Tomber des nues
I should have known better. All that talk about love in my last post. Counting my chickens. That bottle of Veuve Cliquot chilling in the fridge.
We packed up, sold or gave away the furniture and appliances we didn’t want and the new owners wouldn’t have use for. Even dismantled a solid oak built-in shelf unit in the upstairs room we used as a family room which the buyers wanted to turn into an extra bedroom.
I was about to start writing a bittersweet post about turning the page as we returned to France this week for our appointment with the notary to finalize our house sale.
Then an email popped into my inbox. “We must regretfully inform you that we will not be able to follow through on our offer,” our new buyer wrote. “For personal reasons due to our separation.” She went on to say they were gutted, had so dreamed of living there.
My jaw dropped. You might say I was flabbergasted. Or in French, “Je suis tombée des nues.” Meaning not that I fell from the nudes (‘nue’ being the female form of naked) but from the sky. ‘Nues’ in this expression comes from an old French noun for clouds. So, down to earth I fell, along with all of the time and work in selling our house over the past six months. Kerplunk.
Our appointment was supposed to be today. It was set by the notary, according to the French legal requirement of a two-month waiting period, when the buyers signed the ‘compromis de vente‘. Today we were supposed to be signing over the deed, handing over the keys, drinking a celebratory glass of champagne before going on to spend the weekend in the area with family.
We’re still going, once we get our breath back. It will give us time to air out the house and meet with some real estate agents. Because now that we live a 3-and-a-half hour drive away, we won’t be selling it ourselves.
All is not completely lost. This time French law should work in our favour, at least financially. Our now former-future buyers had to leave a substantial deposit and that should default to us as compensation.
As well as that bottle of champagne. Because life is short and, anyway, it’s jinxed now.
Cheers to that!
P.S. What do you think of the new blog theme? Feedback please! Hope it’s not too hard to find the comment box.
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