The Story of My Life so Far - Part 48 - Moving to the Mediterranean Coast and Going Back to SchoolsteemCreated with Sketch.

in story •  2 years ago  (edited)

This is the story of my life so far: 67 years and counting.
Prequel: A Brief History of my Family in France

The story starts here
Previous episode: Part 47

Moving to the Mediterranean Coast

In the summer of 1974, Geneviève arrived in Paris and in August, after I left Lorient, we moved to Toulon, the French military port on the Mediterranean coast, some 80 km east of Marseille.
In September, I was to start the "École des Officiers Détecteurs" (School of Radar and Electronic Warfare Officers) at the "Centre d'Instruction Navale" (C.I.N.) (in English "Naval Instruction Center) near the town of Saint-Mandrier, on the other side of the "rade de Toulon" (the Toulon roadstead).

The CIN de Saint-Mandrier grouped a number of Navy schools for all ranks, from sailor to junior officers.

CIN de Saint-Mandrier

Car Problems

In October 1973, the 1973 oil crisis started. For every day life, the result was a big increase in the price of gas. My car, a Renault 12 Gordini, was a gas guzzler. So I decided to buy a new and more economic car, a Daf 66 Marathon similar to this one.

Daf 66 Marathon

The 66 was available as a 2-door saloon, a 2-door coupé and a 3-door estate. It featured the unique Variomatic belt-driven continuously variable transmission.

The Variomatic transmission was one of the first continuously variable transmission (CVT) and I believe that at this time there were no other CVT in Europe, except the Daf cars. Now there are plenty of CVT cars, including my current car, a Nissan Rogue (roughly equivalent to the Nissan Qashqai outside North America.

So, I had now two cars (R12 Gordini and Daf 66) and one motorbike (Motobécane 125) that I had left temporarily at the Abbey. I was almost broke, after buying the Daf, so I did not renew the insurance of the R12 Gordini.

At the beginning of September, I found a furnished apartment to rent for 10 months in the village of Saint-Mandrier, close to the CIN.

When moving to this apartment, I asked one on my comrades to drive the Daf (that was insured) and I drove the uninsured R12 Gordini. I made sure to follow scrupulously the speed limit and that was a big mistake! Nobody around Toulon follow the speed limit, and this looked suspicious to the police that stopped me.
I had to explain to the policemen why I was driving an uninsured car. Once they had checked that I was indeed the owner of the car, they let me continue to drive. It was quite embarrassing.

Going Back to School

As Geneviève has not graduated from high school in Cameroon, she registered in "classe terminale" (equivalent to grade 12) at the "lycée' (high school) in the neighbouring city of La Seyne-sur-Mer.

So, in September 1974, we both started to go to school, me at the CIN de Saint-Mandrier, anf her at the lycée de La Seyne-sur-Mer. I would drive her in the morning and she was taking the bus back to Saint-Mandrier in the afternoon.

Continue to Part 49

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Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8
Part 9 - Part 10 - Part 11 - Part 12 - Part 13 - Part 14 - Part 15 - Part 16
Part 17 - Part 18 - Part 19 - Part 20 - Part 21 - Part 22 - Part 23 - Part 24
Part 25 - Part 26 - Part 27 - Part 28 - Part 29 - Part 30 - Part 31 - Part 32
Part 33 - Part 34 - Part 35 - Part 36 - Part 37 - Part 38 - Part 39 - Part 40
Part 41 - Part 42 - Part 43 - Part 44 - Part 45 - Part 46 - Part 47

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Good police was at that time, now without insurance immediately to the penalty parking lot. Excellent story.


Thank you for your comment.

Good police was at that time, now without insurance immediately to the penalty parking lot

How do you know that? Do you live in France?
You have to take into account that I was a Navy officer and that the policemen had other things to do than calling a tow truck and waiting for its arrival.


I'm from Russia, we must have the same laws

It's just amazing what a good memory you have, Telling story of your life like it happened yesterday. I was not even born then.. :)

  ·  2 years ago (edited)

When were you born?

There are plenty of details that I don't remember.

I am often saying that "in my head, I am 14 years old".
Each time I say that, my wife says "no, you are 12". 😉


In 1978. So there will still be quite a few posts, before i come into existence. And then another 8 or so years, before i can start connecting to these stories one way or another :) And... i am always saying. Do not grow up, it's a trap.

That car look pretty awesome. I had never seen that car before.


No surprise, as I don't believe it has ever been exported to North America.
Daf, the company, has been bought by Volvo during the 1970s.

Ton histoire est très interessante, c'est passionnant d'apprendre tes expériences de vie, tellement de détails intriguants et si bien raconté! Je dois t'avouer être rendu à la partie 14 donc je me garde celui ci pour plus tard, je devrais être à jour bientôt... Continue le beau travail!

ca l'air trés interessent comme histoire e dois voir les precedents chapitres merci beaucoup pour ce partage


je dois voir les precedents chapitres

Bien sur!


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No, it has not!

At least not so far.

Wow such an experience, many do not even remenber the fondest moments of their life, and here, you covered it all. Awesome

I like your short Life-Stories;)

Thank you for the post.. love the car.. I hope you checkout my post for steemfest
My daughter would be happy if you check it out

very nice post ..

Yes, the level of detail in your stories is just amazing.

I am waiting for the next chapter. You must have a very good memory so that,you can tell that exactly. I am myself a very forgetful person. .

The oil crisis was a legend among my older friends. They told us small kids how they had played at the large roads when there was a general traffic-ban in the Sunday.

Can't say I really remember it myself, but it did change Denmark's attitude to energy consumption and production.

Very good job. Nice pictures. I like very much