Moving Back To The Cantal!

29 Aug

Since our house Case started, family and I have often wondered if our biggest error was made when we didn’t carry on down-country to settle in the Midi-Pyrenees. The Midi-Pyrenees was where we were heading to in 2007, but the mountains of the Auvergne were Sirens that persuaded us to end our house search there! However, in recent weeks, we have reached the conclusion that the Auvergne was, and remains, right for us, individually and as a family unit.

We miss the Sirens! Tom and I miss the relatively good health we enjoyed in the Cantal, and we all miss the space, soaring Golden Eagles, green lizards with blue heads, rural peace, crisp ‘dry’ snow that melts without leaving filthy slush for days on end, dry heat with relatively low humidity, spectacular storms that follow the meandering rivers and crackle and drum-roll below the top of the high plateau where our house is located. We miss the excitement of discovering exotic orchids that long ago disappeared from the British countryside – not just one or two orchids, but fields filled with orchids! We also miss the kindness of the villagers who made us feel welcome, valued and valuable. Only a handful of folks are responsible for our plight.  

The house we purchased was our primary home, not a holiday home, and we were the first British family to buy a primary residence in the village. We burned our bridges before leaving the UK, sold our house and most chattels, bought one-way tickets and moved to France – lock, stock and barrel!

Of course, those who have read my blog from day one will already know our house that’s not a home is the only property in the world that we own. But, other folks, who have cherry-picked – for whatever reason – when reading my blog, don’t know about that fact. In recent weeks, a couple of people have asked me why family and I didn’t just up sticks and return to the UK when we had to move out of the house in Champagnac. There are reasons, very valid reasons, as previously mentioned in my blog, but there are two extremely important reasons. The first is that we can’t obtain legal aid in France if we live in the UK, and we can’t obtain legal aid in the UK to fund this last step of our house Case in France. Secondly, we moved to live permanently in France for several reasons, those reasons still apply today, just as they did when we initially decided to move to France. Voila!

So, we will be returning to the Cantal. The hairdresser, Mademoiselle S, is due to vacate our property on Sunday 30 September, as confirmed in her formal Notice to us that was delivered by l’Huissier (baliff). Recently, the hairdresser sent a brief letter to us requesting permission to delay her exit from our property until March 2013. She told us (in her letter) her new business premises won’t be ready for occupation until then. She also asked us to ‘take pity on’ her business. Needless to say, we have responded to the letter with an emphatic “non”!

Copies of all relevant documents have been sent to the Cour de Cassation and the ECHR. Of course!

However – and, yes, this is the ‘but’ that tends to accompany most (all?) of our plans in France! Says she, rolling eyes! If Mademoiselle S decides to remain in our property until March 2013, leaving us out in the cold for another winter, our fifth winter as hobos in France, we won’t be able to do anything about it. Why not? I will elucidate next time!


Posted by on August 29, 2012 in World


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14 responses to “Moving Back To The Cantal!

  1. fly in the web

    August 29, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Treve hivernale was my first thought….but is this her principal residence? And I can believe that there would be no way of removing her before November, given the far from lightning speed of French legal mechanisms…

    My fingers crossed for you all. I’ve been wondering how you’ve been getting on with the extremes of weather in France this year.

    On another track, i know what you mean about an area being right for you (despite everything!). I looked at other regions but always came back to the Loire Valley.

    • hobosinfrance

      August 29, 2012 at 5:43 pm

      Hi Fly, good to e-see you. 🙂 I fell foul of a hacker! It was a nightmare, couldn’t use my Netbook for the best part of a month, the virus caused havoc. Paul sorted it all out eventually, Bless him.

      The hairdresser doesn’t live in the property, the shop is a ‘lock-up’. She is vacating because the cadastral ruled that the property can’t be used for commercial gain! So, the winter rental laws don’t enter it.

  2. GaynorB

    August 30, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Good to read a relatively positive update.

    I know what you mean about the Cantal. We saw our first golden eagle there. We’ve ended up in the Touraine via the Haute Savoie, but could easily have stopped in the Auvergne.

    Fingers crossed that the hairdresser leaves as planned.

    Best wishes

    • hobosinfrance

      August 30, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      Hi Gaynor, many thanks for your reply and your support, much appreciated. The first Golden we saw actually glided past our kitchen window on the top floor of our house that’s not a home – the house is on a plateau some 1200m above sea-level. I almost dropped my mug of coffee! Several days later, Tom and I were waiting patiently for cattle to cross the road in front of us and we noticed that we were being closely observed by an eagle-owl from his/her perch in a tree! Wonderful wildlife across the Auvergne. Warmest regards, Chrissie

  3. Sarah

    August 30, 2012 at 9:28 am

    I hope we won’t be reading a post in early October telling us that the hairdresser has indeed done the dirty and is refusing to move out. With your run of luck though regarding the house I’m not holding my breath.

    I really think she should be taking pity on you, not the other way round!

    • hobosinfrance

      August 30, 2012 at 3:47 pm

      Hi Sarah, good to e-see you. 🙂 Well, we’re not holding our breath either, and I don’t think you will be surprised to read that, lol! As you know, we take nothing as read, nothing for granted! We have learned so much through our experiences during the past 5+ years. We continue to hope, but we don’t pin hope on anything; this way, we can’t be shattered by depressing disappointment. Thank you for your continued support. Chrissie xx

  4. merewoman

    August 30, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Crossing fingers for all of you, Chrissie. It defies belief. Take pity on her – a single bullet between the eyes should do the trick. 😉

    • hobosinfrance

      August 30, 2012 at 3:57 pm

      ROFL! Susie, you are such a wonderful comfort, Bless you! 🙂 Must confess, I was a tad bemused by her request – I won’t repeat what Paul and Tom said!! 😉 When I responded to her letter, I ensured that she is in no doubt that we have had quite enough of living in a tent during winter weather in winter conditions. However, I doubt my words will have cracked the shell of total disinterest that she has exhibited throughout the past 5 years! In fact, I rather suspect she gave the customary Gallic Shrug and muttered, ‘c’est la vie, Madame’! 😦 Our day will come. Chrissie & menfolk xx

  5. Purdey

    August 30, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Surely Chrissie it is you and your family’s turn for a run of good luck – if anyone deserves it you do. Keep us all posted and lets hope your nightmare will soon be ended but like the others don’t believe this woman knows the meaning of what goes around comes around but we live in hope! Purdey

    • hobosinfrance

      August 30, 2012 at 9:41 pm

      Hello Purdey, thank you very much for your support and encouragement. Sadly, I don’t believe the hairdresser has a gram of empathy for my menfolk and me. She is young and ambitious, and she has known for almost five years that her presence in our property has been partially responsible for our homelessness! She has also known for the best part of five years that she has no Rental Contract with us, her Lease was signed by the notaire after we refused to sign; the notaire’s wrist was slapped by the Riom (15) Cour d’Appel justices because she breached laws when she signed that Lease. The hairdresser is fully aware of the facts. So, yes, I believe you are correct in what you say, and she will probably learn a hard lesson one day about life’s circles. Warmest regards, Chrissie

  6. Susan Oakes

    August 30, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Chrissie, if the hairdresser’s contract is at an end and she has been told she has to be out – then she should be! Surely, her request to stay was just that – a request? According to my French friends here in sunny Charente Maritime, a good huissier (bailiff) is worth his/her weight in gold, so I hope you’ve got one on the case!
    With love to you and the “boys” from Sue, Tchica and Elmo XXX
    (Elmo looking for a new family, as I don’t think I can keep him safe in Spain – will write separately).

    • hobosinfrance

      August 30, 2012 at 10:21 pm

      Hi Sue, Bless you for taking the time to read and respond. I know you’re up to your eyes, yet, you are still there for me and mine. The hairdresser has never had a Rental Contract with us; the Lease she was given was signed by the notaire (following instructions from our sellers!) – we knew nothing about the lass until 4+ months after we purchased the house. The Lease signed by the notaire (in April/May 2008) was a 9 years long commercial Rental Contract – the cadastral ruled at some point during 2010/2011 that the commercial Lease was illegal and only a 3 years Residential Lease could be legal. So, that Lease must have ended in 2011, ie three years after it was signed by the notaire! Confused? No more than we are, Sue! L’huissier have no ‘teeth’ in a case that is awaiting Cour de Cassation judgement. The only reason why they could act for the cadastral when the hairdresser was told (by the cadastre) that her 9 years Commercial Lease was illegal was because the cadastral is a Government agency. Unfortunately, the cadastral have no power where the residential locataire (Monsieur C) is concerned! Although the hairdresser’s letter was a request for an extension of Lease, there is no Lease and her request was possibly just words to salve whatever conscience she has, because she knows our ‘home’ has been a tent for the lion’s share of 5 years, partially due to her presence. I believe it is very unlikely that she will vacate on 30 September, I fervently hope I’m wrong. Message for Elmo – we’re pulling out all the stops on HIFF, FB, Twitter and Google+ to find a new forever home for you, hang in there, lovely lad. Love to you all from us lot. 🙂 xxxx

      • Susan Oakes

        August 31, 2012 at 11:00 am

        Chrissie, Your legal case is so complicated that I think you must be one of the very few people who can get their head around it! Of course, you’ve had to, in a baptism of fire! Fingers crossed that she leaves at the end of September.Thank you for trying for Elmo. I’m sure that there must be a good family out there where he and they could live happily ever after! Otherwise, he’ll be coming with Tchica and me and I’ll just have to be 100% vigilant and he, poor lad, won’t be able to go off lead or untethered, even in the garden. Thanks for all you’re doing to help find him that family.Sue XO

        Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2012 20:21:38 +0000 To:

      • hobosinfrance

        August 31, 2012 at 2:38 pm

        Lol! Sue, I like to think that even the Appeal justices found our Case to be so complex that they floundered, and that’s why they recognised the fraud but couldn’t award in our favour. I don’t think the menfolk and I would want to continue living in France if we believed the justice system could be as corrupt as it looks at first glance. We don’t doubt that there is corruption at regional level, and widespread corruption at lower Courts level. However, we are convinced that our sorry plight has been caused mainly by ignorance of the European laws that France adopted but doesn’t apply. Of course, the judiciary were not responsible for the “incompetences” of our first avocat! Keep your chin up re Elmo, Sue, where there’s a will there’s a way, and we do have a little time. 😉 xxxx


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