The ‘Acte de Vente’ for the final stage in the purchase of our new home seems many moons ago, even though only a month has passed since I met with the owner and the notaire in their grand offices of Rouen Gare. This time, as my wordly wealth was flashed up on the overhead projector I was manfully ready for the ordeal, and contentedly absorbed the praise:
“Bien jouée Madame, ce taux, c’est bien” – “Well played, Madame, that’a a good interest rate you’ve managed to haggle for yourself!”
And indeed it wasn’t at all bad. After visiting 13 banks, and narrowing them down to 4, casting one very slow and officious manager aside, we came out with 3 offers. At the last moment, having been rejected, one of the final two came back to us with a “new and improved” offer to try to clinch pole position and knock the courtier off his winning perch. But by that point I was too exhausted to care if they could knock off another 1/2% or not. I’d already scanned, sent and received back via exocet missile mail the signed offer documents by husband à l’etranger in Canada, and nothing could persuade me to go through the process again, especially with only a day remaining until the ‘Acte de vente’ itself, although the bank assurred me that changing offers at such a late stage could be done…
So the proprietaire and I shook hands, signed our names on the dotted line and I walked out into the crisp December air with 3 ancient long keys dangling from my fingers.
It was a moment for a celebratory drink in the “cafe du square”, but husband à l’etranger was missing, and actually, if truth be known, I was dying for the loo, desperate actually, so ideas of a drink would have been ‘un verre debordé’ (the proverbial straw that would break the camel…) and since home was equidistant, home I scurried, thinking, oh foolish me, that husband à l’etranger would be back to celebrate with me in style the very next day.
Not so fast, crazy English woman, when does anything go according to plan!
I received a phone call that very same afternoon….
“A plus tard (till later), husband à l’étranger, A bientôt (see you soon) in-laws”
and settled down to pack up the appartement single handed, whilst waiting for a dual, more elderly set of reinforcements to arrive.
Congratulations ! Your perseverance has finally paid off . Did you get my email re. my Rouen ancestors who lived in the rue Horloge ? Wendy.
I’m disappointed because I didn’t Wendy. Tell me more!
Welcome to the headache of owning a home in France. You’re going to love getting repairs done. lol! No seriously, Good luck with the packing and the move. Hope it’s painless. 🙂
I’m sorry, but I now can’t find your email so I posted the photo of our new house up my latest blog post for you! We’re now finding the odd problem like the main beam supporting the house has absolutely no head and has started to slide down the “cave” wall, but apart from that we are loving it 🙂
What a fabulous house, and i’m really glad you are already in your studio. Yet another lovely painting though I will miss those Italian views!
Don’t worry, I’ll still be painting in Italy; good flight from Toulouse-Rome. Also I will look forward to painting in Spain at some point … I’ve never explored Spain as it was too far from Italy to be easily accessible. This new house makes a great base to work from. Your move looks amazing and I’m very impressed by your furniture removal! 🙂 The French are very “laissez faire” about these things; it would never be allowed in Italy!
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I am very very slow to reply these days! The first time I moved I was incredibly stressed about the monte-meuble, especially as my mother’s antique gilt mirror went up un-tethererd, only to discover it was too big for the window and then had to come down again!! I clearly have become as laissez-faire as the french since this time I was very gung-ho about it.
I am very happy to hear that you will still be painting Italy. One day when i’m rich enough I’ll invest, but for the moment I shall just have to content myself with drooling!