Nice garden, too bad about the house

Tigny, nr Chaudenay, nr Chagny, nr Beaune, in France somewhere or other


The real estate agent (agent immobilier) rang me last evening to say he’d pick me up at 9am today to look at some houses. He sounded a lot more brusque than when we chatted in his office earlier today, spoke very quickly and densely, but I could catch most of it.

I’d be ready for him.

I stood in the sun across the road for a bit, a sleek black Audi glided past with a sleek shorn male inside but it wasn’t my guy, then it came back again and it was.

I hopped in, we shook hands, and set off. He’d had a haircut since yesterday. And I certainly didn’t remember him being braceletted or maroon shirted or black suited. But the eyes were familiar.

We talked and visited several small, cramped houses along the canal, and I explained that I was looking for a lot more garden, and a more rural aspect.

He had mentioned a daughter. I asked how old she is, and he said five. I said, what a lovely age, but then, they all are, and he told me he looks after her every second week. Oh, I said with enthusiasm. He takes every second week off to look after her...great. Silence...Then he talked again, and the word divorce was mentioned. He had just told me that he only sees her every second week, and I’d responded as if that were the most wonderful thing. I sat wondering what on earth he must be thinking. Will he talk to me again??? Previously he had been driving the manual car around French bends in roads while talking on a hand held mobile phone and writing something on a piece of paper. Now he was fiddling produce a photo from his wallet. A lovely dark-haired little girl. His wife left him when their daughter was 2. He has made her a princess bedroom. The wife is filing for full custody. He’s distressed.

We look at another house and this is closer to something I might want to live in, but isn’t it.

Then he remembers another, if my budget can shift. It shifts. We return to his office. And there we meet the guy I thought I was with, the guy I’d talked with yesterday. I’d spent all this time today with another agent, one whom I’d only seen briefly yesterday.

I wonder if he has any idea!!!???

He picks me up again in the evening- this next house has a lovely garden with fruit trees, but the house isn’t appealing; hard to say why in French, as it’s hard to define even in English. But I love the village, and the other villages we’ve seen today.

I do a lovely walk again and wonder what it would feel like to live here.............

Back home the other guests and I are invited to share a bottle of wine with the tall, sandy-haired, polite, 50ish ex NZ owner in his 17th century wine press. It’s amazing, and so is the wine. He points out the enormous wheels used to lower the beam (!) to press the boards on top of the grapes, then he draws our attention to the other giant beams criss-crossing overhead and invites us to marvel at how they are simply pegged together. I take a REALLY good look at the extrelemy insignifigant looking pegs. Yes, they’ve held for 400 years...but I still take a REALLY good look.

The other guests are interesting people from Australia and the U.S. working on instructions for voter software for the upcoming U.S. election, telecommunications in Nigeria requiring gun-toting body guards, and preschool teaching. The others return to France yearly because they love it so much.

Tomorrow I may catch the little train into Beaune which everybody says is lovely.

The only thing that worries me is the jet fighters which scream overhead in pairs every now and again. Looking like black arrowheads they tilt to one side then the other while flying absolutely straight for the horizon. To me they look for all the world like two kids on bikes showing off to each other. They’re probably designed to make us feel protected. Jet fighters just don’t have that effect on me. Our host later tells me that it’s a weekly ritual, every Tuesday. I could have sworn it’s happened on other days but maybe I’ve just been in other place don’t tell the opposition...they, like me, might be under the illusion we’re protected all seven days.

Dogs here aren’t desexed...owners don’t want to deprive them of their fun.

Their Olympic swimming hopeful was well off her game...she was distracted. She’d fallen love. Unforgiveable.