Music Video Via YouTube Hit The Road Jack
How many of you, I wonder, remember Ray Charles singing the song I have linked to this post? Well, it’s the same song that I was humming softly as family and I left our house that’s not a home, here in France, in the early Spring of 2008. Somebody had to keep a sense of humour! But, I must be honest, that song has become our rallying cry every time we do hit the road!
During the morning of the day before we were originally due to leave the property, in the autumn of 2007 – we were even using bottled water to flush the toilet by then, and we had no safe electricity – the resident locataire, Monsieur C, joined Tom and me as we were sitting on the bench outside the house drinking coffee. Monsieur C asked us if we could give to him the contact details for our avocat. Briefly, he explained that he would like to give evidence for us, against our sellers, at the Grand l’Instance Tribunal hearing that Monsieur MA, avocat, estimated would probably be set for the following June, ie just under a year away. Tom and I were shocked, speechless! There had been several altercations between Monsieur C and me during previous days, I felt quite concerned for our safety at times, he was explosive. I asked Monsieur C if he was having a joke at our expense. It was his turn to look shocked! Having the advantage, I told Monsieur C that family and I would be leaving the property the following day.
Monsieur C then told us he was sincerely sorry we had to leave as we were not to blame, we were “nice people” and the entire situation was the fault of our sellers, due to the way “she” (Madame T) had treated him “for too many years”. He went on to say he could “move out tomorrow”, but “I won’t”, because “I want to see Madame suffer”; he ended with, “You are her victims as I am her victim, we are all victims of that woman.” He smiled and walked to “Mon Garage” to get into his car, I followed. In the open doors of ‘Mon Garage’, I asked Monsieur C to explain to me exactly what had gone on for the situation to become as it was. He started to shout at me that Tom and I had put pressure on him to move out, the Immo had been phoning him every day, apparently. I quietly told Monsieur C that we knew nothing about such actions. He looked uncertain, then he asked me why we wanted to raise his rent. I told him we did not want to raise his rent, we wanted him to leave, end of the matter, but that we would give him a reasonable length of time to find and secure another property to rent. He just stood looking at me silently. As I was beginning to feel more than a little uncomfortable, Monsieur C shook his head, said, “I believe you, Chrissie, please put your avocat’s contact information under my apartment door, I will return in one hour.”
Vendetta? Revenge? We have no idea what that was about, but it did not inspire confidence in us to remain in the property with Monsieur C for any longer than we had to stay under the same roof with him! However, we really did believe he would contact Monsieur MA and that would be the beginning of the end of the nightmare.
What a ridiculous idea! We cancelled our plans to move into a gite – and understandably lost our deposit – but Monsieur C cancelled his good intentions several days afterwards! In the meantime, winter was knocking on ‘Mon Garage’ door, Monsieur MA had decided he needed a further cheque for €2,000, followed by yet another cheque for €1,600 to administrate the French income tax declaration, plus the taxes Foncier and d’Habitation during 2008.
Bottles of water to flush the toilet, no shower, no electricity, no heating, no light after the sun went down, cold washes, hot drinks and food from a camping-stove – we moved out in the Spring of 2008. We left the house that’s not a home, and we hit the road as the hobos in France! By that time, the village had a brand new Maire who, “Désolé, Madame”, couldn’t help us – the previous Maire had offered us public housing to rent! C’est la vie!