Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Oh the pain!

I'm doped up on painkillers today. Is it any wonder with degenerating discs, two long-haul flights, dragging and slinging 30+kgs of luggage around for days, walking screeds of kms on cobbled streets and then finding my click clack bed in my studio has no idea how to spell 'decent mattress'. In fact it has no mattress at all, just a very thin slab of foam on top of all the metal and wires. Utter agony and it curves in the middle so all my weight when lying down concentrates on my lumbar region (my most unhealthy area). No sleep the first night. None at all. Last night I was so desperate I took a sleeping pill and woke up, incredulous, at 10.30a. (12 hours sleep, amazing). Maybe the painkiller helped. Maybe all the extra linen and blankets I could find and stuffed on top of the foam slab helped.

The amount of space in the studio is not too bad for one person, it has a very good location on the ground floor and I'm learning to cope without an oven (don't cook) but the lack of sunlight is a real problem for me. The windows could be lovely but they are permanently covered by solid blinds which are not designed to go up and down. It's like a dungeon and the lighting is so dim I can barely see to read. I shall go out and buy a table lamp tomorrow. I've already tried to find a stronger bulb and can't. I think the problem is it's an old style CF and it points up at the ceiling instead of down.

Today I had to spend quite a few euros getting some essential stuff. A hygienic toilet brush with a bit of life in it, ditto for a towel and bathmat. Then a toothbrush and toothpaste, some teatowels that are recognisable, a mug (only one very cracked one in the studio), a hotwater bottle. I had to buy a frypan and pot as what is here is so bashed and worn out I'm not convinced it would be healthy to use - teflon is coming off.

Not having a car makes any kind of shopping very difficult. It's impossible to lug a week's worth of groceries from the supermarket to my studio and shopping every other day means I spend more money so I invested in one of those shopping trundlers old ladies use. Don't laugh- it makes doing the groceries or going to the markets possible.

Speaking of markets, I discovered there's one outside the mairie (town hall) every Wednesday and Saturday. It's not cheap but it's fun and it's fresh. Tonight I'm going to sit down with fresh strawberries and raspberries to have with some exceedingly dark chocolate ice-cream. Ah chocolate... I found a tin of drinking chocolate, pure cacao from Monbana Chocolatier. I imagine myself as Juliette Binoche's character in the film Chocolat. Really, the tin even has Inca imagery on it. Nice tin, shame the contents barely fill it halfway. Never mind- add a sinful hot chocolate experience to my fruity indulgence this evening.

New pyjamas -great style and fit and great(as in big) price- so I now have two pairs. New haircut too. I'm reinventing myself because, quite frankly, I'm embarrassed when I see my appearance and my clothes and shoes from last century, yes.

Tomorrow I will try to find some affordable clothes that suit me (so far only the outrageously expensive ones seem to appeal). 600 euros for a coat? Choke! Not for me. Thank goodness for my bank loan, I can have fun looking around tomorrow. Apparently boots suitable for snow don't arrive in shops until the beginning of December but they got caught out last year when the snow arrived in November. Oooh that's not far away.

The weather was mild today. I enjoyed wandering around the town, orienting myself, talking to the lady in the Tourism Office, other vendeuses I needed to talk to too. They understood me but I understood barely half of what they said. If in doubt I smiled and said yes, thankyou. Generally the shop assistants are very friendly and helpful.

So you can see-my money got spent at a great rate of knots. Things I really needed, things that will be useful the rest of the year. My hair is a lot shorter, and easier to take care of. I'm making some progress. Tomorrow I'll do some sightseeing and some more clothes shopping before I start work officially on Friday.Today was the first day I thought I might actually enjoy my free time. I'll just keep popping the painkilllers for a bit.


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