An old postcard showing the other end of the village.
The railway station was there, down by the river and it was much busier then than it is now.Most of this time was taken up in sharing out the money (our money). Whilst Nick and I looked on in amazement, not really understanding what was being said, calculations were made on bits of paper by the Notaire as he argued with Mme as to how much there was and who gets what. Although the contract had obviously been prepared well in advance, nothing else seemed to have. We realised that all the other people in the room were there to make sure they left with a cheque - and so they did. Every payment made was explained to us at great length, presumably because the Notaire was dishing out our money. The last straw for Mme was when the Notaire raised the issue of the additional contract we could sign that would ensure that if one of us died the other would automatically become owner of the property without payment of any tax, the "clause tontine". This had not been prepared in advance so a secretary was duly called in to type one up. We thought Mme was about to explode. This change in French property law had only been introduced earlier in the year and Mme had to have explained to her repeatedly why we were able to do this yet she wasn't.
Place Savoie Villars and the hotel at the far right.
She was not a happy lady. Not only had her daughters persuaded her sell the house, but by the time everyone had had their share there was not that much cash left for her. She also gave Antony a ticking off for having taken so long to sell it and for not getting as much as she wanted for it! Nick and I had to avoid exchanging glances for fear of bursting out laughing. Either that or bursting into tears.At 5.00 pm we left the office, cheques having been written and handed over, handshakes were exchanged and we received a bundle of keys from Mme. They were all huge old iron things, like church keys, and they all looked different.