The main photo is the sunset that I see each night from my new home
Wow! I have to start this piece by saying how incredible a period of time it has been since the last post. As you know from the previous article, I was very hopeful, but not exactly convinced that my luck would hold out. However, I can now tell you that what actually happened is still sinking in. I find myself questioning what is happening even though it doesn’t feel like things are in my control at all. Strange but nice.
Already being slightly bemused, how I came to learn of that particular house being for sale; I was apprehensive about the imminent house viewing. The following Thursday, I went to the house with my good friend Karen and arrived to find the couple ready to show me around the property. I quickly felt comfortable with their presence as we began the tour. It’s a very old house built on top of a hill with two cellars dug out into the granite that forms the hill and lies beneath much of the town. This apparently had not prevented many of the houses having walls that leaned one way or another. Including the one I am now sitting in typing this. The floor slopes away toward the back of the house and felt odd at first. The thing that I noted most of all, was the feeling that I got while walking around inside – I could live here! It is most certainly ‘quirky’ in room shapes, the un-square walls and sloping floors. It is situated in the oldest part of the town and the prettiest part for me, with the added bonus of a beautiful view across the valley from the back of the house. Yes, it does need some love and renovation, and of course money thrown at it. But this was in the town centre where I wanted to live, it felt good and things were moving in ways that I am still finding difficult to explain. Something I continuously questioned.
At the end of the tour, I began to talk about the price and offered slightly less making a solid offer to buy. The house belonged to the mother of the man showing us around and he had five brothers and sisters that needed to be consulted on the price. So, Karen returned home and I went back to my house to continue with packing! A couple of days passed before I got a call to tell me if my offer had been accepted. I cannot explain to you just how relieved that news was to me when I heard the word ‘accepté’. The move out date for my house was advancing fast and I began to consider how fast the move to the new house could be. A date was quickly arranged for me to meet with the family selling the house at a Notaire’s (solicitor’s) office to sign to compromis de vente (commitment to buy). Things were at least moving fairly swiftly. The following Friday was the big day for the purchase of the house and the Saturday was the day for signing final papers for my sale and payment, more thankfully.
Friday arrived slowly, smoke screened by frantic packing and deconstruction of some furniture. The house became messy with boxes piling up and pieces of furniture stood against walls, ready for the exit day. Friday, and I was finally at the notaires office, I was a little outnumbered by the family selling the house, as all six arrived. We all shook hands and smiled in the reception area of the solicitors. From previous experiences with notaires, I thought this one was quite pleasant and with a sense of humour, which we all appreciated. It’s a slow process of everyone signing and adding initials to a stack of papers, where we played seat swopping until we had all penned our names to the legal documents. The notiare left the room to make some photocopies, at which point I seized the chance to ask the family if they would allow me to rent the house, until the final paperwork had been completed in two months time. Before they could respond, the notaire entered the room and asked what we were discussing. After I explained, he simply suggested that I arrange a bank transfer immediately after the completion of my sale and transfer the full payment including his fees. At which point I would be given the keys to the property providing I have full house insurance (a legal requirement in France). I would have been stupid to refuse such a suggestion being in need of somewhere to live in a such great hurry. In principle, payment could be made on the following Monday. Sure enough, they had the payment by the end of business that Monday.
Partly due to the strange way that things had progressed in an incredible manner since discovering the house, I had pre-booked a van in vague hope that things would just work out for the best. My plan was to pick up the van on the Tuesday evening ready for an early start the following morning. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take my cheque book with me, it shouldn’t have been necessary. However, when I was asked for a ‘caution’, the deposit to cover accidents etc, I offered my bank card for the 2000€ payment, which I believed was held but not taken as a payment. It was refused – disaster!! The money clearly had not got to my account as was expected by the end of that day. So, I had no other choice but to return home in my car and head off early on Wednesday to collect it when they re-opend at 8.30am. Cheque book in hand I arrived on time, although I had the funds in my account by the following morning and all was gliding smoothly forward. The move begins…
Skip Day 1-3, if you just want the core
Day 1: I woke at silly o’clock due to the anxiety of the day and set off early on that Wednesday with the first van load of my things. Mainly boxes, but a few pieces of furniture too. The day continued until about 9pm when I returned back to my old house and grabbed a bite to eat. 1 day of 3 done! Exhausted…
Day 2: I woke early again and began loading more furniture. and set off asap. 40 minutes of being on the road, I was overcome by tiredness and stopped off for a coffee and a pain raisin which helped energized me thankfully. I am so pleased that I bought a trolly to help me move the heavier things on my own and it was worth every penny. It was a longer and harder day and even more exhausting by the end of it. Before I left to return to my house for the last sleep, I looked at what I had moved into the new house, I realised just how much I have managed to move on my own. The drive home was an endurance, but I was home at 10pm and decided to eat a dinner as I knew I needed to keep up my strength.
Day 3: Surprise! I woke early. My cat Bertie was quite stressed at this point as his surroundings had been disappearing on a daily basis. I understood how he felt.
My friend Richard was arriving that morning to help with the heavy pieces of furniture. Was I so pleased and grateful that he did! We were both struggling with some of the pieces at each end of the move. But, we moved it all with time to spare a,nd Richard returned back home, while I stayed in my new house for the first night. I got the bed put together and a few things organised before going to sleep.
In short, 3 days of hard work which left me drained and exhausted. But with the end game of relocating and my new life as Sophie so very close. I kept getting flash backs to the events that made this happen and tried to think of the possibilities of making this happen the way it did. I drew a blank on that each time. I recalled the last drive to my new house loaded up with the heavy items, a few tears rolled down my cheeks as it began to become a reality – this was not a dream! Yes, it was definitely happening – at last! The last moving day was emotional on many levels, but with an emphasis on happy.
I guess, because I had tried to accept what was happening and I was in my new house, I had begun to feel a little different about things. Overall, daily activities appeared to have a direction of their own and I was trying just to go with the flow.
I feel that I have become a little more spiritual since moving. I am sure that I felt a presence of the old lady who lived here during the first couple of days. I felt that she was happy that I was the new tenant. That makes two of us!
Since arriving in the town, I have noticed how things are coming together without my intervention. I am sure that it is not fatigue or stress related but a genuine input from something I cannot fully explain and happy I am aware of it.
There is a saying ‘All good things come to an end’. After a week since arriving at my new home, perhaps that has happened.
By the time I write the next article I will know if that is the case. Right now I am still very positive about my life. There will always be things that try to throw you off your path and thinking but I am quite focused on moving forward. Otherwise what was the point of all this?