Updated: Feb 9
Oh boy! Yesterday's dog walk turned in to a real circus, for me anyway, although he probably had a jolly good old internal giggle! Git! He, like the explorer he is went off piste down a muddy hill and I blindly followed (as I always do) but half way down I lost my footing and started to slide, then I fell backwards, tipple tailed and finally to stop myself, I flipped on to my left side coming to a sharp stop! What a prawn!
Apart from hurt pride and being covered in mud and rabbit droppings, I appeared to be okay, nothing broken thank goodness. He of course made me finish the walk like the Sgt Major he is and by yesterday evening I was a little stiff in parts! Nothing that an equally stiff G&T couldn't cure! Great mummy medicine is gin, cures all! This morning however was rather a different matter, I'm rather broken and have a cracking headache! My mood is set to 'take no prisoners' and 'fuck off and die' depending on who you are and what you want! lol!
Also, last night we moved bedrooms yet again! I just can't get on with our damp, draughty master bedroom and the new Emma Mattress we waited ages for is being returned! It's just awful, like sleeping on concrete! He doesn't like it either which on this occasion doesn't make it a 'Donna problem'! He does call me 'Princess and the Pea'..the fairytale princess who can feel a pea under 25 mattresses! Yes, that's me! It's actually an age problem isn't it? I have to be comfortable or I will get to needing some replacement body parts sooner rather than later! These days, I find myself looking longingly at those beds which you can adjust like the ones in hospital lol! So it was back to the spare room and our old bed but at least we have curtains in there now!
I love parts of this house but not all of it and there's a lot of cosmetic upgrading to be done. So far organising help isn't going well. It would seem most trades men are booked up until the end of the century or are charging silly money! It's frustrating but its made me eager to buy the forever home in France soon. I know we have to complete The Wreck, sell it and then see where we are at the end of the year savings wise, of course. However, I'm starting to panic a bit about property prices in France now. I mean we moved there in 2017 for a myriad of reasons, but one of the biggest, most important reasons was more property for less!
I realise the housing stock is poor right now and hopefully that will change as we get into spring and summer but still, the prices are suddenly eye watering! Of course it means ours is worth more once renovated, but I just don't trust the French market. It really doesn't make sense to me that these houses would suddenly and inexplicably be worth sometimes double! My husband did point out that we don't know what people actually pay for these homes, true, but rarely is there a French house that doesn't need a jolly good upgrade or tonnes money spending on it! The gamble is real!
This morning I saw a little tiny normandy house which last year would have been 35/50k max advertised for 170k! Hum. In fact most of the properties we've been interested in have jumped by at least 200/250k! Thats quite a hike! Today, I saw a chateau for sale, I would have thought would have been around 500/700k is now a cool million! Either people suddenly have money to burn or this is a boom that won't last long, hopefully.....! Or is this just agents over valuing to try and fill the pandemic gap in their purses? Who knows!
I sense once people are confident there will be no more lockdowns, the property stock will triple and balance will return to the French housing market. Anyway, the race is on to get The Wreck done and sold before the market decides its on a go slow again! I'm still hopeful as he and I got out the French housing market stats since 2006 and we evaluated the trends best we could as let's face it, Brexit and Covid have added an unusual twist to the property game all around the world. There was the pre Brexit race rush to buy and then there was the pandemic led move from city/town to country. Now of course there's a property shortage because people can't afford to move or they don't want to! It's always good to remember that its getting on the housing ladder that's the toughest bit and we do at least own a wreck in France but I won't be foxed into paying UK prices for French Wrecks, no way. I'd rather wait it out or find another country to bother!
It is disheartening really as we returned to France early 2020 full of plans, only to be told by banks that because we earned our money in Canada but lived in France and were British we couldn't borrow. Then we changed to a registered French company late last year and the answer was, sorry, we need three years accounts! Arghhhhhhh! After a lot of back and forth we realised we just had to save as much as we could then buy without a mortgage. Imagine if we get to spring next year and the amount we have saved still isn't enough? Doesn't bare thinking about really! I mean we aren't getting any younger and all that! Be awful if in the end our dream wasn't even possible eh! I mean I'd be tempted to give it all up and move to one of those fancy retirement compounds in the USA! Job done!
Today, he's been working as per, but also sorting out the customs paperwork to take the second hand kitchen we bought for the wreck back to France! I see people online saying they aren't filling in the paperwork and are getting away with it! We have our own lorry so we can't get away with it and frankly, I suspect that even taking your own personal bits and bobs in your car will become difficult soon enough and winging it simply won't work. In the end it's the time it takes which is frustrating not particularly the money. Another lovely Brexit legacy. We just have to get used to a different customs relationship between the UK and Europe I guess. Such is life!
I'm taking another week off work to ensure I am rested well enough before its magazine time again but work keeps finding me today! Right must dash and find my way up the stairs to do some cleaning!