Why I’m quiet at the moment

Two reasons. The first is that we are tentatively putting the house on the market, which entails much decluttering, mowing, pruning, sweeping, minor decoration. All things for which we are not by nature enthusiastic. On the surface, rooms are tidier. Behind the scenes, cupboards are bulging.

Between the wibbly-wobbly pound and the Eurozone crisis, it couldn’t be a much worse time to try and sell and I imagine we’ll still be here in 5 year’s time . But, we’ve got to start somewhere. I can’t imagine living anywhere else, or ever finding somewhere so peaceful and spacious and idyllic; but the house is larger than we need, and now that we no longer have horses the field is going to waste.

There is a grand canyon of difference in valuations between French estate agents and British ones, which is why we won’t be using the French. And amongst the British agents there are contrary opinions. One says no French person would buy it because the loo is in the bathroom; French people like the loo to have its own little room. The other says, nonsense, she’s sold plenty of loo-in-bathroom houses to French people. One agent says the vibrant colours we use are divine – we are not great fans of muted colour. We dare to be different. ๐Ÿ˜€ Another says we should paint everything white. One agent says the house must look immaculate, sparkling, freshly painted, not a plant pot out of place. Another says, don’t worry about the house, it’s the land and garden thatย will appeal toย British buyers.

I remember selling a very large house we owned in England. Powerful colours throughout. The frantic rush to get everything tidy for every viewer. The strange little man with a strange little moustache who stood in the centre of each room raising his arm in a “sieg heil” salute and pivoting on his heels 360ยฐ. Looking for magnetic north, he explained. And the evening a couple turned up unexpectedly, just standing at the door and asking to have a look. No, I said, we’re not organised, we’ve only just come home from work. There was stuff everywhere. Half an hour later they’d bought the place. Because, they said, it looked like a family home, and not like a show home.

We’ve had the preliminary DPE survey – the French equivalent of the British HIPS that was scrapped a few months ago. No doubt it will be scrapped in France sooner or later. It’s a pointless waste of time and money.

So that’s reason No. 1 for lack of posts.

Reason No. 2 is that I have regained the rights to two of my first three books from those nice people at Random House. This means that they can now be re-published in digital format. By a most unlikely stroke of luck, I found in the bottom of an old cardboard box the 3.5″ floppy disk (remember those?) containing my original manuscript for Best Foot Forward. And by an even greater stroke of luck, a friend has a computer ancient enough to still have a 3.5″ drive. So I am working my way through the manuscript making slight tweaks and updates, and removing those passages that made me cringe when I first read them in the paperback.

So far I haven’t been able to find any disk containing the second manuscript; so that’ll probably have to be retyped. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I’m also getting close to having a new manuscript ready for publication. There’s another one about half-finished, and an embryonic novel waiting in the wings.

So I’m not idly sitting around sipping mojitos and painting my toenails gold. ๐Ÿ™‚ ย Just a little occupied at the moment.

I hope all my blogging friends are enjoying the same heavenly autumn weather that we are having: fresher evenings, dewy mornings, hot sunny days, and the first hint of yellows, golds and reds beginning to appear.




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14 thoughts on “Why I’m quiet at the moment

  1. I’m disappointed to hear about your toenails being neglected. ๐Ÿ™‚ I didn’t realise you were on the move, so to speak. Where will you move to? The same general area? Can i look on line and find your house?

    • I’m so ashamed, Alison, especially after seeing your little piggies so beautifully decorated with the stars and moons. ๐Ÿ™‚ We don’t plan on moving far, just somewhere smaller as we have more land and rooms than we need. Once the agents have put up the details, I’ll let you know. I think it might be just the place you are looking for. ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Good luck in selling your house. Certainly around where we live – Sud Touraine, there is not much selling. i spoke to an estate agent friend a couple of weeks ago and he said there were no British people buying houses in our area, some Dutch, but mainly French peopel who are happy to commute to Paris from here – they must be mad!!!
    Do you know who your target market will be?

    • Hi Sue

      Yes, it’s pretty dead everywhere, I think. Can’t blame the British at the moment with the state of the pound and the Eurozone crisis. I believe the Dutch and Belgians are still active, and have also heard that Australians are beginning to buy here. Don’t know why!

      Our target market is anybody looking for a large house with land, in a very secluded rural environment, suitable for self-sufficiency, or running as a small business like cattery, kennels, bed and breakfast.

      At the moment, with everything looking so beautiful, autumn colours and brilliant sunshine, the thought of leaving is unthinkable. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. All sounds very exciting, Susie, especially the rights to your two books! I am the proud owner of ‘real’ copies and will cherish them forevahhhhh and evahhhh.
    Good luck with the house and re: the loo in the bathroom … bull!
    Hope you will stay in France, though. I like the idea of having you on this side of the pond.

    • Thanks, Deborah. We’ll definitely be staying in France, and most likely very local to where we are now. Looking for somewhere smaller, with less land. With the way the market is at the moment, we probably won’t be going anywhere for a long time. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Hi Pip

      Yes, I saw that article. Very interesting. Stephen Leather is doing fantastically well with his thrillers – he’s so good at promoting his books via social media. Best Foot Forward and A Perfect Circle will both be available as ebooks very soon. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Did you succumb to a Kindle yet? ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Wow Susie, you certainly are busy! Looking forward to seeing the updated versions of your books arrive in ebook format – loved the originals and having them in electronic format will be even better.

    And you’re selling up? Wowsers! We are too. I really can’t work effectively from home any more, so we’re heading back to the Uk and straight into the rat race of the South-East. Commuting to London each day is going to be a far cry from our idyllic life here, but needs must, and there are big opportunities for us all there, so it’s time for another change. Perhaps you’d like a nice house in the Vendee? ๐Ÿ™‚ (see http://www.thefoussaishouse.com for all the details!). We are trying our hardest to avoid having to use any agents at all – I’d rather spend the money myself doing the legwork of advertising, marketing etc and know that I’m doing a good job.

    Anyhoo, hope it all goes well for you & looking forward to those reworked books.

    Keep typing!


      • Jon, it looks like a perfect house in a perfect place surrounded by perfect people. But it is insufficiently small for us. Think tiny, tiny, tiny. Weeny garden. Small cosy rooms. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Thanks, Richard. I’m sorry but not surprised that you’re going back. It must be very difficult commuting all the time and being away from the family. At least you have all had a few years of life in the slow lane. I expect you’ll miss, and be missed by, all your local friends. And maybe one day you’ll return to a well-earned retirement. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Good luck with the sale. I hope it goes well for you.

  5. Good luck with the sale….I don’t think most agents have a clue what people want.
    They should analyse the way people who actually end up buying act, rather than be influenced by the ‘house tourists’ who spend their time taking photographs with which to pass the cold winter months…
    And as for the DPE…what a con!

  6. Hi Fly, you’re right about the agents. Some are better than others. I’ve picked two that I like, because selling a house is so stressful that at least I want to be able to relate to the people trying to sell it. We had one potential agent around who was so incredibly negative “Oh my God, shared septic tank?!!!! HUGE problem.” “What a weird kitchen.” “HUGE PROBLEM having another property so close.” At least the two we have are positive. Whether they are actually effective is an entirely different matter. Time will tell. Re. the DPE, we got an “E” – better than expected.

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