Posted by: britgirl82 | August 9, 2010

Last 2 weeks in February – Job hunting and plumbing

So….BritGirl’s boyfriend worked everyday. His life in France was taking shape…he came home with stories of work, colleagues, things he had learned, new french words, mistaken communications. His job was going well, he was settling in, he had a home and a job here.

BritGirl….a little different. She spent the days on her own – a combination of long walks along the rivers or into town. The weight was falling from her hips. After 5 years in an office job with working lunches at her desk, the fresh air and lack of a car meant BritGirl did more exercise than she had ever done before! Other than walks, BritGirl was a model housewife in many ways, a clean and tidy house, new photographs and “female touches” appeared around the new French flat and meals were prepared and thought out for the evening.

It was this that BritGirl’s boyfriend would say was one of the reasons he liked BritGirl not working, nice food in the evenings! Not of course that back in the UK BritGirl didn’t rustle up something delicious from the cupboards after a long day at work, after coming home to clean the flat and cook for the evening…she did, but with limited thought and creativity. It was true, en France with time to kill, meals were a little more time consuming or thought out.

BritGirl loved and still does love the French supermarche – the choice, the variety. Honestly you have never seen fruit and veg like it, piled high, different shapes, sizes and colours – from the exotic to the plain old ordinary. The fish counter is like nothing England would have seen before. The newness never rubs off…the vegetables in tins, the beans and sausages in jars that look like something no one would ever want to eat…..the list is endless,there is always something to see and therefore always something different to try or add into the shopping basket.

During the cold winter months, homemade soups a plenty were tried and tested with none other than French Onion Soup being the resounding success. So yes, BritGirl might not have a job or friends but she made sure she kept herself as busy as possible.

It was unfortunate that this also meant many an hour waiting for plumbers….yes, think back, remember the “entrance” to the flat where numerous flaws and problems with BritGirls new home were found…well some of these needed action toute de suite.

And after numerous emails/conversations with the letting agent AND 6 weeks, a plumber would finally be in to sort out the leaking and super wobbly toilet. Yes, this was the worst of our problems…constant running water and what felt like an earthquake every time you sat on the loo!! Not a pleasant experience!!

BritGirl again found another simliarity to home and the gaz man at this point…plumbers did not always arrive when they said they would! After hours of waiting, a missed appointment and a little more waiting, the plumbers arrived. Yes, apparently to sort out the toilet – in a room where there really only is space for one person; two plumbers were required. BritGirl managed to sweet talk the plumbers en Francais…bien sur, here you did not offer workmen tea, oh no, but coffee!!! Not sure they fully appreciated the English attempt at coffee in a mug – think they expected something a little smaller but still…the toilet was repaired – another accomplishment for BritGirl on her own.

Although this was not the last of the problems with the flat..oh no the ongoing cracks and damp in the bathroom persisted but complaining and emails to the letting agent were to no avail….en France one needs to be patient. Now BritGirl’s friends and family will tell you that this is not her a strong point, but in Bordeaux it was needed. Carefully crafted emails were sent and photographs were taken. If we had to wait we would do, but we would be prepared to prove our point and ensure that when the bathroom was repaired (and BritGirl was sure it was going to be) it would be recorded that it was something that had been an issue since pre-6th January and our grand demenagement.

Its unfortunate as I sit here now and write this – more than six months on, that we are still waiting for something to be done! We have had progress, visits from the letting agent but only when rain water decided to make an appearance in our bath…but still nothing more than a few forms to be filled in and more patience to be had…ah the French way!


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