What have we done this week?
We had a good exploration last Saturday looking at a number of pleasant villages to the west of here, partly just to get a feel for the area, and partly to see what was up on the property market. As ever the villages we’d want to live in were the ones we couldn’t afford to. The grey clouds and rain that have been an on-and-off feature of the summer here came down over the mountains and the combination of grey skies and green vegetation gave an almost Welsh landscape.
We then went onto a party with some people from church at a villa with a rather spectacular swimming pool perched on the edge of a steep slope. In the distance we could see the Pic de Courmettes and – with the eye of faith – our house about two thirds of the way up. The adventure here was a 90-minute nocturnal drive back and if you want our verdict, headlight adapters do not work. Nevertheless we don’t think we blinded too many oncoming drivers.
On Sunday we went swimming after church on one of the public bits of Cannes’ beach. We don’t know if that’s an adventure but it was certainly interesting!
From Chris’s point of view the main adventure of the week (and a most unsatisfactory one) was the failure to get the main computer up and running again and although we did meet a very helpful French IT person who did his best. Fortunately he has a smaller one to work on, though it’s not the most satisfactory of solutions.
About 3 o’clock on Wednesday morning we had a tremendous thunderstorm which had the interesting effect of triggering the fire alarm in the chateau. The result was that Chris and Jean-François had to go out in pyjamas in the pouring rain to try and sort out the alarm circuitry. Thanks to Hollywood one gets a certain and rather troubling feeling of déjà vu when wandering around a château at night with a torch as the thunder and lightning explodes around you.
On Thursday we went to view a property out at Bagnols-en-Forêt, a picturesque and rather unspoiled village which has the double merit of being only about 20 minutes from the main east-west provençale autoroute and also just about affordable. The house we went to see turned out to be far too small but eventually with another agent we were shown round an extremely attractive villa with a stunning view and lots of space. Readers of this blog may note that the downstairs has a self-contained studio apartment which although it currently needs some work would be admirable for visitors to Provence. Technically it’s over our price range but everybody says that discounts of 25 to 30% are possible so we will probably put some sort of offer in on Monday. Those that pray may like to pray that it’s the right house and that we get it at the right price.