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That was the week that was!

August 25, 2013

Just as I finished posting the last blog entry and after a quick Skype chat with friends in the UK, I got an email in response to the mower advert on the French website. The responder said he lived in Treffléan and he would like to look at the mower. So I called him and he was very enthusiastic and said he needed to contact a friend to assist him. I gave him my cell-phone number and he left me a message saying he would arrive at 7:00 pm on Sunday evening. I remembered one of the tyres was a bit flat so rushed out and got it inflated and then at 6:50 I got the car out and the mower and waited. At 7:15 there was no sign of them so I called his number – turned out his friend wasn’t available and he forgot to send me a message. They rearranged for Monday at 7:00pm and he brought his expert mate. Their first reaction was that it only had one blade – the expert said he needed two for his size and toughness of grass. Turns out he has 7000 sq metres and the maximum recommended for mine is 2500 sq m – and that was in the advert. So no go and back to advertising and dealing with all the timewasters who offer €200 for a thing advertised at €1100!

Tuesday was not a good day, I felt bad and June was fairly listless but we did manage to BBQ some ribs for lunch. I saw that Downton Abbey was back on TV so I recorded it and later on we sat down to watch. It was very confusing until we realised (via that we had just watched Series 1, Episode 1. I do wish the TV guide on Freesat gave a bit more useful information. We decided not to watch all the reruns but wait until it starts properly in the autumn with Series 4.

We have almost done all the packing/organising we need to do before we call in the movers. But there was still the big job of sorting out the garage tools, power tools and the utility room stuff. We made a good start on it on Wednesday, boxed up many of the smaller garden items, tools etc. Emptied the petrol out of all the power tools except the big strimmer and left the caps off to really dry out. There was the wonderful collection of old tobacco tins full of rusty nuts and bolts, screws, washers, nails etc. all collected over several decades. Plus a load of unwanted bits and pieces so I made a run to the dechetterie and dumped the lot. We still have way too many gardening tools but no-one seems to want them, probably another dechetterie run is required. We also got news of a bungalow for rent very close to the one that was sold before we could complete investigations; a viewing is arranged for Friday.

Thursday was hot and sunny and we enjoyed a good BBQ lunch of chicken with an orange coriander glaze, it only takes a few minutes to make and is delicious. Turned out to be an interesting day, I discovered by looking on line that the tax man had indeed reversed the earlier claim for social security charges (cotisations) on my 2011 income and closed the case. Looking a bit further I found the 2012 tax assessment and lo & behold, more cotisations. I wrote them an email and got an answer back in two hours saying they were wrong, I was exempt from cotisations and I would get a new bill soon. This, in France, in August!  It got better, later in the afternoon Mme J arrives along with a friend who apparently used to work as a housekeeper to the previous owners of this house. Anyway – she wanted to look at the mower, like it and decided to buy it – collecting it on Saturday. Now that’s a good day!

The French bank is trying to be really helpful but so far failing dismally, they opened the sterling account and ordered the Visa debit card. I received the PIN number by mail but no card, it included a note that I could collect the card from the branch. I’d already asked them to mail it so I sent a reminder – that resulted in a phone call saying it was not allowed to issue a debit card against the sterling account! I swallowed that and then tried to transfer some money; that proved hard until the nice lady at the bank amended the list of account to include the sterling one. I made the transfer – that didn’t work, the money went out of the Euro account one day and straight back into the Euro account the following day. I can see this being an on-going saga.

On Friday I had my appointment with the gastric specialist which was very frustrating – we waited well over an hour after the appointment time and then the guy spoke absolutely no English and simply gabbled away in French and would not slow down. I only understood about 1/10 of what he was saying but I did get the confirmation that there was no urgency but when we told him we were moving to the UK he said get it checked properly before we go! I’ll have to make another appointment with our doctor.

Saturday was more clearing and tidying up and the mower was collected in the afternoon – no more grass cutting for me! The garage and utility areas are looking almost organised.

The viewing of the bungalow went very well indeed, it’s spotlessly clean, nicely decorated and the owner said it’s ours if we want it – we want it. There followed a series of phone calls, first to the owner who was extremely pleasant and very understanding of the situation we are in but happy to rent to us. It got better – she will continue to pay the gardener and the window cleaner as part of the rent!  Then I called the letting agent and had a long conversation with one of the assistants who confirmed that we could rent the property. All they needed was an admin fee and it was reserved. They and the owner refused any rent until we actually moved! They then sent me a form which we have to complete for background, financial and references – this is a real challenge as all the data is basically non-existent because we haven’t lived in the UK for 22 years. Anyway, I spent most of Sunday morning completing them as best I could (foreign address and phone numbers don’t fit; who is the Pension Administrator etc) then a happy hour or so scanning them and emailing them off. Now we wait and see what they make of it all but as it is a bank holiday in the UK on Monday, nothing will happen for a few days.

All in all, pretty eventful week



David & June

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 26, 2013 09:13

    Everything is falling into place! Good for you.

    • August 26, 2013 09:34

      Yes it seems to be – but there’s some crazy logistics to sort out first

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Mrs Niklasson's Adventures

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