The countdown is on

Some boxes are packed, some clothes have been boxed, crockery, glasses, furniture, lamps, outdoor sofas, the list goes on.

The goal is to have everything packed by the end of the weekend so the last few days will be spent enjoying having a kitchen and a washing machine.

With no kitchen on the horizon, we’ll be cooking on a single hot plate and washing up in the disabled bathroom.

Now… where’s the tape?


We have now exchanged on both flats which basically means we’re all locked in and there’s no way out.

The final step is completion on December 7th and that’s it, the end of one adventure and the start of a whole new project.

And of course, Big T is off to France for two weeks so guess who’s moving house twice in a day…alone?!

And another step forward

And so with the very real prospect of being homeless (and I had started looking for airbnbs) Big T took control and negotiated a deal on the place we’ve been trying to buy.

I won’t go into the complexities of leaseholds and freeholds as it’s all a bit too dull but having sent in the big guns (Big T) we have a price reduction to solve the problem and a completion of date of December 7th. How lucky is that?

We will confirm everything on Monday but all being well, we can move straight from our nice, warm comfortable renovated flat into a complete shithole, just in time for Christmas! Yay.

To be confirmed

The latest update is that we have tentatively agreed to move out on December 7th. This is not definite but it is certainly better than being asked to move out next Wednesday (today being Friday!) Hahahahahaaaaaaagh!

This has been one of the most badly organised transactions to date with a foreign buyer who has been left to flounder, a seriously incompetent solicitor (theirs) and an absolutely useless estate agent (ours).

Having waited five months for a completion date, to be asked to sign and move out in five days is actually hilarious and I have laughed today (albeit ironically) more than I have laughed recently.

On another slightly more serious note, we have nowhere to move to so it looks like fun times ahead!

And on that note, the packing begins this weekend with (perhaps?) two weeks to go.

Lunch for 40p

Having forgotten to take my wallet to work today I was faced with a conundrum. Borrow money from a colleague or take the 52p I found in my desk to Sainsburys to see what I could buy.

I decided to see what the options would be with an extremely limited budget.

Sadly vegetables weren’t an option as everything was over a pound so I soon found myself in the instant noodle/MSG section and weighed up the options of a small tin of macaroni cheese or Chinese ramen noodles. Neither of which were particularly healthy or appealing. I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

I could have bought a small baguette for 45p (again, not for me) but then I discovered a tin of “Be Good to Yourself” spicy tomato and lentil soup for 40p. I read the ingredients, nothing artificial and so with my 12p change, I heated my soup back at work.

For 40p and a low fat, reasonably healthy lunch I was impressed. The soup was tasty with a nice level of spice and filling. And for 40p that’s probably the cheapest lunch I’ve had.

I remember talking about the £10 challenge a couple of years ago, how to live on £10 for a week. With a 40p soup option, that’s seven soups for £2.80.

Hard to beat!


Where’s Guy?

Over the past few years there’s been more Halloween and less Guy Fawkes to the point that Guy Fawkes or Bonfire night seems to have disappeared altogether, at least in London.

Bonfire Night was one of the best nights of the year as a child, only surpassed by Christmas Eve.

The magic of the fireworks as rockets zoomed into the dark, Autumn sky, the giant village bonfire complete with sofa and effigy and the bright, distorting lights in the village hall as we blinked with smoke filled eyes and ate jacket potatoes with soft skins from being wrapped in foil.

Perhaps it was a little negative to burn Catholics but I miss the tradition of Guy Fawkes and remember the Fifth of November with a great sense of nostalgia.

Bring back Guy!

Wishful Thinking

Big T and the estate agent have been discussing moving dates but it appears to be wishful thinking as the solicitors are yet to speak or discuss exchanging contracts.

I suspect it’s wishful thinking on the part of the estate agent as he wants his commission and even more, his Christmas bonus.

So we’ve had surveys done and had the movers around. And we continue to wait…

Agnes and the Russians

Agnes has been spending the weekend with a medal-winning Russian grappler.

We don’t really know what that means except that we found a new dog sitter nearby and went to meet her.

She had an enormous German Shepherd called Rex and a boyfriend who’s a grappler. We assume that’s a type of wrestler and judging by the number of medals, Agnes had better be on her best behaviour!

We’ll find out tomorrow if Agnes is barking in Russian!


Back to France for a weekend of winterisation. Or in other words, make sure the pool hasn’t overflowed in the past month.

We arrived on Friday and for once decided to get an Uber. Taxis in the South of France are astronomical and we were once charged €40 to go from Nice to the airport, a journey of approximately five minutes. Ouch.

With that in mind, €40 in an Uber compared to an hour on the bus seemed reasonable.

We arrived in the dark and could instantly see the pool was a dark, green murky pond lapping at the top of the paving. We were just in the nick of time.

We also discovered a bad leak in one bedroom as builders had replaced a roof tile the wrong way and the room had flooded. Not good news at all.

It was all manageable and on Saturday the builder came to correct the tile and promised to fix the bedroom.

We dumped some chemicals into the bottle green pool and created a rather lurid concoction, not the crystalline pool of the summer and we moved the outdoor furniture, umbrella and tables under cover for the winter.

With a bit of washing and cleaning, we just had to cover the pool and we were ready for the lockdown.

With more rain forecast and the ski season already underway, it was a good thing we’d arrived this weekend.

All ready for the winter!