Sunday, 22 April 2012

Doing nothing is quite hard it turns out! Why am I doing nothing? Before we actually get to live in our new house we have to wait for the notaire to do his/her thing. By way of explanation a notaire is a sort of independent French lawyer type who does all the legal paperwork, checking that there isn’t a chasse with rights on the land; the locals’ donkey doesn’t live on it, that sort of thing. I’m sure it’s much more complicated than that, but just like the British system I think it probably actually consists of a bit of photocopying, gossip at the water cooler then charge the client £100s for the pleasure!!

In the meantime we know a bit more about the house. It’s got asbestos in the roof, lead paint on the windows, faulty electrics and a fosse septic that may or may not confirm to regulations. The only way we’ll find out is when we use the toilet and see if poo appears in the garden! Apparently asbestos isn’t as alarming as it would first appear, so long as you don’t disturb it. If you do (according to the govt H&S website) dress up like Darth Vader and spray it with water and washing up liquid and you’ll be fine. Lead paint-don’t let the boy eat it. Faulty electrics still conform apparently so long as we cover up the exposed wires, most of which go into the fuse box, going to be getting a new one of those then! Luckily there is a book on Amazon all about French electrics, which will be a more than useful purchase! 

Speaking of useful purchases, the list of these seems to be getting longer. Mrs Powell’s and my definition of “useful” seems to differ somewhat. I can think of lots of things: a router, an angle grinder, nail punches, 10 different types of saw, a bench mounted grinder, a laser level and a bespoke hand crafted gaming table (inner geek shining through), would be useful for. Apparently log burners, heating and food production come first.

We are now suspended in no-man’s land. Waiting for the move and looking for things to do in the meantime. Almost by accident I seem to be claiming JSA, despite the fact they know we’re leaving in “2-3 months”. My experience of this has been less than positive, there seems to be a lot of emphasis on filling in paperwork and not a lot on actually getting a job. I really confuse them at the job centre. “You’ve got qualifications? Errrr, ummm, have you looked in the paper for jobs?” You know what I hadn’t thought of that! But yes I’ll fill out form JSA324.56a(v.English) Learn direct however-brilliant. Went in after seeing an advert for free (free for benefit spongers such as myself) food hygiene qualifications. I thought these might be useful in making sure all cooking a la chambre d’hôte is all legal and above board. They couldn’t help out more. So, again almost by accident, I am signed up on that AND a free ICT qualification woo hoo! Still beats sitting around trying to think of things to do to try and be useful at the in laws. I seem to spend a lot of time watching stuff about Nazis and sharks (I’m still waiting for a documentary on Secret Knights Templar Sharks employed by Hitler in the Atlantic), playing with the boy’s trains and mega blocs and playing Medieval Total War 2 (I currently, own all of Spain, North Africa, South of France, Corsica, Sardinia and I’m setting myself up in the New World, so I think I’m doing OK, again enthusiasm from the rest of the household doesn’t match mine for these achievements!)

So, lastly have I made any mistakes this time?  Free picture of me in either willies or wellies for you if you can find one. By the way it appears that word spell checks wellies into willies, so that wasn’t my fault. Hooray.