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February 23, 2013

There was one task of repacking and sorting we needed to get done so on Monday morning I opened the two remaining boxes labelled “linen” and took the contents upstairs for June to sort and organise. I fetched two long wardrobe type boxes and made them up and started on the inventory/catalogue. We ended up with both boxes full but all the stuff removed from the wardrobes upstairs and downstairs. Goodness knows why brought half of this stuff but we won’t start on the downsizing until after we move.

As Monday was still bright and dry, out came the mower and it took me two and a half hours to get round all the grass. As I suspected the grass catcher wouldn’t work properly which was a mixed blessing – no cuttings but messy looking grass. As far as I can tell there is a fundamental flaw in this design, the grass box closes a chute which is spring loaded. The idea is that if the grass box is absent then nothing gets sprayed all over just laid in a narrow row. However, it does not close fully and part of it projects downwards and catches on the ground. This in turn flips the chute, pops the grass box open and it’s not possible to close it without reversing onto a piece of level ground. I’ve tried jamming it open but it still flips the jamming piece out. I’ll just have go over it again in a few days to pick up the dried cuttings and start to get it all level again and slowly lower the cutting height when the chute does close properly. I also needed the mower to act like a roller in places where the ground had subsided and been filled by Malcolm the previous week. In the meantime June got on with weeding the front border by the garage which she can do without kneeling. At the end of Monday we were whacked but the place did look much better.

The latest estate agent came on Tuesday to prepare her adverts, take pictures and measurements and get us to sign the agreement. The results do look good but this agent charges the highest fees so that puts a lot of pressure on the price. Fees are paid by the buyers in France and adverts typically have the fees included in the advertised price and then the legal fees have to be added on top based on the actual selling price. Ludicrous system and the agents wonder why business is slow!

We have spent quite a bit of time discussing where to move to and what type of property we want – needless to say we have not managed to reach any conclusions. Watching some of the UK house hunting programs has been useful but we can’t help but notice how many houses have HUGE expanses of gravel at the front, not even a small flower border or statue or fountain to break the monotony. We’ve also noticed that what the agents call a ‘butler’ sink has become fashionable – can’t imagine why as they are totally impractical. They chip easily, damage crockery if you drop something in them and they only have one sink. Give me a double stainless drop in sink any time.

We were expecting the new front door to arrive on Friday afternoon – so imagine the surprise when they showed up at 09:15. This meant we could not go shopping and the job took all day – well until 4:00pm. The day was freezing cold with a strong East wind blowing, having the front door removed did nothing for our comfort level as well as turning off the radiator in the hall as the workers were getting too hot! We did try to find a door with an arched top but these were horrendously expensive so we settled for a system where the door appears arched from the outside but is in fact a rectangle mounted inside the archway. It works with a little trimming and the effect is good. The new door is PVC and insulated so no more draughts in the hallway and the place looks bigger and brighter. I just had time to get to the bread shop and post office after they left and finish cleaning up. For some reason it felt like a long and tiring day.

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I was hoping to run the mower over the grass on Saturday but as we left to go shopping for the weeks supplies, it started snowing! Nothing critical but it was still freezing cold and now the grass is all wet again 😦

Ah well, on we go

David & June

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 23, 2013 16:57

    Door look very good and as you say brightens up the hallway! Tres bon! We watch those UK house shows too and are shocked at the prices. Some areas as so lovely. Have fun searching – at least you know more about England than you did about the french way of buying/selling houses, which is utterly bi-zar. Bonne chance.

    • February 23, 2013 17:09

      I’m not sure of that – haven’t lived there for 22 years and UK agents seem as reluctant to communiciate as French ones!

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