Pictured above is Lizzie, our estate agent. When we visit a French home for sale, it is different from an American house showing in that the homeowners are generally present and proudly showing off their property. During the course of the showing, when the owners realize we don't speak a bit of French, they ask Lizzie about us, she says, "They are American, and they detest George Bush." The French folks smile and nod their heads, agreeing that we are indeed sane and reputable people.
I've also included a photo of one of the places we've looked at in Chalabre. It is a former hotel annex, where the 'Hotel de France" a few doors down, sent either their overflow or the folks who didn't want to pay top dollar. There are about three rooms on each floor, so nine rooms and about that many bathrooms and toilets. Plus retail space on the ground floor and a terrace out back. It was way out of our price range, but gave us a moment of thought. We could rent out the shop to the present owners, a Dutch gay couple who sell antiques (brocoante), and rent a few rooms to some of the indigent in Chalabre and defer the purchase price somewhat. It's in a wonderful location in central Chalabre, across from a bar and restaurant. We'll probably pass on this one, but it would certainly be interesting.
The other photo is the approach to a town called Revel. Everywhere in this neck of the woods, where there is a straight stretch of road, there are the obligitory plane trees. In the summer it is like driving through a leafy green tunnel.