Wednesday, 17 June 2009

There's always something you hadn't thought of!

So there we were, hoping against hope that we could enjoy a couple of weeks of hard but enthusiastic work getting the place all set up for summer. So much for that idea when we arrived at the end of our 820 mile trip to find some b.......s had stolen the generator - all 350 kgs of it! It made clearing out the layer of mud left by the winter flood, at 40 cms the water had been much higher than usual, a totally depressing task. The new boiler hadn't been fitted either. Is it all worth it ?

The plumber arrived full of apologies and fitted the boiler promptly and once more we spent the first day of the holiday acquiring the vocabulary required and gaining first hand experience of a visit to the local gendarmerie.

Our small back up generator did mean we at least had lighting and could charge the batteries for the gas fridge but its not big enough for the washing machine and it now feels a stage nearer camping. We have identified a great replacement - quiet, movable so we can put it inside when we go and able to run on gas the only problem is it's out of stock everywhere in this country and will cost over £1000 more in France so the story continues......

Suffice to say we were pleased that we had arranged visits to 10 properties to check out the market and find out what sort of place is available in our price range. The weather was dreadful and certainly saw places at their worst which no doubt is a good idea. We did not find the dream property which is just as well as we are not yet in a position to make an offer but we did see some interesting places and have been able to fine tune details of what we are looking for. It certainly seems to be a buyers market at the moment and prices in France are still falling, it seems that this may have slowed a bit here and the exchange rate has improved from its worst level.

We returned to France at the start of June determined to enjoy a more relaxing time - after cutting the two foot high grass we kept jobs to the minimum and went out and about. We spent a few days exploring Aveyron (Dept12) and did like the area around Villefranche de Rouergue - will I need to change the title of my blog I wonder?

So back home again we carry on dreaming. TC is determined to work until the end of the year so we have 6 months left. The house has had a touch of love and attention ( well some windows, pointing and painting) and we are ready to organise getting the HIP with our chosen estate agent now all we need is someone who recognises what a lovely house it is (it can't help being in Stoke on Trent) and makes us an offer we can't refuse.

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