Sunday, March 15, 2015

Cleaning woes and surprise contrition


Saturday 14 March 2015

Sunny with light breeze
16 degrees

Crawled out of bed early to clean.  Why do stupid houses get so sodding dirty so quickly. Thought I was making progress until I glanced up from my toilet cleaning and noticed that the ceiling of the loo was covered in black mould.  Attached a cloth to the mop and whacked it all off.  It left a stain on the plaster so hid it by artfully placing a large scented candle at the back of the unit and lighting it so that the unsuspecting client wouldn't put on the ceiling light and notice the mess.   The problem with the septic tank is still ongoing so there is a nasty niff on the upstairs landing.  Opened all the windows, put just a little bleach down the offending sink (apparently it doesn't kill the septic tank if you only do it occasionally) and topped it off with some bio drain cleaner.  Another scented candle.  A real dogs dinner of perfumes was now emanating from the landing but at least it no longer resembled eau de merde.

The main water pump isn't pumping and the Karscher is on its last legs so the patio looks dreadful.  I wished I had left the dead leaves where they were, as the muddy residue underneath them looks even worse.

The people were on time and were driving a natty Mini Cooper, accompanied by the agent. I like to watch other agents to see if I can pick anything up from them - Kirsty Allsopp is one of my favourites, as is Phil Spencer.  I have a notebook to hand to write down good phrases that they use.  This agent seemed very deferential.  I am not convinced this works with the French.  I think they need directing or they run all over the place.  It is like herding geese and they also have a tendency to bite you when you are not expecting it.  The trick is to expect it.

They went around for an hour and the lady said that she was worried that (a) people would not be able to find the house.  It is only 6 kms out of town for heavens sake - has she never heard of signage? (b) what if she met another car coming the other way.  In the 11 years we have lived here, I have never met someone coming the other way.  I said one of you would have to reverse.  Oh, she replies, I am not sure that the renovations we want to do will be affordable at the price you are asking.  So, that old cherry comes out of the syrup again and shows its wrinkly face.  They leave and I tell the agent that we are going to have to put the price up as the Euro has now sunk to 1:42 against the Pound.  At this rate, we would be lucky to afford a chicken hut to live in.  He says how would I feel if he asked me to do that.  I say that's economics for you.  He left, looking sad rather than deferential.

OH comes back from flat painting and says that French people are never going to buy our house so he doesn't know why I bothered cleaning up.  We have words.

The skies go black and the dog needs walking so we go into the nearby large town and do some shopping and go for a very quick walk between the violent showers.  Dog very happy. Why do dogs not mind getting absolutely soaked on a walk but you can't get them through the door to do a pee when there is light drizzle?   It is the first day of the fishing season so OH drags a very reluctant me to the fishing shop where I get fawned over by the creepy guy who runs it. OH takes me because it means he gets served immediately.  I don't want a strange man holding my hand, kissing it, and then not letting it go whilst enquiring about the health of the local property market.  You know when people invade your personal space and you can smell their body odour mixed with garlic and cigs?  That one.

The phone is ringing when we get back and, to my amazement, it is the suddenly contrite would be buyer (wbb) of the house in town.  He is now prepared to pay reasonable agency fees and suggests a small increase in price.  I ring the sellers who are at their wits' end because, it transpires, the wbb is ringing them and emailing them non stop. They turn down the slightly increased offer and so I transmit this info by email to wbb's.

OH is in charge of the remote control and he flicks briefly onto Ant and Dec's Saturday Night In.  Flavia Focaccia and partner Vincent are doing a spirited and passionate Argentine Tango.  Vincent spins Flavia in 180 degree circle and the audience burst into applause. Wow, I say, that was good!  What says OH?  That move they just made.  OH - I didn't see it. I was looking at the door.  

He then put on another dreadful German film - Metropolis by Fritz Lang.  This put me into a deep sleep, from which I periodically surfaced to ask what was happening.  OH gets annoyed and says how can he concentrate if I keep on talking.  It is a silent film.  It is four hours long.  And subtitled.  You could prescribe it on the National Health  for insomniacs with an urge to learn German and how to act in an excessive manner.  I can certainly recommend it, although it is the keeping awake thing that is more of a problem for me.