Anyway, I came across this posting on a forum I belong to and the author, Dave, has kindly allowed me to reproduce it here. It should be compulsory reading for anyone who dreams of giving up the ratrace and having some gites in France.
Meh, I just cant be bothered with it any more.
I want to go to see something on a saturday or go away for the weekend - can't, its changeover day.
I want to have a holiday - can't, need to be here for changeovers
I want to spend a few hours floating in the pool and sleeping in the garden - can't, unless I share with half a dozen strangers.
The ladyfriend wants to come round for the weekend - fine, but "I have changeover day remember". "ok, Ill help you". "great, you clean the stale piss off the toilet rim and Ill deal with the jizz-stained mattress protector. Classy.
I want to invite loads of people round, turn the stereo up to 11 and have a good party - can;t, the guests dont like disturbances.
My nephew wants to come round and run his remote controlled car in the big field - can;t, the guests kids are playing football there.
I want to have my dinner in peace - Can;t, the guests can;t figure out how to use the dish washer, and can;t read the instructions.
My dog wants to sleep on the doorstep - can;t, everyone wants her to fetch, roll over etc etc.
The kitten wants to explore the world - can;t, the little girls in the end gite want to cuddle it to death.
There is a good film on the telly, I want to crank up the surround sound - can't, the bass travels through the whole building.
I want to cut the grass - can't, there are 3 cars, a badminton net, loads of sun loungers, chairs and toys in the way.
I want to wash my car in peace without hearing "ha ha, you can do mine next" - can't, because that's the funniest, most original joke in the world isn't it.
I want to go out and slap that spoilt kid that has tantrums when he doesn't get his own way - cant, I don't think the parents would like that.
I want to be able to go shopping without wondering if there is enough fairly liquid or bog roll in each gite. - cant, this stuff doesn't restock itself and the guests certainly wont buy it.
I'm a grumpy old man, and I'm not even old! This might not have been a good career choice.
To this I would add my own...
It's 32 degrees in the shade and you have to mow the lawn of your gite before the new guests arrive. Even in a thin cotton sundress you feel like an explorer lost in the middle of the desert, so you do what anyone would do, you take your dress off and mow in your knickers. No problem, there's another hour before the guests arrive. Wrong, they arrive an hour early to find you prancing round the garden in your undies. Red faces all round, not that you'd notice as you've been beetroot coloured for the past hour anyway!
When I worked for a local estate agent my heart used to sink when the smiling English couple would come in and say 'we want somewhere to make some gites'. What I was dying to say was
'Well, gosh, how original! I don't suppose anyone else in the area has thought of that. How about this property. Mr and Mrs Owner created some lovely gites but guess what, so did their neighbour, and their neighbour's neighbour, and their neighbour's neighbour's neighbour. They discovered they couldn't live on the income from the 6 weeks of lettings they were struggling to achieve each year and now they are selling the property for less than they paid for it and returning, broke, to the UK. Let's talk market saturation here...'
But what I said was 'I'm sure we'll have just the thing for you'.
I went to a concert tonight with Chantal, my neighbour. It was Kevano, billed as 'celtic country'. I'm still too traumatised to talk about it so it will have to wait for another day.