Saturday 30 May 2015
Hot and sunny with big black clouds
Went down town to see the man who had accidentally received my parcel. Rather disappointed with the quality of the tablet cover - worth about 50p and not ten euros. Violently red, at least it will be easy to find. I had sold the house to them many years ago, when it was immaculately presented and the garden was a delight. Today, after three years on market, it is dilapidated, sold with a fraction of the land and a very ugly and falling down farm which they are keeping for themselves and which is right at the entrance of the property and overlooks it. Some battered hammocks and a lot of washing were strewn around the terrace. In two minds whether or not even to offer it to prospective clients. Price now dropped to a level which is interesting though.
Dropped back into town centre and went for a coffee and had chat to lovely lady who owns local bar. Told her the horror story of the US clients. We tried to arrange a day out but our diaries dont coincide. Came back home and hoed the potatoes and edged part of the potager. I am incapable of cutting a straight line but at least the grass will be kept at bay.
Pondered where the situation could go with the combustible seller, who is still unaware of the situation, the uncommunicative husband and the tenacious wife. And their ten year old son. The fundamental question is not whether he wants to come to France or not. It is how much he values his family. His wife has a dream and it is big and no doubt very scary. She will never forgive him for wrecking her dream. She is strong and courageous and has proved herself the equal of the French and US administrations. Got an email from her today which was a long distance wail - 'I have achieved the impossible - I have just received the visas!' She will regroup and I doubt he will be her equal.
At the end of the day he will have to choose between keeping his family together, living a dream which is not necessarily his, but doing it together with his wife and child. Surely that is more important than anything?
Towards the end of the day, go back to see the brother of the owner of the chateau. He is supposed to be there for 3 pm but everything is locked up so I lurk in the garden and take pictures of the house, which is imposing although on a very small plot, and views of the chateau. 15 minutes later a battered car whizzes through the tall stone gate posts, reverses into a thicket of trees, bangs into the wall and a tall woman leaps out of the car and strides towards me, shouting 'who are you?'. I am less phased than I would have been at an earlier stage in life and estate agency. At least I know she wont bite.
It transpires that it is the sister of the chateau owner, a nurse, and on her day off battling with the greenery. The lawnmower had just 'relached' and so she had manhandled it onto a trailer and taken it into town to get it fixed. We ring up the brother, who has completely forgotten about our appointment, and she seizes a large bag of keys and lets me into the house. I get around the house in no time at all because all I have to do is to take pictures and she takes charge of the measuring up 'je suis tres practique'.
Divided into three apartments - all of which are in excellent condition - and ready to rent out or move into and let out some of the flats. Originally the house of the chatelaine. Take lots of pictures, receive a very firm handshake 'a bientot!' and she is gone.
Small birds run along the branches of the tall blue cedars and tiny white clouds are caught like cotton buds on their upper branches.