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A sea of flattened daffodils

March 21, 2013

The sorting and packing work continued in the sous-sol until the weather turned really cold. Monday and Tuesday were absolutely freezing and we did get a tiny amount of snow. The worst has been the winds – 65kph or more and constantly from the east so bitingly cold. The poor daffodils are laying flat, I hope they pick up so I can get some more decent pictures and they look good when the potential buyers come.

daffs 001

daffs 002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trying to ensure all the money transfers for the US taxes was done on time I discovered a problem on our telephone line – it wouldn’t make international calls. Orange seemed completely clueless and when they called back said it could take a few days to investigate – somehow it fixed itself and was working again on Tuesday evening. When they did call back they said it was my fault for dialling the wrong number and they read out the number I gave them – hopelessly wrong and there was no point in pursuing this any further. I finally got confirmation that the money had arrived on time so we are done with US taxes, probably for life.

I continued to chase my tail around the issues of moving, HSBC did respond by sending me some instructions on how to physically open the account but apparently this has to be done in the UK in person and the on-line application is only valid for 30 days – now they tell me! I have found a shipping company who can handle firearms but they need a French export certificate. After a frustrating hunt around the French websites for customs etc I did find a form and an address. I sent off an email asking for guidance and it bounced back “out of office”! Ultimately they responded with the form we need, now I need to get it completed and get the shippers involved.

We do spend quite a bit of time investigating various parts of England as we cannot really decide where to move to. Watching the various TV programs is providing some insight into specific areas and even in to types of property. It doesn’t help us much though when the participants’ budget is £900,000! We did watch one episode on Cornwall and not only did it look very nice (away from the tourist traps) but property prices seemed relatively low. However, it is a long way from anywhere else and the weather really isn’t that much different to the rest of southern England. This was confirmed by an email dialogue with a friend from my youth club days who lives there so I think we are giving that a miss.

Wednesday and the winds had dropped away and the snow gone, the gardener got on with burning all the rubbish from the major pruning. Amazing how much there was and how long it took to get rid of but at least we are getting the place tidier and looking like it’s being managed. It was much too cold to do much else though and now we are running low on wood for the fire. Oil consumption seems reasonable – we may get away with not needing to buy any more depending on when we can sell the place. We do need more firewood though so we have asked the neighbours if they have any more to sell..

There was much confusion on Thursday morning as we were expecting the nurse to arrive for the fortnightly appointment to take June’s blood samples. By 0830 there was no sign of her so we called the number and they said she would be there immediately. A nurse showed up in 10 minutes but then the regular nurse showed up as well! Turns out they are not from the same office but we got it sorted in the end. Our doctor had also requested blood samples for me as well and that was taken care of. All done by 09:00 and smiles and apologies all round plus ensuring the next appointment was fixed with the right nurse.

We got a call from one of the estate agents and got all excited until they explained the reason for the call was to arrange for their photographer to take pictures for a ‘virtual tour’. He arrived later that afternoon and I was expecting a real professional outfit but all he had was a small tripod and a tiny pocket camera, however the result is quite good:-

http://www.frenchestateagents.com/french-property-for-sale/view/31165PH56/house-for-sale-in-trefflean-morbihan-brittany-france

We spent much of Friday tidying up and buffing & polishing ready for our first potential buyers to arrive on Saturday morning at 10:30. At 09:45 the man upstairs delivered a major hail storm which knocked out the electricity – Oh great! However it did come back on just in time and the visitors arrived on the dot of 10:30 in pouring rain. This was an interesting visit – they spoke no English and June doesn’t speak French, however we seemed to manage and they liked the house a lot. Turns out they have to sell their apartment in Paris but they don’t think that will take too long.

Rest of the weekend was taken up with more repacking and sorting and watching the Australian GP, nice to have F1 back but the new presenter (Suzi Perry) is going to drive us nuts unless she stops waving her arms about. If this woman cut a finger she would talk with a lisp!

On Monday our French agent brought another potential buyer and we also got a lot of compliments and some very good feedback by email. The client is going to return to her home city and also contact her notaire – apparently she has to arrange for funds from her mothers estate to be released. There was a small comment on the price but she also said she would be interested in keeping the lawn mower and she even liked the kitchen wallpaper!

On Monday afternoon we finally unpacked the last of the major boxes from the move from California, we had looked into it to see roughly what was there but hadn’t done it in detail. This box contained all our plastic outdoor glasses and plates we used for around the pool and this has led to a new mystery. We thought we had eight of everything like plates; side plates etc and those are all there along with eight pint glasses. However it turned out we only have 6 cocktail glasses, 3 small cocktail glasses, 1 water glass and 1 beer tankard. These are strange numbers and of course the original invoices were discarded years ago. So either our memories are fading, or there are others squirrelled away in odd boxes or we have lost some stuff. We have never found the white plastic pedal bin from the guest bathroom – ah well, keep looking!

It has never ceased to amaze me the “office” junk that we collect – spread among three boxes, my office and June’s desk there must be hundreds of pencils, old biros, paper clips, yellow stickies and a whole host of other “collectibles”. Trying to decide what to do with it all we junked most of the oddments but we ended up with one large box with all the rest including all the stationery, staplers etc that are not required at the moment. Also in this box are all those bits of memorabilia such as my primary school yearbook, every badge from every event I ever took part in and the cards from significant birthdays. How can you junk this stuff?

Mme J was very apologetic but apparently the field is still too wet for the tractor so they delivered a stere (1/3 of a corde) in their small van on Wednesday afternoon and she also got us a small load of kindling size pieces in the trailer behind her lawn tractor. This all sounds pretty straightforward – but nothing in France ever is – Clement is not the best driver in the world and it took much shouting and gesticulation to get him to back down our drive with the load of wood. Then Mme disappears for the lawn tractor and is gone for ages. I went inside and found an email from her; apparently the battery was flat so it needed charging before she could deliver the kindling. However, this now seems enough to see us through the summer months and into winter so we’re hoping we’re done with that aspect.

This Thursday we are taking it easy, moving all those boxes, especially all the books, is very tiring so June will get her hair done, we will go for lunch and I may just get this published

Cheers

David & June

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