Sunday, May 26, 2013

The House Sale Saga encore

Yes, we did sell the house, to young French Canadian newlyweds.  She has not even seen the house yet.  Probably coming some time this week to get a glimpse of where she will live.  They are very eager and both wanted something in the village.  His parents live in Cannes and are helping to finance the buying of the house.
We are now in a two month waiting period for the city of Le Cannet to decide if they want to buy the house.  Seems that the city has the right to buy out from under the buyers if they want the property for any reason.  The city can also decide that they will pay any amount they want, even if substantially less than the agreed upon price with the buyers.  Usually doesn't happen, but it is an option that can be invoked.  Since we are the only ones selling on our block and we are smack in the middle, it is unlikely that there would be anything planned for this property by the city.  Another one of those differences in selling and buying property in France.  We should know about a week or two before we leave if the city is taking this option.....keep your fingers crossed!
We are still able to live here until a few days before we leave to head back to the states.  We will spend our last two nights in France in a hotel by the airport.  Prior to final paper signing, we will have some one come to empty the house out, another requirement of the sale.  Seems this has to be done before we all actually sign the final transfer paperwork.  I envision a "French Inspector" coming in with magnifying glass checking in all the corners.  LOL!  Don't really know how they go about this or if they take our word for it.  Guess we'll find out.
Last Sunday we took the train up to Paris and then another train to get to Sens, where my cousin Francine lives.
In the Gare de Lyon, Paris

heading out to Sens, southeast from Paris

They are in the country, next to a very small village.  They have a large property with a stream nearby and lots and lots of grass to mow.  Weather up there was as wet as it has been here, just a bit cooler, so grass is growing in leaps and bounds, which will only make it more difficult for her to cut when it stops raining.  While visiting with her and her partner Norbert, we spent lots of time inside due to the wet weather.  We did manage to go for a walk in countryside with Norbert and not get wet.

rapeseed/canola oil seed

fine version wheat growing

New addition to their property were a family of 4 muskrats that showed up each evening between 7-7:30 for carrots. Quite a site.

I took her a couple of picture albums that my mother had pulled together of a few trips that the two of them had taken together.  It was a real surprise and she loved having them.  Ha ha...something more taken out of the house here!  LOL!
We had one really nice day, so went to visit the Chateau de Fontainebleau.  The interior furnishings were really splendid and the gardens outside just beautiful.  Napoleon used this as his primary residence at one time.  The saying goes that "some of carp in the lake had seen Napoleon".  It is .believable since there were some giant carp to be seen.

Norbert looking right at home in the Chateau

goofing around in the Chateau :)
Chateau Fontainebleau
Our four days with Francine and Norbert went by quickly. We talked, Fred got some French cooking lessons, looked at pictures in albums and on my laptop, stayed up late and just laughed a lot together.  We do enjoy visiting them!
Fred has learned the basics of making french crepes.  Believe me, there is a bit of art to this science.  He will need to practice, so if you want to be a guinea pig let him know.....:)
We are now back in Le Cannet, where it has been very WINDY and cold.  It has even been snowing in the mountains behind us, which is unheard of at the end of May.  Today is a warm and sunny day, but the weather man says that some unseasonably wet and cool stuff is heading our way again later this week.  Enough already.
Each morning continues to start with a walk down hill to the boulanger ( we are now going to a different/better one) for our baguette and croissants/pain au chocolat/pain au raisin.  The baguette we have for breakfast with our yogurts.  The other we have either mid day or early evening, depending upon whether we are going to lunch or dinner later.  Except for when at Francine's, we still stick to one main meal a day.  Last night we found a new restaurant in Le Cannet.  We both had squid cooked in a thick dark brown fish sauce, with rice and ratatoille on the side.  It may sound weird to some of you, but it was delicious.
We are now in the phase of deciding what to do with the stuff here. We are trying to gather a few things-things that we may mail to A Country Breeze, things that have been requested by kids and things to either give away or try to sell.  Ugh!  Some good neighbors are coming this evening to see if there are some things they may want before we open up this can of worms.
In the meantime, we have our two 21 year old guests.  One is Alex, daughter of a good friend in Seattle and the other is her best friend Mave.  They are polite and pretty quiet, keeping to themselves for the most part.  We must be too much like parents for them to want to hangout with us...LOL!
The Cannes Film Festival is ending tonight, with the awards being distributed.  Town has been full of the rich and beautiful, Fred says we miss out on both counts.

My hip is holding up okay.  I have good days and others that are more difficult.  We have had too much rain and cold to really make it feel great.  We are now talking about maybe coming back to Somerset a bit sooner than originally thought, so that I can have my surgery sooner.  Still lots of time to make that decision.
We have both been finding lots to read at the house.  Seems we are both reading WWII history books.  Fred reading the English ones and I have been reading the French ones.  Since this was a major element in my mother and her family's lives, it is not surprising to find lots to read about the war.
I have also been scanning albums that I saved from last summer.  The two I gave to Francine I scanned first so that we also have the pictures and the attached writing that accompanied them.
Well enough for now.  Want to add some pictures and get this out to all of you.  Hope all of you are well.  Keep in touch.

Michelle and Fred
Traveling around France so you don't have to!