Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Friday, 27 February 2015

And now for something completely different ...

Here's a video that I want to share with you!

 Brussels seen from space
click on the  blue link to view the video

A real treat for those of you I had the pleasure of showing around our capital.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

'Habiller la mariée'

'Preparing' or 'Dressing' the Bride ... That's what I've been doing over the last three weeks. No time to post on the blog, no time to rest ... and yet spending some time at the office from time to time. Thank heavens for teleworking!

What have I been up to? Well, with the help of our fabulous and very efficient cleaning lady, I've been preparing our family home ... to put it up for sale. Which I did today. About a month ago, I signed a contract with a real estate agent and today he came over to put up the 'for sale' sign. I feel happy and sad at the same time. 

Part of the result: the sitting room on a sunny 21st of February.
Anybody interested in buying this house?

'Habiller la mariée' is a French expression meaning making something as desirable as possible to potential buyers. And I think we did a good job, because the real estate agent was really impressed with the result. His congratulations were sincere and I will convey them to our lovely cleaning lady without whom I couldn't have managed this formidable task in a mere three weeks.

Monday, 9 February 2015

A job (almost) well done

On Friday, January 30th, my mother moved into her new home, a service flat in a senior citizens complex, some 350 metres from our family home. The actual move went rather well. The preparations and aftermath were a bit more hectic, but all in all, I can't complain.

I took Thursday, January 29th off from work in order to help my mother with the last-minute packing. To facilitate the move,I put bright green mini post-its on the pieces of furniture and the boxes the movers had to load in the truck. That night I slept surprisingly well. I got up at quarter to six and 45 minutes later I was at my mother's to strip down her bed, pack her pillow and blankets and to fill up two or three more boxes with her coffee maker, sugar, instant coffee, milk, ... and her toilet and make-up items, while she got dressed and ready to sit out the move.

The overnight weather had been windy and around 11 p.m. we had had a small blizzard. By morning, however, the wind had died down and the snow had disappeared except for a thin coat on the windscreens of the cars parked in the street.

The movers, a very efficient team leader called Olivier, whom we had met before and two not-so-happy-looking young men, followed me through the house, listening to my instructions. My mother and our cleaning lady who had come over to keep my mother company while I supervised the movers, kept well out of the way. By half past eight, the last piece of furniture was heaved into the truck and I went to get my car out of my garage to lead the movers to our destination.

My mother and our cleaning lady stayed behind until the truck had been unloaded, after which I would return to our family home to pick up my two ladies.

Unloading my mother's stuff took about two hours, Olivier unloading the items, one young man putting them on the lift's platform and 'beaming' them up to the flat's balcony on the first floor. The other young man, although frail looking, hauled all the stuff over the railing and put it in the flat. I still don't understand how he managed the deep-freezer (table model) and my mother's heavy coach couch on his own. By then his mood had somewhat improved, and he even managed a smile or two when I tried to slip some humour in our limited conversation.

By 10.30 a.m. the truck was empty and the two young men disappeared in its cabin. Olivier came up with the bill to collect the money. Yes, you need to pay in cash ...

I pointed out that the sulky young man had had a small accident while bringing in my mother display case through the window and that a small strip of wood had been knocked of the piece of furniture. Olivier promised to be back later with some wood glue to repair the damage. Which he did.

By then, it was time to pick up my two ladies. I gave them a ring, saying I was on my way. By the time I arrived, they were waiting on the doorstep, my mother saying goodbye to her neighbour who had come out to watch the activity ...

More to come ...

P.S. Sorry no photos ... for obvious reasons.