Sunday, September 6, 2015

Maize, sunflowers and tobacco....


Saturday 5 September 2015
Really nippy at start of day - 12 degrees rising to 22

The air smelled crisp this morning and there was just a hint of autumn.  The trees have some yellowing leaves but this is because of the excessive heat suffered in July and August.  Normally, leaves don't start to turn colour until October and fall until end of the month.

Feel exhausted.  Drag myself out of bed and down town to check out the rental unit, give the renters their deposit back and obtain their passkeys.  They have left the flat really clean and tidy, dishes all put away, rubbish outside in the communal bins and bed linen and towels stacked.  Quick chat about property prices in the area and then down to the tourist office to meet up with the US client and his son.

They are wearing thick coats and looking a bit spaced out.  Six hours time difference is quite a gap to bridge.  We roll through the countryside on a road that winds between fields of maize, then sunflowers, then tobacco.  The Pyrenees appear on the horizon.  

The property is a chateau built in the early 20th century by a baritone of the Opera de Paris. A stone lyre is carved into the header on the massive stone portal.  Turrets adorn the corners of the building, attractively created with yellow Angoul√™me stone sitting on Pierre d'Irudy.  The inside is majestic with high vaulted ceilings, original plasterwork and wainscoting and marble fireplaces, each mantelpiece and frame in a different type and colour of marble.  The entrance floor is flagged with decorated cement tiles and an immense Japanese tapestry.  It is an utterly wonderful experience.  We all then sit in dining room and are offered coffee and the grand daughter draws our portraits (she is a very enthusiastic young artist but the only way we could tell the difference between me and the US guy is the fact that she has drawn on his moustache).

I drive them back through more winding roads and drop them off in our town and then back home.  Lunch and siesta.  Get message from RJ (eldest) saying he is sleeping really badly and is going to go and see Dr next week.  He doesn't not appear to have booked any holidays.  He needs a break.  He also never, every answers his phone or rings us. WF (youngest) is moving house this weekend.  Out of his student lodgings and into a professional household but just around the corner so he can carry on getting a lift and hopefully make some friends.  In his current house, everyone just spends their time holed up in their rooms, playing on their computers.

Down town to clear out the rental unit on which we will be signing the sales contract next week.  There is an immense amount of rubbish in the side of the loft room and it takes three trips to the dump.  Discover two asbestos pipes so put them in the store room on the ground floor.  OH asks at the dump if they can take asbestos and of course they tell him no and say they have no idea who will take it away.  Filthy and dripping, we are driving past the NZ ladies house when they wave us in and invite us to drink wine.  It goes down very easily and so does another bottle and then we have a Chinese takeout and OH drives home and I realise I am stupendously drunk.  Walk the dog in the early twilight and am literally all over the place.  Eat some of the strange pannetone I bought last week and drink a lot of water. Pass out instant my head hits the pillow