Skip to main content

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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

RESTAURANT ETIQUETTE IN FRANCE: SIMPLE PRIMER (WITH TONGUE IN MY AMERICAN CHEEK)

My recent reading of a poor internet review of a favorite restaurant of ours prompted this post. Some people simply should not be allowed internet access. Speech may rightly be free, but it shouldn't be worthless. From reading the review, I could determine that the reviewer was a tourist who started out in a bad mood because he had to pay extra for parking a camper van that exceeded the maximum height for parking in the free lot. His party arrived at the restaurant at the end of lunch and without a reservation. At first, he was told that an empty table that he pointed out was reserved. When he persisted, he was informed that lunch was over. Since none of the other restaurants in town were still open, the reviewer had to miss lunch. Let me count the ways... RESERVATIONS ARE NECESSARY. Maybe not at Burger King, maybe not in a touristy restaurant in a touristy destination. But if you are really hungry, if you really want to try that restaurant that everybody's talking ab

RESTAURANT TEN, UZES: RESTAURANT REVIEW

Ten sits just off the market square in Uzes, one of the prettiest villages in southern France. The newly renovated space is airy and comfortable with tables of sufficient size and sufficiently spaced to provide for a pleasant dining experience. Service was cheerful, fully bilingual, and attentive without being overbearing. The food presented well to both eye and tongue. And the rate of approximately 30 € per person for a party of five included starters, mains, a dessert or two, two bottles of local wine, and coffees at the finish. Reasonable if not cheap eats.  So why am I hesitant to give an unqualified thumbs up?  It took me a while to figure it out. Uzes is a quintessentially French village in a quintessentially French region of southern France. There are those who will say that the Languedoc is just as beautiful but less crowded and less expensive than its eastern neighbors. I know. I'm one of those people. But the fact remains that for many people, villages like Uzes are t

FINDING A HOUSE IN FRANCE: FIRST STEPS #2

  First, be advised. I am not an expert in anything except my own experiences. And my experiences are confined to a particular time and place. If you have issues, I welcome them in Comments. We've been house hunting in Herault on several occasions since 2003. (Herault is a French department, somewhere between an American county and a state.) We twice visited to find a holiday home from which to learn about and explore the region. After deciding that this region of France was where we wanted to settle in our retirement, another search led to our current home of seven and a half years. And recently, we searched for a home with broader, gentler stairs given the state of our old bones. So I do speak from experience. As always, my advice is free of charge and worth every penny. There's no multiple listing service in France. Each agent has their own website and, while some agencies do cooperate with partner agencies, it can easily be the case that there is a house for sale next door