Saturday 28 March 2015
The sun is back! Still not very warm though
Spent the morning writing up visits, giving feedback, replying to a sudden rash of new enquiries and then walked the dog. Light drizzle ensued. Took a very large walking stick with me and, before going over the door, showed it to the dog and informed him that he would be suffering the blunt end on his bottom if he ran off again today. The dog understood and was exceptionally well behaved.
The Spring flowers are glorious. There are deep and velvety violets, shiny celandines, grass green hellebores and a new flush of euphorbias, both low growing and tall. Tiny bells of pink and white cardamine pratensis float above the new low stars of biennial teasel. The latest and most exciting arrivals are the scillas. As blue as the bluebell, they are tiny stars of flowers, rising proud above their thick and fleshy leaves.
Back home and have quick bite to eat with OH and then gather together mandats, bons de visite, camera, measuring machine etc. and go down town to meet the clients with whom I have spent most of the back end of last week. They are late. Again. And again they don't apologise. That is very irritating and rude.
We go to see the house I found yesterday and it has been renovated beautifully. I used to have this house for sale four years ago. It was inhabited by an English guy with a drink problem and two large dogs, who did their business in the courtyard. Nice. Now it is warm and welcoming, with dove grey walls, buffed and loved original oak flooring, lovely new ceiling lights rather than the more authentic strip lighting which buzzed distractingly and was home to many dead flies. The lounge was now on the first floor and the double windows overlook the square. The courtyard had been decked out and planted. It was absolutely lovely. It was also a house in the centre of town, with outside space, within their budget. I could tell, as we walked around, that they were not going to go for it.
We went for a coffee and they sucked their teeth. They are still fixed on the house in the back of beyond that needs a lot of work doing. There is a river going through the garden. The guy says he could go paddle boarding on that. I point out that the house is cheap because it is in the back of beyond, that they will spend all their time renovating which costs an average of 1200 euros/m2. The woman says, if they didn't have a renovation to do, how would they keep themselves occupied other than smoking or drinking. I suggest that they could discover the region, learn new activities, have the time to do all the things they have never had time to do. I also point out that whatever they spend on the house will not necessarily be recoverable, that who is going to want to rent the house out there other than in summer - the one here in town earns 800 euros every three weeks and is booked up until late autumn. They say that they can do a lot of work themselves. I point out that they will be spending an hour just getting up to the auto route, never mind to the sea, which the guy claims to love. They say that the agent told them he could get to the coast in 40 minutes. I google it and it is 93 kms on small roads. Still, says the guy, we really love that house. They then start discussing renovation between themselves, as if I am not there.
I get very fed up of them at this point. I have shown them exactly what they said they wanted; in exactly where they said they wanted; and for the price they wanted. I finish up quickly and go home and am very tired and very frustrated.
OH doesn't say I told you so, which is just as well, or he would have been feeling the blunt end of the walking stick too. Instead he makes steak and chips and then puts on a recorded production of the Tempest with Helen Mirren and, surprisingly, Russell Brand. I find there is nothing like culture to put me into a deep sleep. Wake up briefly to find OH has passed out too. Insist that we go to bed immediately.