Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Monday, May 05, 2008

Loosing it - French house keys, sunhat, room key, passport and more

Of late I seem to be loosing it big time.

I'm not talking about loosing the plot (although I sometimes wonder about that as well), but I'm actually talking about how I seem to be getting incredibly forgetful and keep on loosing things.

Two weeks ago I was lucky enough to go on a short business trip to South Africa as one of the qualifiers for the 'Hundred Percent Club' at work. I had a fantastic time over there, went around a national park game reserve and saw Elephants, Giraffes, Hippos, Rhinos, Zebras and more; rode a series of Zip wires over a canyon; mountain biking round another park; ate a lot; drank a bit; oh yes, and did do some work as well. A wonderful time was definitely had although the 12 hour flight each way wasn't the best fun I've ever had.

Whilst I was there I managed to loose my hotel room key and then a day later loose my sun hat.

I nearly didn't get to South Africa as the night before when I was packing I discovered I couldn't find my passport.

I'd had it only the week before when we'd all returned from our Easter holiday at the Gite, and I was convinced I'd "left it out handy" somewhere, but I couldn't find it anywhere in the kitchen, my study, the car, the lounge, the bedrooms, in short anywhere.

For the next 4 hours we turned the house upside down searching everywhere for the wretched passport. In the kids toys, the kitchen cupboards, under the beds, in all the waste bins; but no joy.

I phoned the 24 hour Passport helpline but as I'd lost an existing passport (rather than needing a renewal) and it wasn't a "matter of life or death" I was told the best they could do was a 7 day turnaround for a replacement - argh!

By 3am in the morning I was getting pretty close to admitting defeat and that I wouldn't be going to South Africa; and then I found the passport standing up on the floor of my study, end-on where it had landed after falling on the floor from the table I'd put it on "where it would be handy to get to". A lucky escape.

The frustration of loosing my passport has just about topped the frustration I felt in January when packing to go to the Gite and finding (once again the night before) that I couldn't find the keys for the French house.

As we're over in France at most half a dozen times a year the keys don't get used between visits and so twice now I've managed to completely loose them.

Loosing them for the second time was more galling than the first time as I'd resolved to "put them in a safe place" so they didn't get lost again. The first time I lost the keys and after spending hours looking for them they eventually turned up in my car under the drivers seat where I'd put them as we'd driven away from the Gite the previous holiday.
For some reason I'd decided to put the keys in the storage tray under my car seat and there they'd remained for several months.
Luckily I remembered where I had put them otherwise I might still have been looking for them.

After this experience of loosing the keys I decided to put them somewhere safer and so put them in a plastic box in the kitchen.

Liz got fed up with the key box lying around the kitchen and so I took the box into the garage and put it inside the crate of things I was accumulating to take to France on the next trip.

With having two homes we find we've often got things we want to take to the other house so tend to accumulate them all in a crate so it's easiest to remember everything when we go over.

At the time it no doubt seemed logical to put the keys in the 'France' crate, but all that happened is that when I loaded up the car I put the whole crate in the car without looking at what was in it and so we then spent several hours looking in vain again for the keys which were already in the car!

After I finish writing this blog post I'm going to have to go and check where the French house keys are as I'm not absolutely sure where they are again.

Wonder what I'll loose next?



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