Showing posts from June, 2023

Débordements aux Aubiers

Les Aubiers is an area of Bordeaux where there have been confrontations between the police and some local folk. Bins have been burned and the trams that pass through there have been interrupted for safety reasons. The background to all this is the shooting a few days ago of a youth in a suburb of Paris. His car was stopped at a spot-check. These happen sometimes in France. both Pat and I have been stopped at a particular roundabout near our old home in Pessac. They want to see your driving licence and your insurance document to try to catch drivers who are banned or uninsured. For whatever reason this lad decided to start his car and drive away from the spot check before being dismissed by the police. Some years ago there was a change in the law. Up to that time police officers could only open fire on drivers if they believed that their lives were in danger - for example someone was driving straight at them. Since the change they can open fire if they believe someone else's life ma

Getting the keys

 So our appointment for the keys was at 15:00. I'm always appallingly early, except for flights and trains, so when the maitre d'oeuvres called down to me from the first floor balcony I was taken aback. She told me the code for the main door (a "site code"), and I went up to apartment 101. Apartment 101 is a three bedroom apartment with a nice big  living room and a big balcony overlooking the tram stop. I can see the appeal, though I think I like ours better. I signed the various forms and undertakings and we went to see our apartment, number 205. Really there's not much to photograph - just one white room after another. The hallways are all painted blue, so I told them we plan to paint our apartment blue and leave the door open when the cleaners pass so they'll do our flat as well. They all thought this an excellent idea. The main room has sliding doors onto the balcony - very practical because they don't bang in the breeze and they don't take up flo

The copropriété

A copropriété is when several people all own a building together. So this morning we were convoked for the first Assemblée Générale of the copropriété at the offices of our syndic - the company who is employed to manage the building. We spent two happy hours, the five of us who showed up, together with three employees of the syndic and the property developer who built the building. We chose companies to service the lift, clean that place and put the bins out, service the boilers, all sorts of things. And we met our downstairs neighbours as well as a couple from the top floor. This afternoon was the delivery of the communal areas, so I got to visit the corridors, parking spaces, lift and rooftop. The roof garden has been planted with edible  shrubs, so I saw a hazel tree, a bay tree, some redcurrants, gooseberries and blueberries, a grape vine, all sorts of things. There's also two picnic tables and the property developer bought an immense lawnmower for when the grass has been plant

The apartment is paid for, the removal firm is booked

The transfer for the last and final instalment of the purchase price of the apartment has been submitted.  This morning, in a torrential thunderstorm, I booked the removal firm and paid their deposit. I'm particularly happy about the removal firm - it's a local company that offers different prices for people with different incomes. They'll also help you sort out your belongings or do house-clearances. They run a fleet of cycle deliveries as well as gas-powered vans. And they're local. I have high hopes. And the electricity contract is sorted out.

Today I decimated my wardrobe.

Clothes I have not worn in long ages and will not wear in the future have been consigned to the nearest charity hopper. This is part of moving home.

Quiet days on the blog

 don't necessarily mean quiet days in Bordeaux. Here's some updates : 1) Our new apartment We get the keys in just over a week. The kitchen will be delivered the following week. Then there's a short hiatus before th kitchen fitter come at the beginning of August. We hope to move in the middle of August. 2) The earthquake Bordeaux was shaken by an earthquake whose epicentre was in the Charente Maritime. Some buildings up there have structural damage so a number of folk are homeless and some cannot work. Here in Bordeaux some people felt the tremors. We didn't. 3) The amphitheatre Just opposite where the church meets is a ruined amphitheatre and on Sunday they held an open day with gladiatorial combats and various exhibits. It was very well attended. I got some photos of the amphitheatre from different angles than usual, but I missed the combat. 4) Bordeaux is in summer festival mood Wednesday is the annual "Fête de la Musique", when the streets fill with groups

An old friend returns

On Thursday evening we had a visit from an old friend who had spent some months in Bordeaux thirteen years ago. He is revisiting old haunts as well as doing a flying tour of Europe (Paris, Bordeaux, Barcelona, Rome, Florence, Paris). It was good to see him and to hunt out old photos and videos of his time in Bordeaux. He mentioned how nice a British dinner would be. What could be more British than Tomato Dahl and Mashed Potatoes? (We discovered too late that we had run out of rice and cous-cous) 

Bordeaux is fragrant

When I first visited Paris I was struck by the smells of the city. The Trocadero was obviously a sheltered place with many corners where one could fulfil the necessities of life unseen - but not unsmelt.  The Champs de Mars at the base of the Eiffel Tower had recently been treated to a generous layer of manure. I first visited Paris on a hot July day and walked from the Arc de Triumph to the Gare Montparnasse. Unforgettable. In Bordeaux we're often struck by the fragrances of its streets. Of course, we too have secluded corners best avoided by the sensitive of snitch, but the city has also been encouraging people to dig little holes in the pavement - honestly, I think they come and dig them for you - and to plant hollyhocks, or honeysuckle, or -- best of all -- jasmine. So this time of year instead of pungent we get fragrant. We got off the tram at about 10 last night and were ht by another sweet fragrance at Quinconces where the tram lines cross. Lime trees. Planted just between t

A Cœur Ouvert - Espace Gallien

Our little café has now been running for some time, and we have a nice group of regular clients. The first to arrive were older people, generally attracted by the Language Exchange that happens on Monday evenings, or to the handiwork group, Knit and Natter, on Fridays. More recently some younger folk have joined the Monday evenings from the nearby Alliance Française, attracted by the opportunity to converse with real French people. It’s going well. The Tots and Co group has also been encouraging., with some great friendships and great conversations. Kids’ workshops at the café have also been very much appreciated, and it’s great to see the place filled with little ones. The café has survived financially, thanks partly to the generosity of supportes in the UK, but also the low running costs of all being staffed by volunteers. I think the volunteers also enjoy being in the café, I certainly do, and I can get on with reading, typing, etc. when the place is quiet. (Like now.) We tried loan

A day of great excitement

We noticed this morning that all the barriers have been taken away from the children’s play areas in the gardens below. Such fun!

Things are starting to come together for the move

We get the keys on 27 June, so I booked an appointment to buy the kitchen and arrange its fitting. The kitchen will be delivered in early July. However, we fly to the UK in the latter half of July so we’ve arranged for the installation to be in early August. Then we’ll move just after, clean the apartment and hand it back at end of August. Next is to arrange insurance for the new place and also attend the first AGM of the resident’s group, who will appoint a company to manage the building and look after maintenance of the lift, etc. Meanwhile from all appearances the building is very nearly ready for occupation. Since it’s about 20 yards away from our habitual tram stop we have done weekly external inspections and now we pop up perhaps twice a week just to see the latest developments.