Yes the date is right? found this sitting in my drafts thought better post or lose it.
For some time I have been meaning to start reposting but was reluctant to step out but now is the time, firstly to boost my confidence and also to get things out of my head and on to paper.
So much has happened this year perhaps a quick summary.
In June I celebrated a big birthday I decided I wanted to spend it quietly in France reflecting and eating great food. We had decided in 2010 whilst travelling that we wanted to move to France permanently we came back all fired up and ready to move. However the realities of finance and logistics set it. We put the house up for sale in July 2011 but it did not get a decent offer so we took it off the market and decided to wait.
In November 2012 we flew to Portugal we had seen an advert selling the virtues of Portugal and cheap property. We had a lovely time, first we stayed in a beautiful hotel Casa di Amarante a beautiful hotel with its own vineyard we had a lovely two bathroom and lounge hotel suite with 180 degree balcony. Spent some time with a lovely English couple Nick and Stella from Dorest who had just started a business making orange wine.
We looked at several properties and whilst most where lovely and a reasonably priced Portugal did not have the pull that France has.
In April this year we got fired up again whilst watching A Place in the Winter Sun we spotted a lovely property in Bequia part of St Vincent and the Grendines. We watched the program on Monday got excited booked a flight two days later and by the following Monday Elwin was on a plane on his way to St Vincent. He spent a few days with my aunt Thelma and then took the Ferry over to Bequia. He viewed several properties all with spectacular views of the carribean and Atlantic sea, Bequia is home to just 4,000 residents. Elwin reported back via skype that my dream house was a dream but it was tiny more like a holiday chalet and built into the hill side so no room for the goats and chickens or the veg patch.
We would definitely recommend Bequia and Union if you are looking for a complete get away. When Elwin got back I cried as I was so disappointed that my dream home was not to be.
So back to old faithful France. One Saturday afternoon at the end of April I had another of my brainwaves why not spend two months in France giving us time to get a feel of the country and to house hunt. I emailed a couple of properties soon discovered that long term lets are only reasonable in the winter season and ridiculous during peak season. Found one that was reasonable attempted to book for two months but Elwin said that we only needed one month to make up our minds. So one month it was we booked a property with a pool in Tourbes in Languedoc. I then sat back to dream. About one week later I had yet another brainwave why not put the house up for sale while we are away. Great idea but the house is not in a show house state in fact it is the opposite. Explain to Elwin the plan and then we went into over drive. We had one month to clean, redecorate to de-clutter and store the nik naks.
We started to pack first, we attacked all the numerous crookery and two large dinner services we acquired last year with a view to running the B & B. Never have I seen so much china cups plates glasses, a lot of the items I had forgotten about. This time round we decided to catalogue them rather than go through the luck dip experience that we had when we returned from travelling. Returning from travelling and opening boxes 18 months after being packed ‘dining room’ is not enough information to illicit where your favorite dinner plates are or your favourite tea pot. At which point you go out a buy another as you can’t face opening 2o boxes to find one teapot.
We spent the month wrapping, packing and labelling. Then the painting began walls first then skirting door frames etc, the smallest bedroom had missed out on the last spruce up when we went travelling. It was now time to tackle it especially as the wall paper seemed to be begging to come down by peeling itself down the wall. Elwin stripped off about three layers. Only to make a very sad discovery the previous owners had written in pencil when they first arrived about 15 years ago we have just moved in and are decorating this room. Then beneath it about 7 years later the husband had written the date and I am decorating this room ‘ Anne’ has left me for ‘Alan who she met on the internet, I am here on my own with the two cats. It was such a shock and so sad. I recall the Estate Agent telling us that the couple had divorced and wanted to sell, but I never expected to see a summary of their relationship on the bedroom wall written in pencil.
Anyway Elwin tells me he wrote beneath that that we were decorating but very happy.
We contacted the Estate Agents about 2 weeks before we where due to leave to let them know we wanted to put the house on the market. They said they would need to come and take pictures. Unfortunately the packing was not finished and most of it was on the floor in the hall, bedrooms and dining rooms. This led to a last minute panic why oh why does this happen to us. Finally, it was ready for viewing Friday the Estate Agent arrived did the necessary pics we signed the forms etc. The logistics of leaving a house tidy and clean and then going on holiday the next morning at 5 am is not advisable, how do you put the breakfast dishes away store away the used wet bath towels etc to make it look like a show house. Very stressful. So pleased to get on the plane for Montpellier cant believe we are away for nearly a month.
I recall sitting in the square in Montpelier having a late lunch with the sun beating down and then receiving a call from and agent asking when are we coming to France well we are here a quick discussion on houses etc and a date is set for viewing in the future.
Text start coming in for viewings woppie
No offer very down
Elwin says stay hopeful
Sitting in the Airport get a call a couple have made an offer do we accept no to low try again to scared to tell friends as so much pressure to do something to move
Within the week we get the offer we want and agree a verbal sale – yikees I get the happy tummy butterflies
Things are moving
Sign up for a solicitor by the end of the week
19.08.13 – Agent calls what is happening purchasers want to move in, in 2-3 weeks but we are not ready, slight panic no cant do that until end of Sept. Need to do something so start packing empty the white cabinet feels like doing something
21.8.13 solicitor writing to purchaser to say ready to exchange and can complete by end of the month. Agree with Elwin to clear the loft come home loft cleared amazing only thing left is my wedding dress in a suit case. Loft cleared but the hall is now cluttered do my bit de-clutter the tupperware yes found some unused stuff it certainly is long lasting
By the time you read this we will have exchange contracts and have a moving date
The Future is bright now all we need to do is find a temp house in London and then a permanent house in France