On Sunday we moved Ruadhri into his student digs. Briefly.

You may recall from my last blog post that we’d hit a last-minute hitch in the rather complicated process for signing up as a student and then procuring accommodation via CROUS. (CROUS = Centre Régional des Oeuvres Universitaires et Scolaires i.e. a body that handles university-related issues. As well as renting out accommodation it also allocates and pays out student grants.)We had to get a garantie visale – for reasons that still escape me – and it delayed things by about ten days.

Ten crucial days. Because had it not been for that delay, then Rors would definitely have had electricity in his flat.

On Thursday afternoon we were finally able to make our appointment to take possession of the flat, and then on Friday morning we got notification from CROUS that we’d have to set up an electricity account with a supplier of our choice.

Now, we hadn’t initially realised that electricity would be charged for in addition to the rent. When we did, we assumed it would just be a matter of CROUS monitoring it and telling Rors what he owed monthly or quarterly or whatever. The vague wording of ‘EDF non compris’ didn’t remotely hint that it would involve independently setting up his own account.

Anyway, we set to and Rors handled the phone call to EDF. He was assured he’d have electricity when he arrived in his flat on Sunday 1st September. But he didn’t. We’d all been over-optimistic since it now emerges that there may be a five working-day delay before you get your power switched on.

Rors has a room on the first floor at the back of the building and so looks out over trees and car parks rather than the busy boulevard. It’s large and airy and even has a little balcony! The kitchen has a fridge and oven, and there’s a good sized bathroom with a shower/bath. There’s an amazing amount of storage, and even a small box room.

***Photo: rorsroom balcony1

However – a big however – there are only two 3-pin plugs in the whole apartment, and two or possibly three 2-pin plugs. The 3-pin plugs are in really dumb places: one is just outside the bathroom in the ‘hallway’ area, and the other is very close to the oven. To use this latter one, you’ll have to fold down the cooker lid and put the appliance you wish to use on there, as it’s the only plug in the kitchen! No making a cuppa while a saucepan bubbles away on the hob. And where we’ll stick the toaster and microwave, at present I have no idea! The other plug will have to serve the living/sleeping area with an extension, but the problem is that there’s a door in the way. It’ll have to be left open, which is fine for now with the warm weather, but once we get to winter it’ll cause complications.

***photo: rorsroom chrislookforplugs

It’s a huge disappointment to find the flat is insufficiently plugged. It never occurred to us this would be a problem, as it’s never happened before. Caiti has had a couple of very low-budget rooms, but those offered more than two proper sockets. Two-pin plugs aren’t proper ones as you’re limited as to what you can plug into them.

It was also a little off-putting that one of the first things we saw on entering the building was a notice saying that the pest control people would be coming on Tuesday to deal with the resident ‘blattes et cafards’. These critters are both types of cockroaches. I hadn’t heard of the former ones before but apparently they enjoy eating soap and toothpaste!

Well, we couldn’t leave Rors sitting in the dark in a flat without electricity but with insects tucking into his toiletries, so we delivered him to Benj’s flat in the city with the bare necessities. Thank goodness for older brothers! The boys are going to tackle the power problem at the EDF office on Monday, and we’ll see what ideas we can come up with to best organise his room so that he won’t be spending his life swapping plugs in and out!

So Rors temporarily took possession of his flat, but with any luck we’ll have him back there properly very soon.