Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Adopting a lifestyle

We have now seen about 30 houses. Ranging from totally converted to total wreck. Have learnt a new french word - relookage. Love it.

Yesterday we saw a selection which brought it home to me how much you look at the life that the people live as well as the house itself. I was going to put up some details on here of the houses but the details are so awful that there is no way that they convey the reality of the house.

The first house we saw was a 1960s house lived in by an English couple in their late 40s/early 50s. It was immaculate. White tiled floors, everything white, spotless, no clutter at all. It was 1 pm and there was absolutely no sign that anyone had had lunch or was going to have lunch. As we arrived, the estate agent knocked and said would it be alright if we went around the outside of the house first and then came in. 'Yes, if you don't bring in any mud'. As we went in, they went outside to sit and wait until we had finished. Made me think of little mice.

It depressed the hell out of me. Lovely position on the edge of a medieval town with splendid views and the right size but a house to die in not to die for.

Then we went to see a mill in a damp leafy valley. Similar age of couple but he was a woodworker and she an artist. Everywhere you looked was a visual delight. Little carved or painted corners. Bits of stained glass. Lovely old wooden furniture. The walls were lovely ochrey earthy tones. A kitchen that was made to eat in and sit by the fire and talk to the cook. Larder stocked with filled jars. Endless, endless clutter and piles of wood that might come in useful. Have no idea how they are ever going to clear it. Charming, lovely but when you come down to it and remove the stage set, you are looking at a lovely kitchen, a glorious bathroom/only toilet on the ground floor and two bedrooms upstairs one of which was a sitting room as well. And the rest is up to you. Endless work for Him Outdoors. But a lot of money for 3 rooms.

And the last one that day is a mix of the two. Still ancient but has been lived in by an elderly couple for ever. So needs the wallpapered ceilings and oddly placed walls redone but not anything to frighten Him Outdoors. New bathrooms, new kitchen, more bedrooms in the attic, maybe move the stairs....................... We would be able to make our own bohemian mill house. Now just have to convince myself that I want to live in a tiny hamlet with nothing there, rather than the whole idea of this game which was to move into town.

The moving into town house has fallen apart. We still haven't seen the house we started all this for. The vendor is too ancient and ill to sign anything and it really isn't sensible to wait for him to die. And there isn't anything else in the town. We saw his notaire who said that she would talk to the two sons and see if they would give permission for us at least to see it but she's not known for her speed of action and we really have to get a move on with this house buying to get moved by the end of January.



  1. Oh what a dilemma for you, Rosie. Contrasting, but mainly hopeless houses you can see and buy, while the one you really want remains stubbornly out of reach. I do hope you find a way though this impasse soon.

  2. Given the snail like speed of getting the papers organised, if you find something tomorrow you'll be pushed to meet the deadline.

    Look at a short let. Just in case.

    Are you sure you couldn't do anything with the mouse house?
    Things look very different with the people out of the equation, as you noted in the artists' mill...bit of retiling...or tiles off and plastering....

  3. Yes Fly, we are ok if we buy something without land but if it needs to go to SAFER (sp) we are pushing it. Have been looking around at places to rent too. Will give it to the end of the week (and see a couple for the second time and 2 more tomorrow)and then have to decide something.

  4. You can pay a fee (bribe) to SAFER to hurry things up...

  5. It must be awful for you to be under pressure...hope that dream property comes along soon.