what you get here

This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

getting warm


Had a relaxing day on Sunday after all the driving of the last few days. And it was a glorious day. Cycled around the area first and then continued the reading of Julian Barnes Letters from London (1995).
Monday afternoon took me to Questembert, to the Agences agency who lined up 8 properties for me. We visited 5 of them, none matching the the longere which I saw in Plonevez-sur-Faou on Saturday morning. I have a feeling that the purpose of the viewing of the next couple of days is to confirm that this is the best available. Certainly it would make the task of setting up home so much easier – if I was able to negotiate for most of the furniture (which is quite to my taste).

Saturday a long drive to visit an intriguing house in Poullaen (in Finistere) which I had seen on mayer-immobilier internet more than a month ago. With a small valley of pond, trees and stream at back, it looked adorable – and well priced at 127,000. However, it seemed a bit remote – with 2 summer houses next door (English). The next house Sylvie took me to see was next to a dam created some 40 years earlier to feed a nuclear power plant (!) which has been closed for 30 years. It was remote and fusty. The last visit was magic – to a logere in a village not far from the Canal and Carhaix. It has the angles and perspectives I love in a building and is in fact 2 houses –with a small (2 bedroom) gite next door. Now on market for 130,000, its pleasant UK residents would be next door neighbours. And it’s in middle of regional park area and some 35 minutes drive from Quimper where there is both sea and TGV connection. Round the corner is one of these antique garages where I picked up books by Stepen Fry, Ian Rankin (my first), Paul Scott (time to read this guy who wrote in the 1960s) and Julian Barnes. I indicated I was interested in spending a few days in the area before making a decision.
Then back to Loudeac where 4 visits had been arranged – 2 in the town (11,000 pop and with Carrefour) itself. First (at 152k) was typical estate house – with 4 bedrooms and flexibility but little character. Second had nice living room accessing south facing verandah but needed fair amount of work (empty for 8 months or so). Other 2 houses too remote and needing work.
Back in Reminiac, started to think about the logere – and the realities of life in Finistere village.
Thursday was a public holiday but I saw in newspaper that a nearby Super-U was having a sale – which included bikes. Beautiful drive – and bought one at 70 euros.
Friday went back to Pontivy area – with Columbie agency. They first showed me an old house just off the central square on the market for 200k but likely to go for about 160. Hadn’t been lived in for 6 months – and had no real charm. Then a real original stone house just 5 minutes from river in centre – with very large garden at back and near a swimming pool. But the house was small and had no character.
Popped in to Loudeac and Rohan in whose environs property seems to be cheaper – and made arrangements for visits on Saturday afternoon and Tuesday.

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