Moving house is stressful, I should know I have lived in 9 during my 73 years, I’d like to think I’ve finished moving, other people seem to have different ideas.
First the penthouse. A while back everyone in our building received a letter from a local couple wanting to downsize and keen to become part of our community. We thought about this, considered it was silly not to take it further and gave the enquirer details of our apartment. Emails were exchanged, photographs sent, discussions had. The potential buyers said they wanted to move quickly which was a little unnerving as we were in Italy. They were keen to view but then decided the asking price was too much. This was early in the year, in fact their house hasn’t sold so a move isn’t imminent.
More recently here in Italy I saw one Saturday morning MrFF chatting to a couple at our back door and the next thing I knew they were coming inside. They were house hunting, had an appointment to view two empty properties above us and had gone astray. MrFF told them our house could be for sale, news to me, and we showed them round. I was hardly prepared but luckily I’d spent the morning cleaning, it was not a house viewing as I know it. The husband wanted to know the square meterage of the house, same for the garden and the asking price, on the latter we said we’d let him know. They weren’t interested in viewing all the rooms, asked no questions, the wife loved the garden and admired my balcony pots, the husband said he wanted the lowest absolute minimum price.
Next morning they were back again with their teenage daughters, who equally weren’t that interested in seeing around, the wife said she’d already had a look and was happy to sit and chat with me. They are charming people, the wife is from our village and wants to return. We said we’d love them to buy the house down our road which we know is for sale though not advertised, we had already given them the neighbours’ phone number. The eldest daughter spoke good English and confirmed her father was looking for the lowest possible price. When we finally told him what we wanted it was as expected too much, which was a huge relief as I had no idea at all what I would do with the accoutrements of a one time holiday let that accommodates 8 people. I have more than 16 bath towels, 16 hand towels, untold amounts of glassware and crockery, not to mention all the furniture and most important of course what would happen to the cats.
So relax, we are going no where. However Mario our neighbour was here today. He is having major energy efficient improvements made to his house under a government grant. Solar panels on the roof to power a new heating and air conditioning system, new double glazed windows and doors. Work was supposed to start in September, it didn’t and now it may be December. However he has discovered that all the floors need to be taken up and he, his wife and adult daughter must move out for 3 months, possibly the Italian 3 months that we call 6, who knows. Anyway he asked if they could live here in our house and what rent we would expect, the vital money question again. We’ve thought about it all day, we are more then happy for them to stay here, we have no idea about rent because we want to help out and are pleased the cats may have company over winter. The cats not so pleased as Mario has two young cats of his own. However, we hope to leave at the weekend. There are quite a few things we need to do before we go and suddenly we might have to leave the place fit for someone else to move in. The family will need wardrobe space and kitchen space and I really don’t want to have to pack things away like I did when we rented.
What is it with our properties that other people have designs on them, it’s unsettling though not so much in the latter instance as we are not letting go of this property, for the moment.
The title is a quotation from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet