Well. Plenty happening, just a question of where to start. I think as far as timescale goes this post could be a little random.

Let’s start from the vide grenier as Annette mentioned it. Not-for-profit would be a fair description. Annette got the chandelier, and I saw a rather good paella pan, but forgot to go back and buy it. Oops. We’ll just have to stick to the one that feeds 15 people. On the upside, someone left me their phone number to buy my laptop, and bought it 2 days later! All part of the pre-move slimming down of possessions.

The other thing that has left the family is the rather fabulous (if a little sick) Skoda. The ad had been on the French Gumtree (Le Bon Coin) for about a month with not a nibble. Random phonecall from ‘Boris’, very interested, knocked the price down, and agreed to buy it. Small complication, he lives 5 hrs drive away. A few texts and phones and he’s organised a chap to come on the train to pick it up. Béziers station at 23.38. Terrific. Getting in the car for a 90 min round trip at the time my head would normally hit the pillow did not strike me as the most fun a chap could have.
So I got to the station on time, and a tall blonde bloke walked up very confidently, smiled and shook my hand. Off I went in French, ‘good evening, nice to meet you, did you have a good journey’ etc. The answer I got was ‘No.’ There was an accent there, so I tried English. ‘No’. With what little communication he and I could manage, it was determined that he was from Lithuania. The drive back to the house was very very quiet, with me wondering if I had the right bloke, was he a random stranger looking for a lift to anywhere, all the usual things that go through your mind when you’re driving through France in the dead of night in an English car, after a conversation with ‘Boris’ and a Lithuanian in the passenger seat that you have no means of communicating with. Having never sold a French car before I had looked up what to do on the internet. No worries, Miroslav (he wrote that on the paperwork) knew it all. The  he paid for the car with amongst others, a €500 note. Having got this far, I couldn’t say ‘smaller notes please’ so I accepted it, out came his GPS, and off he went. I fell asleep wondering if the Skoda would be used to smuggle various contraband in and out of Lithuania….
The following morning the lady at La Poste accepted the €500 with a cheery smile, so all good.

It strikes me that this blog is about the house move and taming of Number36, so I should add some news about that. We had been granted acces by the owner from the 1st of November, so that we could get a head start on moving stuff. That was excellent news, but today I received a phone call from the notaire saying that the paperwork was done, and if I had the money available, we could complete next week! WOW! Even more time to get things swapped over, maybe paint a little, and get things properly in order, Great news indeed! So the next decision is whether to go for it ASAP, or wait for the rate to creep a bit.

I’ll let you know when we do.

Postage pain

Right.  I have a set of scales, a French postage chart, and a tape measure.

I’ve been slaving like a dog on Ebay – spent hours and hours listing things trying to raise some small amount of cash.

Now feeling under sack loads of pressure to gain money by any means. is a bit hopeless so I listed everything under my existing account with with the “post to UK from France” intention.


Turns out for the 7 items despatched today the French postage was at least £15 more than I’d been paid (based on the aforementioned scales and the blessed chart).

Given how difficult it can be in this country to earn £15, this loss feels really grim.

What’s even more annoying is that Ebay UK sets a postage limit of £4.75 on any item you send to the UK from France (which strikes me as totally absurd).

So – as I now know the French postage chart rates and the Ebay rules are definitely not working in my favour I’ve got to go through each one of my 120 items again to delete or review them.   And that is at least 3 days work.

Please don’t imagine my mood because it isn’t pretty!

Counting down …

6 weeks today and we will be “in” …

The past few days have been very busy trying to list piles of stuff on Ebay and searching around for things to flog at the Vide Grenier on Sunday.

Every room in our house is a mess and the roadworks and drilling outside are literally making the house shake. This is no good for the karma or the concentration …

One piece of better news is that we can have access to Number 36 (barn if not house too) on 1st November, over a week before Official Signing Day. That means the convoy of lugging boxes, bags and bicycles can take place over 10 days instead of 2.

Right at this moment those 6 weeks ahead seem very very long.