Is today the day?

Tuesday 30 December 2014

Absolutely bloody freezing

Awake with cold nose and crank open the shutters to discover silvery world with half moon suspended in the clear blue.  Awesomely cold.  Cars frozen solid.  Our normal technique is to point them in an easterly direction so that the rising sun melts the windscreen.  Have trouble finding clothing that combines smart with warm.

Quick breakfast and down the flats.  ED OH sends FB message to say that RJ and ED spent night at a friends house.  He is mega pissed off with ED for not ringing either last night or this morning to say where they were.  RJ arrived back at SIL house at 7 am (they would really have appreciated that after sleepless night) and probably got it in the ear.  He always has to have a drama.  I FB him and tell him he is complete moron.  As usual, I don’t get a response and he doesn’t ring in the day either.  WF has his phone switched off.  Perhaps it was better in days of yore when you didnt expect to be able to contact people quickly.  I am sure girls are better at communicating (apart obviously from SIL ED)

OH wires plug to the extractor fan and hides with plastic cabling case.  We then try and sort out the problem of the non sliding door under the oven.  The oven sits on a shelf which is held by only a few screws and it keeps slipping down and resting on top of the under oven drawer.  We have to compromise by taking oven out, shoving drawer back in and putting oven back.  Floors are looking fabulous and very shiny and not at all old and crap like normal.

OH leaves and AA and her OH arrive immediately.  They live on an island which looks absolutely idyllic but apparently they have an urge to live in a little town like mine

Even paradise can pale, evidently, as this year I have also sold to a couple from Tahiti. Personally, I think living in a Caribbean tax haven is about as good as it gets.  Something to add to the Life Bucket list!

I was with a German lady, who is over 80 years old, and rattling around in an immense chateau just over the border in France.  She has a huge life force, in marked contrast to the locals, and was telling me about the Prussians (she was born in the region formerly known as Prussia). 

 ‘the Prussians are very CORRECT’ she emphasised, with a rather worrying chopping motion of the hand ‘ when I came to France, it was so good to relax and to have so little regulation’. 

This opinion is in marked contrast of every free living British ex pat I have ever met.  Our general opinion is that we are regulated to the point of being unable to earn a living.  

 ‘Of course, I am still Prussian and will always do things CORRECTLY’ chop chop.   

She is very keen on politics and extolled the virtues of Angela Merkel and told me many examples of her humour.  Angela Merkel apparently is also Prussian.  Prussian humour, I can assure you dear readers, does not travel well but  I was happy to eat the German Christmas biscuits with the hole in the centre and drink her excellent coffee.  The library was unheated and we could see our breath. There was an immense open hearth and hundreds upon hundreds of mouldering books.  On the table in front of us was, incongruously, a Star Wars chess set.   

I digress.  Back to the revisit.  At first I thought it was going splendidly, with AA discussing where they would put their furniture (grade 1 buying sign).  Her OH was concerned about where they would have their yoga room.  It transpires that he has a yoga business which was news to me.  We spend an hour in the flat and then I take them to TP’s house on the outskirts of town.  Unfortunately AA OH was much keener on this house but not enough to make an offer.  Tell them that we are prepared to take an offer and also give them a long completion date.  They say they will get back to me over next two days before flying back to Paradise.  

Feel suddenly very deflated and teeth-rattlingly chilled.  Go to take keys to another agent who will be having a visit tomorrow.  Have quick coffee with him and thaw out.  He is deeply unhappy as someone took the opportunity, sometime during the previous evening, of breaking his quarter window and smashing out the back lights.  I would have experienced immense Shadenfreude at this in the past, but now we are working together so I am being nice.

Shadenfreude is German and means harm/joy.  An English equivalent is  epicaricacy which derives from Greek and is probably unused as it is a real mouthful to enunciate

Back home and am cold to the bone.  OH makes me a fire and I thaw out in front of it.  He is not surprised that I have not achieved an offer as he was not expecting AA OH to love the property as much as she did.Out in afternoon to see a couple who had bought a second property in the same town and are now having to sell it as they can no longer afford the bridging loan and cant sell their first property.  I have their first property for sale and it is a gorgeous clean modern contemporary house with swimming pool.  Unfortunately it has views of the motorway in the distance.It is blissfully warm inside and she offers me coffee and my feet are gently warmed by the underfloor heating.   I take as much information as possible about the second property whilst enjoying the warm of the first and then we head out.The lady had said to me that she had dreamed for at least 25 years of owning the second house.  What strange things dreams are, and how personal.  The property was an old church which is a total renovation.  Huge holes had been punched in the plaster (by the congregation or the pastor?) and the ceilings were feeling the pull of gravity.  The windows were hanging on by a nail or two and there was no heating.   The lady pointed out how lovely the parquet floors were.  I was still being traumatised by the ceilings at this point.  The price they had paid for it was refreshingly low so we agreed to take it onto market at this price plus our agency fees and suck it and see.Back home and rung some enquiries and did things off the task list.  OH made killer teryaki chicken with stir fry potatoes and some mange tout from Namibia (sourced at Lidl).  Enjoy Father Ted Christmas Special from many moons ago.Things you may not know about the Craggy Island residents

Dougal Maguire was relegated to the island after an unfortunate incident on a SeaLink ferry that put the lives of hundreds of nuns in danger.Ted Crilly is sent to the island as punishment for using money, earmarked for a sick child, and taking a holiday in Las Vegas.

One of my favourite episodes is one with Graham Norton where they are all in a caravan and GN sings and laughs and wants to play games all night.  Ted is outside having a cig and Dougal says to him ‘Ted, I think I’m going mad’

Dermot Morgan (Ted Crilly) Had a habit of phoning in to Irish chat shows (especially the Late Late Show (1962)) when well-known politicians were appearing and willing to answer questions from the public. He would then proceed to ask a pertinent political question in their own voice.

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