Thursday 22 December 2011

France on line

Because we are moving into a rented house, Him Outdoors wanted to get the rent paid by Direct Debit. I wonder if you can do that on-line like you can with Smile (the online Co-op bank that we have been using for years).

Log on to Banque Populaire and with a bit of 'what does xxx mean' 'look it up', he filled in the form and sent it off. NON you are not registered for this service. Oh for f**k's sake. OK contact the Banque from my logged on page thinking that our Personal Banker will receive it directly.

Receive an email from Banque saying that they have received our email.

Several hours later receive another email from Banque saying that they had passed on our email ........ but to whom............................

And nothing more.


Saw in the paper that Carrefour in Sarlat are doing on-line shopping. Yay. Brilliant. We have a Carrefour nearer, maybe it will get to us. How does it work?

You register and select from a very limited range of products. These are then picked out for you by the very pretty photographed girls. You then collect them from a special place in Carrefour in Sarlat!!!

Oh the possibilities for error are endless.....................................

The Christmas Story

Thank you Ayak for putting this on your blog. I hope you don't mind that I am passing it along.

Happy Christmas to everyone.

Saturday 17 December 2011

French ladies and their scarves

Maybe this will go some way to making my scarf look less like a piece of string and more like one of the elegant french ladies who seem to be able to fling something round their necks and make it stick!

Wednesday 14 December 2011

French utilities

I have just spent the last two hours on the phone to various utilities and am now enjoying a restorative cup of tea. All were kind, helpful and pleasant. But because they all use vocabulary I'm not sure of and try and sell me stuff I have no idea if I want, I really have no idea what I have just done! We live in hope :-)

Getting the telephone sorted was the bizarrest. I think (and it's a big ??) that I have managed to keep the phone here and get the same set up in the new house. Did I want xx, I don't know, what is xx, it's xxxxxxxxxxxx. Is it more expensive than I've got. Yes. What extra do I get? Nothing. Don't want it then. Do I want yy. I don't know, what is yy, it's yyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. Now I know I do not want my french mobile to be able to pick up something or other throughout france because I haven't got a french mobile. NON is the firm reply. Do I want television through my telephone line? Ummmmmmmm probably not NON. And so it goes on. I come away feeling that I maybe am missing out on something wondrous but at least I'm not paying more. I hope.

The best bit was 'am I near Le Buisson de Cadouin?' Yes I say. Good then you can collect your new modem from the dry cleaners???? Now first, why do I need a new modem when I have a perfectly good one here and second, why can't they send it, why do I have to go 10 miles to the dry cleaners??????????????

Mine not to reason why.................................

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Chez nous

As of next week we shall be the proud renters of this humble abode. A very sweet little house with plenty of room in the garage for our furniture and a lovely view down the valley.

Yesterday, the agent rang to say that, if we would like, the landlord was in town and we could meet him. Sure, I say and an appointment was made. A little later the phone rang and a french woman speaking french v e r y  s l o w l y introduced herself as if I knew who she was and talked of something about the village where this house is. After a bit of tooing and froing I discovered that she was the landlady and would we like to meet at her house rather than the agent. Of course, we would be delighted.

They turn out to be a couple of elderly retired teachers from Paris who have the farm below this house as a holiday home, and had bought ours to stop anyone else buying it.

So if you are invited for something at 2.30pm expect:

A table laid with table cloth and paper napkins, wine glasses, tea plates, bowls and cups on the dresser,
A glass (or two) of sweet white wine
A plate of sweet biscuits
Tinned fruit salad

And lots of kind french chat. As we left there was a perfect rainbow overhead. Good omens for our renting.

Monday 5 December 2011

Breathing Space

House hunting is on hold. We have had a quick - or slow - loop round the roller coaster going after a fermette to restore. Lovely group of buildings, if you're going to do up a property then this is an ideal one. The only boxes it doesn't tick are 'a view' everything else is there. Only decision (and it's an impossible one) is, do we want to spend the next two/three years doing up a renovation job.

We have a rented house - yes they did eventually get back to us and all is well. Little white box but lovely position. So we could tackle a renovation without having to live in a caravan for years.

After we had taken busloads of people to look at it, the general decision was that it was sound. Still can't decide whether we want to do the renovation but ok, let's go for it.

On at 160,000 euros. Needs 200,000 spending on it. Never get the money back at that price - probably won't anyway but hey. OK offer 125 go to 135. Agent says owner has turned down 150. Bye bye house.

Meanwhile one of the people we have taken round is local french and guess what, his mother knows one of the sons of the owner of the property in town that started all this off. So there's a tiny light reappearing on that house.........................................

And so we go on with the piles of cardboard boxes and dustbin bags. (Local removal company wanted more to move us locally than it cost to move us here from England.) Lots of time because we have the rental from 15th December and we don't have to be out of here until 27th January. So all seems possible and calmer.