September 24, 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!

16 comments:

  1. How bizarre that your new house should be in such a complete blackspot.

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    1. Susan, we think it could have something to do with the provider we use and the dense woodland at the back of the house. We get feeble intermittent internet if we hang our mifi thingy from one of the upstairs curtain rails!

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    2. wOdd numbers are on one side of the street, and even numbers are on the other. It probably all depends on whether there are lots that are "constructible" on either side. When you say your neighbor is no. 4, do you mean the man in the house behind yours?

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    3. Ken, I understand the odd and even bit, it's the same in the UK. There are no building plots around us, but I someone else told me the other day that fields can also have numbers!
      Yes, the house behind us, our one and only neighbour, is number 4. Which in itself is odd, as it suggests the numbering begins in the next village rather than the village that we are supposed to live in!

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  2. Can you get DSL if you have a landline phone put in?

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    1. Ken, that's what we will have to do. The little mifi gadget worked well for us in the previous house and saved us a lot of money in not paying for a landline contract we were hardly there to use.
      A landline now seems the only solution and we're hoping to find a sensibly priced option. So far the Post Office seems to have a good deal, including free calls to France, at half the price we were previously paying BT.

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    2. We had a UK landline and broadband package all the time we were in France and we found it well worth the cost. In fact with our provider we could suspend the service if we were going to be away for a few months at a time and notify when we wanted it reconnecting. We never actually did that as we found the benefit out weighed the cost. We could access the messages on the UK landline whilst we were in France, which was useful if we got phone calls for medical appointments etc.. so it was a no brainer really. Hope you get sorted and settled soon, x

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    3. Colin and Elizabeth, would you mind telling me who provided your landline?!

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    4. .......and of course broadband ........

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  3. I think the buying and selling process in the UK is ridiculous. When we sold our house to buy here, right at the very last minute the first buyer in the chain of four fell out and it was a complete panic as we by then committed to the house here in France. Thankfully we got sorted out but not without a lot of stress.
    Hope you soon get the black spot sorted out, did not realise ther was much of that in the UK!
    We have been told we are number three, yet to discover where 1 and 2 might be! We also have a street name, but it is all still up in the air a bit here. Love the cars.
    Have a good week, Diane

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    1. Diane, apparently the numbering is done by the post office, the commune just sticks the relevant numbers on. I'd be interested to know how they arrived at our number - or yours for that matter!

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  4. Glad to see the update. I have been checking up on your blog everyday. Hope Daisy was happy to see you.

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  5. Here's what Wikipedia France says about street numbering, in part:

    En France, le numérotage des bâtiments est laissé à l'initiative du maire d'une commune dès lors que cette mesure est nécessaire. Il n'existe aucun système imposé, certaines communes peu peuplées comportant d'ailleurs des rues où aucun numéro n'est établi, mais le système le plus courant est le système européen...

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  6. I am selling my late parents home in Florida. It is under contract to a young couple of who intend to gut it remodel (I'd do the same if I was keeping it.) The contents sale people cleaned it out this week. And I emailed the my broker and asked him to arrange to have it professionally cleaned and send me the bill. My mother would have been embarrassed to deliver a dirty house to the buyer, even if the do intend to redo it before moving in.

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    1. David, that was the right and sensible thing to do.
      Today I set to and cleaned the oven. It was horrible but the job was made easier using the right chemicals, a rather vicious gel that you paint on and wipe off three hours later when it has dissolved all the crud.
      I had said I wouldn't clean it and therefore wouldn't use it, as it was just too disgusting. We'll be having a new kitchen therefore a new oven but I could stand the idea of having such a filthy appliance in the kitchen no longer! It has come up bright and sparkling. Now all I have to do is the same again for the grill.
      I have never ever let an oven get so bad myself and I can't imagine how anyone could carry on using it. Merely looking at it made me feel ill. Yuk.

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  7. Oh what a headache.
    I hope this settles soon.

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