Sunday, January 9, 2022

One week in, counting my hats and blessings, among other things

French Village Diaries one week in, counting my hats and blessings, among other things
Silly hats for story time 

One week in, counting my hats and blessings, among other things


If you told me it was the 29th January today, I’d have believed you, as it’s been so busy, I can’t believe the new year is only just over a week old.


I do love a hat (as these silly photos from the library last year show) and I seem to have worn many different ones this week, the first one being my accountant hat. This is not one I feel overly comfortable wearing these days, but one I have to dust off each quarter end to prepare the company figures for our French accountant. I’m pleased to say it’s almost ready to go back into its hat box once again. 

French Village Diaries one week in, counting my hats and blessings, among other things
My bear hunt story time hat

On Tuesday I got to put my full-time Mum hat back on as Ed came home to spend the week with us. This hat is one of my old favourites, slightly weathered and worn in places but always a pleasure to wear. I have to admit though, it slipped slightly yesterday, as when Ed left to go back to Poitiers, I packed him off with lots of fresh vegetables and some sensible tins, but totally forgot the galette des rois that I’d bought for him and Pearl. This frangipane filled, puff pastry delight, eaten in France for the Epiphany is always a family favourite here.


On Wednesday and Thursday, it put a big smile on my face to wear my village volunteer hat once again, as it hasn’t had much use since Covid-19 hit. It was my turn to open the library on Wednesday, where I also trialled a French vocab session with an English friend, and on Thursday our little team folded, stapled and delivered the first village magazine of the year.


French Village Diaries one week in, counting my hats and blessings, among other things
My Queen's story time hat

On Friday it was the turn of my supportive wife (and translator) hat as Adrian had his first outpatient cardiologist appointment, following his week in hospital last year. With the current Covid-19 situation being seriously scary here in France, we weren’t sure I would be allowed to accompany him in, but aside from scanning our vaccinations certificates at the main door, there were no restrictions. This was just as well as I also have a Niort hospital tour guide hat, so knew exactly where we needed to be, which was more than he did. I had all the paperwork ready and did most of the talking, right up to delivering him safely to the nurse and cardiologist who would supervise his bike stress test. I then sat outside and lost myself in an adventure book (cycling in the Pyrenees) while he pedalled away as if his life depended on it. 


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, cycling doesn’t stress Adrian out, it relaxes him, so it was no surprise to be called back in and told to take him home and not to bring him back. They had never seen anyone produce such high numbers, or be in such good physical shape, and the cardiologist has cancelled his follow-up appointment that was scheduled for later this month and doesn’t want to see him again. This was brilliant news to start the new year with. I’m used to hospital visits as a translator, but it’s been quite a different experience with it being for Adrian, so I’m happy to leave that hat to one side for now.


French Village Diaries one week in, counting my hats and blessings, among other things
My clowning around story time hat

I’ve also been fitted for a brand new hat this week, my census agent hat. In France, all communes of under ten thousand habitants carry out a census every five years and employ an agent to ensure all the households get the information required to complete the questionnaire. I’ve attended my first training session and started making my way, by bike, around all the roads in the village, checking off house numbers and letterboxes on my list. The great thing about the census this year is that for the majority of households, all that will be required of me is to drop their unique access code in their letterbox later on this month. The only direct contact will be with those who don’t respond in the allowed time, or those who can’t use the online system. This will be the first time a census has been carried out since Covid-19, so minimising the amount of contact, will reduce the risk to us all. This new hat seems to fit quite nicely and is turning out to be an interesting one to wear.


French Village Diaries one week in, counting my hats and blessings, among other things
My cycling helmet (with warm hat underneath)

Then there is my trusty cycling helmet that has accompanied me to the Mairie, to the library and around the village whilst counting houses. I never go out on the bike without it, even if it is only a few kilometres around the village, which is about all I’ve managed each day as there has been so much going on.


With a new mini-job to keep me out of trouble, an unexpected week with Ed and a healthy husband, it’s been a good start to the year. 


Do you have a favourite hat you like to wear? 


  1. What a fun post! You are so out there now and I love that. I am feeling fairly cloistered these days, due to Covid precautions. I love all your hats -- both physically and metaphorically. And the news here that I love most? That Adrian aced his test beyond anyone's imagination (except possibly his or yours) and got such a good report. Three cheers! Thanks for your blog visits -- it always makes me smile when your name pops up!

  2. Ive just read this post Jacqui and I do like the clown hat. Very colourful. Actually I was thinking of you at lunchtime just when I opened my new yoghurt pot! I decided to take a photo of the lid but cannot seem to add it here. I will have to send it via messenger. Im glad to hear your New Year has started well. Have a happy one.


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