Sunday, 21 November 2010

Nous sommes chez nous en 82!

Yes we have actually made it and are now resident en france!

The end was messy and complicated but worth it in the end.

We eventually moved out of our house in Stoke on 15th July when our third potential buyer got the money together. By that time we had the house back on the market and had gone to France to wait for something definite to happen. By then the house we had hoped to buy had been sold but we decided not to look at any more until we had moved.

After much stress and several missed deadlines we eventually got the news that we were waiting for - our buyers had signed the contract after we had told our solicitor to give them a final deadline before we told them the deal was off. We went back to Stoke for just a few days to do the actual move and then the fun really started when the suspension on our car collapsed at our sons house that evening. ( Yes the car was overloaded AGAIN!) We ended up having to hire a car to go to France to keep all the househunting appointments we had made and go back again a week later. By the time we had been moved out 3 weeks we had travelled 4000 miles, crossed the channel 3 times, eaten more motorway sandwiches than is good for anyone and slept in 10 different beds! We were glad to get away for 5 days by the coast (Collioure), lock the car in the hotel car park and rest.

We did find a house and signed the compromis, the final acte de vente being set for 7 th October. In the meantime we are whiled away the rest of the summer in our holiday place. We made ourselves very comfortable, the weather was hot and sunny and we didn't mind being without electricity at all. We did get a telephone line put in which cost and arm and a leg as we had to pay to have a pole put upbut we could not have managed without it. The biggest problem was not having the internet and having to visit a cyber cafe regularly to pick up emails.

Our temporary address meant it was difficult to really feel properly "at home" as were to be moving again so soon - but we did get a lot of official paperwork out of the way. We bought a new car , got registered for healthcare,and managed to re-register TC's car.

6 weeks ago today we were reunited with our furniture and our new house became our home. The move went smoothly and we settled in very quickly and soon felt very much at home. Its hard to believe that we have only been here for 6 weeks, but at the same time the weeks have just flown and here we are with winter round the corner.

So we have made it from 82 to 82. In fact our house is right on the border of Tarn et Garonne (dept82), the other side of the road is in Lot and our nearest big town is in Aveyron. It has been a strange year all round and one hell of a fairground ride at times but in the end we have found the right house for us and are looking forward to many years of Segala sunrises!

(the view from our bedroom window - can't be bad to wake up to this!)

Friday, 19 November 2010

The final chapter

Watch this space those who are interested

Friday, 11 June 2010

The cupboards are bare.

I am a stockpiler - my cupboards are usually well enough stocked to withstand any sudden siege or influx of visitors but not any more. As we were expecting to have to put things in storage I have been carefully using up the storecupboard supplies to make sure that nothing would be wasted. Gradually shelves have emptied and the big freezer has been switched off for a fortnight now.


It does not feel like home any more, missing furniture, no cat (thats the worst bit), boxes and cases everywhere, a garage full of other peoples stuff and now no food. Today was set for exchange of contracts but as with other deadlines seems to be passing by without progress. We are very tense and dreading everything falling through again. We have already had bad news this week when we discovered that "OUR" house in France has been sold. We are desperate to get on with a purchase of our own to avoid the prospect of having to live in our holiday house in the winter months.

It is getting increasingly hard to keep ourselves busy with other things as we can't plan for anything more than a few days in advance. Last week at the last minute we escaped for a couple of days to Yorkshire by the sea and had a great time discovering Robin Hood's Bay, Whitby and Scarborough. That was great - the weather was amazing, we did some long coast walks and we were pleased to have finally explored a lovely area which has been on our "to see" list for a long time.

This week we had hoped everything would be settled but no such luck. The weather has turned cold and damp keeping us in more than is good for us and we are pacing the rooms waiting for phonecalls. We are thinking of going over to France for a few days from tomorrow - at least we would get another car load over. Looks like I will be spending my birthday in the car instead of celebrating the exchange of contracts!

Post script - change of plan when we found out that the reason our "buyers" have not signed is that they haven't actually been given a mortgage. So we have stayed here to await developments over the next few days while we think about putting the house back onto the market.

Monday, 31 May 2010

Angelo doesn't live here anymore

We have thought long and hard about whether Angelo should make the move to France with us. He is a much loved cat and originally I had thought of course he should come with us.

On the other hand cats are more attached to places than people so I then hoped that maybe he would be able to stay with the new owners or next door neighbours but that was not possible.

Eventually we decided that an 800mile journey over two days would be a huge ordeal for him and we will be moving more than once over the next few months making it very difficult for him to settle so we have found friends keen to adopt him and act as his new "staff".

This morning we took him to his new home. He certainly did not like the travelling ( and it was less than 8 miles not 800). He seemed to like his new "chief of staff" and when we left had selected a chair to curl up on so hopefully he will settle and enjoy discovering a new patch of territory.

I am sure we will miss him more than he misses us! I do hope he's OK.
On other matters our garage is now half full again - our buyers have spent the day moving vanloads of stuff in as they are hoping to move out of their house this week- this really does start to look very promising.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

It wasn't even Christmas!

My very favourite days are when we have the whole family together for food, wine, chat and music. Last weekend was a great example of just such an occasion and it wasn't even Christmas! These days it doesn't happen very often as they both live away from Stoke but both kids came to visit and unseasonably sunny weather meant we were able to barbecue and eat outside all weekend. Both of them left with cars loaded with plants and other spoils from the house and garden.

Its very likely the next time we are all together we will be in France - hopefully I won't have to wait too long for their first visit. We will be seeing everyone again before we go though - Adam is coming to collect more stuff and we will be going via Anna and Martins house when we leave for France as she is buying my car and we have decided we can use her place as a temporary address.

Its the 28th tomorrow, significance being that was supposed to be THE day for one of the buyers in the chain. So far we have no completion date but neither have we had any bad news so we are continuing to prepare for an imminent move while we keep reminding ourselves that it could still go horribly wrong.

Our buyer turned up at the house this week asking if we would be able to store some of his furniture if he has to move out before our completion date - this left us feeling a little more relaxed knowing that he has a plan B and seems very certain that everything is OK.

Itis just possible that the roller coaster ride will be replaced by a spin on the waltzers as there is so much left to do before we leave! I'm not going to complain though we just need a date to work to.

Monday, 10 May 2010

I never did like roller coasters!

I have never been a great fan of theme park type fun especially of the roller coaster kind but recently I have felt that I am fastened tightly in the seat of the biggest of dippers.

UP, up, up we crawl - another buyer, talk, wait, talk - getting near the bend and looking over the abyss and then whoops we turn and there is the SOLD sign -

arrgg....whats this? its getting faster, faster hurtling down towards .?.?.?..... or will this be the time the truck comes off the rails? - but no this time its the water splash - yes the sale is on but have to be out by the 28th May- no sooner through the water when up we crawl again slightly soggy but preparing for the next twist, turn or plummet.

So the ride goes on - 28th May is distinctly optimistic especially as our buyer's surveyor has not yet appeared to do his/her stuff but we have agreed to go if need be. The removal firm are on standby to move our furniture into storage and we are back to working through the list of things which have got to be done before we go, all the time reminding ourselves that in fact we could be back to square one at any time and still here all through the summer and beyond.

This week we are driving over to France with another car load of stuff to make some preparations for spending a few months at Pavillon - highest priority being getting a phone connected. Our original plan was to go for a few weeks but we will be cutting the trip short as we will need to be back here to complete the sale -WE HOPE. We won't be doing any househunting though - neither of us can face the prospect now until we have a contract signed and exchanged.

I really do need to get off this ride soon - feeling a bit iffy!

Thursday, 29 April 2010

is that a light?

Well we cannot fault Belinda the Kangaroo for effort and determination!

She had secured people to view within hours of taking over and has been on the case all week phoning us many times a day discussing a potential offer.

We end today having provisionally accepted a rock bottom offer on the basis that things will be able to move quickly. We now wait to discover if the "chain" is complete.

Stress levels are at an all time high.