Friday 17 April 2015
Warm with blue skies and cumulus - big storm later
Have uneasy night's sleep, worrying about having to get the NZ ladies to sign a compromis and then withdraw in order to be able to buy the other house. To my relief, when I open my emails, the angry seller has demanded a written withdrawal from the ladies and says they will be getting a letter from his advocate if they don't supply it. That would be a challenge for the advocate, bearing in mind he does not have their address but this is simple to remedy and I ask the agency for a form of words to pass to the ladies.
Do catch up on various emails, wonder why WF never has his phone on and chat to RJ on FB and he says he is still waiting to see his new contract. He sends me some photos of the most beautifully presented dishes - one a salmon sushi dish and the other a foie gras one. The sushi is a harmony of beautiful colours and patterns and the foie gras is garnished with the most delicately ethereal mushrooms and rocket. I had no idea he was working so high end.
In the afternoon I go and show a farm house to a French couple from Toulouse. They are very late and I doze off in the car, lulled by the rain hammering on the roof. They bill and coo as they go around the house and the huge black retrievers are tearing around the terrace, chasing a large stone with their noses and oblivious to the rain. We try and see the garden from upstairs. The wonderful views of the Pyrenees are completely obscured. The non double glazed windows run with condensation. We repair to the end of the hill and, to my surprise, the lady says she thinks it is too isolated. They both really like the house and they say they will think about it. I suggest another property and they say they really liked that one but not the fact that it is stuck to the village church. So, they want to be not isolated but not have neighbours too close, even ones that are dead. It is interesting that people say they feel uncomfortable in such close proximity to the church. I feel that the house is protected by the immense walls of the church, which fortunately doesn't have a bell that rings the hours.
I once sold a house to a French couple and they were aware that the adjacent church did ring the hours (and the quarter and half hours) and they said it didn't bother them. After a couple of days, they started their campaign for the bells to stop during the night. After six months they moved out and the lady was on tranquilisers at that point.
I then pick up two partner agents and we go and see a lovely farmhouse which I have just brought onto market and which they will be showing for me during my holidays, rapidly upcoming and not as yet prepared for. The man talks a lot and I feel tired. I dont know how his partner puts up with him rambling on about stuff all the time. It must be a French thing. At least English blokes give you periods of amicable silence. If a French bloke is awake, he is talking. It would drive me nuts.
Home for quick cup of tea then down town to meet the owners of the Villa. Because the mother is now dead, the daughter has been bunged out of the apartment and is putting up at a local auberge. When I enter the foyer, they are ranged around a table and looking at old pictures of the house. In sepia, it looks rather sinister. Edwardian ladies are posing next to a car in the driveway. It is all rather Downton Abbey on a week away at a spa town. The nephew is present, and despite being born in only 1973, looks like he is in his mid sixties. The daughter's son is also present and we sign the offer form and complete the seller details form and drink to the future of the house. The daughter says her mother and grandmother would be so shocked to hear that the new owners were married ladies - married to one another that is. The atmosphere is jovial and the kir - a mix of blackcurrant cordial and white Jurancon wine - goes straight to my head. Arrive home, eat supper, and pass out on the sofa.