Thursday, 17 April 2014

An Innocent Export

I have been doing a spot of foreign property surfing on the interwebbly this week, mostly because every now and then Andy and I get fed up with living in the middle of a town when we really want to live in the middle of a massive field.  And because a house in a massive field in Britain costs a ridiculous amount of money which we don't have, we tease ourselves by looking at massive houses in France surrounded by lush hills and woodland...

...and, I might add, without a person in sight, too, which is very important,especially to me as I have tolerated almost two weeks of the Shouty Tenants Next Door, to the point where they were having a massive barny on their patio yesterday afternoon, and I happened to be in our back garden cleaning out the hen pod, and I flipped every so slightly and said, in a not very quiet voice, 'Oh for goodness' sake, STOP flipping SHOUTING all the time!' only I didn't use the word 'flipping', I said something that begins with 'b' and rhymes with 'muddy.' Suddenly, it went quiet, a door opened and closed, and the barny continued in a more muffled tone from indoors. I sighed, Primrose and Daisy looked sympathetic, and then said please could I hurry up and re-establish their nest as there was an egg most imminent...

Anyway, having selected several houses en France, including one I keep going back to and would buy TODAY if a) I had a guaranteed income out there so we wouldn't starve to death or be clapped in irons for non-payment of taxes and bills and b) was brave enough,  I had the urge to move onto Germany, around the Rhine Valley.

 Cor, that was an eye opener! I went on to read several blogs about living in Germany, I even went on the Government website to see about practicalities and it all seemed jolly well organised, clean and tidy, and you know how I approve of these qualities enormously. So now I get to house hunt in Germany, too! I have toyed with Italy, because I am a bit of a romantic and I love what Italians do with their gardens and their food, but I am yet to be enchanted by their houses. Australia is too hot and full of spiders hiding under the loo seat waiting to nip you on the unmentionables, Spain is too hot full stop. Anywhere North of Lancashire is too cold and dark and wet. I can't bring myself to consider America, although I know it is full of really lovely people. 

Which brings me to the purpose of my post today, which wasn't to bore you with my 'Search For A Field' plan but...

...I have a friend in America, and she has been through a bit of a tough time of late. And I want to send her a little 'Cheer You Up' gift. Now, I don't want to send any old thing that you can buy any old where in the world, and was probably mass produced in China. I want to send something specifically of England. Like a Much Malarkey Manor hand crafted by moi lavender bag. Just as an example. 

Well, in the back of my mind, because I have been distracting myself from the reality of my life with dreams of foreign climes, I remembered reading somewhere that you have to be careful what you can send in post to the USA. So I researched sending dried lavender flower heads encased in cotton fabric and up popped horror stories of lavender bags being sniffed out by beagles in airports and RIPPED to tiny shreds, or INCINERATED, and I do not want that to happen to the parcel I am sending to my friend. I have even gone as far as emailing APHIS USA which is the oracle of what you can and cannot bring into and send out of America. They haven't got back to me so far. The whole malarkey is beginning to make me feel like a potential criminal! 

So I popped into town today, to a 'Local Craft made by Local People' arty gallery-type place and found something I think I am pretty safe to send without fear of it becoming part of a beagle's breakfast or nuked with a flame thrower. But even then I am feeling marginally anxious. No, Denise, it'll be okay! No probs. absolutely fine! Really it will...

And when I think of things I have chucked in a box a sent to France...

I leave you with a picture of Flora Bijou Mybug, who is clearly not as excited by the novel 'Regency Buck' as I have been. Olly, I need some Georgette Heyer recommendations, please!!

9 comments:

Vera said...

I loved shopping around on the Internet for houses before we came here, and I am sure that the right house will find you, wherever that may be!

Denise said...

It is a very diverting pastime, Vera! No harm in a spot of day dreaming, eh? Xx

Olly said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed Regency Buck. Where to start - my collection is mostly from charity shops so it's a bit erratic. Friday's Child is a particular favourite, Arabella - False Colours is another good one. Or you could start with the very first one, Black Moth. I can truthfully say that I've never read a Georgette Heyer without enjoying it - apart from the historical (non-romantic) ones. I love virtual house-hunting, I do it all the time only I stick closer to home. Best I don't start thinking about anywhere else!

Denise said...

In that case, Olly, I shall do a trawl of the charity shops, too, and see what Georgette Heyer sends my way! Thanks for the recommendations, though. And I do Internet house shopping in the UK as well - usually Herefordshire, Shropshire, Suffolk and Norfolk, but occasionally straying into other counties just for a nosey! X

Chel C said...

I have sent some lavender parcels in the post to American bloggers and they received their parcels intact so fingers crossed Denise should get it. You are so kind to do this. For someone who plans on putting their house on the market this year, my virtual globe trotting house hunting has to be reigned in and keep to this country, otherwise I will be living in Iceland somewhere! Have a wonderful Easter xx

Denise said...

That's good to know, Cheryl! I have had three emails today from USA customs and all they have done is pass me from one department to another with a series of complex 'additional information.'. All I want is a plain 'yes' or 'no!' I don't know...you try and do things properly...sigh...

Good luck with the house sale and have fun Internet property shopping!

Janice said...

Wouldn't you like to be Vera's neighbour in the next couple of fields in France? I don't think you'd like it here in Canada in 'Zone 3'. Way too much snow!!!

doodles n daydreams said...

I love window shopping for a new house on the internet as well. Usually over on the West Coast where I came from or closer to home. Bob's feet are firmly planted here, we have had one foray into foreign climes and it didn't work out, so no hope of budging him now unfortunately.
Good luck with your parcel to the USA - you can but try.

Diana

Denise said...

Ah, now Janice...Vera and I were neighbours here in the UK many years ago, and if we became neighbours once again it would re-introduce our very naughty tea and coffee and cake habit! And I am not sure our respective hubbies would be very pleased about that!! But Vera and I would enjoy it ENORMOUSLY!!!

And yes, you are right - I can't cope with a little snow, let alone the amount you have to deal with, you admirably stoic lady! I think I am a temperate climate person.

Crumbs, Diana! I think I have uncovered a whole bunch of us property Internet browsers! Sometimes Andy and I think, 'Yes! Let's have an adventure abroad!' And other times I think I would miss lovely England too much. I am sooooo indecisive.

Wishing you and your family a peaceful, reflective and happy Easter celebration! X