Tuesday 25 August 2015
Cool at first and warming up later
Unusually, my first appointment was at 9.30. The car park of the big hotel was full and I could only see one Brit car, but there was no one in it. A small car with a bike rack and crammed full of camping gear. Energetic people. They had energetically cleared off somewhere. Must be more precise in my emails and insist that people stay in the car park when we meet. Some stay in their cars with the windows open and just wait for me to look at the various hundred and odd cars in the car park. Some go into the big hotel and are swallowed up. Some have a little look around town. Some go to a completely different part of town. I could do with a tracking device for the little perishers. After about twenty minutes, when I had accosted about ten different, and all French, people hanging about the car park and had an entertaining conversation with a man from Bordeaux, I finally saw a blond lady lurking at the top of the steps to the pleasure gardens. She looked relieved when she saw me and waved nervously. They had been sitting on the terrasse. No one has done that before. Must add that to my list of places to look, next time.
I got them into my car and we went to see the first house. It is a large and ugly house built in the 1950's and the ground floor is full of strangely shaped rooms. Upstairs is simpler. The wallpaper looks like it was chosen by someone not fully in control of their senses. It is a mad cacophony of clashing patterns and colours; the only common theme being large flowers. It is however, on a 1.5 acre plot with lovely views and a huge workshop/garage. It is also now just under 200000 euros, which at today's rate, is the UK equivalent of 138000 pounds sterling ie absolutely peanuts. We are there about an hour and the man keeps rubbing his hands together in what I find to be a disturbing and creepy way. We repair to a local bar and they ask me lots of questions but the basic problem is that they have not even one of their UK houses on the market. He is retired and she is still working (this is very common!!!) and they would be reluctant to take out a mortgage. I tell them they cannot have a clause in a compromis conditional on the sale of another property. They ask for the plans and say they could potentially revisit on Friday. It gets very hot and I go home.
Spend an hour reading through the compromis on Skype with the young couple from China and they are happy and cant wait to send over the money. Realise after I hang up that the notary hasn't included the list of furniture.
OH has just come back from doing the weekly shop and walking dog around the lake and I have a bite to eat and then we both do siesta. Out like a light and then it is about 4 pm and we do a catch up on emails and OH goes out to do battle with the lawns which are growing like crazy and I make rabbit and chorizo casserole with a good dash of chilli plus apple and blackberry pie. It is going to be an amazing blackberry year. The heavy periodic rainfall has meant that the brambles are just hanging with berries. We are about to roast this week - high of 38 but then rain again next weekend.