I am pleased to report that I am indeed alive. It was confirmed by a nice woman at the French Consulate yesterday. I met my latest deadline on Sunday night, and first thing on Monday morning – since it’s only open until noon – I set off for the French Consulate. The process took all of five minutes and I was told that, although the Attestation d’existence says it should be filled in and signed by an official in the country of residence of the French national applying for a pension, in fact the form has to be processed by the French Consulate and no one else, and it would have been returned to me even if the Hammersmith town hall had agreed to do it. It’s a little game they’re playing: let’s see whether that person manages to guess where they should be going, hee hee!
Having to go to South Kensington in the morning nearly killed me, which would have been rather ironic, wouldn’t it, if I’d died trying to prove I was alive.
While I was in the area, I went to see the newly reopened Jewellery Gallery at the V&A. It’s out of this world – I was drooling. Once they’ve removed a beautiful silver Star of David, found in Spain in the 15th century and labelled simply and erroneously ‘Star Ornament’ (!), from the display entitled ‘The Islamic World’ – or given it its proper Jewish name – it will be perfect.
One more bugbear: if the V&A specify that large bags may not be taken into the gallery, they need to provide something for visitors to put their valuables in. Do they really expect people to leave behind their money, their keys, their precious Attestations d’existence? No way! I shouldn’t have had to beg the cloakroom attendant for one of those transparent bags they supply to people who use the library, nor should I have had to lie and say I’d travelled specially to see the exhibition that morning. Slap!