So we're buying a flat. We've put down a reservation deposit, but at the end of this month we'll start paying for it in earnest, step by step, as the property developer builds it.
It's a small block of about 20 flats in four storeys, with the ground floor given over to parking. It's being built on the site of a rather dilapidated warehouse and an old house with a yard which used to house a termite company. It's right next to the tram line, about 50 yards from the stop, but facing the other way. We can expect to hear the bells.
We'll be on the second floor. We'll have two bedrooms and a good sized living room. The bedroom windows will face south and the living room faces west, so we'll get the sun all day in the bedrooms and in the afternoon in the living room.
We'll also have a balcony of a useful size, though not quite the enormous thing we have now.
Sadly we'll lose our views of the gardens, but we'll see out over Bègles instead.
We have enough money to buy the place outright thanks to us saving the proceeds of the sale of our house, and thanks to the city of Bordeaux demanding that property developers sell a proportion of their flats at a reduced price to people in certain categories, into one of which we fall.
We shopped around d a little before deciding on this one. Some other flats had more attractive views, looking out on future parklands. Others had different advantages. The one we're buying has the great advantage that all its surrounding infrastructure - roads, gardens, trams - are already in place, so we won't be picking our way through building sites at all.
Another advantage is that once the flat is ready and we have moved into it and out of this rented accommodation the mission will no longer need to pay our rent. This means that for the last couple of years of our service here our stipend will be greatly, massively reduced, and our support needs along with it.
Now then, this month's task is to assemble from the various accounts that hold our equity the first instalment to be paid. I think I know what needs to be done!