Sunday 23 August 2015
Showery with sun later
Woke late after listening to banging and crashing of thunder all night. Rain slashing at the roof tiles and beating the fandango (basque dance) on the terrasse. Birds silent and the skies still pale and fatigued. Had cup of tea in bed with OH and then on with the motley and down town to meet the NZ ladies who are over to buy tomorrow. In France, the purchase is two stage - first the compromis de vente where all the conditions of sale are set out and then, between two and three months later, the acte de vente where all the searches and administrative documents are attached to the original compromis text and when Title actually passes. The full funds are in so we are on the final approaches and the landing gear is down.
The ladies are hovering in the garden and are wildly excited. They hug me exuberantly and introduce me to another couple who are one set of parents and a girl in her 20's who is one of their daughters and a trainee architect and I run up the steps and throw open the doors and they all pile in. The sun has come out and we open all the interior shutters and the sun streams in and dust motes dance in the sun stream. I realise that the owners have not been in since we came the other day so it is a good thing OH and I cleaned up.
We go room by room. The parents are Dutch but live in NZ and are utterly charmed by the building as well. CL the daughter is very excited by the project. We are up on the top floor, where the maid's bedrooms were situated and some of the plaster has dropped off the wall, revealing the narrow wooden laths which are fixed horizontally onto the roof timbers and onto which the plasterboard is fixed. They don't realise, not having seen this type of roof before, that these laths are an integral part of the structure, and want to take them out. We shine through a torch where, beyond the laths, are clearly visible the slate roof tiles. Synthetic slate, in the main, fortunately and much cheaper and lighter than the traditional material. The houses in this street were built by a Breton boat builder. There is a lot of slate in Brittany, sharing its geological history with the west of England and Wales, but it is decidedly thin on the ground down here. Interestingly, you only see slate on manor houses where it was a status symbol and also houses nearer the mountains, where it has to be able to withstand snow and regular hailstones. I remember one village, driving through at the end of a particularly bad winter, virtually every house was in the process of being reroofed in slate. Farmhouses and those belonging to people of more modest means, are typically tiled in small orange ceramic tiles. The pre 21st century version of the Range Rover, a slate roof...
After a time, I take them to see a town house with shop, as one of the ladies CB has indicated an interest in having an investment opportunity in town. The building is well placed, with large shop on the ground floor, and three bedrooms house with courtyard behind. The terrible unfortunate thing about this house is the overwhelming odour of urine. The incontinent dogs were not there today and the owner had opened all the windows but, even still, the whole place reeked. The shop was the last thing we looked at and the ladies were shocked at the prices of the faux Tiffany lamps and went back to their house, muttering Jesus.
Everyone was milling about and looking hungry so we closed up and I had a quick shandy with them whilst they ordered and then went back home and had lunch and OH went fishing and I spent the rest of the day very agreeably, fixing bails to my pendant hearts. Some of them I managed to drill. Very fiddly with the hand drill and I managed to break two of the smaller bits before going up to a larger one. The small silver plated bails just fitted without glue but the faceted hearts were too broad so I glued on some leaf shaped silver bails. Need some silver jump rings. The long rectangular faceted pendants were also too broad so I looked on Youtube and then made a coiled bail out of silver wire. Felt rather pleased with my efforts. Need to photograph them now and decide on price.
WF, youngest, rings to say he has been to see a house just a street away from where he is and he will take it, so that is a relief as he has to vacate his current rental by 11 September. He has met one of the other renters, all professionals, and he is a slightly older guy compared to WF and works in recruitment. Hopefully the household will be full of nice people who dont spend the whole time in their rooms, looking at their computers. RJ, eldest, has started talking to me again on FB. He says he would like to move. I think OH wants to go over and run him around to interviews in October. I am going to be shackled here - it looks like it will be busy. If so, I will have enough rolling over into next year to be assured of cash flow well into 2016 as already have three pre compromis.