Monday 13 April 2015
Hottest day of the year 27 degrees!
Spend morning catching up with various emails and tasks so when RJ (eldest son) decides to ring on Skype at 11.30, we are still in our PJ's, back door open and delightful breeze blowing through the house. He has the amazing good news that he has been offered Junior Sous Chef with free live in and quite a hike in salary. This is so fantastic for him and really will reward the effort he has put in. He also says that an agency wanted to send him for interview at the Manoir aux Quatre Saisons as a chef de partie but the salary is terrible and there is no live in and he really needs to get some cash behind him. Still, the opportunity to work with Raymond Blanc and have the MQS on your CV is something to be aimed for in about a year. He will now stay there for at least another six months, get some good experience at ordering and managing supplies and then have a good spring board to move on. Discussed cars and coming over to see him in May.
Do the VAT return and look at property online in Devon. Devon could be the ideal situation for us - West Coast so OH can fish, on the coast for me and within train ride of boys and the house prices are not excessive. Discover a town called Beer which I vaguely remember going to, looking at lovely art exhibitions and eating ice cream on a café overlooking the sandy cove. Need to live where I can smell the sea and hear the gulls. OH has same yearning.
By 1.30 the ladies from NZ still havent rung so I go down town and meet the happy people who will be buying in our town and tell them about the Friday rv and read through the diagnostic reports with them. The man's head is peeling and the lady is still immaculately dressed. I then drive at some speed to meet my partner agents and show them a chateau where the chatelaine is 80 years old and everytime I see her, is battling with the leaves. There are a lot of trees around the property and today, she was battling with dry leaves, piling them up into great heaps, where they were smoking and sparking. The chateau is 15th century and a real rabbit warren. We wandered around and my colleagues admired the huge stone arches, the original floor tiles and the extensive wainscotting and massive stone fireplaces. I gave them an update on my various activities of the week and they said they had thought they were about to get an offer but then the clients had decided to 'pop' into the Dordogne on the way back to Germany. The Dordogne is as cheap as chips and full of beautifully renovated properties. They were looking depressed and very hot.
I drove leisurely into our local big town, thinking of ice cream and getting the phone shop to swap over my SIM card. I had decided to go with SFR and so took in my phone and the new SIM and apparently the phone was locked. The lady fiddled with it for an hour and a half, trying via Itunes to reset it. Finally, when they were about to close, she admitted defeat and I had to go home, find a special reference number, and unblock it myself. For the intervening period, I wandered around town in an abortive hunt for ice cream and ended up having a snickers and a shandy. I also tried to get another inhaler from the chemist. Under my health insurance apparently, I am only allowed one inhaler a month. I said I would buy one then - I cant do without it - and she said she would have to ring up the doctor and get permission. 42 euros! But at least I wont expire. Had shock news yesterday about a lady I met last year, who had an epileptic fit when on her own, and died aged just 52.
OH had spoken to NZ ladies who had given authorisation to negotiate up to a certain amount. It is within spitting distance of what the owners said they would accept for the Villa but I have no time before Wednesday to open negotiations because tomorrow is the initial signing of the llama farm. He makes delicious black cajun chicken with stir fry potatoes which I wolf down as I am so hungry on these steroids.