Today we made contact with the lovely Stephanie the assitant in the estate agency where we bought our house; we have remained friends ever since! She told us how bad the local housing market is, like England houses are generally not selling. She has few clients at the moment - and definitely no English ones. It made us realise again how bad economically things are not only in England but in France too.
But we also said hello to the owner of the Brasserie du Nord our favourite place to eat in Cluny. He was delighted to learn we had finally decided to make France our home and wished us Bienvenue! This was followed a little while after by our neighbour Julien, the ex-mayor of the community with whom we exchanged a few sentences in French. It was he who confirmed the sad news that one of the local viticuleurs (wine grower) M. Bichard, had passed away in October. He had been ill for a while but it was a shock to have the news confirmed to us. M Bichard always gave us a warm welcome and always insisted on a petit degustation in his little wine store. We always chatted and he was very interested to learn of England. Once we brought him a selection of English cheeses to try - he was impressed but Madame was interested to see thatthe fat content was not on the label! His wine was always very drinkable and we hope his sons' will be the same. RIP M Bichard....
Gilbert who was brought up in the hamlet comes back every day in his retirement often doing odd jobs for anyone who needs it. He came and as is the custom, shook hands with us and passed the time of day. He was interested to know we were here "definitivement" - permanently and wished bienvenue. He was pleased to know we will be living in the house and he said it is good for the community to have new people! - Mind you we are hardly new having bought the house 6 years ago this week!
We have trimmed most of the shrubs and roses in the garden and given the wisteria a good haircut. The vine awaits attention tomorrow. Everything here grows so fast and we are delighted to report that the daffodils that Joe planted on the opposite bank are growing well. It was a joy to see them poping their buds out today. With milder weather they should soon be in bloom and then I'll post a photo!