Blogging Up The Works

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Long Goodbye

I suspect much of the next two months is going to involve saying goodbye to people. At this distance it is poeple I may have known a long time but are more acquaintances than friends.

Tonight I took part in the quiz at the local bowls club. I will see the members of my team again at least a couple of times but the rest of the people there, well, I doubt it. I've been going there since the early 1980s, not always often, but it spans over half my life, if only just.

Last night I resigned as Chairman of HLO, my musical theatre group. I will be seeing these people regularly until we go but there will now be an EGM and I will be replaced, swiftly.

It seems strange having said goodbye to some people whilst others I know much better and am closer to, particularly my immediate work colleagues, have no idea about France other than it's where I go on holiday.

Once it gets down to saying goodbye to my closest friends, even though I will see them relatively often, I suspect that is when it will really hit home that we are going and life is going to be changing very significantly.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

And with a wave of a wand.....

.......we can build a city the size of Newcastle. Or it is to be hoped we can. So Nett Migration is just short of 300,000 for last year. Forget it is migration. How do we support 300,000 extra people with infrastructure each year. And to be fair, that isn't population growth which will be higher than that. It has taken 4 months to get Planning Permission to change the windows at our flat. A third of a year. As a country we needed to have built a third of Newcastle in that time. I bet we haven't.

And I'm sure we wouldn't, because the more you look at the way things work in the UK, it seems to involve no decision making but a lot of discussions and consultations. We will talk about how we accommodate all the extra people, what we need to do, how much do we need to do, how will we do it, and, oh heck, another party has got into power so we need to re-discuss all this again.

Oh well, at least the figures for this year will be two less than they would have been.

Although we are moving lock stock and barrel to France, when we retire we will have a place there and another back here, as we always planned come our glorious retirement. We can never afford to come back to London and so we know it will probably be halfway between London for seeing M's daughters and Nottingham for seeing M's sister. I suspect by then we may have had to build so many houses, particularly around the Capital, that we may be moving to the London Borough of Peterborough.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Parked

Today's driving experience.

On the way to work - A long wait whilst the passengers of a recently arrived train at Brentford Station came out and crossed the zebra crossing. All leaving just enough space so cars can't go so we waited whilst somewhere between 100 and 150 people sauntered across the road like a school crocodile.

On the way to after work meal in Shepherds Bush - I have to sit in the inside lane of Shepherds Bush Roundabout with my left hand indicator flashing away unable to go left as I am undertaken constantly by cyclists, motor scooters and motor bikes who all have "the right" to undertake/filter regardless of whether it might be deemed wise so to do and are damn lucky I just don't decide to go as I was in position well before any of them were in sight of me but if I did it would be my fault.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Food for Thought

There was an article on the BBC website this morning which I now can't find which is a pity because I wanted to at least refer to it in detail if not to link to it. It would also allow me to use the correct terms which I fear I do not remember or could misspell. So bear with me if you spot any glaring errors or omissions.

The article referred to the Sikh practice of providing meals at their temples for people to come and share. I think it is called langar but it is a founding principle of the religion. I have known for ages that this is something that happens because I knew some Sikhs who ran a restaurant and had some of the literature there and it cropped up in our discussions and I've also read about it in the newspapers years back when I would read such publications.

Now, there is one thing about knowing this act of charity goes on but totally another in realising how big an undertaking it is. The largest Sikh temple in the UK, I believe, is the gurdwara in Southall. It throws it's doors open each day to people who wish to come and eat, for free, with nothing in return but to show some respect for the surroundings, to not be under the influence of alcohol and to cover one's head which is an important part of their faith. Not unfair requests in return for a free meal. What I wasn't prepared for were the number of people passing through each day.

It averages 5000 per day midweek, rising to 10,000 per day at the weekends.

Now I know that not everyone going there is going because they are in need. Some will be there because it is their community and one way of joining in with communal meals, others just because they like the company and are from other Sikh communities making contact with a different gurdwara etc. I would imagine that the big increase at the weekend is not made up of the very needy but some of the travelers and local community members who work in the week and this is their chance to socialise. But the 5000 in the week? Many of them must be non-working. Again maybe not all homeless or needy, but how small a percentage do you think it might be and still not think the number is too high. If they are homeless or living on a desperately low wage then even if 10% fell into that category you are talking 500 people who are hungry enough, or poor enough to have to go there to eat, and if they are that poor they probably haven't travelled by car or come long distances.

It is like the foodbanks. There are more and more people needing charity to survive. In another three months there will be an election. I don't see where there is any likelihood of a party being elected who will make a difference.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Every Nook And Cranny

I have never had a private survey done on a property I have bought. I've had the building society one which is basically them checking they can't get their fingers burnt. In France their is a different system whereby the seller has to have a full survey done, And full certainly covers it. It may cost about £450 but it runs to some 75 pages of very detailed information. Checking especially for asbestos (11 pages), lead (9 pages) and termites (17 pages). All is well on our property, the stuff that is there is not is a dangerous condition. But in addition, every room has a detailed description of how the walls, ceiling and flooring are constructed. A complete electrical check. A complete check of the swimming pool runs to a further 7 pages. The only thing missing appears to be a blade by blade check of the lawn.

Now, maybe that is what we get for a private survey but I suspect not. People complain about French bureaucracy but when you are buying a house it isn't half reassuring to have all that information.

Even if it going to take us 6 months to translate it!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Beat Your Neighbour

Last September we had a couple of students move into one of the flats in our block. Now. we have had very little trouble from them because we are on the opposite side from them and we are at the back but once in a while we can hear rowdiness in the communal hallway and a definite smell of waccy baccy when their windows are open. A week last Friday there was another party in the flat and it all kicked off.

We were out that evening but when we got back at 11.45 the music was going. And then the next day the first email to the managing agent hit the system. We are very much in the loop because The Magnificent M is a director of the block and the first complainant was the other director, J. J has been like a dog with a bone. Demanding everything from them being evicted within the hour to having a procession of burning torches and throw them out of town. Well maybe not quite the latter but pretty close to it.

Now, whilst none of J's demands can be met as we have to do things properly the tenants don't really stand much of a chance.

The company I work for manage the flat, so I have all the inside knowledge of all the negotiations between tenants, landlord and ourselves, although it isn't in my area. M's daughters work for them as well and one of them is about to become the boss of the management pod that do run that flat. The lettings manager is a friend of Ms daughters and won't want to upset them. And today we discovered that the owner of the flat that has been most affected is a Detective Sergeant. And the management company prefer a quiet life and want them out too.

I think the odds are stacked up against them remaining there long.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Cold Turkey

I have a problem when I move to France. Diet Coke.

Since 1988 when I started driving for a living I have always been accompanied by diet coke. Any time other than in the car I can drink anything else I like, but driving, it has to be diet coke. I have a bit of a rule of thumb that I will only pay a maximum of 30p per can, although in all honesty I will pay more if there is no offer but I begrudge it.

The problem is, it's rarely less than the equivalent of 60p per can over there. And my Yorkshire sensibilities cannot cope with the idea of paying twice as much. So either I wean myself off slowly but miss out on my last chances to quaff gallons, or keep going and hit a wall when the supplies I take with me run out.

It's a quandary.

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Bionic Woman

I had a day off today so we could go up and see my mum. We'd planned this a few week back although it did allow us to tell her today that we were moving so that was good. As was the fact my brother popped in so I could tell him too. However, that's a by the by.

The last time I saw my mum she was still getting over her knee replacement. Today, we walked up into town and she went off like a greyhound out of the trap. And that's with just one knee done. She now has a date for the second op in mid may. God knows what she will be like after that. I'm assuming she will be training for the next Olympics.

The good thing for us is that when we saw her last she wasn't sure she could travel as far as Southern France. Today she was working out which of the ways to travel would work best. Probably after the second op jogging might become an option.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

And So It Begins......

It has happened. Last Sunday we had a letter through our door from a young couple who had seen the flat on Saturday. They loved it, and they will be starting their married life here. So much did they love it that they offered £2000 over the asking price just in case anyone else viewed the flat in the next day or two and hit the asking price. They had let the Agent know as well and during today the agent confirmed all the preliminaries had been done and the offer was confirmed, accepted and agreed.

We are going to France bar something now going horribly wrong with the actual sales process, and it really shouldn't he says, touching everything wooden in reach.

We have confirmed with the French house owners that we are now ready, they have agreed a total price for house and business and have started the preliminaries for the French purchase.

It hasn't quite sunk in yet.

Nous allons en France!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Plenty of Tongue.

I like a bit of tongue. With tomato sauce. In fact I'm actually eating a tongue sandwich as we speak. But that's not my favourite. In fact it's number three on my list.

My second favourite meat based sandwich is pate with onion. Preferably a smooth Brussels pate. That works so much better against the crunch of the raw onion.

But top of the sandwich pops is corned beef. Preferably with coleslaw but I'm not averse, once again, to a coating of tomato sauce.

It is also number one on the price list too. When did corned beef become so expensive? When I were a lad it was a cheap meat, something you might have because ham or a sliced roast meat was too expensive. And there was nothing better of a Sunday tea time than to open a tin of Fray Bentos corned beef. With it's little key to "unzip" it, and the near lethal edges with which you could slice your fingers as you tried to prise the tin from the meat.

Maybe that's why I like the tomato sauce on it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Watching Paint Dry

So we got in this morning to discover we had a power cut. No phones. No computer. No heating. No Kettle. No light in the toilet!

And without electricity we discovered we can't do a thing. Absolutely everything depends on being able to access the intranet.

It was our new girl's birthday to day so that was nice. We all had a chat about what we did last night. Then what we might do tonight. Phones were checked. We tidied drawers, handbags, and cleaned desks, phones, computer keyboards.

So now it was 9.30 and so all we could do was sit around and chat, then chat less, then have heated discussions on contentious issues. And go for lunch.

And still no electricity.

More talking, eating of birthday cake, making paper planes, anything to stop the boredom.

At 3.30 we were told the electric wouldn't be back on until 5.15 to 5.30. Home time.

So the team leader rang the boss and asked whether we could shut down for the rest of the day. No.

4.55. The lights came on,the phones reset themselves, the computers fired up, the connection to the internet spluttered slowly into life.

Just time to see how much work we would have to catch up with tomorrow.

For Gods sake, there's tons of it.

Fingers crossed there's no electricity in the morning otherwise it'll be hell.

Monday, February 16, 2015

A turn for the better

We had a new member of staff join us today. Always an interesting event when you are a small team. With only four of us, to have a fifth is quite an intrusion into our cosy little world. The previous person she replaced was, well I don't know what to say really, other than he was very "Russian". Indeed, he was from Russia, well actually he wasn't, he was from one of the ***bekistans, can't remember which, but he had grown up under the yoke of communist rule, and boy, did it show! One colleague, who remembers the Soviet Union, just, and myself, easily, had to try and explain to the youngsters in their 20s just what we meant by "Russian". He was suspicious of any authority, complained vehemently about Britain and it's ways, hated being here, but as we were once forced to point out, as he has been here 22 years, it obviously wasn't so bad he wanted to return to the red side. For instance, he told two of the twenty-somethings in the office that, if his daughters grew up like them, he would be deeply ashamed of them. Not the best way to endear yourself to your colleagues.

Anyway, one day he completely lost it in the office. And I mean completely. Tin foil hat stuff. Convinced because his name appeared on a Council form as one of our landlords agent, the Council and Government would come to get him. That he was being framed by the Landlord. And in addition Head Office were bugging his mobile phone.

From the moment the new girl walked in, smiled and said hello, you could almost hear the sigh of relief. We could be mistaken yet, but the general feeling is she not a complete raving lunatic

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Ancient

There are many things which make me feel old. How long I've known certain friends, when I started/left each school. Talking about news events and the 20/30 year olds have no idea what I am talking about such as The USSR and the Iron Curtain. But another one has just hit me.

My Sunday afternoons are often spent listening to Johnnie Walker's Sounds of the 70s.I like JW, always have, possibly because we share the unenviable feat of failing 8 O'levels in one go. But he's just played a record I've always loved, and associate with my teenage years and all that angst and girls etc. So I now know that 43 years ago, yes, a whole 43 years ago, this became number 1.

Without You - Nilsson

Another Hiccough

Yes, I missed the midnight deadline again, but when you've presented your other half with a Valentine present they like, (see below), you never know which way the day may turn. But it didn't turn in the direction of me sitting on the laptop all evening. Then again, not leaving posting until the evening would possibly be a good idea!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Rush Job

Having just got in from work, showered, dressed and having to go out again in ten minutes I need to knock out a quick blog for tonight. So Iam cheating a bit. Whilst I eat what I hope will be a great meal at Chez Lindsayyou can finally get to see the death trap shower rail.



At least the light is IP rated!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Super School

We have been watching Britain's Biggest Primary. The statistics are astonishing. There's plenty tp read in a number of reviews so I won't rehash them here. Quite a few are mentioned in this article.

One fact that came out was that when the present headmaster took over in 1999, 10% of the school had English as a second language, now, only 10% have English as a first language. And that is what mainstream politicians don't grasp. Voters in that area are possibly moving towards UKIP as they feel "swamped" and not part of "a vibrant multicultural society". And if they do move towards UKIP they are "racist" say the middle class of the home counties.

And for those who think teachers have an easy life, you might want to read the bit in the article where the headmaster talks about working 7 day weeks during the summer holidays to get everything ready.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

All of Life is There

I have to say that I rather enjoy the world of property management. Like most jobs it can certainly be stressful and after 31 years of not working in an office I'm finding some days feel rather claustrophobic, but I always missed the social side of being in an office environment and to be fair, it's helped by having a small but friendly team to be with now, so it seems like a good decision.

The other thing like most jobs, is that some of the clients you have to deal with are "characters" and some of the situations a little different.

Just today we have had a tenant on the phone in a panic because a light bulb had blown and she wanted us to send out a contractor to change it for her. Now if it was an old lady we might well do, and sometimes if they are very high ceilings and the landlord has provided no ladder we will also do it. This was a perfectly fit 20 something woman who decided that this is a rented flat and she shouldn't have to do any "repair" work. We sadly had to disabuse her of that point of view.

We had a landlord who wants compensation because, despite being told what her electricity bill was going to cost her, despite being given all the bank details she needed to pay it, despite asking us to chase Southern Electric for a hardcopy of the bill for her records which has taken SSE 5 weeks to send, she has decided because it only turned up today and we scanned it in and sent it straight out, it's our fault that the payment is overdue. Because she doesn't think it's her fault, nor Southern Electric's. What makes it worse, is that we don't even manage her property so we shouldn't have been helping her out anyway.

And occasionally you see some building repair that isn't perhaps quite up to standards. Like the one my colleague saw yesterday. The shower curtain rail was a bit wobbly, so they did what anybody might do, they secured it by wrapping wire round it and then securing the other end of the wire to the light bulb holder on the ceiling. I may append the photo to this post tomorrow, because you wouldn't believe anyone could be so stupid.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The X Factor

Not sure how long we have to go now until the election. Certainly less than 100 days. Certainly fed up of it already.

I have no idea who to vote for. At all. I really don't think there is much choice at all. I don't trust any of them to do anything positive at all. I think their only priority is doing something to get them voted in (again) next time. Traditionally I am a Conservative. I was pro Thatcher. But I could no sooner vote for them as fly. I have a mate who has always voted for the Labour party. He can't bring himself to do it.

I can't say I've heard anybody looking forward to the election. Knowing who they will vote for. I would be very worried for Al Murray who is standing against Nigel Farrage. I suspect there is a reasonable chance he could get elected. I can imagine there are a number of people who will think, sod it, he really can't be worse than the rest of them and we might get a laugh. And it's not like he can form a government on his own. So it's a good fun vote with nothing too terrible as a result. Unless perhaps you have tickets for his upcoming tour.

I think one of the reasons for the malaise is that there aren't any politicians with any conviction for what they stand for. How can the Labour party have an education minister called Tristram Hunt. He didn't grow up in an inner city slum did he. When will the conservatives have someone in the Government who has been on benefits. Both main parties are packed to the rafters with politicians with politics degrees but no real life experience any more. Which is why the moment they say something and someone objects they change their minds. Policies haev to be leaked in advance to see if it might be popular with your core voters.

I suspect the outcome of the election will be a particularly low turnout. So I've looked at some of the odds. And I reckon there is a bargain. The odds for a turnout of 40% - 44.99% is 500/1. 45% to 49.99%turnout is 66/1 which is still worth a punt. I think we will have the lowest turnout for an election for a long time.The lowest ever was 1918 at 57% so to lose an extra 10-15% is probably unlikely but last time it was only 65% and that had been rising for the last three elections so I do think there is a chance of the lowest turnout ever.

Still, a fiver at 500/1 would sort out this years summer holiday. And if it happens at least I can guarantee that someone has come out on top.

Monday, February 09, 2015

The Kindest Thing

Last august I bought myself a second car very cheaply on ebay. It was to serve a specific purpose and, by and large, it achieved it. The MOT has run out though so I decided I would put it in for the test because if it didn't need much work I'd have it done and use it a bit longer. I knew it needed a couple of tires and possibly a bulb in the brake lights.

So I waited in line for an hour and fifteen minutes whilst those in front got a pass or a fail and decided what to do. At last, it was out turn. Me and Chobs, for that is his name. First things first, up he goes on the ramp. Right enough, two tyres need a change. On to the tracker rods. Nope they aren't good. The guy looks along the sills prodding them every now and again and then making marks on the bodywork nearby.

At this point the technician called me across.

"It's not good is it" I say.

"I think the kindest thing is to stop this now and bring him down" says he.

But first he showed me the sills, where they were very spongy, by poking his finger at the relevant spot, until his finger went through, and nearly cut the whole thing off. He swore. Prolifically.

And with that, when the bloody flow was stemmed, Chobs was lowered and that was as far as the MOT went. 10 minutes. Condemned.

But it still cost me the full MOT fee though.

Anybody want to buy an uneconomic to repair death trap?

Time Difference

So here I am in San Francisco where it is still Sunday.

Well, maybe not.

What actually happened was that I went up to see my mum and ended up staying overnight without being attached to my computer. Which will teach me to follow in Mashers footsteps and procrastinate. Although to be fair, as being somewhat older than him, he follows in mine.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Profitability

Next week we are off out for a friends birthday meal. I've checked out the menu in advance so I can savour the anticipation.I also checked out the wine list. I was glad to see there were some southern French wines from the area we visit. Then I realised one of them is a wine we know well. Even to the domaine, which means it is a wine we brought back with us. I won't be sorry to drink another bottle but the price might sour the taste a little bit. They are charging £21 per bottle. We bought it for the euro equivalent of £1.79. That gives them a mark up of 1173% assuming they didn't get a better discount than you get for buying just a case.

I think wine in restaurants must be one of the most marked up items there is. I know the food is many times the cost of the raw ingredients but you can accept that you are also paying for the skill of the chef. The cost of cooking and the equipment needs to be taken into account but the only overhead of the wine from supplier to table is transport. Yes,there are profits to make, other overheads to cover,butwine is a little over the odds I would suggest.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Junior Choice.

The Magnificent M and I have spent the last hour trying to find the next couple of things to show her music loving class. They are seven.

Previous favourites have included;

Queen of the Night Aria from The Magic Flute.
The Rite of Spring - Stravinski
Chattanooga Choo Choo - Glenn Miller
The Dying Swan - Whatever ballet, not my thing.

We were thinking something by the Pasadena Roof Orchestra
Some tap dancing by The Nicholas Brothers
Tubby the Tuba
The well known bits of Riverdance.

Any suggestions? Always best when it has film with it. They thought the dancing to Chatanooga was fascinating.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

The London Highway Code


PEDESTRIANS

It is no longer required that you look in either direction when crossing the road.

Under no circumstance should you hurry to cross the road.

If you should inadvertently catch the eye of an approaching car's driver make eye contact and look quizzically at them. Then, without speeding up, carry on sauntering across the road at a leisurely pace. If you were crossing at a diagonal angle please do not veer onto a straight course.

CYCLISTS

It is a requirement that you use lights. Preferably dotted at various points around your body and the bike. It would be better if they were both a variety of colours and flashing.

Should you decide for some obscure reason you wish to wear a helmet, please make sure it incorporates a camera stuck on with duck tape. It is certainly important that you have video evidence of any car who deigns to go through a green light whilst you have right of way passing through a red light. It is important that you take the opportunity to mark the offending car by hitting the bodywork and shouting "Tosser" at the driver regardless of sex, colour or creed.

On major trunk roads where a dedicated cycle lane has been provided please ignore it as this is for old people, losers and children. You can stick to the trunk road because you are awesome and so much better than them.

Always wear clothing that blends in with the prevailing light conditions.

MOTORCYCLISTS

We have updated the rules regarding "filtering". You are now able to undertake, overtake and weave in and out of traffic at will. Cars are restricted to using only the left hand side of the road but motorcyclists are exempt.

If for any reason you feel you may be about to be involved in an accident because you have misjudged your route whilst going 80mph in a 30mph zone, try to veer into a bus lane and hit a car turning left proving they weren't paying attention and endangering your life.

MOTORISTS

You are to blame. Whatever happens. You are to blame.

But it isn't all bad news. We have introduced a new game to improve your reflexes whilst driving. When at traffic lights there is a prize for the first motorist to hoot their horn as the lights go green. If you are new to this game we suggest you check the lights that have a countdown on them. This should help you co-ordinate your attack. The present record for a London driver is 0.00000001 nano-seconds.

If you find yourself held up by a motorist who has selfishly blocked your progress for half a second you are required to drive alongside them, block the entire road for five minutes whilst shouting at them as to why they have wasted your time when you are in an incredible hurry.

Special rule for Mercedes Benz and BMW drivers. We have reserved your right to park in spaces that other drivers foolishly think are for disabled drivers. Idiots. We know they are for you because you are elite and above everyone else.






Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Passing the Time

I go through phases of what will entertain me during the hours that I really can't be bothered to do anything else. Once upon a time it was crosswords, and then the same sort of thing but with clues leading to numbers for the grid. IN more odern times it was Suduko, then I had a longish affair with Nonograms but for the last couple of months it has been Mathdoku, a sort of Suduko Plus.

The easy ones take a couple of minutes, the harder ones can take a number of attempts before I get them right and can fill in quarter of an hour and a lot of swearing under the breath.

It seems much too easy to sit here tapping away doing one of these than reading a book or possibly even blogging, which may explain the dearth of posts.

It'll pass soon no doubt, I'll get bored with them, and then I'll have to mpve on to something else.

Any suggestions?



Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Playing God one way or another.

So, tonight the House of Commons has voted to allow three parent babies. The chance to change the genetics of a child to make sure they are free of certain genetic illnesses/diseases.

I am always interested in these medical advances. As we know, I am indeed related to a potato genetically or at least chromosonically(?). Part of my Kleinfelters Syndrome is that I can't have kids, and even though it is only on the last few years that has been medically confirmed I have "known" this all my life. To me I could cut that cake in one of two ways, either God has decided I wasn't to procreate or, through natural selection, I was not chosen to continue my line as I would weaken further the stock. Whichever, the result was the same. And I have been content with my lot. Never have I considered using medicine to overturn the Will of God nor to disobey the laws of natural selection. But today's vote opens up a new "choice.

When I was born, nobody had heard of Kleinfelter as he didn't discover the syndrome until the 1980s. Even as recently as 2010, when I was treated for the Sertoli Cell tumour they had no idea that was linked to Kleinfelters. If my mum became pregnant today, and no-one would be more surprised than her as she's 83 but stick with this, they could test for it. And one must suppose that if she wanted a planned pregnancy, with a little help from a second female, all the problems I have had in my life medically, could be swept away. So tonight, instead of wondering whether such a thing would ever be possible, it now is. And if I could advise my mum as to what to do...........

Keep me as I am. I would rather be this me than the other one.

One of the big arguments of the pro camp is that it does nothing to change the personality. But of course it does. Not by nature but by nurture. I am who I am because of the things that shape me. And then they always thinks the "improved" child will have a better life. But that's the same thinking that says if you hadn't given away that penalty in the first half you wouldn't have lost. But all it means is it would be different, not necessarily better.

So, I can't help but feel this is a retrograde move. But of course, I might feel differently if it was going to be my child and something way more serious than being a bit of a potato.

Monday, February 02, 2015

The Great Adventure

So, three posts back, or four months ago if you'd rather, I teased you with "some potentially exciting news". Since then it has seemed likely on some days and unlikely on others. Indeed, if I had posted this yesterday I would have said it was unlikely yet today it has suddenly moved forward.

So here we go.

There is a possibility that we are going to up sticks and move to the South of France within the next few weeks or months. About 10 minutes outside Limoux,some 20 minutes from Carcassonne. The story of how this came about will be for another day but maybe I'll finish my working life there instead of overcrowded London.


So instead of spending my evenings in front of the tele I might spend it in the pool.




Or if I can't walk as far as that, maybe a glass of wine on the terrace under the vines.



So, for the sum of £195,000.00, we will take over a property management company and purchase the owners house.




That's the 6 bedroom house where the shutters are, plus the wide building to the left which will convert into another 6 bed house, or separate appartments.

And all funded by a 2 bedroom flat in Isleworth leaving a £100k spending money.That's how ridiculous London prices are, or maybe French prices.

So the flat is on the market and if we can sell it in the next few weeks we go, if not, we probably won't. It's in the lap of the Gods. And our estate agent.



Sunday, February 01, 2015

Another February, Another Blogathon.

Hurrah, it is that time of year when some of us put ourselves through the stress of trying to write something every day. And already I am up against it as I wake to find I have man flu. Having had a sore throat for two days and I now have a bit of a cough as well. My voice has gone down about seven octaves to make Barry White sound like a castrati which I am using to good effect by lying about on the settee moaning in a deep and sexy sort of a growl. However, The Magnificent M appears to be inured to it and is refusing to cook me a full english. How I suffer!

So the good news is that the post I would have posted today can be used tomorrow, so now I can go back to moaning loudly in the hope that I might get a decent lunch. Or maybe a roast for tea. Or possibly just a raised eyebrow and a look to me that says, yeah, like that's going to happen.