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Of human bondage

The strapline to this blog is ‘a rootless writer takes root’.  I have moved house a lot in my adult life, it is true.  25 times in 28 years.  Not any sort of plan just circumstance conspiring.  Another day.  The story will reveal itself when it is ready.  That’s how it works – no planning just a perculation that results in a story being ready for the telling.

And this story is prêt à porter … instantly packaged and ready to take off the shelf.  In our search for our forever house, we have looked at many.  And there are almost as many stories.  But this one.  This one refuses to wait.

The house, a Manor built in the early 19th century with a bit over a half hectare of land (not really enough for us but the house looked so pretty that we were enticed) is not far from here and enjoys the most stunning views across to the Monts du Cantal and the Massif de Sancy.  It has a rudely large barn and a lovely orangery.  It also has a pigonniere.  Pigonniere (dove houses) are always described as ‘jolie’ here and I have no idea why.  The house belongs to an elderly man (now in his 90s) and his daughter who lives abroad.  This is normal under French law.  When his wife died he will have inherited 2/3 and his daughter 1/3.  If there were 2 children the house would be divided into 4, 3 into 5, 4 into 6 and so on – 2 parts for the surviving spouse and  the children get 1 part each.  It is a simple equation and in theory protects the living parent for the rest of their days ensuring they always have a home.  This particular old fellow is in nursing care (we know not, and it is irrelevant, where) and the daughter wants to sell.  All reasonable.  And the house is lovely.  Very, very tired but lovely.  A huge main room, a panelled dining room and the oddest kitchen with a vaulted, but quite low, ceiling and no windows giving the air of cooking in a submarine.   Despite finding various stuffed birds and animals stashed in a walk-in cupboard the size of a small bedroom, I was already planning the alterations to make it our home.  Upstairs many bedrooms – small, as is the norm in these kinds of houses, and a variety of particularly eccentric bathrooms.  This is France.  Taking the many littles and turning them into fewer biggers and a bit of judicious plumbing – hey presto bongo – a very acceptable upstairs.  Up again to a cavenous attic – big enough to accommodate a small commune.  There lay a dead Coal Tit, its small body swollen as a precursor to dessiccation, wings outstretched and its tiny head held proudly stiff as though stoically resisting the inevitable.  I have a life-long fear of dead birds – the result of Jane, our au pair telling me there was something magical waiting for me if I walked the length of a hosepipe which stretched from the drawing room windows round the entire house to the kitchen window, at the age of 4.  I was always inquisitive and gullible.  Still am.  Anyhow, the something magical was actually a dead blackbird, his startled eye shining accusingly at me and his beak so yellow that I found it difficult to eat an egg yolk for several weeks to come lest I find it crunchily lurking there.  But I did not let this poor departed bird put me off.  We were really rather warm to the house.

We remained warm as we descended to the cellar through a tiny door, down treachorous steps to find what appeared to be The Bismarck skulking there.  Closer examination revealed this rusted monster to be a boiler.  How on earth they got it down there I do not know. The cellars are large, I grant you but the access would challenge a Hobbit. I can only  deduce that it was a case of building the boat in the basement but it is clear that it will be far more difficult to remove.  As one surely must.  I should tell you that the cobwebs in this house are lustrous.  The Bismarck has not sailed for some time.

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Outside I wondered idly why the lawns had been ploughed to provide not one but 4 large potagers (vegetable plots) growing all manner of good things but when we walked into the palatial barn, the triple- decker hutches housing high rise bunnies began to give a clue.  And the three sheep in their little field eyeing us with a mixture of fascination and fear.  And the back yard with its pretty old stone dove-cot and its large population of hens, turkeys, ducks and guinea foul plus plentiful pretty, and no doubt, tasty pigeons.  The wall of freezers gave another clue.  A clue to a small-holding that seemed to be at odds with the lovely fountain, stone sculptures and other accoutrements of manorial life.  It was like walking into a French version of ‘The Good Life’*  – Tom and Barbara having annexed Margo and Jerry when their backs were turned.   As we walked back towards the orangery, I noticed a car draw in and park next to the gate house (part of the purchase).  A woman snuck out and dove deftly into the door of the cottage.  This acted as a cue for the agent to casually  tell us that the dependance was inhabited.  We looked in the orangery and I gleefully imagined not just working in there but also the fact that my sculling boat would rack easily in such a large space.  In passing, I asked the Two Brained one what the agent had said … I thought I had misheard.  My French improves but his is far better than me after nearly 35 years living here part and full time.  I hadn’t.  The gate house is inhabited.  And on further questioning, not by transient tennants.

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The (I must say at this point, very nice and very professional) immobiier asked if we wanted to see the gate house.  He couched his question with the clear intent of assuring us  that we didn’t.  We did.  It’s a whole house not a bike shed and represents a rather significant part of the deal.  We had naively imagined that we could produce a passive income from this little house as a periodic rental either for holidays or for locals, the rental market being quite buoyant in our area.  And certainly that when family and friends came to stay that it would provide independent living quarters which can be a blessing for all concerned.  We asked him who the people were.  And he told us (rather too quickly and smoothly) that they were the retainers for the old man.  Living free of charge in return for looking after the house and grounds.  For the past 40 years.  We entered their little home and everything changed.  This little huddle of humanity – an elderly couple, their daughter and her child were terrified.  They were silently pleading with us not just to like the house but mostly to like them.  I have seldom felt so helpless – all of a sudden I am faced with a family whose future could depend on my kindness because I have the wherewithal to buy this place.  They were clearly upset that their dogs were letting the side down by barking.   I made a fuss of the animals and told them not to worry.  That I love dogs.  The Bean was barking from the car which reassured them that I did not speak with a forked tongue but rather that I really do love canines.  Even if I utter with a curious foreign accent and knit my words together clumsily.  I dutifully looked around this humble, humble place – a poky main room, a tiny snug, a bathroom with a leaking roof and upstairs three squished bedrooms, each conjoined.  All tidied and polished for me to see.  The old man showed me a mirror he had stuck to the wall in the bathroom to improve it – one of those frameless affairs with double sided tape on their back.  It was oval.  The old lady took pains to tell me that they look after the house very well.  There is no heating in the house.  Just a wood stove.  It is simple to the point of being primitive and it is clear that they support themselves by selling a rabbit or a chicken here, some leeks and a pumpkin there.  All under the wire – we had noted that the sheep were not ear-tagged as is compulsary in all EU countries, not just in France.  But it was the fear in their eyes. The burning desire to make a good impression on us.  Us?  Who the hell are we?  Unwitting people who might take their destiny in our hands.  They have the knowledge that the house sale will almost certainly mean the end of their everything.  Tick tock goes the clock.  The agent was happy to tell us that we could get rid of them with six months notice.  I thanked them for being so kind as to let me see their home.  Their home.  I told them it was lovely, I made more fuss of the dogs and I walked away barely able to see let alone speak.  But speak we did.  Briefly to the agent.  And we left.  Neither of us spoke, though, much on the way home.  Neither of us spoke much over lunch, or supper.  Later we went to bed and it turned out neither of us slept much either, if at all.

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We turned over and over and over again with possibilities to make it work.  Could we let them stay and let them have a bit of the land to keep producing an income?  Not really – the land is not enough for us to do what we want (we being in the lofty position of being able to choose to do something we want to do) let alone sustaining a small family as well with no other income.  And they would  need all of it to provide a living.  That is clearly demonstrated now.  Could we find them somewhere else to live?  Well probably, but it would be a flat in the town and they would have no income and they have been used to the life of small-holders.  And where would we put our sheep – theirs are filling the little field – three is as many as that little patch would take.  Could we keep them on as our retainers?  Hardly – we are really not people who see ourselves as feudal lairds even assuming we could sustain them as well as  ourselves on retirement income which in the cold light of day, we can’t.  My brain became tireder and tireder as it tried to work a solution.   I felt about as useful as the little blown body of the Tit in the attic.  Simultaneously the might of the combined brains of my husband were doing the same and getting just as far.  Between us we managed the square root of nothing at all.  And all the while I kept seeing their frightened faces.  I can still see them.  Beyond anxiety.  Backs against the wall, desperate in their naivety to please the potential buyer because surely then the status quo will be retained.

We will not be buying the house but someone will.  Someone who will, in all likelyhood, exercise the right to kick them out.  And the old man who started this whole sad story with his good intentions will wither away none the wiser.  Forty years ago did he think of the possibiity that he would be an addled old man dependent on care that can’t be found in the idyll that he created as his maison secondaire?  Of course not.  It seemed like a really good idea to allow a young man and his wife to come and take care of everything in return for a house.  Forty years later, he exists somewhere, tended to by nurses, never imagining that the pair that kept things tickety-boo in his Cantal retreat are facing hell at the end of their lives.  Samuel Johnson is often misquoted as saying the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  Misquote or not, in this case it fits.  Horribly it fits.

On the whole I would rather have lived the life I have lived, as disrupted as it has been, than the life they lived in their innocent content, assuming it was forever whilst all the while the clock was tick, tick, ticking away to the inevitable moment when the bomb goes off and in their twilight, they are evicted because they have no human rights at all.  I may have been rootless but at least I have had some control over where I floated.  These people are about to have their roots ripped out of the ground and they have no more defence than a dandelion in a border of roses.

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PS:  The title is a shameless steal from Somerset Maugham and is chosen simply as a question of the words fitting my text rather than any similarity to the context of his great novel.

*For non-British readers, ‘The Good Life’ was called ‘Good Neighbors’ in the USA.

75 Comments Post a comment
  1. Very good blog. Little alarm bells were tinkling early on when I was reading, and I think you were very wise not to purchase. Although ……… it could have possibly led to a very good book. 🙂
    Someset Maugham – what a brilliant writer. One of my favourites. .

    Liked by 1 person

    December 14, 2014
    • Thank you, Susie. However tempting the book and however susceptible to kindness and thinking I can find a way through anything, thankfully I have the levelling influence of Two Brains. Yes, I too love Somerset Maugham – I used to have a kindly fellow in Blackwells who let me read books cover to cover without buying them when I had no money as a student. I first read Of Human Bondage, thus cross legged on the floor tucked away in a corner of that wonderful shop in Oxford!

      Like

      December 15, 2014
  2. Ms. Osyth, thank you for sharing this story. It is quite a heart-breaking situation you describe. It is clear from your (beautifully written) piece how much thought you have given to this family. We have been discussing it here, and we cannot quite imagine what we would do in such a situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    December 14, 2014
    • Thank you Albert it seems an impossible situation and has us wholly stumped. Thank you for discussing it over there – you are kind. Incidentally the family have three dogs in that tiny cottage – three beautiful, well cared for ‘melanges’ which is what we call a mongrel here. Another sign that they are decent people 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      December 15, 2014
  3. Gripping story, dear Osyth. I cannot imagine taking on such a place, never mind its tenants. You are well out of it. Like the yellow beak of that dead crow, those eyes would have stared back at you for a long time. Hopefully the perfect place awaits around the corner.

    Liked by 1 person

    December 15, 2014
    • Thank you, Mel … we are, indeed well out of it though a little sadder and wiser for the experience. We will find our place and it certainly won’t come with fitted tenants! 🙂

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      December 15, 2014
  4. Someset Maugham… I’ve loved his novels since my adolescence… great writer! 🙂 any negative experience of our life will turn into a positive lesson for our present and (near) future… et puis, tu sais que tout est relatif, passager… 🙂 bon courage et à+! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    December 15, 2014
    • Merci Melanie! Me too – Somerset Maugham is truly one of the greats. And yes, we live, we learn we go forward the better and the wiser for the lesson 🙂

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      December 15, 2014
  5. Jenny Adams #

    What a sad story and I can understand your feelings of helplessness. One can only hope that the daughter shares your compassion!

    Liked by 1 person

    December 15, 2014
    • Jenny, sadly, we had the impression that she doesn’t … it’s probably a case of out of sight since she seems to have lived abroad for a long time, but we certainly hope that she has an attack of conscience soon 😦

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      December 15, 2014
  6. You write very beautifully! Really!

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    December 16, 2014
    • Thank you Shikha … that means a lot to me 🙂

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      December 16, 2014
  7. You are an amazing person, possibly without an inkling of your own remarkable moments of influence and emotional impact on others.
    It was exactly at the point when you recognized the fear and the despair in their eyes. Everything suddenly change. Your words changed, the flow of your writing slowed down [or I did], but the intensity went thru the roof. It was too much for me, still is.
    From that point of recognition to the very end, is almost exactly how Eugene O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” affected me. In certain scenes/chapters my emotions duplicated the character’s. I do not voluntarily and knowingly put myself thru that kind of pain.
    It’s important for me to acknowledge the special abilities, talent and the good I see behiind the eyes of some and displayed by others, like you. This would be the second time your wriiting has taken me by surprise.To go from writing from the perspective of Bean to writting with such empathy is impressive. Quite.
    Sincerely, it’s a privilege –
    JANE

    Liked by 2 people

    February 8, 2016
    • Jane, thank you. That is all I can say in the face of such humbling praise. I don’t think I’m talented. The words just come out. In truth the stories like this one are the stories that I really enjoy writing but I have to have some levity in my life or I would keel over under the weight of sorrowful water. That you have taken the time to tell me what the words meant to you means the world to me. In this fast buzzing world of ours, time is what is lacking and time taken to acknowledge another is precious time indeed. Thank you. Osyth.

      Liked by 1 person

      February 8, 2016
  8. Reblogged this on Half Baked In Paradise and commented:

    Originally posted 18 months ago, this is a story that simply haunted me at the time and still does. The place remains for sale, the Sword of Damocles still hanging by a thread …. count your blessings well

    Liked by 1 person

    July 28, 2016
  9. What a sad story and how compassionately you tell it. I’m kinda pleased you walked on by but then if you hadn’t you wouldn’t be the person I think you are. I think thought, that difficult decisions, where head and heart are at war, make us stronger…if that doesn’t sound too prosy.

    Liked by 1 person

    July 28, 2016
    • Not prosy at all … just entirely as it is. The head and the heart at odds must in some way strengthen us in the same way as calisthetics strengthen muscles! We couldn’t have made it work but sometimes I really do wish I had millions and could just make things right for the sad cases we tomber sur ….

      Liked by 1 person

      July 28, 2016
  10. Hard to imagine that some lives, humble and unassuming as they are, hang on the whim of complete unknowns. What an awful position to be in, plunged into that humble unassuming life and being told you have the power of life or death over it. It does say something about you that you cared.

    Liked by 1 person

    July 28, 2016
    • It was frightful and horribly leveling.

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      July 28, 2016
      • Playing the lady Bountiful suits some people. But not the most admirable.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 28, 2016
      • I’ve lived in a house rented from a lady bountiful … Odious cow that she actually was 😉

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        July 28, 2016
      • Par for the course…

        Liked by 1 person

        July 29, 2016
  11. Osyth, this story and the writing by you tells of a woman and a man with warm caring hearts. It is difficult at times to make such a decision for others; others that are dependent on the decency of the heart. I know this was a difficult decision for you and I hope those people are better off from the kind heart of another. Wonderful post dear! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    July 28, 2016
    • Thank you – it takes a kind and decent heart to understand so eloquently as you clearly do. It effected us then and still does – horrors lurk in corners everywhere and those with compassion will always want to right the wrongs … It’s hard to have to accept that we can’t do it all. That’s why I try hard to be the best I can – it’s what I can do even when I’d rather not 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      July 28, 2016
      • Yes, it certainly is very difficult to accept we are unable to do it all. But you try, and that makes you a better person. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        July 28, 2016
      • Wise words, Terry. It is so important to keep trying to do the best we can. Though even I fail sometimes 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        July 29, 2016
  12. Poor devils…but they may not be so easy to shift as the agent told you, from a case a my first notaire (sounds a bit like my last duchess) told me about: but if no one had told them that then no wonder they were in fear – and if buyers are aware of a potential problem it may explain why the house is still for sale.

    Liked by 1 person

    July 28, 2016
    • This is interesting and I’m afraid we didn’t get as far as researching the finite details but I can imagine they may have some rights. It’s hard to say because I would guess there is no contract and I would further guess that the daughter (who lives in Spain and wants the place sold) has indicated that they have no rights. I love your Dowager Duchess statement – you sound like my mother-in-law who once said ‘my manager …’ and I said ‘bank manager?’ to which she retorted ‘no. Estate’. I’m certain the house will be very hard to sell which makes a prickly problem in itself – whilst it is being marketed it is hard to see how the family can possibly relax ….

      Liked by 1 person

      July 29, 2016
      • Having no contract works in their favour, as it was described to me in a similar case…and I’m damned sure the daughter has told them that they have no rights!

        No, in your position I would have turned the house down anyway as there are plenty of others without problems given the state of the market without bothering to go into the legalities of their possessory rights.
        Sitting tenants anywhere, nomatter how nice, are always bad news.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 29, 2016
      • Have you seen Maggie Smith in ‘My Old Lady’? she is at her most splendid …. as to buying the house. No we couldn’t. One can be whimsy and then one has life and this would not work anyway at all for us. I’m heartened by what you say though although I won’t be returning 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        July 29, 2016
      • No, I haven’t but will now try to track it down!
        You have to be realistic with property…but I do hope that someone puts this little family wise as to their position.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 29, 2016
      • I’m thinking of quite how to get the message to them …. As you know the French can be horribly shrugs about others affairs. The film is worth hunting down – I think you will love it!

        Liked by 1 person

        July 29, 2016
      • It’s not simple, is it.
        This being country France saying ‘go and talk to a lawyer’ isn’t always the good advice that it should be, especially if you are poor and without connections.
        Force Ouvriere has a social protection presence in some areas – but there might well be a reluctance to approach them given social constraints.

        Unfortunately people like those you describe suffer from the sense of inferiority enforced by their society…it tends to inhibit them from taking any action, reinforced, no doubt, by past experience.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 30, 2016
      • You hit every nail on the head. If I lived next door it would be sumpter to make them friends and eventually be confident enough to speak up (I find the French to have a slow dance to friendship proper) …. Perhaps The Bean and I should start walking casually past on a regular basis and passing the time of day (it’s about 15 minutes drive from here and there are several good walks nearby their home) ….. The gendarmerie is occupied with bigger things than odd English woman with tiny dog appearing to stalk!

        Liked by 1 person

        July 30, 2016
  13. What a story and so eloquently told. Like you I find it hard to believe that the lives of people are so dependant on the completely unknown. You have moved so much, I thought we had moved a lot and I mean a lot, ask our children! They have lived in three different continents and the youngest is only 9! Oh we are going to have so much to talk about!!! x

    Liked by 1 person

    July 28, 2016
    • I don’t think it’s going to be a staid and formal half hour do you?!! I’m so glad you enjoyed this, if enjoy is the right word. I felt it and still feel it deeply – that helplessness … unimaginable. Moving so much makes you very adept at making a home lightening quickly. I remember Jenny Agutter commenting that living out of suitcases for much of her young adult-hood had resulted in the ability to turn any hotel room into home with a couple of shawls and some framed photos. x

      Like

      July 29, 2016
  14. Pan #

    I want to have much compassion for their situation, and to a degree, I do..
    If you were to add that the man was simple in mind, then my compassion would run deep.. But unless I missed it, then I have a hard time reconciling the position he kept his family in with no alternative plan..
    That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be assisted in new income skills and self reliance but unless someone keeps them on or is altruistic enough to guide them to be on thier own, they are really on the edge of falling off a very high precipice..
    This is a sad tale written wonderfully 💛 I hope the ending was much rosier for them if the house has sold..

    Liked by 1 person

    July 28, 2016
    • I think uneducated rather than simple of mind. Sadly the net result can be the same. The old fellow is probably north of 70, his wife a similar age. The daughter clearly does some sort of work because she arrived back from something that day but there is very little work to be had for able-bodied youngsters here (our next door neighbour moved here three years ago to live with her boyfriend, a farmer’s son. She is bright, attractive and educated and has been unable to get a job. She has been part of the volunteer fire service for the past year or so but that doesn’t buy you much) – there will be nothing for a septogenarian. All in all I think it is a case of having thought that he had a job for life and I am certain that the old man who employed him intended it to be. But now sick and frail and in a home, his daughter living in Spain wants the house sold and that impacts in a way that these people never imagined. What you say is right but sadly I think it is sometimes hard to understand what changes will occur in several decades and that is really what they have succumbed to. When the arrangement was struck it was normal for wealthy Parisiennes to have staff now the Parisiennes many don’t have the time nor the inclination for a second home in the Auvergne and if they do they don’t keep staff. Everything changes nothing stays the same but that is cold comfort for an elderly couple who didn’t have the wit to make a Plan B (I don’t have the wit to make a Plan A by the way!!)

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      July 29, 2016
  15. munchkinontheroad #

    Love your haunting tale.
    I would never want to have that kind of power over an entire family’s life either.

    Liked by 1 person

    July 28, 2016
    • It’s quite shocking when one is faced with that reality – that a family are entirely at the effect of others lives. One of the things that saddened me most was the fellow whose bright idea had such a bitter end for the very people he had presumably given a good life to all those years ago ….

      Liked by 2 people

      July 29, 2016
  16. I see how this still haunts you (and them surely) .
    I just hope (in the impossibility of doing much anything else) that a sweet soul will find this house and it will be just what he/she has been dreaming of – little family included – and everything will turn out alright 🙂
    Turtle Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    July 29, 2016
    • I may call you a dreamer as you may call me the same …. I so hope 💛

      Liked by 1 person

      July 29, 2016
      • Maybe you’re doing more than just hoping and dreaming 🙂
        Maybe by writing about it … someone who reads you … will talk to someone …who knows someone who is just looking for something like this house/situation 😉
        Stranger things have happened 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        July 29, 2016
      • They have indeed! I hadn’t looked it like that – I just write what I feel but I do hope you might be right … that maybe it might have an impact – after all they say there are just 6 degrees of separation between one man and the next …. it would be wonderful if they could be helped 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        July 29, 2016
  17. Life breaks you, one way or another.
    Great piece of writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    July 29, 2016
    • Thank you – that is very kind. Life certainly can and all too often does. A friend of ours is fond of reminding anyone who will listen that we are all only two steps from the gutter at any time (he’s a town mouse – it doesn’t work quite so well when you are talking about this place!)

      Liked by 1 person

      July 29, 2016
  18. Most evocative and sensitive. Very well written. A pity for the little family that you didn’t buy, although how could you?

    Liked by 1 person

    July 29, 2016
    • An appalling Catch 22 …. we couldn’t but I still beat myself up that we couldn’t because we want this ideal and for the little family to support themselves, they need all the land. Want vs Need – ouch!

      Liked by 1 person

      July 29, 2016
  19. lindywhitton #

    Wonderfully well written. Heartbreakingly haunting.

    Liked by 1 person

    July 30, 2016
    • Thank you so much, Lindy …. it’s a horribly sad tale and I can only hope that the end is happy. I could not be the architect of that ending though we did try to think of a viable solutions.

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      July 30, 2016
  20. I hope they landed on their feet anyway, kicked out or no! Very nice application of Somerset Maugham.

    Liked by 1 person

    July 30, 2016
    • Actually the house remains unsold so for the moment I imagine the status quo stands though can’t be ideal for them each time the immo turns up with someone to view it. Thank you for the compliment – I love Maugham so did not want to use his title idly!

      Liked by 1 person

      July 30, 2016
      • Unsold for obvious reasons. I’m with you. Take the reins if you can.

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        July 30, 2016
  21. Life can so unfair…….I agree I wouldn’t have been able to ask them to leave…..but I am sure someone else did….kat

    Liked by 1 person

    August 11, 2016
    • So far the house is still unsold and when we drove past the other day, the little family are still there. I fear that sooner or later the daughter will get fed up and turf them out to make the house sale easier ….. Sword of Damocles for them which must make life hard to bear

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      August 11, 2016
      • I would of hoped they would of tried to find somewhere else to live before the hatchet comes down…..but glad to hear they are at least with roof over head….thanks for the update

        Liked by 1 person

        August 11, 2016
      • Sadly not that simple …. They will have paid no tax nor social security because they will have been paid in kind for over 40 years …. It’s a matter of being rehoused by the village which would happen but with no pension they have no income and the old couple are north of 70 years old. I do, however feel the daughter should be sorting something out for herself and child which should be possible

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        August 11, 2016
      • Fingers crossed for them….I hope the daughter does the right thing….so are you back in the USA or over seas??? I can’t keep up with you…LOL

        Liked by 1 person

        August 11, 2016
      • I’m in England flying back to the US via Paris next Wednesday. I can’t keep up with me either …. You and I are like Gypsy Rose Lee and her sister in arms!

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        August 11, 2016
      • Yes I agree….blow a kiss to the Eiffel Tower for me…..

        Liked by 1 person

        August 11, 2016
      • Tout à fait Ma sœur du cœur 😊

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        August 11, 2016
      • XXX

        Liked by 1 person

        August 11, 2016
      • Have you seen Cameron??

        Liked by 1 person

        August 11, 2016
      • No … Haven’t heard a peep from him. I lost my phone in the flight from Boston to Paris (left it on the plane) so I don’t have his number and I haven’t seen a sign of him on Facebook. I’m guessing he is engrossed in his business and his lady friend 😌

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        August 11, 2016
      • I Was hoping that its his lady friend….he was hoping that would work out….miss him on wordpress…but as long as he’s happy…I think his phone # is on his wordpress page…?? maybe

        Liked by 1 person

        August 11, 2016
      • I’ll take a peep tomorrow …. If it is I’ll ring him …. I do hope he’s happy that’s all. He’s one of life’s treasures

        Like

        August 11, 2016
      • me too….I think its on his business card….if you see him…tell I m sending hello’s….XXkat

        Liked by 1 person

        August 12, 2016
      • Of course I will 🙂 xx

        Like

        August 12, 2016
      • 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        August 12, 2016
  22. I feel the fear… it was, until a few days ago, in our eyes too! Our landlords gave us notice a few months ago… fair warning! Only thing, we had great difficulty finding somewhere to go on our restricted budget. Long story short… we found something… near the daughter and grand-kids. Thankfully!!
    So… we flit off again… on our 9th move in the 15 odd years we’ve been in Ireland. All we crave is a bit of stability… and a few hectares of ground to grow a root or 25000… I dream!!
    Once again… a tale told so well! I’m curious… do you maybe have an update on the sale and the plight of those folk?? I would love to think they don’t have fear in their eyes any longer!

    Liked by 1 person

    October 8, 2016
    • I feel your fear and pain. Don’t get me started on Landlords and renting. I don’t know about Ireland but it is a horrendous racket in Britain. I lost count of the number of times I had to move with my daughters. I will be back in France in November and will check on the family again. When I was there in July they were still in situ. The price of the house, though has been dropped now by over 100,000€ which says to me that the eagerness to sell has increased. I just don’t know at all what they might do. There isn’t enough land for them to sustain themselves without it seriously impinging on the owners of the house. The lawns had all been dug up as veg plots. If the place had had more land we would have seriously considered buying it and keeping them there and giving them an acre to do with as they needed. I share your dream of a place to settle, put down roots and grow what I need. Its a way off but in the meantime being nomadic is wearing. I sympathise and really and solemnly hope that the place you are moving to gives you peace and permanent. 🙏🏼

      Liked by 1 person

      October 9, 2016
      • I don’t really know what to say… apart from thank you! May you find your peace! May those folk live in peace and may we (you/us/them) grow roots and be able be able to sustain out individual joy in the happiest and simplest ways! A chicken here… a drop of red there… not forgetting a smear of cheese on warm, fresh bread!! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        October 9, 2016
      • You describe the perfect life. It should be possible for all.

        Liked by 1 person

        October 9, 2016
      • I dream…

        Liked by 1 person

        October 9, 2016

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