26th February 2016, still searching

France Francehousehunting Romantique

Nic’s is still unwell but as we only have 10 days here we still decide to set off on another days hunting. The weather, still a grey sullen sight. We are met by Carol an English realtor and her French boss Sylvie. We look at a farmhouse that is surrounded by barns and has its own courtyard. It’s better than the photos and I get a little surge of excitement. The arched courtyard door opens onto a small lovely yard and the house has 3 levels. On one side tall and narrow and on the other side shorter but longer with a beautiful attic. The smell of urine reaches my nose as we walk to the front door. What is that smell I gasp? The realtor Carol, points to the boxed hedge that has been chopped into a circular topiary outside the front door. “We had one in our garden as well and we had to pull it out as the smell is terrible” she explains. It is a certain type and it is not good she frowns. I look at the beautiful topiary that someone had lovingly snipped just recently but had to agree, it had to go. As I walk through the front door I realise the living area is smaller than I imagined but it has a lovely fireplace and high ceilings. The floor has been covered over with fake tiles and the wallpaper is the typical garish orange swirly 70’s pattern making the room even smaller,  One room has a huge fireplace that takes up 1/3 of the space and unattractive.  It is made clumsily with heavy cement carvings and painted all over with a fake marbling effect in orange and blue. The 2 realtors are staring at the fireplace praising its virtues. Nic walks into the room and says, “what an ugly fireplace, that would have to go!” Red-faced, I quietly sneak down the stairs as two baffled realtors follow in my footsteps.  The back door is through the toilet and the barn is small, but the best we have seen so far. The outside is gorgeous with its pale blue shutters and luscious green courtyard. It gets a tick beside it, except as I peer at the towns name I see it lies in Pont De Herpes!! 

We are invited by Carol and Sylvie to lunch in the nearby village. It is difficult to tell what a restaurant will be like from the outside and mainly we buy French bread and cheese with fillings from our fridge and sit in a park to soak up our surroundings.  We were thrilled to find the menu extensive and catering for our vegetarian palates. After feasting on delicious cheeses and salads, stomachs full, we drive to the next village. You can really only manage 3 to 4 houses a day in a house-hunting excursion as the villages are a long way apart.  The next two are small and dark. We only view one room in the last house and know it’s not for us.

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