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Weather to BBQ or not!

May 25, 2013

It seems to be a trend among house-hunters to wind sellers up, first we get the couple who don’t want to move to France and now our film-making inventor has dropped out. He let us know that we were over his budget (but not by how much) – we replied that we were reducing the price a bit and he replied that he really didn’t want a house as big as ours anyway!

We did decide to reduce the price which entails modifying several websites and related documents and signing new mandates with the French-based agencies – very tedious and time consuming. Our local French agent did bring a prospect on Monday but we are not very hopeful – apparently he runs his consulting business from home and our house didn’t “grab” him – also he doesn’t like carpet.

We are still lighting the fire in the evenings as the weather shows no signs of warming up and now we need more wood. Mme J has promised to deliver some and I realised I needed more cash so I can pay her. Quick drive to Sulniac to discover the ATM is “hors service” and I know the nearest bank is at least 12 km away. I plugged “cash machines” into the GPS and it found one – turned out it was in the supermarket next door to where I got the car CT. I had never been in this supermarket but it was something of a surprise – large, light and apparently well-stocked. It’s only about 10 minutes drive so we might do a weeks shop there later.

Nice surprise on Thursday when we went for lunch – our lottery ticket won €2 so the next ticket is free J Even though the weather forecast has been predicting rain, wind & hail it really hasn’t been that bad – in fact it’s dry but breezy. We spent a couple of hours in the garden, me fixing the final gatepost and June weeding and pruning. It’s just tedious having to go back down into the sous-sol for tools and to put things in the vice for working on.

Cricket is back but only highlights for us as I refuse to pay extortionate amounts to Sky plus fees to maintain a UK based account as it is against the rules to watch Sky outside the UK – Murdoch has much to answer for. However it was a pleasant interlude and followed by the 70th anniversary commemoration of the Dam Busters, live from RAF Scampton. Amazingly three of the crew members of this raid are still alive and two were there.

We did indeed go to the new supermarket in Elven on Friday, very good, well stocked (apart from 1-litre gin bottles) but like many French supermarkets, very cold inside. They will insist on using these tall open-front cold storage shelves and therefore the whole area is freezing. Nice fresh fish counter and the fish monger spoke excellent English we bought some haddock and he recommended a sauce to go with it – June likes this, I can see we will be back.

Our weather forecast seems to be guidelines only – both Saturday and Sunday were forecast bright & sunny but rain on Monday. I have, however, learned to grab opportunities when I can so I cut the grass on Saturday and did some general tidying around. As I’m cleaning the mower at the top of the drive Mme J arrives and lets me know she will be back in about 30 minutes with a the rest of our stère of wood. It only takes a few minutes to stack this in the garage so now we have enough to last until the autumn. She returns a bit later with grandchild – time for the school raffle – €1 per ticket and first prize is an I-pad or similar.

Just as well I got the outside done, Sunday we awoke to pouring rain so no outdoor activities. We received an email from a prospective buyer – asking to view the house this weekend! I’d only written to them late Saturday after an enquiry asking for more details so I quickly replied that they could come anytime after 11:00 and we rushed about getting ready. They telephoned at 11:30 and made an appointment for 16:30. We also decided Sunday lunch should be early so we are finished and ready by the time they arrive. Buying our roast meat pre-cooked and having it sliced at the deli counter saves a ton of work and is almost as tasty. All done & dusted by 3:00pm.

The prospective buyers arrived on time with their two daughters and were given the tour of the house. They clearly liked it – the daughters claiming a couple of bedrooms as “theirs” – and made nice encouraging noises. They liked the fact we had a fire going in the living room – all nice and cosy! We are right in their commuting zone (Vannes and Redon), they are investigating school buses (which do run from the village) and have one or two more visits to make. They also talked about discussing it with their bank – all seems fairly positive but we shall see.

During Saturday breakfast I somehow broke a tooth while eating a boiled egg! I immediately called the dentist but because there was no pain she gave me an appointment for Tuesday morning. Off I went and she had me sat in the chair within 5 minutes of the appointment time which is very un-French and did a full examination. No worries apart from the broken one and she fixed that with a resin cap which took about 15 minutes from start to finish. Total payment to the dentist of €40.97 and that will be reimbursed in about 10 days – very efficient, simple and effective system.

We continue to work on the garden as and when we can, Malcolm is indispensible and gets through a ton of work every time he comes – the duck eggs are a bonus! Spring has been so cold this year, all the trees and plants are late. The cuttings we planted late last year are only just showing signs of life, hopefully they will get a move on soon; it’s getting difficult to miss them with the weed wacker as they are surrounded by taller grass. Wednesday seemed to be a bit of a trial, we had to get up early as the nurse arrived at 08:00 for June’s blood tests and the day just seemed to drag on from there. There is of course no news from any potential buyers or agents.

On our regular shopping trip we found some fresh swordfish at the local market – too good to miss so we planned to BBQ it on Friday. First thing we need is marinade – teriyaki sauce – and I am convinced we had some. A thorough search failed to find it so we decided to take a quick trip to the Intermarche in Elven but to no avail. We did get some Soy sauce and then we discovered we already had that. So quick bit of on-line research found the recipe for a marinade and while searching for ingredients June found an un-opened bottle of Teriyaki sauce!

Just as we arrived home we got a text message from Peter & Jenny saying they had arrived and did we want lunch on Friday! This will have to be postponed as they are booked up all weekend and there are only two fresh swordfish steaks.

Friday weather forecast was for showers all day but I decided we were BBQing anyway. June prepared the marinade, I got the grill cleaned and organised and kept looking at the skies. All went according to plan, the rain held off and the swordfish was excellent – first BBQ of 2013.


BBQ 002 BBQ 001








We must do more of this and in fact we have a couple of steaks for Sunday hopefully the weather will be better as we are still lighting a fire in the evening to keep the place feeling cosier. However, Saturday dawned cold & windy and my plans to spend some time in the garden were quickly abandoned. Sunday does look better but the power tool restrictions will limit the amount of time I can be working out there. Long range weather forecast is still for cold & rain – there are definite times when I regret leaving California.


David & June

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 25, 2013 13:28

    This weather really is awful – a day here a day there of sunshine but nothing permanent. We have bbq’d once also. We shop at Intermarche and enjoy the fresh fish (counter closed on Mondays). I don’t understand the open freezer sections either – all that wasted energy. Tmorow we are off to Scotland via Ireland on the ferry from Cherbourg in our RV. Hoping to come across better weather somewhere on our travels. Yes, Florida also looks better and better as the rain pelts down! Bonne courage!

    • May 25, 2013 14:01

      Have a safe trip Jo, but the UK weather looks even worse, especially as it’s a Bank Holiday 🙂

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