Big jobs, small jobs

Morning everyone. After a day of looking ill and not being himself at all, the hound is bouncy again. He had a good sniff around the courtyard on Monday, and licked the floor. Not great, and who knows what he might have found.

Today is a Get Stuff Done day. We made a list of the jobs that need doing by me asap. Combine that with José coming to look at the roof (it’s pretty watertight but in shocking condition) and it looks like a long and very productive day. Here’s my list:

Help José with the roof
Finish the bathroom (silicon and grout)
Silicon the kitchen sink
Put the knife rack up
Tile the splashback
Add 2 spotlight to the Kitchen ceiling (I don’t like French electrics)
Look at why 2 of the electric shutters are not working (see above)
Level up and fix big wardrobe
Fix the under-bed drawer
Reattach bedside shelf Annette’s side
Sand and re-oil kitchen worktop
Go to No 44 and fill the holes in the walls
Load car with stuff still in 44 and bring it back
Tidy courtyard before dog licks it all again.

That should keep me busy. Now, what shall I do after lunch?

Ready, steady …

After the last minute dash to get from the airport to the bank and then the notaires office, Miles now has The Key!

Look we are moving .... almost!

The plan is this ;

  • Thursday (tomorrow & a bank holiday) – without roadworks and general mayhem in Cruzy and with the help of some good local friends, several vans and other peoples trailers we move the bulk of our (now packed) possessions into No.36
  • Friday – start cleaning
  • Saturday – carry on cleaning
  • Sunday – more cleaning
  • Monday – phone lines switch over & sign documents
  • Tuesday – residency begins !!

Good eh?  So with tape measure in hand we excitedly went to the house today to size things up a bit before the Big Garage Emptying Day tomorrow.

Scrap the above.

Turns out we are not doing that at all.  The existing owners have not yet removed quite a few things from the house; tables, chairs, mattresses, boxes, cupboards, tv – etc etc.  They are removing all these things on Monday on the day of signing – so we will really have to wait until then to start doing anything.

We have a deadline to get No.44 cleaned and patched-up before 12th November, but our departure (taking into account transport (vans/trailers etc) and existing work commitments) is now set-back a week too, so it will all end up having to happen within 24 hours and then it’s straight back to work.

Hmmm.  So much for The Plan.  “C’est la vie”?!


When the going gets tough…

…. Miles goes to the UK.

A family visit beckoned, so on the stormiest and coldest weekend since March, I jumped on a ‘plane and went to see the family in Wales, leaving Annette to pack small stuff and try and find the heating switches. Lovely to see everyone of course, but 5 trains, 2 planes, 2 busses, and 4 car rides in a little under 72 hours does not leave much time for chilling with the family. I think moving will be a rest.
I took some local wine to drink with them, one called ‘Le Demi-Siècle’, which has a story behind it but not for this page, and one 100% carignan Cotes de Thongue, which is usually delicious but on this occasion had just started to turn. Never mind, worse things happen, and not only at sea.

On landing back in France, I changed SIM card to French, and had a message saying that despite having done the transfer of funds to the Notaire on Thursday last week, it hadn’t happened. One odd thing was that it was the banking centre at Marseille that phoned me, but our centre is in Montpellier…. very French. It was just as well that Annette was stuck in traffic on the way to pick me up, as it gave me a chance to make phone calls to see if we could sort it out. Twenty or so calls later, and our local bank manager agreed to see me, and her rank meant that she could log in and do the transfer there and then, so there was still hope for Wednesday. We just had to get through the Béziers traffic and arrive at her office before 4pm. 3.57pm, we walked through the door and did the transfer. On the way back to Number 44, we stopped at the Notaire to show it was all OK but she was not convinced. With a phone call to the seller, everything was sorted out, and we left feeling that all was back on track…

Steady as she goes…

So there’s a few bits of progress, as below… new lodgers, Orange sounding like the lines might switch at the same time, and the pile of things that never get used is shrinking.

Looking around the house is a bit odd. So many of our possessions are great to have, but never get the use they deserve. That gives rise to the ‘should I pack it now or should I wait syndrome. Wait for what? Until we run out of time and have to rush everything? Less than three weeks to go, the way forward must be to pack it all, and if we need something, tough. It’ll have to wait 3 weeks.

One of the most exciting things is that we’re going from several rented houses, to a permanent base that we could be in for years. The difference on a small level is that it’s our wall; if we put up a picture, there is no thought of ‘I’ll have to fill that when we move out…’. It may be a small thing, but mentally, it’s huge. We could paint the walls pink, put wall to wall carpet in (yeah, right), whatever, with nobody to ask permission from. It’s going to be home instead of somewhere to live.


Ticks on the list

More good news – the offspring of Mr V over the road have agreed to rent No.44.  So we are able to leave this house without owing rent and hopefully recoup our deposit (subject to Miles’s poly-fillering and painting skills!).

Indications are that we are making slow but steady progress – a few more bags and boxes are packed, the hall is starting to echo and the lounge looks like a bombsite.

Packing action may be on hold until next weekend there is a busy working week ahead.

Progress of sorts

Sunday was a busy sort of day.  Miles spent most of it being a real star and sitting in Capestang at a Vide Grenier.  I purchased this rather magnificently kitsch lampshade for my new “workspace” for an entire 3€.

So pink so kitsch

Following this rather long (let’s not say hugely profitable) day we had evening visitors in the shape of 82 year-old Mr V from across the road and his daughter and son-in-law.  Whilst they work on their new house in Cruzy they are looking for somewhere to rent that’s close to him – so Number 44 really couldn’t be more ideal !!

We hope they decide to rent it.   French rental agreements state that tenants are obliged to give the owner 3 months notice (and money) before the contract ends.  We have great hopes of saving a months rent and retrieving our deposit a month early.

Having not had any serious replies to the adverts we are keeping our fingers crossed.

The Big Red Button

In less than 8 weeks we should have moved or certainly be at a point where we’re living in the house with but a few bits left to do to complete the move. Technology is playing a part in all this, as we have set up a spreadsheet (D&F style) on Google Docs to track and tick off all of the jobs that need doing. There is rather a long list.

I’m at that stage (and I know I get like it) where I just need a big red button to do it all. Kind of like Mickey Mouse in The Sorcerer’s apprentice with the magic broom. I could start packing things in boxes, but will we need something out of that box in the next 2 months? In my mind, almost certainly. In reality probably not.

I’ve cleared a corner of the garage for packed and labelled boxes that are ready to move. It’s still clean and clear. Hopefully by tomorrow night the weekend activities will have included packing a box or two, emptying a cupboard or two, and maybe even cleaning out one of our 3 fridges.

The other side of the garage has been set aside for the 9th October Vide Grenier (Car Boot) sale in Capestang. There’s a LOT of stuff, so hopefully I’ll be able to enlist the support of someone for the transportation of it all to the site. If we can get a few euros for our junk, great. If we don’t have to move said junk from one house to another, even better!

In amongst all this I also have a few jobs to do for clients, so if anyone has a spare big red button, could I please borrow it?