Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Immobilier's Visit Part II

I feel that, like any decent sequel, this should have some 'kick ass' name like 'The Vendeuse Strikes Back' or something but for the moment I'm not feeling inspired so I'll just stick with Part II.

First things first though. Anyone seen any black holes yet? Well, apart from the one in my purse whenever I open it anyway. Yes, today CERN starts to try and recreate the beginning of the universe with its Large Hadron Collider. Is it just me or don't you think a giant piece of kit like that with all that it's capable of should at least have a name that includes words which actually exists in the English language. I mean, what's a collider when it's at home? And is is a LARGE Hadron Collider or does it collide large Hadrons? I think these scientific chappies are missing the point. Even if it does create anti-matter it should have a decent name that sounds a bit scientific.

For those that don't understand what it's all about, here it is in layman's terms.

Well you have this big ring thingy, only it isn't really circular it's made up from a series of arcs. It's 27kms long, so if the experiment fails the Swiss can always use it as a velodrome and practise for the next Olympics.

At various points it has detectors which are looking for a) the Higgs Bosun or God particle (CMS), anti-matter (LHBc), Dark Matter (Atlas) and the moments after the big bang (Alice). How come the only female name in the whole thing comes after the word 'bang'?

In the tunnel ring thingy, particles of something or other called protons (not to be confused with the car) are pushed round at huge speed and smashed into the detectors. (Sounds like a normal day out driving in Southwest France to me). The Alice detector uses electrically charged lead atoms and scientists hope to re-create a state of matter called quark-gluon plasma which existed just after the Big Bang. Now if that's not a name from Star Trek then I don't know what is!! The whole point of this is slightly lost on me but it cost billions and lots of overgrown boys work on it, so there must be a reason, eh?

So, is this the end of Creationism as we know it? Did all those years I spent at Sunday School really mean nothing? Does anybody except for CERN, a few boffins (and my brother) really care? The Doom Mongers, who can always get jobs on the Daily Mail and the Sun if all else fails, claim that it may mean the end of the world and YouTube is awash with computer simulations of what could happen if it goes horribly wrong.

On the plus side though, the Earth has so far failed to be sucked into the black hole that is my purse and the CERN one will be child's play compared to that, and, even if it did, it would take my credit card bills with it, so perhaps there would be a God after all! So there you are. Clear as mud.

On the minus side, I spent days creating a website for our house sale and I'll be really, really peed off if the world ended before I'd had a chance to publish it!

Which brings me back to Immobiliers. After the cock up on Friday, I did manage to get an estate agent round, the lovely Suzie from Agence Passemard and also my friend Jen from Bacchus and so the fun begins.

Today I had another 'rendez-vous' planned with Stephane from Quercy Blanc Immobilier. Things got off to a bad start when I dropped the children at the bus stop to discover a) no bus, b) no other children and c) the road out of the village blocked because they are laying new water mains. The children haven't been getting the bus as DD still hasn't got her bus pass - no doubt another casualty of the French postal system. This morning though, with the rendez-vous planned I was planning to ask Bastard Bus Driver if he could possibly please, I know she's not on the list yet but her bus pass is in the post, honest, take her too so I could get back and have a final clear up before Stephane arrived. Apparently though, due to the road works, the bus leaves from another part of the village 15 minutes earlier than scheduled. Well thanks for the head-up guys!

I dashed the 23kms to college, slowed down slightly to throw them out of the car, and sped back home. We've been really good about keeping the house tidy so there wasn't too much to do. 5 to 10 and I'm all ready. Quick dash to the loo is all that's required.

I may have mentioned earlier about our bathroom windows. There are 12 of them, all large. Normally it's not a problem as the bathroom is not overlooked. Unless that is, it's by an estate agent who's not familiar with the layout of the property and so finds himself wandering down the path between the house and the cottage looking for the front door.

There I was, relaxing mid-pee, when I hear the crunch of gravel and look up to see Stephane, all suede jacket, Levis and funky specs, sauntering down towards the bathroom and me in full view almost, knickers round my ankles. Fortunately there is a courtesy wall (one of those half walls) that shields the toilet itself but still I can't stand up and zip up without being seen. In fact if he looks now he'll see my head popping up above the wall! Damn, damn and thrice damn! I fling myself on the floor and commando crawl towards the bedroom, jeans still round ankles. Well what's a girl to do? Have you ever tried doing your jeans up while lying on the floor?

I just hope to God that he doesn't decide to peer in the window. Quite what he'd make of a middle aged English women, bare assed, crawling across the bathroom floor is anyone's guess. Actually, he's probably just assume that I'd started early on the wine, such is the reputation of the Brits among our French neigbours! I can't even bear to look up just in case! Please, please tell me this happens to you too. It can't be just me......... can it?

I make it to the bedroom, sort out my clothing, a quick squirt of perfume as I'd broken out in a sweat and I walk casually to the door.

'Bonjour Stephane, enchanté', I say nonchalantly.

Stephane tells me I write French very well. He's also brought a copy of my e-mail to show me the two small mistakes I made! How very French! Actually, he's very charming and I didn't once bristle when he corrected my spoken errors. Never mind, when I'm Presidente, my first job will be to simplify the French language for the benefit not just of foreigners, but of the French as well. It will do wonders for the illiteracy rates in France!

We wander around the house, the cottage and the gardens. He's trying to get the lie of the land. We find ourselves back on the path by the barn.

'Ah yes,' he says, 'the bathroom'.

Do you suppose he did see me?


justme said...

Just act as though he didn't! Best thing...after all, he isn't going to say anything, is he!
The house looks totally fabulous........are you sure you want to sell up?

manu said...

but it cost billions and lots of overgrown boys work on it

haha.. yeah, my insider contacts tell me that it also makes a mean microwave dinner... but the black hole is powerless against credit bills!

really shouldnt be laughing.. my work is on something just as useless.. I mean scientific, although not as expensive!

teapot said...

I rekon Stephane will be straight down the bar, more stories of the blond snake hipped English women.

Between the Pompiers and Stephane they know you quite well by now.

Before you leave, why not complete the view with a streak around the village!

(Very) Lost in France said...

Justme - thanks for the compliment. I prefer to think that he didn't see me and leave it at that! VLiF

Manu, nice to see you again. What do you mean 'powerless against credit card bills'. You can see it was invented by MEN! So what are you up to? VLiF

(Very) Lost in France said...

TEAPOT! - well hello and welcome. How nice to see you here. For the rest of you, this is Teapot who send me the hilarious Pam Ayres poem. Hmm, not sure about snake hipped, more 'steak hipped' in my case as in covered in juicy meat! (Actually that sounds a bit suggestive but it isn't meant to!) I'll have a think about the village streak. It would be nice to leave in a blaze of glory! VLiF

manu said...

erm, right now it seems like I am working hard at specializing in innovative ways to break things. once I figure that out I will be handed a phD and sent on my way.. to break things elsewhere.. its quite satisfying really! ;-D

(Very) Lost in France said...

Manu, innovative ways to break things! Fabulous. Can I help? I bet I can come up with some ways you've never even thought of! VLiF

Lehners in France said...

I don't envy your forthcoming task. As for you crawling commando style whilst actually commando, I have a mental image and it's very funny. Don't worry it's not just you it happens to. Our loo was occupied the other day so I was mid leak in the garden when the very young and gorgeous Monsieur Marbouty popped his head over the hedge after checking his fields. Whoops! I really do think it's time for me to relocate. Debs x

Lane said...

I'm so glad you've clarified the CERN thingy. Now I understand! It's all so simple when you put it like that:-)

Hi there btw. Nice to meet you:-)

dND said...

Where are you going VLIF - I've had a quick run back through the blog but haven't found if you say.