24 September 2017

TIME TO BREATHE AND WHAT’S IN A NUMBER?

number3

After a great deal of aggravation, we finally moved house in the UK on Monday, 4th September.  Even at the last minute, it was fraught with problems and delays. 

number4

Our removal van arrived at 9.00am as promised and the lads started work, emptying each room and loading the van.  At 11.30 our solicitor phoned to say the payment for the house had arrived and we officially no longer owned the property.  She would transfer the money straight away to our vendor’s solicitor so that their agent could let us have the keys to our new house.

number5

number6

We cleaned each room within an inch of its life as it was emptied of furniture and boxes.  At 2pm we left, putting the one remaining key through the letterbox and were happy that we had left the place spotless, ready for the new owners to move in, and retired to the pub around the corner from our new house to wait.  A few phone calls and one hour later we still had no confirmation from the vendor’s agent that the money had arrived and that we could take possession of our new house.  The removal men were sitting in the van outside the house waiting to get started with the unloading.

number7

An anxious phone call from our solicitor to our vendor’s solicitor confirmed that the money had arrived three hours ago and that their agent had been informed.  It transpires that the agent had not bothered to check her emails and therefore was unaware and indeed denying that we were now the official owners of our new house and could move in – instead of sitting in the pub just waiting.  Words fail me.

Boxes and furniture were finally and hurriedly unloaded and dumped in the house in a vague kind of order, bearing in mind that the removal men had been sat doing nothing for three hours and were more than ready to go home. 

number8

The house was very dirty, not at all like the spotless house we had left behind.  We guess that after the old lady died the family removed her belongings (although not the piles of junk in the loft space), put the house on the market and did nothing else to it.  After one year of people traipsing round it, it not having been cleaned, it was pretty filthy and all our furniture was on top of the dirt.  Thinking that might be the case we had booked a room in a nearby hotel for the first night, to give us chance to get a bit of cleaning done before we slept there. 

number9b

We spent two nights in our new house then left for France, picking Daisy up on the way back and arriving the day before my brother and his daughter arrived for their holiday on the 9th.

number9a

In case you’re wondering what the pictures have to do with all of this, the answer is nothing other than to prove that we did eventually have some time to relax at last and do some normal things.  We rode the motorcycles, enjoying some of our favourite routes, walked around the village, went to a couple of brocantes and bought a few bits and pieces, ogled the gorgeous cars on tour through Angles and caught up on our sleep.

Last but not least, we solved the mystery of the number 4.

When we arrived in France after an earlier dash across the channel (I forget which), we found that someone had stuck a number 4 on our gatepost.  We knew that some renumbering of properties was going on and therefore we were now number 4 – but what?  The road does not have a name and we are not in a hamlet.  Not only that but where were numbers 1, 2 and 3?  Then last week the plot got thicker when we received a letter from the Mairie and a certificate telling us that we were now officially number 2!

So a visit to the Mairie seemed called for, whereupon the young lady in the office said we were definitely number 2 and she would look into it.  Two days later the very pleasant young man who looks after the commune grounds, roads and gardens stopped by to change our number 4 for a number 2 and then……walked down the drive to humbly apologise for his mistake.  How nice and how very French. 

It appears we are number 2 “…………” – the name of our house!  This is to avoid confusion for deliveries and, should we need it, the emergency services.  The neighbour is number 4 “………..” – the name of our house.  Numbers 1 and 3 do not exist. 

How very unconfusing!

Anyway, we are off to the UK again soon, for a longer spell, to start work on the new house.  One of the unfortunate things we have discovered about it is that it seems to be in a communication black spot.  There is no mobile signal and no 4g signal either, which means we effectively have no internet or mobile use in the house.  Getting something else organised will be a priority but will no doubt take some time – especially as we do not have the means to research or order it from the house.  Hey ho!

Normal service will be resumed…………goodness only knows when!

1 September 2017

MOVING UPDATE

At the last minute, we learn that we have exchanged contracts and can complete on Monday.
In other words, the deal is done, there's no going back by any party and we move house on Monday.
Thank goodness for that.

Now to spend a happy weekend finishing the packing and getting ready for the removers who, mercifully, are still able to move us at such short notice.
We will begin this afternoon by tying up the loose ends of paperwork; cancelling gas and electricity supplies, ordering mail redirection, rescheduling our channel crossing to Friday and informing the cattery that we will pick up Daisy one day later than planned. She will not be amused.
We'll have almost three days in our new home, time to sort out a few boxes, get the plumber in to organise a new boiler and radiators (the existing one is ancient, although it allegedly works), plumb in the washing machine and start planning our new kitchen.
Then we'll arrive chez nous in time to do some shopping and hoover up for the arrival of our guests. They will not be the only ones needing a good rest.

Bon weekend !!

STILL WAITING.



This is the reality of being ready to move, but still waiting.
Our solicitor (or rather, her secretary) assured us yesterday morning that we should exchange contracts yesterday and move (complete) on Monday but she would let us know later in the day. By 4pm we had heard nothing, so I phoned back. I was told that our buyer's solicitor needed to check with our buyer that Monday was good for her and although messages and emails had been left there had been no reply. I contacted our agent who also left messages but there was no response.
Why would this be? If I was imminently buying a house I would be glued to my phone and if I'd left it at home my mother/father (who she lives with) would be checking hourly. In fact there would be no way I would forget my phone!
Let's hope today brings positive news. One (we) can only stand living like this for a short time before we go mad, especially as we don't have to. If our buyer is changing her mind we can take a mortgage and buy the house we want anyway, removing the boxes to their new home and putting the house back on the market, empty. In some ways that would be easier, although it would cost us a few thousand in the long run, money that could be better spent on something useful, like a new kitchen.
Surrounded by the pile of boxes, as we move into another month, autumn, and the last third of the year, all kinds of scenarios are going through my mind. But I have never once regretted putting the house up for sale, I just want to get the job done and move on. Literally.