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September – and still we wait!

September 2, 2011

The trip to England was fun, meeting up with old friends and relatives and relaxing.  We went via Brittany Ferries from Cherbourg to Portsmouth on the high-speed boat, three hours of journey time in what at best could be described as a sea-going Ryan Air – uncomfortable seats, screaming kids and awful food. We had opted for a night in Cherbourg before making the crossing as it’s a four hour drive from here and the boat loads at about 11:30am, we docked at Portsmouth and were quite impressed with the exit from the port area, very easy. Then we ran into UK traffic which is, quite frankly, the worst I have experienced in many, many years anywhere and it never really got any better over two weeks. There are too many cars, too much roadside furniture and restrictions and WAY too many trucks – especially those overtaking in “Thomas the Tank Engine” mode, taking several miles to pass each other.France is deserted in comparison. 

We spent several days with friends in their house directly opposite our old cottage, no regrets about leaving it though. We were struck by how scruffy & untidy that part of Suffolk has become, there seems to be no roadside maintenance and all the hedges and trees are overgrown, not like it used to be when it was regularly maintained. Then on to Derbyshire (HopeValley) to meet with relatives, Buckinghamshire for dinner with friends and Hertfordshire to stay with buddy Nigel. Nigel keeps pigs & chickens, roast port for Sunday lunch and eggs for breakfast were first class. Finally to Wales and the Gower coast, very pretty but I wouldn’t want to be there in winter!  Back to Portsmouth and this time the overnight boat to St Malo, very easy and much closer to home, just two hours drive.

When we arrived back home we got the news that the owners of the house we are buying will not allow any contractor access until after the signing – I can understand why this might be in some cases but this house is empty, we have the cash we could put in escrow and there is three weeks work to do before we can realistically move furniture in. They are trying to shorten the wait but until then we are stuck and slowly going stir crazy in this tiny apartment – all our favorite restaurants are jam-packed with tourists but at least they will all be gone next week (we hope!).  

The weather since we got back has been great and we have taken a few trips around the area but finding parking is a nightmare. June managed to catch a cold/cough in Englandand finally took a trip to the doctors here in Baden, wonderful woman – not a word of English but no problems and we left with a bunch of prescriptions which hopefully are beginning to work. Another minor incident was June’s debit card failing due to entering the wrong PIN a couple of times. A trip to the bank and all was sorted in five minutes – Barclays has an awful lot to learn having cut me off for two weeks in England because they sent my new PIN via snail-mail to our address in France! 

The container left Los Angeles on August 27th and is scheduled to dock in Le Havre on October 1st, now all we have to do is fill in a bunch of paperwork and try to decipher the shippers inventory – its virtually illegible and not marked with the rooms the stuff came from. The new French customs form is very brief so we’re going to have to do some creative thinking to make it all match. We are also going to have to get the shippers to survey the delivery address; it’s a single-track country lane plus the driveway is gravel and slopes quite steeply. Can’t wait for the problem 😉 

And so we wait………………

2 Comments leave one →
  1. dorothy permalink
    September 6, 2011 17:32

    Just laughing at the container trying to get down the narrow roads. When we were there, we had many many times of ” oh oh, will we fit between the hedge and that combine harvester”.
    Glad you had fun in England. Hope June feels better asap.

    Keep up the blogging.

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Mrs Niklasson's Adventures

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