I just read back over my old posts and I realised I never actually said whether I had decided to go to the Equifeel National Championships or not.  Well, surprise surprise, I decided to go.

Only thing was, I still had to register my trailer here.  Have I mentioned that I am a World Class Procrastinator?  No?  Well, if there’s ever a World Championship held for putting things on the long finger, I’ll be there.  And I’ll expect to finish in the medals.

I did make a start on the trailer registration way back in April.  I filled out a sheaf of paperwork and trotted off to the DRIRE office – they look after environmental issues and registering trailers, apparently.  And they set me a couple of tasks to complete before my paperwork would be accepted.  I won’t go into details, but I will, at some stage, write up a guide to registering a trailer in France.  All of those currently on the internet are out of date…

Finally, by the middle of June, everything was done.  And this is where the procrastination set in.  Between visitors and being a bit sick and what have you, I didn’t make it back to the DRIRE office with my paperwork until July 7th.  And the first appointment I could get for its Contrôle Technique (inspection) in the whole Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur region (and that’s a BIG region) was Wednesday July 16th.  And we’re leaving on Weds July 23rd.

“Cutting it a bit fine” doesn’t even cover it.  If there were any issues with the Contrôle Technique, I’d be stuffed.  If there was a delay in getting the registration certificate back from the Prefecture, I’d be stuffed.  As it happened, there was an issue with the Contrôle Technique.  A technical issue, not a mechanical issue.  I’m not going to go into details, but basically I had to get the trailer weighed again.  But the Nice Man who was handling my case said that I could email the weigh tickets to him.

So I duly had the trailer weighed again, photographed the tickets and sent them winging their way through the ether, with a politely beseeching email (composed by Alexandrine) attached.  The email also said that if there was a problem could he please contact me ASAP so I could try to get something done about it.

Silly me.  I expected an email acknowledging receipt.  Nope.  Nada.  Rien.

MC has been just as worried about the whole thing as me (I’m transporting Quieto) so she offered to ring the Nice Man this afternoon. Unfortunately, when she rang the number I’d been given, she was told he’s only there for three hours a week.  She rang the main number for DRIRE, to learn that they only accept calls Mon-Thurs, between 9am and noon.

Oh dear.  We did have a fall-back option, though.  I can take their heavy, forty-year old, bare-bones trailer instead of my very lightweight, modern, comfortable one.  Poor horses, it’s a long trip… I started researching local companies that rent trailers, made a few calls to try and find out how much it would set us back.  No answer anywhere, so I sent off a few email queries.

Then my phone rang.  I thought it was a call from one of the trailer hire companies.  No!  Quelle surprise!  It was the Nice Man from the Contrôle Technique.  Did I want him to post the paperwork or would I prefer to collect it on Monday afternoon, seeing as I was under pressure?

I will collect, I practically shrieked down the phone (in French).  Words failed me then.  I didn’t know how to say I’m really, really grateful.  I just repeated merci a couple of times.  I hope he got the message.

Keep your fingers crossed for me, though.  When I collect the paperwork, I then have to go to the Prefecture in Digne-les-Bains.  I believe what will happen there is that they will be able to give me the registration number and the documents will be sent out afterwards  in the post.  Once I have the registration number, I can insure the trailer and I’ll be good to go.

That’s three things which have to go smoothly :

1. Collecting the paperwork

2. Getting the number from the Prefecture

3. Getting my insurance sorted out.

And then the adventure really begins…



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