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.



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.

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.

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.

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?