Friday, 30 September 2011

Moving house

Still no date, so we are people in waiting.

Am slowly going through all the bits that need packing and leaving behind.

Had a look down our capacious barns and what did I find; loads of cardboard boxes slowly falling apart and wrapped contents spilling out.

These boxes contained some of the unwanted possessions, given to our daughter, of a lovely English lady who returned to the UK after re-marrying. Our daughter used to 'do' for her, gardening, cleaning and, most importantly, taking time to listen.

I was horrified to see all these items there, it is, in a way, soul destroying knowing that these were just left.

I have checked through all the boxes and cleaned up the contents, re-wrapped and will take them to our local Emmaus for sale.

Not only do I have these items to check and pack but also the items that our daughter left in her house including baby 'stuff'. Daughter came out for a few days last month and didn't even look in her half finished house.

I am so disappointed in her.

So, as you can imagine I am not happy with the situation and himself just sits there and says 'take it a day at a time, you will get it done'. Harrumph!!

At the moment I am constructing boxes (brought out by son-in-law) and filling and labelling them, one by one.

In about six weeks we should be moved into our new home. I am beginning to feel a little bit stressed and am waking in the early hours with all sorts of things going through my mind.

I know I can get the packing done, after all, this time I am not in full time employment and arranging a move, I have all the time in the world!! Ha!

This 'Old Biddie' is looking forward to this next 'change of life'.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011


Recently had my hair done by a very nice English hairdresser, have known her for quite a few years now. She knows my very fine straight hair and the shape of my head so she does a good job of it. God bless her, she is rare!

Our conversation centered around the number of British people that have arrived out here that are offering various services.

Now we are talking various Alternative Therapies and Exercise, ie yoga, tai chi, Zumba classes (the latest craze), stepping etc.

How do we know that these people are fully qualified to instruct others? It is so easy to download a certificate/diploma claiming all sorts of qualifications.

When you go to various classes operated by a French instructor, you have to have a medical certificate and the instructor has to have recognised French qualifications and insurance.

It seems that some of these people (British) do not!

Now this frightens me, not that I am interested in yoga or Zumba, Reiki healing or hot stones down my back etc. But I do worry for those who fork out quite a few euros for something that could do them damage.

We have got used to the dodgy plumbers, builders, electricians, car mechanics, etc. but this is a new ball game.

Now their ladies are re-inventing themselves.

My dear English hairdresser agreed, she is concerned too, not for herself as she knows she has a good established client base but for those that are newbies out here and get sucked into this 'I am British therefore I am good for you' lark.

We also shared our thoughts about the menopause, there seems to be a lot of that going around in our area at the moment!!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

End of a chapter?

Today, we signed the compromis de vente to buy another house!

This is happening very fast, our feet have hardly touched the ground and our heads are spinning from all the paperwork.

We had forgotten how many pages are involved!

The house we have found is in our preferred town. There was a choice of three towns, all of them within 10 minutes of our current house and all of them with all the facilities that we need. We are retaining some leisure land here which is why we did not want to move too far away. And, anyway, himself will still want to continue his Sunday morning French lessons with his amis!

Fortunately for us it is less than a kilometre from the centre of the town, it is set down a little lane between two other houses, the first house fronting the road proper. It has 1000 sq metres of land which has wall, hedge and fence. No gates, will have to buy them or the dog will be disturbing the peace! The terrain is flat and is totally untouched except for the grass and one very tall Christmas Tree.

It is described as a pavilion, built in 1987, with a sous-sol. It has a good sized lounge and good sized fitted kitchen, three bedrooms, bathroom and toilet.There is a nice little terrace off the living room. Not one of the rooms has been decorated. The sous-sol is untouched so we can create living space to our own specifications.

We will have to get out the paint rollers and brushes and maybe paste brushes as well, as the house seems to have been totally ignored. It needs decoration and TLC. The garden is also a blank canvas and I am already taking cuttings and splitting and lifting various plants to put there.

It seems strange that we are on the move again, we are not really inclined to being nomads. I know some people never seem to settle and continually up sticks and find somewhere else to live. We like to have a home, not a house!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Many things have been happening over the last couple of weeks.

We have eventually signed the compromis de vente and now have until the end of October to find a new home…. Quelle horreur!

We do have a ‘safe house’ we can decamp to if necessary but hope that we will not have to inconvenience our friends that have offered us the opportunity.

We have seen many houses of all shapes and sizes. One that really stands out is a house that has not changed since it was first constructed for a young newlywed couple. The owner of the house, a widow, is now in a ‘maison de retraite’ and her property is for sale.

The d├ęcor is amazing, out of the 60’s. The kitchen is ‘fitted’ but all is Formica and the worktops, sink and cooker are all very low, would give himself and me chronic backache! Apparently Mme is tiny in stature. The lounge walls are covered in a beautiful patterned red fabric, which also matches the curtains and three piece suite. None of it has faded, that is the blessing of shutters on the windows! The ceilings as well as walls in the hallway and bedrooms are all papered, amazing (as they say out here, very French)! Even the bathroom has striped ‘flock’ wallpaper on the walls. The house is a perfect time capsule for the 1960’s.

Anyway, in spite of the house being in the absolute perfect location, himself is not happy with it.

So we continued to look.

I forget how many now, seems like too many, but there is a possible this week. Price is right, village is right, size is right, garden in right. And, as a bonus, it is empty so any purchasing will be quick!!!

I think that we may go for this one!

On the home front all is well.

Children are fine and grandchildren have started their new academic year. Grandson no. 2 has just gone up to grammar school. Had a lovely chat with him yesterday evening and I asked his opinion of his teachers. The reply was: ‘moderate’.

Now that is food for thought! Maybe children should give reports on their teachers, not the other way round.