After a couple of people have been sucking their teeth about the state of the roof of the new house, we got a mason/roofer to come and look at it.
He worked for us at the last house and he's a lovely guy that is happy to have Him Outdoors work with him, is happy to use the stones from the ruin and doesn't charge too much - and he turned up on time!!
He couldn't see what the problem was, the roof was fine, he would get his long ladder and go up and look properly at the top but from underneath it is fine, in fact the whole house is 'in good health'. There is no problem with a huge wall between us and the neighbours and the balcony can be repaired. I love him. He can come when we want, the openings will be no problem (if Batiments de France allow). And I actually believe him because I know he turns up and does what he says. Brilliant.
Whilst we were at the house we met our new neighbours and introduced ourselves. Turns out (of course) that she is the cousin of our ex neighbour from our old house. She was born here, went to Paris and then came back to retire. He was a bit more reticent (and more difficult to understand) but she is delighted to have neighbours.
We also met one of Him Outdoors walking colleagues who was visiting his mother who lives up the road. He told us that the man we are buying the house from was the postman and his father who also lived there worked on the railway. Some very complicated details about who had died when and where that I lost track of but more smiley welcoming people delighted to see a house being restored and more people in the village to keep the shops open.
We then went on to a lovely supper with friends. A good day.