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. 😀 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 that will appeal to 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 360°. 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. 😦
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. 🙂 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.