Friday, September 4, 2015

The shops have no staff and an amazing renovation


Thursday 3 September 2015

Delightful day with sun and white fluffy clouds 25 degrees

OH woke up horrifically early and brought me tea.  He then passed out again so I went into the spare room and wrote.  Feel nervous about today.  Really, really big budget client coming over.  The sort of client you get perhaps once every couple of years.  He looks unassuming, easy going, cap pulled down over his eyes.  He likes red wine and stopping for coffee and smiling.  I hope he likes putting pen to paper...

Down town to check that the little house that he is buying as an investment is in good order. The compromis is tomorrow.  The house is clean and fresh, the cleaner has done her job well and the house is looking as good as it can.  We leave, satisfied, and head into our big town to get some glass cut and find out how much the garage is going to mug us for the repair to the boot handle.

OH drops me off at the DIY store and goes to get supplies from over the road.  The shop is like the Marie Celeste.  The cost of employing staff in France is prohibitive.  The salary paid is just half the cost to the employer - the equivalent of the same amount again has to be paid in social charges and taxes - so it is normal not to see a lot of staff in a shop.  However, there appears to be no one apart from the woman on the till.  This is a big shop.  I get very irritated.  After about 20 minutes, I manage to find one man who is talking to another man about sealant.  He painstakingly is working along the row of sealants, explaining the benefits of each one.  I can feel my psoriasis stinging.  This is bloody ridiculous.  The shop is full of customers.  I butt in and both of them glare at me but the sealant man reluctantly tears himself away and cuts me some glass and it costs 35 euros for a piece 85 cms x 32 cms.  

We then go to the garage and there is only one man there too.  He takes phone calls, orders and does all the repairs.  Occasionally he has an overweight teenager who lumbers around after him but doesn't actually seem to contribute in terms of productivity.  He is there behind the counter when we arrive, frowning at the computer screen.  I show him the broken boot handle on the Nissan and he goes back to the computer and thumps it for at least five minutes, then gets out some schedules and then taps on a calculator and comes up with a figure of 111 euros.  Does that include VAT I ask.  No - so he adds on 20% and looks at me. I have to say yes.  He then says it will have to be painted to match the same colour as the car.  And that will cost more.  Cant you just order a black one.  Apparently not.  It will come to 175 euros.  Just order one and put it on.  When can you put it on.  Probably next week.  I will give you a ring.  Go home, grinding teeth.

OH decides he needs a little lie down before meeting high roller client.  I walk dog.  Finally manage to get in touch with the client and, instead of being with his fiancĂ©e, who will be a decision maker in the big purchase, he is on his own.  Oh bloody hell.  That means no decisions will be made on this trip.  Go down town and meet him at the restaurant and off to see the first house.

It is a house which I haven't been into for a good seven years.  The owners are German and, in my experience, have a lot of money and spend it on excellent quality.  We get there and a slim French woman zooms up the gravel drive and parks in a haze of dust.  She shoots out of the car and wrings our hands and then opens up the most stunning house I have seen in a long time.  Ranged around a central courtyard, the walls have been stripped back to expose the river stones.  The rooms are immense with wonderful massive oak beams, ancient chandeliers and the most stunning alabaster figurines holding up the fireplace. Properties like this are an utter joy to see.  There is the main house of 600m2 plus guardian's house and gite, pool and gardens for just 850000 euros.  There is also a busy road which our guy says puts him right off.  I must get this one onto my books.  It is the best value top end property I have seen in a long time.

We go for a drink and I have an ice cream and then off to our town where I show a house that I dug out a couple of weeks ago - the one with the badly mentally handicapped girl.  OH really liked this one - the client said it was OK so we swiftly moved onto the last one which is the Villa brought onto the books just yesterday.  He was very impressed with this one and we were there an age and it was then beer o'clock and we settled down in the town centre and enjoyed a couple of beers and then got pizza and went home and I had to ring the owner of the other lovely villa to tell her that there wouldn't be a revisit because the girlfriend wasn't here and she was disappointed but said she would just have to wait.

Kept on falling asleep and OH insisted I went to bed at 9.30.