I moved to France exactly two years ago. 2010 saw the end of a long marriage and by 2017 the houses in England were sold. It was time to start a new venture and a new life.
France had always called. I could get by with the language, had spent lots of time there either with my eccentric uncle, staying with my cousin, living aboard a boat or working in the south. I loved nearly everything French (at that time I hadn’t come across the bureaucracy or the taxes!).
I visited my cousin a few times and fell in love with a tiny cottage on a river that had an unattached mediaeval tower…. ideal for letting. I could teach English and have rental income. Perfect. Nothing was moving house-wise in France and so I wasn’t too worried about it selling before the sale on my place completed. I went out about three times to see it whilst my sale was going through. I called on the neighbours. I found out about the village. I made all the plans for the renovations.
Then one day I got a message to say it was sold. I was devastated. Through the following winter I planned to buy a place in England to renovate, but the owner pontificated and dragged his heals and then reneged on the deal. I was so annoyed that the first French email I opened after the disappointment had me on the phone faster than you can say ‘Jack Robinson’!
It was about the first house for sale I had seen advertised six months previously. At that time it had been way too expensive, but now it was within my means. I immediately organised to go out and see it; the estate agent promised not to show anyone else in the meantime. I got the tickets booked and made the arrangements. By the end of the visit, I had signed the papers and arranged to live in the gite in one of the gardens until the sale went through.
Tomorrow’s post was written four days after I arrived…