Saturday, June 20, 2015

A day of messing about with resin....

Friday 19 June 2015

Sun and light drizzle
26 degrees - humid

Crafting day!   For a couple of weeks now I have been collecting and drying seed heads and tiny flowers.  Took dog for a quick walk and discovered an adder dead at the side of the road.  After establishing it was really, really, dead I picked it up with a plastic bag and brought home with some other treasures

The belly reminds me of a piano keyboard.   I am hoping to slice off the skin but am really ginger about actually touching it.  OH will freak if he goes into the office and sees it on the desk.  

I got out the moulds for jewels and buttons and almost instantly discovered most of my stuff was either too big or the wrong shape.  The seeds and tiny cow parsley looked and fitted the best.  I had gathered some amazing seed heads off some grass and they were a nightmare and kept on creeping out of the resin.  When I came to mix it, it wasn't as difficult to work with as the water which I had experimented with to see how easy it was to pour without dripping.  The water shot out of the cup and went all over the place but the resin, with its higher viscosity was much easier to deal with.  I found by using the dipper stick, that I could dribble it into the tiny button moulds without covering up the spikes for the button holes.  I made a terrific amount of mess and had a great time.

You can see the badly behaved seed head on the bottom right.  I may need to fettle this one with some additional resin.  It didn't bubble too badly as I had stirred it thoroughly but slowly and I made sure everything was really, really dry.  More pix to follow.  I hope it comes out of the mould.  I should have used some Vaseline but by the time I had found stuff that was ready and able to go into the spaces, I just wanted to get on with it.  Conscious that OH back on Sunday and he just seems to take up all my time.

Made chili and hoed the potatoes.  Quite a bit of blight which I had to take off.  They need spraying again with copper fungicide and it is going to take forever because there is now so much top growth.

Spoke to US lady LM on Skype and she said her husband is denying making any offer to pay the penalty clause.  FFS what is he playing at?  Emailed him saying that the seller is going to accept his withdrawal and he wrote straight back and said he would sign the paper when he received it.

Friday, June 19, 2015


Thursday 18 June 2015

Glorious sunshine 25 degrees

Woke up late and luxuriated in the peace and quiet of having the house to myself.  Opened my emails and found, a brilliant surprise for once, the future ex husband ES of the US lady LM had offered to pay the balance of the penalty clause plus our real estate fees on condition that this would be taken in full and final settlement.  Rang the head of the agency and she said I must get the lady to speak to her notary.

The phone rang - it was the US lady's notary - what on earth is going on?  She barked.  I am a lot easier to get on the other end of the phone and it is her modus operandi to ring me up and get clarification.  I update her on the fact that ES has offered to pay up and she is astonished to learn that LM hasn't told him that she is continuing with the purchase.

The best out come here would be for the seller to accept the payment of the fees, LM doesn't have to take on a thirty year mortgage when she is already in her late 40's and we can start again.  The seller can then do up his house and then doesn't have to sell it and suffer the increased capital gains tax.  The smoking, drinking, volatile father is out of the house and in the flat and the mother can spend some time in the house and the rest in NZ with the kids.  LM tells me of a house which she wants to buy and I agree to open negotiations.  I ring the seller's mother and she says PB is going to accept.  Resolution to this very nasty and complex mess.

Go down to the market and the sun is shining and I drop off immense amounts of clothing which was jamming up mine and OH wardrobes.  Had coffee and watched people pass by. Bought some earphones and delightful sweets bijoux for using in the resin.

Get an email from the buyers of my flat and finally, they have had contact with their notary and they have an appointment on Monday.  I really hope they are going to sign and not insist on coming back to check there are no leaks before putting pen to paper.  This is becoming a real pain and I have put the property back on the Ads site.

Did immense amounts of ironing.  Spoke to US lady LM who is utterly delighted that her future ex husband will be picking up the tab and says she will be happy to withdraw under those circumstances and providing he doesn't try and sue her for the money.  I ring and inform both notaries and speak to head of agency.  LM asks me to open negotiations on a little house she saw on her last visit with another agent.

Cant be bothered cooking.  Have cereal and wine and watch Mamma Mia.  I so love this film.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Quiet is bliss....

Wednesday 17 June 2015

Glorious 24 degrees

If only ever Summer day could be as lovely as this.  A gentle breeze.  The sun warm on the skin.  Birds singing.  Butterflies dancing intricately together.

Removed the plastic bags from the beleaguered ipomoea.  If you remember, OH had filled in the drain holes when he concreted the pots to the posts.  The potatoes are looking fantastic and the main crop is already putting out flowers.  Even the La Ratte is looking good and only has a few blighted petals.

Sat on the sofa in my dressing gown and loaded up some properties whilst listening to Heartbeat and then the Royal.  Lovely series set in the realms of reality with real crimes and real characters.  I watched an episode of Coronation Street a while ago.  I haven't seen it for a year or two since it went more 'edgy' and 'real' following severe competition for viewers from EastEnders.  I was horrified.  Shouting, incest, violence.  WTF?  This series used to be a national institution.  You could miss loads of episodes and pick up the stories again without difficulty.  It just rolled on and not a lot happened.  It was the sort of reality that the rest of us experienced on a weekly basis.  If I was on Coronation Street as a resident, I would be booking the removal lorry.

Took dog for a walk in the woods and it was very muddy.  Found some most wonderful grass heads with seeds which I will use in resin pendants - pix to follow.

Cleaned and hoovered and polished.  Quiet day and blissful.  No meltdowns.  No crises. Nowhere to go.

OH rings to say they are moving on from Pontevedra and that they have seen fish being caught.  Not by either of them though....  

Yesterday's guy who came to do the quote for the NZ ladies house came in with his figures - and he was at 28000 euros.  I am in the wrong job.....

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Diluvian rain and knobby notary

Mardi 16 Juin 2015

Diluvian rain  16 degrees

Having been totally shocked at the price of the painting quote on the house which the NZ ladies are buying, I asked another painter to come around and look.  He is an English guy and we know him well.  He arrived and I didn't recognise him as he was heavily disguised with the silver beard and moustache.  I haven't seen him for a while.  Painting for a living seems to have taken its toll - unless of course, he has given himself some highlights. His wife was with him.  A tiny sprite of a woman, full of energy who attacks the French language with much gusto.  She was very impressed by the house.  TT her husband took some time to measure up and check all the rooms and then they left and I treated myself to some rum and raisin ice cream and a petit cafĂ©.  That certainly perked me up.

I popped in to the new brocante and the delightful lady came out to chat.  She restores furniture and was shabby chic-ing a pair of evil brown doors.  She is always hyper.  I attribute it to the paint fumes and had to lurk by the door.  She is looking for somewhere else to rent so I suggested the Australian people's place and she is interested.  Back home and checked emails and the phone rang and it was my notary and she said hello in a high pitched voice.  Not good.  

The compromis for the house that my colleague sold for me when I was on holiday is set for this afternoon.  The seller's notary had obviously only looked at the dossier this morning and had asked for more paperwork, including written approval of the conditions of the compromis from the buyer.  My notary was wound up.  I rang my colleague and he was out on visit and it was tipping it down and he said shit many times.  I got home and rang and emailed the buyer and he sent over the email.

Not having a clue where the seller's notary is, being over 75 kms away and in the middle of a city, I had arranged to follow the sellers in their car.  The rain was heavy.  The lady was faffing about and they had words.  Finally we set off and he didn't drive too fast (I am in aged Renault thanks to OH going off with my lovely smart newish car) and we got to the auto route.  It was horrific.  The rain was coming down like a power shower.  Visibility was bad and people were driving like lunatics.  I now regretted having the coffee.  My heart rate was matching the windscreen wipers.  At long last, we got off the motorway and headed into town.

The problem with following someone is that you have to adopt their driving methods if you want to keep up with them.  The seller introduces me to 35 minutes of driving like a French person.  I felt I had aged about three years.  At one point, I am sure we were in a bus lane. There were buses and us.   We arrive at the notary's office and it is full of hot, bored people then they go out of the waiting room and we sit down and the electric goes off.  I really, really hope that they have printed out the compromis because I am not coming back over here again.  Twenty minutes pass.  Reception is deserted and some more clients come in and mill around.  Fifteen more minutes pass.  My notary still hasn't turned up.  Finally, the seller's notary appears and says come upstairs.  He doesn't apologise for being late.  Black mark.

We had just sat down and the electric had come back on when my notary arrived.  The sellers notary turned to her and said, do the buyers speak French.  My notary turned to me and I said no, but the contract had been fully explained by my colleague.  So, said the sellers notary, they do not speak French.  You would do well just to answer the question I asked.  I glanced sideways.  The sellers were glaring at him.  He read through things at speed and then the sellers signed.  He didnt even mention the email that we had bust a gut to get hold of this morning.  He then said we would need to have a professional translator for the Acte de Vente.  My notary said I was fully bilingual, as is my colleague. He laughed dismissively.  He is such a knob.  We came out and the sellers left and my notary said 'il est penible lui, quoi!' (he is a right pain).  Fortunately the rain had stopped and I drove back tranquille.

Very tired.  Finished up the pizza and read 'Narrow Dog to Wigan Pier'.  Didn't appreciate before that Terry Darlington is a one eyed madman (periodically)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Much tea and many biscuits were consumed - all in the name of business....

Monday 15 June 2015

Blue skies interrupted by torrential rain in the mountains

18 degrees

Woke up at silly o'clock - 6.30 am.  Again.  Feel wrecked.  Am out of my thyroid tablets and my system is grinding to a standstill.  Made myself do some work type work until 9 then dressed and into town to see a lady who I have not seen in ages but whose garden and more particularly, swimming pool popped into my head the other day whilst I was waiting for the dog to finish his interminable peeing on things.

Her house is hidden down a long lane.  A squat property with a delightfully quirky mix of rooms and levels,  Gorgeous pool and half acre garden.  Might do for camping car people? I have a bad history of selling to camping car people. I don't.  The liberty of transport gives them the liberty of looking over hundreds of square kilometres and even if I do find them something they like, they wriggle out of my clutches and go somewhere else inland and cheaper where they no doubt enjoy the opportunity to freeze in the winter and boil in the summer.

Enjoyed a coffee and biscuits and the lady's phone rang and she asked them to ring back as she was with a friend.  Was warmed.

Down town and saw a lady whose mandate had expired.  Her very large cat sat on my knee and roared out a throaty purr.  The french word for purring is ronron.  I love that word. Floralie (flower show) is another good one.

Home to release dog from the front room and see how many slugs and snails had eaten themselves to death on the pellets.  An amazing number.  I wonder how many snails there are in the world.  Think of the Spike Milligan poem

Today I saw a little worm
Wriggling on his belly
Perhaps he'd like to come inside
And see what's on the telly

Snail Sliding Down a Leaf

Yes, there really is a site called Snail World.  I looked for a photo of a snail sliding up a leaf but that was a photo too far for Snail World.

All too soon it was time to go out again and see a house 45 minutes south.  The mountains popped out of the top of the heavy cloud and once again, I was late and had to drive past the chocolate factory in the sure and certain knowledge that I would not be able to find it again on my way out of town.  The lady had to come and get me so I wouldn't get horribly lost.  She took me on a very windy road, followed by many other windy roads and also drove like a maniac so when I arrived, having spent ten minutes swerving around potholes and keeping the car on the road, I had no idea where I was.  

The spot was idyllic and the house had a deep blue wooden balcony, fringed with wisteria. Bell wearing cows clanged around in an adjoining field.  Inside, I have to say, it was rather French.  Gas rings and 1980's gothic. The rain came down in stair roads.  We had tea and biscuits.  I am doing well today.  Chocolate again.  The lady told me about her husband who had divorced her after 44 years of marriage.  She didn't seem too cut up about it.  I was trying to figure out if she had had a face job because she must be ten years older than me and had very smooth skin.  There was a beautiful pond with an impressive stand of Gunnera Manicata
Gunnera manicata3.JPG
"Gunnera manicata3" by Required attribution is: Photo by Tom Oates.Original uploader was Nabokov at en.wikipedia (a.k.a. Tom Oates) - Transferred from en.wikipedia; transferred to Commons by User:Kafuffle using CommonsHelper.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

Small boys can shelter from the rain under one of the taller leaves.  I left after an hour and a half and got completely lost and only just got back to town to show my colleague on previsit, a house she will be viewing with her client tomorrow.  Then went around to retake a mandate and discovered that I had run out of non exclusive mandates but the owner insisted I came in and gave me orange juice and encouraged me to talk.  I think I have novelty value.  I told her about haunted houses I have known.  I think it was the sudden rush of sugar to my blood stream.  

Back home and I really did not feel like walking the dog but he insisted.  Had pizza. Looked at my emails and discovered - and I was glad I was sitting down when I read it - a quote for painting just TWO of the four floors of the house that the NZ ladies are buying. How much?  24,750 euros for just under 200m2 of plain painted walls......

The beauty of seed heads

Sunday 13 June 2015

Cloudy and then hot and sunny 26 degrees.

Some of the things I got yesterday

Coloured crystal resin

Fabulous decorative prism paint

Stamps for card insert

Decorative paper for cards

Interesting stuff - you draw on it and then bake it and it shrinks to 7th of the size and can be used in badges or buttons

Truffle mould - very expensive in one shop and very cheap in another

Tescos strawberry jam!  And coir plant circles

Jewellery and button moulds for the resin

Had a big clear out of old clothes and sorted out the pantry and put everything in logical and easily reachable order.

Had siesta on sofa and was prodded by dog so had to go for a walk with him and he kept on running off.  Had epiphany and realised that I neednt try and dry flower heads, which are difficult and wrinkle and crinkle.  I can use seed heads and dry them naturally on the stalk and perhaps colour them.

Found an immense dandelion head

and discovered the intricate beauty of the seeds of the wild geranium

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Shopping heaven!

Saturday 13 June 2015

Cloudy cover 24 degrees

Got up early and wrote two blog posts - if I get beyond three days it becomes a real effort to remember what happened!  Then enjoyed a pleasant browse through FB and chatted to various people.  Dog is very tired due to the excessively late night.  I always wake up really early when OH is away.  Must make the most of the time he is on holidays to get lots of crafting done.

Put on my gorgeous new jacket with spangly buttons (birthday present from Ms Noddi) and jeans and my scales told me that I am just under 9 stone (55 kilos) which is the lightest I have been in ages.  Mainly achieved by giving up bread and dairy, though I do eat bread occasionally now.  I don't and wont eat dairy.  Have you ever heard a cow cry for her calf? The poor little ones aren't even left with their mothers for a day.  The cows are inseminated time and time again to keep them producing milk.  One of the good things about living where I do is that the babies are raised 'under the mother".  I was out with dog the other day and a mother and brand new baby were in the field.  She immediately sheltered him from me and the dog.  The baby staggered off and the mother followed, smelling and touching him constantly with her muzzle.  We walked on.  Upon re passing the field, the baby was lying down and the mother was standing guard.  Cows milk is for cows.  If you are wondering, I drink rice milk.  I presume no rice is hurt in the process.

Off to the big city in my trusty (hopefully) little car.  There was a huge piece of plastic roofing in one of the lanes of the motorway so I pulled over at the exit and asked a French couple for the number of the gendarmes.  They say they don't know.  They don't know the number to call for an emergency?  I pluck a short number out of the air (all the emergency numbers are two digits) and choose 17 and hurrah it is the right one and I pass on the information. Feeling public spirited, I head off to the shopping centre.

First I went to a divine kitchen shop called 'un bruit dans la cuisine' (a noise in the kitchen) and it is full of divine things I never realised I needed.  I mean needed!  Truffle and chocolate moulds, unbreakable flowery cups, little coffee cup sets, Bakelite type serviette rings and walls full of teas, coffees and infusions.  I am attended by a very keen sales assistant who can sense that I am weak and easily led.  I manage to extract myself after very nearly plumping for the chocolate moulds and went to Maisons du Monde.  which is a sort of a mini Ikea then dived into the heaven that is Cultura.  I got some crystal resin, a jewellery mould and a button mould, some crackle glaze paint, a heat gun, gorgeous printed paper and an umbellifer stamp and felt that my head was turning so went for some quiche and salad and some fizzy water.  Saw rival agent and she looked surprised and said I was so blond and had I lost weight?  She worked for a French agency and now for an English one which specialises in very expensive houses.  I wonder how much of a living she earns?

Suitably refreshed, I headed off into the traffic and it was raining and the GPS on my phone wouldn't work so I got very very lost until I found Place Verdun and took the main road west and hurrah, there was Noz.  It was packed and smelled of rubber and I started feeling weird again so I left and went into Maxi Bargains next door and found some coir circles for planting seeds for just 4.50 euros for 36.  Bought some chocolate chip biscuits and then spotted a truffle and chocolate mould identical to the one in UBDLC except it was 5.99 instead of 18.99 so I added that to the basket.  I ended up buying some wallpaper with a print of tree sections.  Don't ask me why I bought it or why I only got one.  It was 2.50 so what could I do?  Finally ended up in Truffaut where I was annoyed by the fact that it was selling the same stuff as Cultura but cheaper.  Much cheaper - I am going to write to them and ask for an IOU.

Back home along a nearly deserted motorway.  Dog very, very ready to go out.  Wandered along the lane and he peed on many things.  Felt very tired.  Found lovely books by Terry Darlington in the letter box - late birthday present from KS.  Went to bed early with books and cup of tea.