Monday, 22 September 2008

15 Sept 2008 Monday

A grey start to the day as we rise early. Upstairs for breakfast and to get some washing done and out on the line before the men arrive.
We are hanging out the washing when a phone call comes our way. We are therefore oblivious of their work schedule change.
The sun is shining so we start work in the garden. We have now seen that we have missed a phone call, but when I dial the number the message says that there is no one there.
I take the phone into the garden and check that it will still receive calls, be ringing it on my mobile.
Half an hour later the builder’s wife arrives in her car. Have we picked up the message she left? Nope. So she explains that there has been a problem with their current job and that they will not be able to start work on my house until Wednesday. She shows me how to pick up messages on my phone and even records a message in French saying that I am unavailable and to leave a message “aftair ze bip”. That should confuse a few people.
We finish cutting the hedge and gathering up the clippings ready for the green waste collection at 4am tomorrow morning.
Lunch and the internet café man phones. He has the information and will be at the café from 3pm. We wait until the place eventually opens its door at 3.35pm. The lady behind the desk tells us that the owner has gone on a course and will not be back until 6.30pm. We say that we will return then.
Fast forward to 6.30pm and the owner is there. He produces an A4 sheet of paper with some typing on it, which spells out how much it would cost me to buy the business. I also manage to get him to show me what the monthly turnover is. He tells me that I need to let him know my decision before Wednesday at noon as he has someone else who is interested in buying the business. I point out that on the paper it says by Tuesday at noon. That is his typing error he says. I say I will have to think about it.
We have a meal out in the restaurant that we said we would not go back to again. We eat inside and the food is hot as the usual waitress is not on duty and does not have to travel back and forwards to and from the café while she tries to remember who the food is for.

I work out that in addition to giving him quite a bit of money for the business, I will have to buy out the lease for 3k euros. By the time I worked a 35 hour week, I would be taking home roughly £2.40 before tax! No matter which way I look at it, it doesn’t compute. One step forward is that I have now received my French social security number. I have to find a doctor and register with them, so there is another form to be filled in and returned to Cipam

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