Saturday 29 August 2015
Furnace 37 degrees
Down to little rental unit early to clean and set up before the heat of the day sets in. Only 22 degrees by 11 so finish before the dripping starts. The unit is on the back of the building so it is cooler, the facade getting the major blast of heat.
Get a worrying text from the young people in China who have offered on the village town house by the river. The man is having second thoughts. An hour later, get another text saying they will have to back out. Some reasons are real reasons. Some reasons are because people get scared. They just need reassuring. They are both teachers so I elect to write to them and set out the reasons in bullet points as to why they should bu. Teachers analyse and discuss. They are not impulsive. They spend a lot of time reading up on stuff. I ask them to take the weekend to think about it. For the moment, I say nothing to the owner who is in her mid 70's and thinking she is coming back to pack up the house in just over two week's time. OH brings some cakes and we sit on the stairs in the deep gloom of the central stairwell and enjoy the cool silence, broken only by munching and sipping of tea. OH then very nobly polishes the many banisters and uprights and sweeps the stairs and I mop after him. Our life is just so glam.
Back home for lunch and a run through and setting up appointments for Monday's clients. High budget but seem to be out with many assorted agents, including my colleagues. I have spoken to the man on the phone and he is not very forthcoming. OH will come with me. Just hope man opens up - he comes over like a clam where the tide has gone out.
We have been invited to a house warming and I have promised to make something. Find some sausage meat and frozen puff pastry and whip up some sausage rolls aka Lancashire tapas. I bet the French have never seen sausage rolls before. Their normal modus operandi with strange foods from over the Channel is to taste them with extreme caution and then hoover them up whilst you are looking the other way. They turn out crisp and golden and I have to shoo away both OH and the dog. The phone rings and it is our renters so I creme up and put on large hat and glasses and head down town.
The lady is wiry and looks like she spends a lot of time in the gym and the man is very tall and stooped. I take them into the flat and they coo with delight and then enquire about how to work the hot plate and micro oven. The lady is disappointed that there is no salad spinner or frying pan so I say I will bring one in tomorrow. She says they do cook when on holiday 'I am married to an accountant, for heaven's sake!' she laughs. If her husband charges the same level as mine over here, they should be out and eating steak every night of the week...
Back home, quick shower and out again into the breathless evening, car air con blasting. Arrive to find owners plus the NZ ladies' builder and family and the neighbours and their two adopted daughters (who have doubled in height since I last saw them) and an elderly French couple whose grandfather built the house in 1901. We all have sangria which has a kick like a mule, and admire the new kitchen and garage extension. Their kitchen is so much nicer than mine and they have a lovely decking area. It is all clean and modern and not screwed together ad hoc with bits of plywood and angle joints. The dish washer works and the articulated cupboards each have individual lighting and don't have to be propped open with wooden spoons, the time it takes to put stuff away in them.
There is a wonderful array of tapas, lovingly prepared, and we all tuck in and it is followed by tirimasu and cake. The sky fades to deep blue to purple to black and the stars come out and there is a light breeze and the earth exudes the heat of the day and cricket song reverberates on the air. We leave at midnight, along with everyone else, and I fall into bed and sleep deep and dreamless.