Monday 22 June 2015
Hot 26 degrees
OH still asleep after ten hour return drive yesterday so got up and got on with the things on the list. Dog had scrabbled off lots of the plaster from the wall under the table so swept up the shavings and debris and hid them in the bin. Dogs of his race are obsessive and highly strung and once they get it into their heads that they are going to do something, all the encouragement, followed by shouting and threatened beatings, will not change their mind. Dog has taken into his head to destroy the plaster walls, just occasionally, and usually before a visit by clients, relatives or friends. OH is just about as good as plastering as I am at icing.
Nibble at a bit of yesterday's less than successful lemon meringue pie. Mary Berry, someone with the smile of Snow White's mother, and a cook since the dawn of time was on the telly, intimidating her adorable grandchildren and wearing her customary storm trooper hairdo. Nothing can persuade me that she is a nice, kind granny. She showed how to make a lemon meringue pie using a biscuit crust base and topped with a filling made with condensed milk. See Saturday last's post for the fun I had finding that in the supermarket. She combined the condensed milk with three egg yolks and the juice and zest of two lemons and then whisked lightly and it all combined into a relatively glutinous mass which then set in the fridge and was topped by delightfully thick and glossy meringue. How difficult can that be?
First off, the French condensed milk was very runny. I had the three egg yolks and then put in the juice of one lemon. I couldn't find the zester, mysteriously disappeared from the cutlery drawers, so didn't bother with that. The mix did magically thicken but then it didn't taste very lemony so I put in the juice of half a grapefruit and then the mix was nowhere near as thick and, despite being in the fridge many hours, was not going to support the weight of the meringue. I decided to bake it, hoping the eggs would set the mix, and served it with an apricot compote. OH didn't realise that he was eating LMP gone wrong and was very happy with the result.
Went down town and hung around in a dentist's office and got her to sign the paperwork to drop the price of her house and then went to see another client to get the energy report on his property. Without this report (like the sticker you get when you buy a fridge, showing energy rating from A - E) I am now allowed to put the house on market. There is a shop on the ground floor and I didn't realise the person behind the till was the owner and he didn't know who I was either and the upshot was that he had no idea where the paperwork was so I have to come back tomorrow.
Back home and ran through the various buyers. One Frenchman who needs to buy in the next two months but is very fussy. One guy from Stockport who seems a brilliant runner. One man who is not answering the phone. One lady on Friday who is looking for a chateau but doesn't really have enough cash. Must find something for the Frenchman - he thought I was my colleague which means he is in contact with her too. Sent over some offers and he rejected all of them.
Speak to our buyers and they say they are coming down to sign on the flat on the 3 July and can we do it at my notaries. Well, at least it will be done. OH is not happy and says he will have to go and paint over the brown stains on the balcony. I will have to clean up the pigeon crap and I am not thrilled at the thought of that. Last time I was there, the pigeons had laid some tiny eggs in a nest at the far end of the balcony and tiny 'cheeps' were coming out of the delicate structure.
OH makes me ring up clients from 7 onwards. I hate ringing people at night when I am tired. One of them is a real weirdo. I have spent an age ringing and emailing him and finally get through tonight and he says he was out last week with one of my colleagues (nothing registered on the system) and has found a lovely house but doesn't know whether he is going to buy it. Well, at least he has been wasting someone else's time and not mine. Registered him for currency.