Talking of extraordinary acts for charity, our neighbour Brigitta is doing a London to Paris bike ride to raise money for Help for Heroes in June. She already did a cake and plant sale to raise money for the same cause last weekend. If you would like to sponsor her you can use the link here.
Another reason for my "people are nice" mood is because of all of the help and support I've received from various people who have encouraged me to start my blog up again. We all lead busy lives with many demands on our time and I really appreciate it when people take time to read my blog and give me feedback - thanks everyone who has commented here or on various forums, your support is much valued.
So, we arrived, as I mentioned previously, just in time for our appointment, desperate for a cool drink and something to eat but only with half a bottle of warm water to keep us going. The cottage looked appealing at first sight and pretty much as we expected. Our viewing guides arrived a few minutes after us and let us into the cottage. Immediately it was apparent that there were problems with damp. They reckoned that it had been treated and was no longer a problem (it turned out they were responsible for some of the renovations and maintenance), but we weren't convinced. We went upstairs to the main bedroom which was large and luminous but it had a bouncy floor - I mean, it was like a trampoline!
We then had a look at the garden, well scaled the cliff through the overgrown excuse of a garden. It was so overgrown we couldn't get the land at the top which is where we were dreaming of having our terrace to sit and watch the sunsets whilst having aperos. Bits of the cliff face had fallen into the car parking area which wasn't reassuring either. Lastly, we knew that there was no septic tank (you will find that many country properties in France are not connected to mains drainage and so they have a "fosse septique" or septic tank). Fosse septiques have become a hot topic in France the last few years as they now have to conform to EU standards. They can be expensive to install or rectify. Every owner of a property in France has their own fosse septique story - be careful that you don't get caught out by a fosse septique bore! Don't worry, I will save our fosse story for another time ;-)
Anyway, as I said, we knew that there was no room for a fosse, even a micro system, and despite reassurance by the vendor that "between us girls, there is a feeling in the village that they (they being the inspectors) may turn a blind eye to the current set-ups" - the current set-up being that the sewerage and waste water was left to soak directly into the rock as far as we could tell, the fosse situation, which needed to pass inspection as part of the sale, was going to be a problem - probably an expensive one! We thanked our guides for their time and effort and told them we would be in touch with the vendor when we were back in the UK (thankfully not for another 2 weeks!). We then headed off to the local town for some sustenance and to quench our thirst. Fortunately we found that we were both thinking the same thing - no - it wasn't for us! Phew, at least we were on the same wave length! Now I just had to face the task of letting the vendor know of our decision once we got home, something I wasn't looking forward to. Fortunately we had a lovely stay in the Lot-et-Garonne to look forward to first. After another long drive south we were greeted by Sandra with a cold glass of rose which she served to us by her inviting pool - what a host! As the area was beyond our budget we could get on with the serious business of being tourist for a few days before out next property viewing.
Fortunately we had a lovely stay in the Lot-et-Garonne to look forward to first. After another long drive south we were greeted by Sandra with a cold glass of rose which she served to us by her inviting pool - what a host! As the area was beyond our budget we could get on with the serious business of being tourist for a few days before out next property viewing.