Staying Alive…..

About a month since I’ve been on here. In that time we’ve sold our Spanish house – at last and thankfully – moved all the stuff from it up to France where we’re in the process of buying a replacement maison and currently have a short-term rental with a rather downtrodden pool out back.

The cats seem to have weathered the move well and Jack tends to take these things in his deaf stride anyway. I’ve also aged another year – a few days ago – and am closer than ever to getting my hands on a bus-pass!

J retires officially and definitively on July 1st. Needless to say, she’s looking forward to that after too many years in the chaos of the NHS frontline maternity services thingy.

Throughout this past month we’ve been without internet but are again online with French provider SFR: a good deal at just under 25 Euros  month for internet and VOIP phone services to fixed lines throughout Europe and the USA. If only Sweden could wise-up and do the same!  Never likely to happen there, though – they’re just too damn greedy to allow it!

This is the place we’re renting now until completion on our purchase at end of August:

It’s not too bad but could do with some renovation and general updating. It’ll do us nicely for a few months whatever.

We’re buying an old Maison de Maitre that needs loads of work – new windows, electrics, plumbing and central heating: a lot to do but a lot of house for the ridiculous money with a large, level garden plot:

It’s only fitting that we buy this place as I was a Maitre until retiring, after all! That’s my excuse anyway. Sadly, I’m no bricoleur so will have to buy in necessary expertise for the  renovation works.

All in all it’s been an odd month in other ways, too. We have a nice German lady interested in buying our Swedish house, so this looks likely to go soon. We certainly hope so, though it will mean another trip up North to empty the place and have the contents shipped down here: with 7,000 books that’s not something I’m looking forward to! I’d leave them to a charity shoppy thingy but they are mostly English, would probably fill an entire shop, and would be of limited appeal in Scandawegia, I suspect.

Sadly, we learned of the death of two musicians we had connections with. Doc Watson was 89 when he passed on in North Carolina. A truly remarkable man, a great and important US guitarist of immense humility. He was always interested in others and a bit of a US national treasure:

In addition, LVP’s friend, a genuinely lovely, generous and thoughtful musician, Robin Gibb of the BeeGees also passed over. LVP was very upset and missed the funeral, though Grandsprog, Hamish, was in attendance, we discovered courtesy of CBS:

I like the way he’s giving the cameraman a bit of an evil eye here, augurs well for the future, no doubt!

Sad to see them both go………both part of my musical background in their different ways. A privilege to meet and know.  Can’t help wonder who might be next………Arghh!!!!!!!!


About yractual

A former lawyer and national daily journalist, now a freelance music journalist, with moves bewteen Spain, Sweden, France and who knows where next! A Scot by birth and inclination. Lover of acoustic ragtime-blues guitar and ukulele. Work with music titles across three continents.
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2 Responses to Staying Alive…..

  1. Jenny Woolf says:

    I'm very sorry to hear of the death of your musician friends. I must say I am impressed at your purchase of the house – it looks like a daunting prospect to me but you are obviously looking forward to it

  2. Carol Dent says:

    Good luck with the French house – we are still doing ours 10 years on!The deal with SFR is very good – we have never had any problems at all, and our internet set-up is great: it's our life-line and the way we get our income so it has to be good really.

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