26th June and it was supposedly sent to me; but clearly never arrived.

I'm going over to the Gite next week for a week's working holiday so I'll call in at the Mairie and pickup a copy of the permit and we can finally commence works.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The deed is done - new holiday home website design finally launched!

Finally at 9:47pm tonight I clicked the 'publish' button in Rational's Software Development tool (which our Brittany Gite website is written in), and uploaded the new site design.

I've been writing about the evolution of the new design for some months now (most recently earlier this month when I finally settled on a new CSS based design and when I tested the new design with IE7), and since then I've been diligently applying the new design to all the pages of the site.

Most of the site design is actually generated from a single template and this takes care of ensuring that all the pages have a consistent look and feel and automatically generates the navigation structure down the left hand side. It's therefore been a matter of building the new template, applying it to each page, addingthe appropriate DIV sections to the HTML, then testing that it all works properly. Oh yes, then spell checking all the pages, and finally going through confirmed that all the external site links still worked - several of which didn't, and had to be corrected or removed.

I've still got more to do, there's new photos to add, new sections to add about additional local attractions and guest comments, but these are comparatively minor and can all come later. I'm pleased with the end result and hopefully web visitors will like it too.

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Saturday, October 21, 2006

IE7 now available - first impressions

As announced on the Microsoft IE Blog earlier this week, IE7 was formally launched for public download.

As it's going to start being pushed out as a mandatory update next month I thought I'd better download it quick and check that our holiday home website looks OK, not just in its current incarnation, but also with the new design that I've spent seemingly months working on and I'm just about to roll out. It would be a bit of a problem if the new site is visually screwed up ...

Looking at my website logs I can see that 6% of this Blog's readers are already on IE7, and 3.5% of the main website users are on IE7; so IE7 is clearly out there in the field and starting to be used in anger.

Interesting to read that the CNET review of IE7 gives it a 7 out of 10 overall and ends with
There are a lot of changes within IE 7, though not as many as we'd hoped and some that are merely cosmetic. Missing are innovative, cutting-edge features such as search engine suggestions, live feeds within bookmarks, inline spell-checking, and session restore--features offered within Firefox 2-- or thumbnail tab previews, desktop widgets, or voice (which can read Web pages aloud)--features offered by Opera 9. Given a proposed 18-month development cycle for the next release of Internet Explorer, IE 7 was Microsoft's one chance to leapfrog ahead of the competition, but the company has only barely caught sight of the current front-runners.

That said, everyone should upgrade to IE 7 when offered the chance, even if you never intend to use it. Because Internet Explorer is so tightly bound within Windows XP SP2 (for example, if you view an HTML document in Microsoft Word, you're using IE technology), it's better to have the improved code within IE 7 running on your system than not. But for a truly secure Internet browser with more features, we still recommend Mozilla Firefox.

So that's what Cnet thought about it, what did I think? I have to admit I'm not overly impressed. I've been using IE7 for an hour or so now and whilst there are things I like, there's an equal number of things I find annoying - maybe it's just because it's different from previous versions of IE, but to me it doesn't seem as intuitive as Firefox.

Some comments therefore:
  • It seems to be definitely slower opening and rendering pages than IE6 and Firefox
  • Tabbed browsing is a welcome addition and I like the Quick Tabs button that gives you a preview view of what's on each tab - a quick and easy way to find a previously opened tab. Also good is that the Open & Close keyboard shortcuts (control-T and control-W) are the same as in Firefox. Also like that there's an option to autosave what tabs were open when you close IE7, though frustrating there's no way to turn this on all the time. Update 22/10, found a great Firefox extension, Tab Catalog, that adds a new button for a thumbnail view of the open tabs (as per IE7) and additionally shows the thumbnails when ctrl-tabbing (one feature not present in IE7)
  • I found the 'favourites centre' a bit non-intuitive at first. I thought it only showed my favourites, but in fact it also enables toggling into history and RSS feeds.
  • RSS feeds are of course a big new feature of IE7 and they seem to work quite well, enabling you to add and subscribe to feeds at will and also choose how often they're automatically updated.
  • Another bugbear, the history view. For reasons unknown all the history file entries for my Gite website appear with the title duplicated twice (e.g. 'Rent our holiday Gite... Rent our holiday Gite ....'). I can't see anything wrong with the HTML that's causing this; for some sites (e.g. Vauxhall Trafficmaster it doesn't duplicate the title in the History, but for lots of others, including Microsoft's IE7 pages have the same problem, but others such as the XP homepage do not - go figure!
  • Of course I miss Mouse Gestures from Firefox; particularly 'right mouse click and moving the mouse left' to go back a page which I find I now do all the time
  • Printing is much improved with a new 'shrink to fit' feature as per Firefox, quick buttons to toggle the page orientation and to turn the page headers on and off - all good features. However annoyingly they've removed the 'Close' button so you have to use the X button on the top right and also pressing the page up and down buttons on the keyboard which for me should show the next/previous page doesn't work (it's Alt right & left arrow instead) and Print Preview is modal so you can't look at any other webpage when Print Preview is open
  • Final useful addition is a Zoom window button (similar to Opera) which increases the text size and automatically scales up images - it's good but you do end up with scroll left/right bars appearing
  • There are a few minor niggles with using Blogger under IE7 - some of the administration features don't work properly - but doubtless Google will fix them soon

So for me I'm personally with CNET, Firefox is still better and remains my browser of choice.

I was delighted to see that the new Gite website design works perfectly with IE7 (phew!); however the current site design doesn't, the leftmost 6 characters or so of the navigation menu get truncated off - this is because the current site design uses the star-html hack which is no longer supported (good Position is Everything article about IE7 changes if you're interested in the detail).

All the more reason to finish off the new site design and get it uploaded quickly ...

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

New Google Webmaster tools - bit of a mixed bag

Just read an announcement from Google about their launch of four new Google Webmaster tools.

Most useful are graphs of pages crawled per day, number of kilobytes downloaded per day and time the Googlebot spent downloading my pages.
Interesting to see that Googlebot traffic appears to go up and down quite a lot with large peaks in late July and August - perhaps Googlebot does a full site download once a month or so and then just "dips into" other pages throughout the month?

Possibly the most strange is the Google Image Labeler. Google Image labeler is an attempt to get the web community to put useful labels on the web's photos and images - you're pitted against some other random person, both given random images which you have to give a descriptive label to, and if you and your partner both choose the same label then you're awarded points in recognition of your effort.

I played it a few times, most attempts I was unable to match any of the labels that my random partner chose, but twice I must have been matched against a similar genius because we both correctly labeled 6 photos and gained a massive 600 points for the priviledge. A fun game but not one I think I will be returning to on a regular basis.
The Webmaster option simply enables you to opt-in or opt-out your site's images to Google Image Labeller.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

More minor repairs & niggles

It must be the weather (or maybe the Gite has noticed we've not been there for a while), but we seem to be having a spate of minor things going wrong.

Last month I wrote about the kitchen sink not draining properly, and this month it's the Sky box and one of the Velux blinds.

Our local agent Alan was able to fix the kitchen sink problem reasonably easily (it was blocked up with vegetables), but the Sky box is a bit more confusing. Last week's guests phoned us up to say that there'd been a massive storm over in Brittany and since then the Sky wasn't working properly - the sound was OK but the picture was all scrambled. Thinking that maybe the Sky digibox had got scrambled with the weather I suggested that they unplug it, wait a few minutes, then plug it back in again. Unfortunately this then resulted in no picture and no sound either.

Alan and Cherril were kind enough to go over and fiddle with the box on the weekend, swapping it for one of their Sky digiboxes which worked perfectly. Looked like our Digibox had gone phut so I was about to buy a new one off ebay when I received another email from them to say that this week's guests were reporting the same problem with their Digibox. Maybe it's the dish that's misaligned or something? Not quite sure, sounds like more investigation is required.

Also had a report that one of the Velux window night-time blinds has broken and a new one was needed. I'd fortunately written down the part number off the Velux window so was able to track down a replacement blind off Velux UK's website - a princely £90.01 including VAT & delivery charge.
Just before I reached for the credit card I thought I'd try Velux France's website to see if they had the same blind, and at what price. Lo and behold, they did have (even the same part number), and at a more reasonable €81.54 including TVA and delivery. At today's exchange rate that works out at £54.70 so I promptly ordered one. I might after all be needing the £35 saving to buy a new Sky digibox.

Only hope that the French postie can find our Gite OK ...


Saturday, October 14, 2006

Setting up a Google sitemap for my blog

Reading a useful article on Improbulus tonight about using the Blog RSS feed to trick Google into using it as a sitemap. That way you can automatically ping Google whenever you add new Blog entries so that they'll be more rapidly indexed by Google (without this trick, Google's currently reporting that it last crawled my Blog on 8th October for instance - 6 days ago).

Unfortunately I can't type tonight and mistakenly submitted my site to Google's webmaster tools as rather than and not suprisingly it didn't work! is incidently for sale and doubtless there's money to be made from all the other people on the web with fat fingers like me.

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

How to pay the Taxe D'Habitation and Taxes Foncieres

After last year's messup with paying my Taxes de Habitation that ended up in me being a tax defaulter by paying my 2006 bill but not my 2005 bill, I've been taking much more care over the arrangements for paying the Taxes Foncières (land tax) bill that arrived last month. Most of the bill I received is reasonably easy to understand but I used the same method of converting the document from French to English of scanning it, OCR'ing it then using Google's translation tool that I wrote about before to confirm that I've correctly understood the payment options.

So here's the various ways to pay the Taxe de Habitation and the Taxes Foncières:

1. Firstly like in the UK you're encouraged to pay the bill by electronic funds transfer rather than by cheque or cash. The easiest way is to go to, follow the link to Taxe Foncieres, then 'access the service for online payment of taxes' (Accédez au service en ligne de paiement des impôts), enter the 'numero fiscal' printed on the bill and you can then pay directly online by choosing the paiement en ligne option and then enter your French banking details (coordonnées bancaires). You benefit from an additional 5 days grace after the bill due date if you pay online, and the money is debited 10 days after the due date.

2. Second option is to setup an annual 'whole bill' direct debit (prélèvement annuel/à l'échéance). This can also be done online via (this time choosing prélèvement à l'échéance on the payment options), or it can be setup at your local treasury office (in my case it's the local mayor's office), or it can be done at the regional tax office by the end of the month preceding the bill due date.

3. Third option is to pay by TIP (Titre Interbancaire de Paiement) which is a sort of one-off standing order. On the bottom of the taxe bill is a detachable TIP slip. You simply sign and date it and send it in with a copy of your bank account details. Your French bank will supply copies of your bank account details on a pre-printed RIB (releve d'identite bancaire) form which you simply enclose with the signed and dated TIP.
My bank (La Poste) supplies RIB's in the back of the cheque book, or you can order them separately online, or you can download them to print yourself as a PDF file.
If you choose to pay by TIP (as I did last year) then next year it'll be even easier as the French tax office will then pre-print your bank details on the TIP and you simply have to sign, date and return the completed TIP back to the tax office.

4. Fourth option is to pay be cheque. Again detach the TIP form from the bill, but this time don't sign or date it. Complete and sign and date the cheque and send the completed cheque and blank TIP form back to the tax office.

5. Fifth option is to directly transfer funds from your bank account to the tax office - this seems to be mandatory for bills greater than €50,000 so isn't really an option for most of us.

6. Sixth option is to pay in cash at your treasury (mayor's office), maximum limit is €3,000 for this method of payment.

So having worked your way through all these ways of paying this years bill, there are a few additional options as to how to pay next year's bill.

a. One option is of course to wait and pay it manually the same as this year via one of the same payment routes as above.

b. Alternatively they're trying to encourage the setting up automatic electronic payment (le prelevement automatique). This can be by annual payment (prélèvement annuel) of the whole bill (which comes out of your account 10 days after the bill is due), or it can be by monthly payment (la mensualisation).
If you choose the monthly payment option then the money will be debited on the 15th of the month from January through to October. The key point is that the monthly option is to pay for next year's tax in advance rather than this year's tax - the mistake I made last year was to complete a mensualisation and not realise that I also had to pay for the current years bill.

Bank account details in France are more complex than the simple sortcode/account number we have in the UK, there are 4 different numbers that you have to quote to complete the coordonnées bancaires: the Code Banque (sometimes printed as Etablis, 5 digits), the Code Guichet (5 digits), the Numéro de Compte (11 digits and mine has an X in it as well), and finally the Clé RIB (2 digits). These digits are all printed on the RIB form as mentioned earlier.

After filling in your bank account details for an annual payment or a monthly payment option, the details you entered are repeated back on a bank account authorisation form (a authorisation de prelevement) which you have to print off (or have it emailed as a PDF which you can then print off), sign it, and return it to your bank (not the tax office).

I hope this helps to explain how to go about paying your Taxe Foncières/Habitation. I've just completed the prélèvement annuel option and hopefully I won't have any unexpected demands later in the year because I've not paid the bill properly.

Monday, October 09, 2006

New Brittany Gite website design - finally settled on a design (part three)

Those readers with long memories will remember that way back in August I started talking about redesigning our Gite website, then in September I gave an update on progress, and now here we are in October, and I think I've finally concluded on a design that I like.

Well saying "I like" is a bit strong. I think I'd better say instead that I've come up with a design that I'm fairly happy with, works reasonably well, unfortunately doesn't fully do what I wanted, but it meets enough of my criteria to be worth adopting on the site.

And frankly after 3+ months of fiddling I'm getting bored with crafting standalone HTML & CSS so it's time to get on with other things (like improving all the photos on the site to make them larger).

Quick recap of what I was trying to do; instead of using tables to structure the main site elements (masthead, navigation bar, centre text and photos down the side), I wanted to adopt a more pure CSS 3 column layout that would enable me to:
  • Site navigation to be displayed in a left hand column
  • Main text to be positioned in the middle column and variable width so that it auto-expands to full screen width
  • Display supporting photos and pictures on the right
  • Include the middle column text first in the HTML file (i.e. before the navigation links and photos) so that search engines would give that text priority
  • Still look good if the font size was increased or decreased (so size everything in em's rather than px's)
  • Had to retain as much of the layout as possible on differing screen dimensions (width/height)
  • And it had to print properly

At the end of the last article I thought I was going to find my 'holy grail' with Position Is Everything's 'One True Layout'. Alas this was not to be and in fact I had terrible trouble with the layout, especially with smaller screen sizes when I found that the middle column of text just 'slid underneath' the pictures on the right hand side.

Eventually after much fiddling with the CSS I found the culprit, there was a

overflow: hidden;

clause on the main 'wrapper' DIVision which was intended to remove unnecessary padding at the end of the page, but was causing the pictures to stay in a fixed positition and the middle column text to 'flow underneath' the pictures when the screen width was decreased, rather than for the text to automatically shrink in width and increase in length as I wanted it to do when the screen width became narrower.

Much trial and error I concluded that this layout wasn't going to hack it for me and that the layout wouldn't autosize to fill the screen width. Looking more carefully at PositionIsEverything's boxes demo I realised that all the demos were for fixed width sites and the best I could do was to remove the overflow:hidden clause and then at least the text didn't disappear under the pictures with narrower widths, but instead the pictures dropped down to below the text, which frankly looked awful.
Here's yet another website homepage demo, styled this time using PIE's One True Layout.

It was at this stage that I was seriously thinking about giving up with this whole CSS idea and instead adopting a TABLE based approach or hybrid CSS/TABLE layout.

In one final desperate attempt to find a solution I looked again through the good CSS sites I've used before: A List Apart, Position Is Everything and Webcredible.

And on ALA's 'Thinking Outside the Grid' article I found a glimmer of hope with a link to Dave Shea’s Blood Lust, one of the designs he created for the CSS Zen Garden.

CSS Zen Garden is a marvellous site to explore if you're at all interested in the true power and beauty of CSS - there's a standard HTML page with several DIVisions of text, and web designers are invited to submit their own CSS design to reformat the standard page in any which way they can. The only rule is that the HTML must not be modified in any way, all the layout and design must lie in the CSS file. The more creative and unusual the better. Some of the Zen Garden designs are very clever and are worth studying to see their inner workings.

What I liked about Blood Lust was that it appeared to have solved my problem of columns appearing on screen in a sequence that differed from how they were laid out in the underlying HTML source.

So, much studying of Blood Lust's CSS, the standard HTML file, and trying to translate it onto the Gite homepage, I ended up with an almost perfect solution.

Firstly, here's the new sample demo homepage styled using Blood Lust concepts. So how does it measure up - well, it displays everything correctly in both Firefox and IE6, it's scalable for different font sizes, with increasing or reducing screen widths it scales nicely (the centre column just varies in width and the menu bar and pictures always remain visible), and when printed it fits the page properly with no truncation (a common mistake on all too many sites is that bits of the page disappear when you print them).

The one and only thing wrong with this design is that instead of the HTML contents being in the sequence {main text}{navigation bar}{photos} which was my 'holy grail', the contents instead are in the sequence {photos}{main text}{navigation bar} so search engines will "see" the photos and photo captions before they get onto indexing the main site text. It's probably better than the current TABLE-based structure of {navigation bar}{main text}{photos} as at least some relevant text will be read rather than some boring links such as 'Index', 'Getting there', 'The Gite', etc - but it's not quite what I wanted.

Try as I could I've not been able to fix this problem in a way that displays properly in both IE and Firefox. I did get to an alternative Blood Lust based design that meets all the above requirements plus has the DIV's sequenced the way I want in the HTML source (i.e. {main text}{navigation bar}{photos}), and it looks perfect in Firefox .... but it does NOT work in IE6. For reasons best known to Microsoft and its buggy browser, the photos resolutely appear under the main text despite there being a perfectly good space beside the text for them to slot into.

So where to now ? As I said right back at the start of this long diatribe, I've got fedup with all the time that I've spent chasing for that elusive, perfect, CSS layout that does everything I want. I can't find it, or at least the only design I can find doesn't work in IE ... and since 78% of my site visitors over the last month were using IE6, I can't really ignore them !

I think I will therefore go with this final layout I've ended up with. The colour scheme look and feel was inspired by Skidoo Too and the positional design by CSS Zen Garden's Blood Lust. I've some other ideas I want to get onto trying now, most important of which are redesigning the banner masthead and restyling the photos so they stand out more. I'd like to try to get as much of the new design rolled out quickly as I really don't want half of the site looking in one style and half in another - watch this space (or rather watch the Gite Website space!)

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Saturday, October 07, 2006

LikeBetter - "you are what you like"

Came across a cool website today, likebetter which simply shows you pairs of photos, asks you to choose which one like better, then from your series of answers "the brain" deduces things like gender, age, your outlook on life, whether you're a risk taker or not, etc.

Playing it just now, it's correctly deduced that I'm a man, I went to college, I prefer to use logic in making a decision and that I prefer hot places than cold places. How, I have no idea, but it seems to be right far more times (90%?) than it's wrong.

The site design is nice and simple, all in Ajax, with nothing extraneous added.

Have a look and see what the brain can deduce about you.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

My marrow's 95% compatible

Following on from last month's blog entry about giving a blood sample for the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust, I received a letter in the post from the trust yesterday giving the results.

Apparently I'm a 'good match for the patient' and that I have '95% compatibility with the patient'. It then goes on to say that 'if we are not able to establish a 100% match then I may be requested to provide a further blood sample for a final stage of testing, or I may be chosen to proceed to transplant'. It ends with explaining that 'if I've not heard anything further within two months then it's highly unlikely that I will be required for this particular patient'.

I spoke to the Trust on the phone today and they confirmed that at this stage there's nothing more I can do. The sample is with the patient's transplant centre and it's up to them as to whether they call me for further tests or not. They did explain that they deal with transplant centres internationally so potentially I could be helping a Leukaemia sufferer anywhere in the world. Unfortunately I can't make a blood donation for another 2 months until I know for sure that I'm not "the chosen one" to donate.

So all I can do is wait to hear one way or the other ...

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