Thursday 18 February 2016
Sunny and cold with early rain showers
I seem to be emitting more clock confusing electricity than normal because neither of my alarms are working now. My iPhone winds down altogether if I leave it switched on and the alarm on that doesn't work unless it is switched on. OH has nabbed my old and trusty Blackberry with which I had an affinity and never failed to play The Entertainer at the requested hour. In any event, I opened my eyes and it was 9.15 and I had to run and bring tea to OH, cram in some cereal and put lots of buttons into my capacious handbag and down town.
Two ladies from the Craft group were already on the market and examining the stalls. We enjoyed looking at the frippery and then to the crowded coffee bar to get to know one another and catch up on news. They bought gratifying large numbers of my buttons which cheered me up no end because despite posting new items regularly on Etsy, tweeting and pinning and putting on other groups, sales are very slow. My items are not expensive. My photos are decent. My stock is interesting. So why are other people selling hand over fist and every day of the week? Some more sales would cheer me up. As for house sales, I am used to them being periodic (or non existent).
All too soon it was time to go and meet the young teacher couple who bought in a village south of our town. They came in July of last year, when the sun was glorious and the 17th century house looked cool and welcoming and the garden was well ordered. The owner moved out in November and I think we were all wondering what it was going to look like inside and out. They were in the garden which, surprisingly, hadn't grown a lot over the winter. I gave them the keys and switched on the water and electricity for them and we looked over the house and miraculously, it had not sprouted mold or damp and there was no water infiltration. It is probably not well insulated enough to be damp.... The couple looked much relieved and gave me a box of Lindt and the most heart warming note of appreciation. The electrician then arrived and we went around and he said he would do a quote and then we all said goodbye and they would be back in July, during which time the garden alas will have become a jungle...
Back to our town and because it is France and nearly 2 pm, there is no where to have anything to eat. I settle for a hot chocolate and a chat with the delightful Mme E from the central bar. They are putting their house back on the market when, and if, the English builder who is always drinking in their bar ever finishes the work. OH suggested they are paying him in beer...
Then to do an estimation. One of the benefits of being self employed is that I am not sitting in an office, doing permanences and obliged to take on the properties of people who come in through the door. The GPS is confused and I drive up and down the road. The owner of the property had said it was 1.5 kms back from the busy route nationale and on the right hand side. I finally find it and it is barely 200m back and on the left. Still, it doesnt look TOO bad from the outside. A man comes out from a side door. He has a badly broken nose and a very scarred face and is difficult to understand. Not a local. Lives alone. He lives alone in a place which would delight a set hunter on a Hardy novel. I am there barely ten minutes. No heating and cold as the grave. Planks nailed to the walls. The neighbouring farmer has the right to drive through the garden. Part of the garden belongs to the neighbour. I run away as soon as I politely can and go home and make fire. Our house is not a Palace but at least it is edging into the 21st century in terms of comfort.
Make a strange chicken dish which the internet site claims is wonderful. OH not impressed.