I have been trying to write a post since last Friday. I have typed it, erased, started over more times than I can count. I really wanted to talk about that particular subject but whenever I wrote down my thoughts, it was never the way I wanted it to be. I am particularly stubborn so I kept on trying everyday to write it. And now today, I'm giving up. I will write about it sometime, when the words come flowing more easily.
A while back I wrote about how we had decided to move at the end of the school year. And now the end of the school year is near. We spent a couple of months looking on the Internet for places that we liked and areas that we liked. We did our research on schools and travelling times etc. We have a fair idea of what we want. A bungalow, with no neighbours overlooking, a nice garden for the girls, within a reasonable distance of Mr Foodie's job, not too far from a primary school with available places (not that easy to come by, really!) and that would allow us to save a couple of hundred euros a month on rent. We don't want to live in an estate, we want to get out of the city. I know it sounds quite picky, let's just say we know what we want.
The week before last we went to visit a house. It was a bad case of 'don't judge a book by its cover' reversed. The few pictures on the website looked great. The exterior looked OK, the couple of pictures of the interior also. So we went on a Saturday to view the house. And it was not at all was we expected. The wallpaper was a faded pinkish colour, adorned with big pink flowers which very much intrigued Noelie as she kept pointing at them asking: 'Wassa?' (we aren't sure yet if she is asking 'what's that?' in English or it's equivalent in French 'C'est quoi ca?). The carpet was the typical dark green, also adorned with big pink flowers. The wooden window frames looked very much rotten. And it was overlooked by an entire estate of lovely new houses. Sure, it was just across the road from the local primary school and within our budget, and the garden was also very nice. I know you're supposed to look for the potential of the house but with renting, there is only so many alterations you are allowed to do. So it was a no go for us. I'm sure though that somebody will find it to their liking.
We called a couple of places too, one of which was a magnificent renovated cottage, with stone walls etc. But the landlady didn't want pets and giving away our cats is not really an option. We also found out that it was the servants quarters of a 'castle' in which the land lady lived. On Monday, we arranged to view another 3 houses in the countryside. The first one was a nice 5 bedroom cottage (although we don't need 5 bedrooms, it was still within our price range). It was nearly perfect if it wasn't for the busy main road and the number of trucks passing by. The second one was only a minute down the road. We waited there for the estate agent and as soon as we got out of the car, were hit by an awful smell of sewage. We nearly left before the estate agent arrived as we knew straight away that this wasn't really what we were looking for. We had also read that these particular houses although newly built had a few structural problems due to the poor quality of materials used during building. We mentioned it to the estate agent who apparently did not have a clue about it (or pretended not to). The interior was nice although quite dirty. Unfortunately, it was even closer to the busy main road than the previous one and the garden was also overlooked by an entire estate. So another no go for us.
The last viewing of the day was only a few miles down the road but unsure of the directions Mr Foodie called the landlord and he very kindly offered to come to where we were so that we would only have to follow him. We were waiting in the car park of the local pub/shop/church/graveyard and were jokingly discussing what type of car the landlord would be driving. Mr Foodie, again joking, said that he sounded like a farmer that probably drove a big jeep. And to our surprise, a big black jeep turned up, one of those designed so that you can carry livestock at the back. And it was the landlord. We followed him on the 'scenic route' (his words). He obviously knew the road as he was swerving left and right to avoid big pot holes. Our poor little Punto had trouble keeping up with him. We even thought we had lost him at some stage. We got to the house in one piece though and viewed it. It was a little bit more expensive than the other two. It was also about twice the size of the other two if not more. There are no neighbours overlooking the garden, unless you count cows as neighbours. And the primary school is just a minute down the road. So we have made up our minds and this is the one. It is only 25 minutes away from Mr Foodie's job, in a lovely area, private yet close to the the school. Just perfect.
We're going to meet the landlord again tomorrow and pay our deposit. We won't move until the end of this month / beginning of next one. But the landlord didn't have any problems with this. I'm off to meet the principal of the school sometime next week or the week after. The biggest thing will now be to tell Noodlehead that we are moving about an hour away and (hopefully) find an agreement for the access. I have already come up with a proposal that, although reducing the frequency of the visits to once every 2 weeks, actually increases the length of them and gives him an extra overnight. So fingers crossed, he will accept it and we will be able to avoid going back to court and we can all be civil about it.
Wish me luck !