We tend not to plan ahead too much – partly because it is less fun and partly because you only end up changing plans for one reason or another, as we found this week.
Monday afternoon’s plan – have lunch, do food shopping, head down to aire at Quiberon, service the vans, wander into Quiberon for a look-see, spend the night at the aire.
What actually happened – have lunch, do food shopping, head to the aire. While servicing the van, notice some drips of diesel on the ground which shouldn’t be there. Decide to head back to secret parking spot, spend the night there and head to Carnac in the morning to find a mechanic. Back at secret spot, D & AD have a play around under the bonnet and think a loose nut is the culprit – tighten it and hope for the best.
Tuesday’s plan – check diesel isn’t leaking everywhere, go to Carnac mediatheque to use wifi, have lunch, D do some work in the afternoon while AD & J go to the museum, meet at the bar for a Breton cider later.
What actually happened – diesel is no longer leaking, yay! Mediatheque is closed so have coffee in bar and use their wifi instead. Have lunch. D settles down to work, laptop screen flickers horribly and then goes blank. Spend a while talking to phone support who do their best but eventually decide it needs to go to a repairer. Get the address of one on the north Brittany coast. We decide to dash up there, AD & J will go to the museum and join us the next day.
Tuesday evening’s plan – find repairer, whose address is ‘Centre Commercial’ which (in my mind) means a retail park with easy parking for a motorhome. Drop off laptop, arrange to come back in a couple of days to pick it up. Find aire just down the road and finish off evening with pizza and a glass of wine.
What actually happened (getting the hang of this yet?) – turns out ‘Centre Commercial’ can also mean shopping mall in the town centre with an underground carpark. And roadworks everywhere. And it’s rush hour. Find parking space, don’t read ticket machine properly and pay for parking until 10am Wednesday. Repairer confirms it will take at least 3 weeks to repair – we are on the ferry back to Blighty in 2 weeks and D has work to do! Head to aire where we meet up with AD & J who couldn’t go to the museum because it was closed. Wander around village and discover they only get a pizza van on a Friday. Head to supermarket to buy a frozen one to find that has closed in the last 5 minutes. Finish off evening with leftovers, Breton cider and a glass of wine.
Wednesday’s plan – armed with another list of repairers from phone support, head to Rennes to find someone who can fix the laptop before we leave the country. Buy another laptop to solve immediate work crisis and to provide spare for when/if this happens again. Head to campsite for power and wifi and hope that diligent back-ups save the day.
What actually happened – well, exactly what we planned actually. The first repairer we tried said they should have it ready early next week. We made one of the quickest laptop purchases in history and found that the diligent backups did indeed save the day.
So, after a hectic and slightly stressful couple of days, all is good again. The upside is that I now have my own laptop (which D is allowed to use for work emergencies). D now needs his clients to pay their overdue invoices so he can pay for my new toy.
The downside is that it has a French keyboard which is quite different from what I’m used to. All the punctuation and symbols are in a different place, you need to use the shift key for numbers and it isn’t QWERTY, which makes a difference when you can touchtype. It does make é è ç à ù much easier to type though, which I suppose could come in handy.