Wednesday 11 March 2015
Misty with warm sun later 15 degrees
Spent morning uploading property from earlier in the week. There are fifteen pages of information for each property, plus writing the advert in French and English. I also have to trim and improve the photos, cutting out distracting elements and lightening and brightening to give the best impression possible of the house. I then crop and reduce pixel size. Each property takes a good hour/hour and a half to load. The phone is silent for once and I glimpse an array of blue tits and great tits devouring the fat balls on the bird table. They are currently getting through two a day and are so fat, it is surprising they can take off from the platform.
WF rings to say that he has finally got his new computer up and running and is applying for his CII (insurance institute) membership and will start doing basic exams. He also says his contract is not going to be extended beyond the three months, and that they are now having very few calls since the television campaign ended. Yesterday, he spent ten minutes on the phones and the remainder of the eight hours playing board games with an African lady. Games supplied by the employers who are funded by government grant. This has been a very useful first experience of work for WF who is now getting his CV in order and out to the Employment Agencies whom we found to be the best conduit for finding work.
Late afternoon, when the sun is low in the sky, and the fields are glowing orange, I head north and wait for my clients in a small village. All of the shutters are closed and the only activity is in the municipal offices. Birds cheep, a light breeze plays with the dead leaves gathered in the crook of the road, a plane passes overhead. My phone rings. It is the seller of the house in my town and she says my would be buyers needn't bother ringing her directly anymore because she has found another buyer and will be signing in the agents office this afternoon. I think 'Bollocks, that is xxxxx euros up the Swanee'. I ring the relevant agent and he gives me the name of the buyers and when I tell him the story of my would be buyers, he says Oh la la!
At that point, the clients arrive so we get out of our cars and say hello and then back in and they follow me to the property. The lady, who is easily in her late 60's, is a slight sprite of a woman, tiny in proportion with wild curling waist length hair, Sybil Trelawny glasses and delicate hands tortured by arthritic joints. She is wearing an ankle length skirt, overlaid with a camouflage jacket and many bangles. The ensemble is topped off with a trilby which has been enjoyed by many ravenous moths. She jumps down from the battered green van and skips over to me. 'My husband is very quiet!' she exclaims, breathily, 'but that is alright because I do the talking'. She paused very rarely for breath, giving me chance to point things out, during the next two and a half hours. She was an absolute delight and absolutely adored the property if it were not for the road noise. The road is quite some distance away, down a track which has terrified previous visitees. She exclaims that there is not a lot of work to do in the house. I am thinking I need more French clients like her because the majority of them can find fault in a perfect house, never mind one that needs replastering, rewiring, new kitchen, new bathroom, new windows, new septic tank and decoration throughout. I don't know what her husband thought of the house because he didn't get a chance to speak. They left finally, saying they would have to think about it but they weren't in a rush, and I felt rather shell shocked.
Back home and we enjoy the rabbit and chorizo casserole which had been simmering in the oven for the past three and a half hours. Yum. Accompanied by a crisp white rioja. OH is fed up of working in the rental unit. He says if he was writing a blog, he could copy and paste each day with the same activity. This is most uncharacteristic. I suggest he comes with me tomorrow and he agrees.
More perishing footie on the telly.