Saturday, May 2, 2015

April roundup

April roundup

A seasoned traveller knows that a special kind of decorum is called for when one ventures far from home.  She must develop a yielding nature so that the locals will open doors and prevent unseemly errors.  But, inwardly, the wanderer knows that it is sometimes impossible to discern the true intentions of strangers.  Are they hostile, or friendly or merely opportunistic?

The good ship, Leaving Normal, has set out on a journey of mystery and discovery.  Each new day is launched on a fresh landscape, one that reaches out to grab her full attention. The captain knows that there is a definite art to living with your home on the sea; increased caution and discernment become the keys not only to success, but to survival.  She knows that being a wanderer offers a certain freedom because she cannot be judged by her history but on the other hand, she has no history to acquit her.  She is keeping a keen eye on the local customs.

There have been some unexpected buffets of air which have stretched the sails however the current is very strong and pulling out to sea.  Another land has been visited and its delights enjoyed.  Its landscape, sea and air speak of lives passed there in another time and tide.  The urge to return awakes.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Catching up with goings on

Thursday 30 April 2015

Sunny 23 degrees

Woke, still feeling exhausted.  Leg is turning tasteful shade of green and yellow but there is still a lump in the centre of the bruise.  At least it doesnt hurt any more.  

Look at the emails and discover one from the Russians saying that they dont have the money for the full deposit and in fact they dont have the money for the partial deposit either and they dont know when they are going to be able to get it.  They are enormously apologetic.  I grind my teeth and do some quick thinking and then ask them to provide documentation that they will be receiving at least enough money to pay for the property, and get this paperwork certified by a lawyer.

Ring the owners of the town house where my would be buyers have been fighting with the other agency buyers and am told, to my amazement, that my buyers have pulled out at the last minute and the owners have signed with the other agency buyers.  Apparently my buyers got cold feet, at the last minute, and decided they couldnt be responsible for the court costs and damages if the other side took them to court.  The lady is over in May so I need to find them another house to buy.

Rang the owner of the beautiful villa and told her I was back on the case and then rang her notaire, infamous for being the slowest in the area, and found that he had at least received the paperwork via the buyers notaire and I said I would get on with organising the diagnostic reports.  Her notaire also said that if the ladies were married under a communal regime, then if one lady was buying in her own name, she would have to prove the funds were coming from her own personal account and that the loan was also paid from this account. Need to clarify this with ladies from NZ.

The other town house sale is, thank heavens, progressing smoothly.  Seven days are up and deposit received.  Being thankful for small mercies here.

During my break, my US buyer came over to kick butts and get her visa sorted out.  She met the local maire, tourist office people, the neighbours (thought they were OK!!!!) and took Ken (alcoholic father of owner and currently occupying property) and his cronies for a drink and is generally happy.  She has still NOT sold her house in the US with which she will be purchasing the one here.  Thank heavens the exchange rate is going in her favour.  I would be manic in her shoes - the date for the Acte is in June.

Rang colleague who did a visit for me on one of my properties during my break and she said it went tremendously well.  They had done a revisit and, even though it was raining and traffic was hammering past, the clients were still in love with the property.  The clients had gone back to the UK to 'sort things out'.  In view of the fact that they are cash buyers, I wouldnt have let them go without getting an offer on the table.  Am just hoping that they dont have second thoughts.

Went to get the dog from his pension.  He looked clean and chirpy.  The owner asked me if he was sterilised and I said no, he is 13 and we thought he no longer had the urge. Unfortunately he did so she will have some bad news for that dog owner....

Got back home and the internet had crashed so went into town to buy a dongle.  SFR should wear masks and bandanas.  OH had spent day whizzing around on tractor and cutting grass.

Got email from the Russians saying they were expecting sum of money far in excess of that necessary to buy the house and that they would obtain documentation and send it over. Sellers somewhat mollified but still want me to ring other people who were interested in their house but made a very low offer.

Had pizza and watched Poldark.  I am warming up to this series.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Home and feeling fraught

Wednesday 29 April 2015

Rain and cloudy
12 degrees

Had fraught conversation with the Russians on Skype last night - they have still not paid the deposit on the house and the owners are going nuts.  Fortunately with being on holiday, I have had my phone switched off, otherwise they would have been ringing me every day.  The Russians say yes they will have the money but they dont know when and it is complicated.  They say it is coming from their friends in the East.  The man says can he tell me a joke and I am thinking no,tell me when you are going to pay in the effing money.

This morning, get an email from the sellers saying that if I dont ring them immediately, they are going to pull the contract.  I ring them.  They are deeply unhappy and think the Russians are not serious.  They ask, again, where the money is coming from and I cant answer them because all the Russians say is that it is from salary and it is complicated.  The sellers say that the buyers have until next Tuesday and then they are cancelling.  OH manages to find a couple of bird watchers to talk to in the foyer of the hotel.  Amazingly, they live in the same road as his brother in the UK.

We have decided to go home early, mainly because of over a week of epic drinking and no sleep, we are exhausted.  OH must be the most flatulent man on the planet and he snores all night.  I feel one hundred years old.  The birds start singing at 6 am.  Cats fight in the night.  Spaniards dont go to bed until at least 2 am.  We were in one bar and there was a couple with a one week old baby and another with a three week old.  They didnt leave til ten pm.  I have to say, the babies were entranced by the bright lights and no one draped towels over the mothers when they breast fed (glass of wine in hand).  Small children tore around the tables and an English guy, grey haired and wearing glasses, posed on a bar stool and tried to hold in his stomach and talk amusingly to his Russian girlfriend who was at least 20 years his junior.  Not junior enough to be showing as much leg as she was.

The stranges thing I saw in Trujillo was a shop called Hasta Crisis which had one room devoted to nasty plastic handbags and another to fishing tackle.

We finally leave the hotel at 10.30 and head north.  We both feel exhausted and deflated. The satnav says it is 950 kilometres to home.  I dont dare sleep because I know OH may nod off at the wheel.

We stop off for lunch at a small hotel restaurant and have a starter of ratatouille with a fried egg plopped on top, kebabs and cold custard with nutmeg.  Surprisingly, very good. Onwards we go and then around Madrid which had some interesting architecture and terrifying drivers.

We finally hit the motorway within an hour of being home and find it is closed so rather than trail over the border with the rest of the traffic, OH strikes off into the countryside, despite my telling him that this is a very bad idea and we drive around on tiny roads for an hour and a half before surprisingly finding the motor way and getting home at 11 pm.

this unbelievably is just a few minutes after all the big buildings

Bull Ring

Palacio Chaves

Tuesday 28 April 2015

Sunny 18 degrees

This is where we stayed in Trujillo.  Wonderful private palace of just 7 bedrooms

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Trujillo - home of the conquistadores

Monday 27 April 2015

Cloudy with some rain
15 degrees

Trujillo is a tiny town in a vast plain in Extremadura - extremely hard literal translation.  What made Pizarro and Hernan Cortez go to the west coast of South America in search of untold wealth and riches.  Today they would be known as terrorists.  Pizarros family home very modest.  Town full of immensely old buildings.  Storks nesting on the high buildings.

Market place Trujillo

Pizarro - international terrorist


North to Extremadura in the rain

Sunday 26 April 2015

Rain 14 degrees

Small mines everywhere

Cork oaks and sheep

Very Lord of the Rings