Saturday, January 27, 2007

Settling In

Hailing from Flockton, West Yorkshire, England, Alan and Eileen are our most gracious hosts at 5 Rue de Four in Leran. We met them at the l'Impasse du Temple Chambre d'Hote last May and we would convene every morning and evening over croissants or drinks and recount our repsective days' events. Alan and Eileen were ready to pounce, and bought a place in France, and we are indeed grateful that they did. Last night they hosted a dinner party and introduced us to a few of their friends.

During the day our estate agent Lizzie took us out to begin the search. There is no such thing as an "apples to oranges" comparison here. We looked at a village house situated over the Credit Agricole Bank in Chalabre dating back to 1735, with exquisite original woodwork and tile. For sale are the top two floors. It has the original woodwork and the parquet and tile floors. What seems most unusual here in France, is that there appears to absolutely no attempt to de-clutter or clean up anything in order to show a home. No baking bread, made up beds or flowers in the vase. In fact, it's almost the opposite. The place was home to an amazing amount of junk, dinner leftovers, dirty clothes, etc. Its a possibility but it was very hard to see the potential through all the clutter.

And we looked at a portion of an estate now broken up into several units of manageable size. The place is a shell, gutted but with electricity, however has no water in or sewage out at this point. A beautiful space outdoors for a garden and terrace. The place, again, has much potential, but would be smallish.

We also saw the exteriors of several places which we will see in the following days. We have many things to see and we have just begun. Between travel, dining with Alan and Eileen, and trying to shake off jet lag, we haven't had much time to keep you informed. The Simmons leave tomorrow for England and it will settle down a bit so we should have more time to post some photos of what we are seeing. We should also have some time to sight see and will report on that as well. Right now we're off to the Saturday Chalabre market, then meeting Lizzie for some house showings. Ta ta for now.

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