Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I have decided that I am spreading myself too thin, have too many things going on in my life, starting to feel stressed about the move etc. So I have made the decision to quit my part-time job and put more effort into the real estate. I love my little part-time job but feel I am taking liberties there with wanting so much time off. They have been so flexible and easy-going with me but enough is enough. A few weeks ago I told them of my plans, the fact that, as well as wanting to go to France for a good part of the summer, we were actually planning on moving permanently in the fall once youngest son was well settled into college. I hate having a secret agenda, and although I knew they knew I wasn't there forever, I also knew they didn't think I was off so soon.

So I told them of our plans and said I would understand fully if they wanted to move on without me, I really appreciated how amenable they had been with my schedule...da de da.. but they said no problem, they would work around me!! I know I had secretly been wishing they would make the decision for me and say that in that case they would start looking for someone else. But no...doh! So now a few weeks on, when I now want yet another day off to take a college tour with my son, I really feel I am taking the p*ss as we say in the UK, so decision made, I am going to tell them I am out of there at the end of April and in the meantime, going to give the real estate a big push. There is also the fact that my co-worker and friend is wanting to change her position in the company and I feel it would be easier for her if I wasn't there being so flaky with my hours.

I must admit that it is a weight off my mind, especially as when I spoke to my real estate partner/colleague who I have teamed up with as assistant, she said she could give me more hours which would help make up for the regular albeit small amount of money I was making at the other job - result. So at least I will be in one place, concentrating on one thing and hopefully get more going with that. I am determined to give it one last push and make some money, I had such a good first year in the business, then the market dived and I lost my way somewhere and have certainly been struggling. I want to go out with a bang....or at least feeling that I did give it 100%.

Things have progressed in France as well, just over two weeks till we get to see the results. The windows have all been replaced/installed. The boarding between the beams is coming along and the floor in the attic is getting done. New ceiling in the kitchen as well. My goodness it might actually be draft free when we get there.... well except for the large hole that is being made for the staircase!

Our dutch friend emailed us yesterday to say our mutual builder has made the huge hole for their swimming pool so if we want some free dirt.....yes we do. So hopefully lots of new photos when I get back. Our friend does email us photos but he does it as a pdf due to poor broadband capabilities when sending photos and I can't work out how to get those into Blogger, if anyone has any ideas let me know.

After an absolutely glorious and record-breaking spring break week here last week, we are back to single digits and rain this week. We knew it couldn't last!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Is this Spring?

Can it be true? Probably not, as a "canadian" of several years now I am as cynical as the rest. Its only March and spring never gets here until well into April, if we are lucky. We have experienced a really strange winter here in southern Ontario, hardly any snow at all, with all of us driving around on our winter tyres! It is ironic as I get ready to move to France that they have experienced a much worse winter than us, is this a sign of winters to come?

But the last few weeks and especially last few days we have definitely been experiencing "spring", temperatures in double digits, yesterday 16 degrees C - it has been wonderful, everyone's spirits have lifted, everyone is sitting on their porches, walking their dogs and small children, walking around with no coat or boots. It has been heaven. Spring and fall are my most favourite times of year, but usually here in this area they are both much too short, usually just a couple of fleeting weeks of gorgeous "good to be alive" weather, before it becomes too hot, or too cold. This is why we are all taking full advantage, especially as deep down, we Canadians knew it was too good to be true, and yes there are snow flurries and single digit temperatures in next weeks forecast.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Well as you can see I have been fiddling around with the layout of the blog. I must say that some sites were helpful, however some could have been in a different language for all the help they were! The background isn't as wide as I wanted, I couldn't make the photo I wanted for my header small enough but baby steps.....

The weather here today in southern Ontario is absolutely gorgeous (9 degrees C) and the snow is gradually melting, it really feels like spring but we know mother nature is just teasing us, there must be more winter on its way to us. But regardless we took the opportunity to go for a long walk up on the Bruce Trail with the dog. It was very very muddy, and slippery but we had a lovely time and it was great to be out in the fresh air. Roll on spring.

Hubby is loving getting home every weekend but I must say it is not helping my motivation in the real estate area of my life. Weekends are when I should be busy but with so much going on in our lives, with our new granddaughter, plans to move, etc. I am losing my motivation....especially as I know I am not building a long term real estate career here.

I am now of the mind that if something comes along .. great but I cannot be bothered to be out there hunting for it. Open houses are always on Sunday just as hubby is getting ready to head off again. So I have started doing more admin for the lady I am now assistant to and getting paid to do that, every little helps, and if a deal comes along, its a bonus.

We are excited as all the jobs we had lined up in France are due to get underway this week apparently. Our great friends in France have been on to the various artisans to chivvy them along and we will see tomorrow if they have had an impact. The new windows in the rear are due to go in and that is a big change so will be excited to see the photos.

Just an update on hubby's illness last week, he is all fine now, but he lost 11lbs !!! by not eating for three days....so obviously he was way ahead in the dieting stakes after that. This week however his appetite is back with a vengence, doesn't that always happen...and he has gained 5 1/2 lbs so now we are just 1/2lb apart.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Slow Ahead

Up until now we have been very lucky getting the work done in France. Had really great builders and artisans so no complaints on that front which seems to be refreshing from all the horror stories I have heard. Of course we didn't expect it to be plain sailing all the way through and it seems we are now getting to the point where, now that we are ready for full steam ahead to have the place a bit more habitable by the summer, things are at a standstill. We have reached the point where everything has to go in a certain order, trades have to coordinate and it seems that we are all waiting on the carpenter who is (hopefully as we speak) making the staircase. He has had the go ahead and a down payment since early February but no word on a possible installation date. This guy is also responsible for making the hole in the ceiling to break through to the attic as it seemed sensible to get him to do that as he needs to make the staircase fit the hole. No so sure now that was the best plan. We have instructed another builder to go ahead and board and plaster between the beams in the room where the staircase will eventually be situated and he is waiting for the hole to be done!

As far as the window replacement is concerned, apparently that builder is waiting for the windows to be made, but in the interim has not done the kitchen ceiling and apparently is looking for work!! It is frustrating as we have lots he could be doing for us but it is hard to communicate our requirements, not only in another language but long distance. So as you can imagine we are anxious to get back to France to chivvy everyone along.

I spoke to my friend and neighbour in the village this morning and she has promised just to ring around and see what everyone is thinking and see if she can move things along a bit. I don't like to ask but she is on the spot (both physically and figuratively) so it is easier for her. She was telling me that they had had a terrific storm over the weekend, some people were actually killed. Somehow I had missed that on the news. But she assures me she has walked around all of our properties (ours and other absentee owners!) and we all still have our roofs intact.

Roll on April - I hate this wishing the days away but .....