Tuesday 18 August 2015
Another lovely day 24 degrees
Down town with OH to check that the Villa which is coming up to Acte is in sale worthy condition. The gardener had been and the grass was roughly razed. The weeds in the sparse gravel were yellowing. The bamboo, freed of its grassy fringe, loomed immense on the edges of the garden. I bought croissants and we had brought tea and we sat on the steps before beginning work, and watched the traffic and people walking past and we laughed to think that people might ring the current owners and say they were being burgled, but the burglars had stopped first for breakfast....
The house smelled dank and dusty but the nephew had been in and done the termite treatment. He hadn't swept up though and there was smashed up wood from where the diagnostics guy had pierced the plinths with his screwdriver - diagnosticking seems to involve stabbing wood with a screwdriver and knocking on beams with a lump of wood. In the top room, the tower bedroom, the base coat had not been enough to secure a firm purchase on the surface for the top coat and tiny flakes of paint, like dandruff, had fallen to the floor. We swept them up, checked the electric was turned off again and left. I have just thought, the water was turned off also - I need to get it turned back on again for the Acte next Monday.
Back home and I busy myself writing the advert to find WF youngest son a new lodging. Find a picture of him sitting in a restaurant for a birthday two years ago and put that on the ad. Apparently people respond better to ads with pictures. He has a spoon firmly gripped and is ready to launch into his dessert.
I found the beautiful Villa where I am desperate to contact the owners ahead of the revisit of the HK people, and send her a message. She replies when she thinks I am a punter but when I reply and say I am an agent, silence. Oh how frustrating!! The house is wonderful. She did give away the fact that it is let until the 23rd so I will go there and hope to meet her and hope she appreciates my persistence.
Scour the ads and drive around town to find another house or two for HK people. Come across a grand looking house with a for sale sign - private - on the gate so ring and make appointment for later on today. OH goes shopping. At four pm I walk up the long drive and the house is imposing - turn of the 19th century with fine balustrades and fretwork balconies. Inside is gloomy and French of a depressing nature. Everything is brown. The wainscoting has been decorated by burning in a pattern of a rose. The kitchen hasn't seen a new unit since the 1980's. The bedrooms are piled high with old clothes. The lady is Parisian and is growing out some blond hair dye. She reminds me of an Afghan dog. She is looking after a badly mentally handicapped girl who runs around shrieking and bouncing and throwing fruit around the garden - must be in her early teens. She makes me shudder. The voice in my head is saying my clients are going to absolutely hate this house but they are over for two whole days and I must have houses to show them.
Back home and crack and ring the buyers of the contemporary house and ask if they have any news from the anglo french law company. I get the man and he has been also fobbed off and told they cant be pinned down on how long it will take to get the report out. He says he is not happy and will ring them back tomorrow. Personally if I had paid about 1% of the price of the property, I would be saying I want the report by the end of the week or I want my money back. Do much grinding of teeth. Sellers vastly unhappy, as indeed they have every right to be. So far, this AF company took a week to get their terms and conditions signed, a second week to put the files in a dossier and the third week have not been available to talk to. Bloody hell. Not making any progress on any of my other dossiers either. Am I the only person working in France at the moment?