Tuesday 23 June 2015
Felt less hot because of breeze 26 degrees
There are some phenomenal temperatures being forecast for the upcoming week - up to 35 degrees. This means of days hiding in the house with the shutters closed, the veg garden absolutely frying and not being able to sleep at night. My ideal is about 25 degrees. Give me Winter anytime and cosied up in front of a lovely log fire.
It is peculiar how we left damp and wet England. I wanted to move South and so we did. We got to the South coast and then just kept on going. I still want to move to the South coast and look longingly at the gentle Summer temperatures and think of the gardening I could do and how I could stay outside all of the day. This country is either too hot or uncomfortably cold. I have also looked at Madeira and thought it would be wonderful - more moderate temperatures, English and French spoken, wonderful flora and fauna and, of course, beaches and sea everywhere.
As I write, the sky is already yellow. Really, really hot days, the sky never gets to being blue. All of the colour washes out. How often do you see programmes set in Africa where the skies are a brilliant blue? In 2003, the last great heatwave and fortunately the year before we moved out, thousands of people died in France. 14802 to be precise - much more than any other European country. I think it got to the dizzy heights of 27 degrees where we lived in the UK - easily 10 degrees up on normal Summer levels. How does it kill? Your body temperature only has to rise from 37 to above 40 and if you cant be cooled, you die. More died in France during the heatwave than during the SARS epidemic. I remember in my early days as an estate agent, I would be in an old, stuffy house and I would be shown a dark, stuffy room and the people would say this is the room where Granny died. Many people since have installed air conditioning. We have a house with thick walls, shutters and a fan which circulates the hot air. When it gets really bad, we sleep downstairs. Think about that when you are thinking about moving South.....
Go to the hairdressers for 8.30 because she told me that is the only appointment she has. She keeps on breaking off from doing my barnet in order to take phone calls and make appointments for later in the week at much more reasonable hours. I feel very tired. The dye makes my head itch. Emerge rajeunie (made young again) at 10.30 and go to see the Tresor Public to ask why they still haven't reimbursed me.
The woman with the beetling brows is there, wearing a brightly patterned dress, and her hair looks weird. She is trying to deal with the American lady I know who has not yet paid her local taxes for 2014. She asks why I am there and I tell her and she says they would have a hard job taking cash out of her bank account as there is nothing in it. (The Tresor Public helped itself to cash from my bank account for money which I didnt owe). One of her new teeth has dropped out and she produces it out of her pocket and says she must get around to having it stuck back in. This is not a conversation I have ever had with anyone before.
My turn next. The woman's hair looks strange because she has taken out the rollers but has not combed out the curls. Her coiffure resembles frozen black waves rolling back from the medievally short fringe. She says she has just got back from holiday and doesn't know what is happening with my dossier. I should ring back in the afternoon and speak to the lady who is dealing with it. I promise that I will come in each and every week and she says I can do that. This is as near to customer service as I think she is capable.
Back home and OH is about to go through the door for his Tuesday morning shopping jaunt to the local town and his weekly McDonalds lunch. He takes the dog and I ring people and email people and speak to the American lady on Skype. It appears that the house she is interested in buying has been sold. She doesnt seem too down about it. We discuss other houses and she makes a 'sort of' offer on another house. I am not discussing any other offers with anyone until she has liberated herself from her current engagements and her future ex husband has paid up in full.
I ring a new client with a very posh French name and it transpires that he is English. He has asked about a small hotel which I have on the books. I ask him what he is looking for and he says Oh hotel, gites, brothel - anything which will bring in money. I say we dont have any brothels on the books - he would have to go to northern Spain for that and he replies Oh dont tell me that, I am a very naughty man. I recount this tale to OH when he returns and he takes an instant and violent dislike to this client. The client says he will be over very soon. I can picture him in a convertible sports car and looking like James Braxton off Bargain Hunt. Watch this space.