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Punctured foot

My work on Sunday sorting out the brambles and the wild rose involved a lot of effort and tugging on pieces of rose. Here's a photo of me pulling on a piece of rose. The other end of it is on the roof, maybe ten metres away!

Huge piece of wild rose
Huge piece of wild rose.

Somewhere along the way, a piece of something punctured the sole of my shoe and punched a hole in my foot. I went "ouch", and carried on with what needed done.
I took a shower and it was sore but that was to be expected.

Later in the evening, it started to really hurt. So I took a look. And saw a big bit of the thorn stuck in my foot. As I walk around a lot at work (suggesting 9-10km per day probably isn't an exhaggeration!), I had to do something about it.

I covered the bottom of my foot in ethanol hand gel, and covered a craft knife likewise. Then I very carefully cut my foot open around the thorn, so I could fiddle around with the tip of a syringe that I dug out of one of the medical kits for mom. An unused syringe, I should add.

If you're squirming, just be glad I didn't take a photo. Even if what remained was a rather impressive hole.

Yesterday at work, with an aching foot and arms/shoulders, I must surely have been walking around like a cyberman. Today was a little better, but I think I'd better take it easy for a while.

Never poked a hole in my foot through all the bramble madness. The wild rose must be a whole different class of nasty. There was a wild rose just outside my bedroom window that I left because it was quite floriferous and pretty, but after a few milliseconds of thought to think "this will become that", I cut it down to the ground.


Mad cow!

On the way home today, two cars flashed me, the second one having somebody telling me to slow down. Telling a sans permis to slow down!
The white van man behind took the hint and stopped looking for places to go around me.

I went round the bend (many years ago...badaboom) and saw a large obstacle in the road.

There's an obstacle in the road
There's an obstacle in the road.

I guess perhaps I've been over here too long when my response was to shrug and put on the hazard warning lights until the wandering bovine got itself out of the middle of the road.

Or... wait... maybe if I was a real Frenchie I should have leaned on the horn while going around it at eighty with millimetres to spare? ☺


My rotavator engine

It appears to be a Mountfield M1 which dates from around the mid-'70s.

Engine serial stamp
Engine serial stamp.

Which as far as I can determine, means engine model 92902. Looking at B&S's website, it looks like this translates to 9 cubic inch displacement, basic design 2, vertical shaft, plain bearing, with rewind (pull cord) starter.

The next part is likely a unique identification for the engine - 1328-01.

The final part, 75071801 means that it was produced on the 18th of July 1975 on production line 1.



Residency permit application

Thanks to goddamn mother<beep>ing <beep>y <beep> Brexit, I am no longer a European. Which means, that as far as France is concerned, I technically rank somewhere around Americans and Somalians. However, thanks to my former-European status, there's a simplified way to get a residency permit.

In my case, having been over here for ages, I am applying for a permanent permit.

The website (which opened yesterday) is part of the website of the minister of the interior. Down towards the bottom of the page (it's all in French, duh!) is a logo for Brexit (it's a monochrome flag, half of which is British and half of which is EU; I'd have preferred a drawing of a turd), which takes you to some legalese gibberish ("Online procedure to blah blah") to click on in order to access the actual site where stuff gets done.

There is a choice of French and English versions. I pointedly conducted the entire thing, including a commentary I left, in French.

You are asked a few questions to get everything started. Did you read the Ts&Cs and do you agree to them? I ticked it without bothering to read - there's no continuing without that, so it's not like you actually have a choice.

Then it asks if it's your first demand or if you're adding something. First, obviously.

Then you are asked if you are British. I think the other option is for people from other non-EU places who are involved with and/or related to a Brit who are caught up in this mess. But I didn't read that in too much detail as I'm British.

The next question was if I have been over for more or less than five years. This is important as people who have been over more than five years are considered to have exercised their EU rights to live and work in another member state. As such, the residency permit will be permanent (defined as 10 years).
Those who have been here less than five years (and thus not exercised their five year right) are entitled to a permit of between 1 and 5 years (depending on their situation) and they have to justify that that have sufficient resources (income and medical coverage) to not be a burden on the state. As a person who has been here more than five years, they can't ask me for proof of income/resources, and to be here legally it's assumed I'm registered into the Sécu. However, one of my scans justifies that I'm not kicking back claiming benefits.....

The site asked me when I first came to France. On Firefox, a little calendar popped up with the date 20/10/0001. As I didn't fancy stepping through the entirety of history since Jesus month by month, I abandoned, switched to Chrome, and started again. This time it came up with 2020.

I had to provide three scans justifying:

  • Who I am - my passport.
  • My entry into France.
  • Evidence of my current residence at my current address - I scanned an Orange bill.

The difficult one is the proof of entry into France. We get in touch with a social worker shortly after coming to France, on the 20th of May 2002. She said that as we were EU citizens, we didn't need a titre de sejour. Technically we were entitled to one, but upon asking the Mayor, he said the same thing. I would imagine the prefecture would have said likewise.

My earliest officially documented evidence that I can lay my hands on is a tax return for the year 2004. However I scanned my most recent payslip and sent that.
In the bit at the end for additional explanations, I said that I had the tax return for 2004, and that the payslip I did send states that I've been with the company since 2009 (the first contract doesn't count as there was a legally required break). I chose this specifically because it shows that I'm gainfully employed, and that I can produce, if required, eleven years worth of payslips and recordings of work done, clocking in, etc.

I don't imagine that they actually care how long I've been here or when I entered, they just want something substantial to support the claim that I have been here at least five years.

Then I had to provide information on myself - passport number, date of birth, name, and so on. Again, this wasn't a big problem (everything is to be written in CAPITALS) but it was rather a pain in the ass to step backwards from October 2020 to December 1973. Still, as I went back, I tried to remember where I was and what I was doing each year. Oh, my time in Bridgwater. My time at boarding school. I didn't remember when I was in America, so I just guessed 1978. Unfortunately the person who would know kicked the bucket hard last year... it was after that Briggs and Stratton was produced!
Eventually I got there.

Then a section for commentary, where I mentioned the date of time with the company on the payslip, and the tax return for 2004 that I can send if they wish.

Then I had to confirm everything.

Then I had to prove I wasn't a 'bot (huh?) by writing what nine minus six is. Thankfully they wanted a number, as '3' is '3'. Otherwise, "THREE" or "TROIS" or...?

It took an hour for the automated receipt to be received. But it has been received, and I have a number. My information is going to be sent directly to the prefecture in Rennes for treatment.
If extra information is required, they will contact me.
Otherwise, I will be given some sort of time and date to present myself at the prefecture in Rennes (I hope I can get somebody to drive me, city traffic is SCARY, been up to the hospital enough with mom and it's crazy) where I will need to present my actual passport, hand over a recent identity-style photograph, and have my fingerprints taken (just in case I suddenly decide to take up a life of crime?).
Oh, it looks like that email is a justificative document for the residency permit. Okay, I'd better print it...

And then? Well, then apparently the permit will be posted to me. I'd imagine probably something I'd need to sign for, but then stealing official government post is probably the last remaining reason for the French to drag out the guillotine so anybody swiping that (given it'll be in my identity!) would be mad.

So, all in all, apart from being quirky/tedious with the date selections, the entire process wasn't overly complicated. Stuff uploaded, it all went smoothly. And there was some sort of random-letters-at-the-top link where you could email yourself some sort of link to resume the process later on (I think to a maximum of 28 days?).

I can't comment on the quality of the English, I did it all in French. And I did it all on my phone.

Now, to wait. I can imagine it might take a while to process all of this. My dossier number is thirteen thousand and something. Does this mean I'm the thirteen-thousand-and-something-th in the queue?

I actually kind of feel sorry for the prefectures. They may well be running at a lower capacity because of the current virus situation, maybe more people working from home, and they have this crap to deal with as a priority (as we all need this fairly quickly - by October 2021) because stupid bloody Britain is being bloody stupid...



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Zerosquare, 20th October 2020, 22:44
I don't think honking would have helped. After all, your car may have one horn, but cows have two of them.
John Williams Eglwys Bach, 20th October 2020, 23:21
Around 1964/5 I did a bit of school holiday labouring for the parents of a friend excavating and lining a pond. 
I stood on a nail in a piece of shuttering which pierced my sole (not soul! That'd be a Van Morrison song!). 
I went for the obligatory tetanus injection (which you <i><b>must<b></i> do!). Everything seemed OK, yet (guess) some 6 weeks later, in the bath, I noticed a black mark in the healed wound. 
I picked it out with some sort of instrument, and (don't cringe too much!) tested it with my teeth. It had the consistency of filled rubber! 
It was, in fact, a piece of the foamed black rubber forming the sole of the ankle boots I was wearing at the time of the ac/in-cident! 
It had been driven in on the point of the nail and had gradually been driven out by the healing process until it arrived just below the surface of the skin! 
OK - a potentially interesting anecdote - but <b>do</b>make sure your tetanus is still valid, or get a booster! 
This is IMPORTANT to avoid unwanted/untimely death! 
Rick, 25th October 2020, 20:32
ZeroSquare - nice. 😂 
John - I knew I'd had a booster shot a few years ago but couldn't remember when. A quick rummage in mom's handbag and she has an immunisation card that says it was August 2018. So I'm good. 
That said, it would be sad/tragic/ironic to die of a wild rose after surviving all the other holes poked in me. 
Like that time the stapler jammed. Hammered on it, banged it on the table, it was stuck. 
So I said, somewhat facetiously, "this will fix it" while placing it to my leg and pushing the top. 
Uh. Yeah. Like magic. It suddenly started working again. And I swore in four different languages. 

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