I had two bad moments on Tuesday. The first was when I got this through the post:

I was thrown for a moment. Why did the RSI want more money off me? (The RSI handles the cotisations – social charges – for most self-employed people in France.) I pay my cotisations on a quarterly basis and they are based on what I earn. I’m all up to date. So what was this about? And an extra 652 euros three times a year adds up to a lot. A heck of a lot, when you don’t earn a great deal in the first place!

I told myself not to panic, got a cup of tea, and had another read through. This time I noticed that on this letter, RSI stands for Répertoire des Sociétés et des Indépendants (RSI), and not Régime  Social des Indépendants. A strange coincidence? I don’t think so. The whole form looks very official and scary (like the RSI is, as anyone who’s ever had dealings with them knows!). The lettering of the logo is different too, but companies and organisations change their logos from time to time. There is, in my opinion, a strong possibility that the recipient thinks this is the ‘real’ RSI and pays up before realising exactly what they’ve got involved with. Which is? A concentrated scrutiny of the very fine print revealed eventually that this company is selling internet services. So don’t be fooled if you get this through the post. It’s nothing to do with your social charges.

Earlier in the week, Chris had a similar misleading document through the post from the States that appeared to be from the registrar of one of our domains. It was inviting us to renew one of our sites. However, a closer look revealed it was actually trying to get us to transfer the domain from our existing host to this new company. Not at all obvious at first and relying on confusion to get business.

I imagine both the above companies aren’t technically doing anything illegal but it all seems very dubious morally to me.

The second bad moment was when I thought Ruadhri had been messing with the peanuts we planted. We’re growing some in the old salad bowl. I’d pushed them a good 5cm down into the compost, but I suddenly noticed that they were all on the surface. I was going to be cross with him when he came home from school. But a closer look showed that the peanuts have pushed themselves up. They are growing long roots. These have obviously reached the bottom of the bowl  so that’s why the peanuts are showing above ground. I shall have to move them into a more suitable container tomorrow.

So, first glances can be misleading. Always delve a little deeper.

Daily snippets for 4 May

Today’s Saint: St Sylvain, Bishop of Gaza, martyred around 311 AD

Famous French person born this day: in 1008, King Henry 1 of France

Famous French person who died this day: in 1858, Aimé Bonpland, explorer and botanist

Today’s word: la tromperie – deception

Today’s dicton: C’est à la saint-Antonin, que vend son vin le malin – A crafty person sells his wine on St Anthony’s day (4 May)