Friday, July 8, 2011

SETTLING IN - JUNE 14

It didn’t take long. 

Cathey asked me to pick up a croissant along with the usual pain au chocolat for me and baguette at the bakery in the morning. Warm, flakey, buttery goodness. Not her style…except in France. I bought two desserts in anticipation of UK Sharon’s arrival that evening – a chocolate 'brownie' with the consistency of a super-thick mousse and a saucer-sized, sugar-coated, raspberry-filled butter cookie sandwich. Cathey wondered why I’d bought the sweets, didn’t believe that it was already Wednesday and that Sharon was due, so a 15 minute discussion ensued about what day of the week it was. 

To my discredit, I won.

We wait for the Live Box.

Our long-term tenant – we’ll call her Kerry – came by later in the morning. Neat and petite. Dark tan and blonde and Brit. She’s a very nice lady who lost her husband suddenly not long ago and is renting her villa down the road over the summer for at least three times what she’s paying us. And we've solved the problem on storage and house security. More about that in a minute.

Light lunch – charcuterie, cheese, bread, and wine again. It hasn’t gotten old yet and it won’t get old for the rest of the trip.

The ladies who have been managing the house for us, doing the turnovers and taking care of the maintenance, popped over after lunch. They’re going to be heading back to England soon. Itchy feet. Given Kerry’s long-term let and her willingness to take charge of the house, deal with the showings by the real estate agents, and even store the few small bins of items that we want to keep if the house should sell, we’re OK with it. Off they go and leave the keys.

Following Berangere’s advice to hook up with a local agent, I walk down to the agency on the main drag in Cazouls. The receptionist speaks no English. An older, put together guy with a bit of English comes out to speak to me in broken English and refers me to a younger, bearded and sandaled guy with no English in the biggest, well-appointed office in the far back. He knows the house, even showed me pictures he had on his computer from when the house was up for sale at the time that we bought it. I'd forgotten how ugly the furniture was before we recovered it. 

Talked price. Made an appointment for him to come over the next day.

Dinner of French lentils and merguez sausage. I’m normally not a consumer of legumes, but French lentils, properly prepared and spiced, ain’t pork and beans.

I left for Montpellier to pick up Sharon after dinner, taking a route that Kerry suggested…the  A75/750…new, free, but as it turned out not any faster. I arrive as the plane lands. Home on the A9 and the A75, the right way to go even if it costs five euros and change.

Kiss and hug. We exchange presents…books and tea and chocolate covered almonds with chili (Smooth on the tongue. Hot going down.)

Talk, talk, talk. It’s good to see UK Sharon again. More like family than family.

Bed late.

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