Market day, treats and progress


Thursday 15 January 2015 or 15 01 20 15  pleasing balance to the numbers

6 degrees rising to 14 degrees
Very windy later on in the day

OH (other half in case you were wondering) is 56 today.  He is in remarkably good condition – fine teeth, still quite a lot of hair and youthful skin.  Has does have bad feet and legs but I won’t be shooting him just yet.  The Armagnac and chocolates are very well received and we have lazy breakfast before going down town to the market.   The sunny weather has brought out a lot of people and the stalls are bursting with good things.  As we walk around, gorgeous smells waft on the air – from the Indian stall, the dense aroma of onion bahjis and chickpea curry, the sharp spice of olives from the Provence stall, the sickly sweetness of fried batter balls from the Algerian stall.   

I am drawn to the coffee shop and we have café gourmand with a selection of tiny treats, surrounding a foaming mug of coffee – chocolate mousse, beaten to a sharp peak, a piquant apple crumble, a pale pink macarron, a white chocolate square.  Totally delicious.  We are joined by one of my sellers called TT and a lady whose house we rented when we first came over here.  She is a tiny lady and in her late 60’s and her favourite word is fuck.   Her house has been for sale for five years now.  For five years I have been telling them that they need to put in a fabby kitchen instead of the small cupboard that they have at the moment. Again, it falls on deaf ears.  ‘I should never have let T (her husband) buy that effing house. We have spent an effing fortune on it.  We had some effing people over to view last week and they bought a small modern house near effing Orthez’.  (TT’s house is over 200 years old with a massive plot of land)  Alas, I know who these people are and it transpires that the offer they made was 100k under the asking price.  Did that not give them a clue that the area is unsellable?

TT is with another lady who says that she is looking to rent over the summer so I take the pair of them and show them the rental units – all of them – just in case they express a sudden and irresistible urge to buy one of them.  TT’s friend says she will have a word with her husband.  About renting.

Get phone call from partner agent who tells me that the visit today went really well and that his clients want lot more information.  My seller has gone off to sodding exotic island for three months.  Email him and spent three hours pulling weeds out of the stone flags of the patio.  Weather warm with a spirited wind.

The money transferred supposedly to my bank account from this week’s sale has not been credited.  The notification that my bank had received it arrived at 12.30.  At 4.30 I ring the bank and the lady tells me that it should be there within 48 hours.  48 hours!!! I squeak (temporarily forgetting to be zen) How on earth can it be 48 hours – it is electronic!  It should be immediate! Where is the money now?  The woman gets rather het up and says I cant expect it immediately because it has to go via three computer systems.  I tell her that is ludicrous.   OH is outside, suppressing molehills, with a venom normally reserved for Billy Connolly or non peripatetic gypsies (he is not keen on peripatetic ones either).  He channels his inner TT and says fuck too.

The bank obviously hangs onto the money and, somewhere, someone will be earning interest on it.   I was once told by a notary that the funds from sales used to be kept by the receiving notaries for up to six months before they were released to the sellers.  The notary would then lend the money out, at huge rates of interest, which they would then keep for themselves.   I was stupefied.  The notary then had to reassure my sellers – whose eyes were at that point bulging out on stalks – that this no longer happened.  How on earth did people accept this practice?  I ask of the notary.  Ah, we were Gods back then, he said ruefully.

Listen to Alan Bennett’s play about the lady who came to stay in a caravan in his garden for three months and ended up being there for 15 years.  Lady played, gloriously, by Maggie Smith.  What a treasure she is.  A real treat to listen to.


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