As you read this post, we’re on the road, heading for France, then Spain to see the Spanish branch of the family, and even to attend a wedding. Please expect little in the way of responses to comments, whether on your own blog or this one for the duration. But nine years ago, on 20th March, we were leaving our home in Laroque for the very last time…
Last news from Laroque
23rd March 2014
You’re making your last visit to Laroque today, for the time being. We left 3 days ago, and now we’re in Ripon. Those last days were a furore of packing, cleaning, ‘goodbyes’ (though never, never final farewells), and two visits from the removal firm, who couldn’t fit everything in, first time round. At this moment, perhaps, the person who bought our house is planning his own removal to Laroque.
I never told you, probably out of sheer superstition, the story of the house sale. The housing market’s incredibly tough in the Ariège just now. House prices have tumbled 25% since 2008. Properties remain unsold for one, two, three years, as unhappy owners reduce the price of their homes in hopes of at last attracting a buyer.
Whereas we had nothing but luck. A man from near Paris, house-hunting here, in the area where he’d grown up, saw our house, arranged to view, and said he liked it. A week later he came again, showing his ‘coup de cœur’ off to his mum and dad. He made a low-price offer, as you do. We refused it, as you do. But we offered him our non-attached garden, being sold separately, at a generous discount, and said we’d include some of the furniture in the house sale. Reader, he offered full price, and the rest is history. Vue-vendue.
We’d just locked the door for the last time. And helping us wave ‘Goodbye’ are Martine, Francis and Anaïs, almost the very first friends we made when we arrived. Nine years on, we have a granddaughter called Anaïs.
So here we are in Ripon, ready to house hunt and begin our new lives here. Oh, and there’s the Tour de France starting in Yorkshire too, in a couple of months. We’ll keep you posted.
Our luck continued here in England. The very first property we viewed to rent – as a temporary measure while we house-hunted for somewhere suitable – was the house we are still living in nine years on, with no intentions whatever of leaving.
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