Monday 16 February 2015
Brilliant sunshine then lots of rain
8 degrees rising to 12
Woke up early and wrote for an hour. Worried that early typing activities are ruining my eyesight so turn up text to really large size. Have taken to doing eye exercises during my walks but this is somewhat hazardous as I am both short sighted and cross eyed and can't actually see where I am walking. May be better to do these whilst I am swimming as it is quite hard to fall over in the water. People swim into one another all the time in our pool.
Had FB message from French guy (no idea at all who he is) who informed me that French is dying out in France and that English is taking over. He quoted stats showing that English speaking countries have stronger economies and brighter futures. I pointed out that it wasn't the fact that we were English speaking - it was that we had a culture of encouraging enterprise and entrepreneurs. Thought of great George Bush saying, 'the French have no word for entrepreneur'. A friend working in France tells me the latest madness that people are no longer allowed to develop outbuildings next to their houses, if they live in a rural area. The buildings will have no value and will not be maintained. Well done, French administration. Lets see how long it takes you to do a U turn on that one.
Went to motorway exit and waited for clients. They were late and didn't apologise. Man was pleasant and woman looked like she had swallowed a prune. An aged relative was parked in the front seat and she didn't get out of the car all morning, so they had to make sure that she was facing south and kept warm. We set off, them following and I nervously put on the GPS and really hoped it wouldn't take me back up the scary stony road which it had selected last time I had been to this particular property. Fortunately it didn't and I learned a new way to chop off a huge section of road in order to get from A to B. We got to the house and the mountains and meadows were sparkling and the house looked great.
I found the key and we went in and opened up the shutters and the house was terribly cold. The man was enthusiastic and the woman still said nothing. I wondered if she was mute. The only time she showed any reaction was when I was having trouble opening a side door and she attempted to wrestle the key off me and barked 'give it to me'. I retained hold of it. If anyone is going to be breaking keys, it will be me. We went round the house and gardens and she checked on Granny then we were off to the next house. I got a bit lost and we did a bit of unexpected dirt road driving which meant their delightful conker coloured car had a mud skirt by the time we arrived at the next house.
The mountains had retreated behind a curtain of approaching rain so we started with the interior. 'lots of sodding dusting here' said the woman. That put a damper on things. We went back downstairs and the owner took them out to show them his garden, which is his pride and joy. The other owner offered me a coffee so I gratefully accepted. She told me about their previous life as successful estate agents, letting agents and property developers. Back in the days when houses were 250000 francs in the Lot et Garonne. 'We were selling 6 houses a week!'. Resisted grinding my teeth. Not that effing easy these days, lady. She said they were going to go and live in Spain in an area where 'quality Brits' live and not the package holiday lot. I had had enough and went to retrieve my clients from the garden with the hope of getting them back to my town and making them fall in love with it. They declined, saying Granny needed to get back.
Felt rather fed up. Went back home and discovered the water pump is pumping constantly and so we had to turn it off which meant we had no cold water in the kitchen. OH did list of our expenditure this month and said it was too high. He went back down to the rental units and I walked the dog in the rain and then rang people up. Last week's first client said he had decided against the only house I had managed to show them - neighbour too close and garden too steep and the second client said he had only just got back to his remote island and didn't want to be pressured. Ate mince pies. Prepared mussels, squid and prawns for paella. OH arrived back home in bad mood so I went for a swim. Apparently the pool now always closes at 7 pm so I only got a 15 minute thrash up and down. Preston North End against Man U in the fakup. Lost 3-1.