2012 has actually crept up to be an eventful year and as yet not eneded, not just for myself but friends as well, so many things can lay dorment in the guise of IF and WHEN but then suddenly they have happened as though it was just another dawn starting and accepted in much the same way.
At the start of 2012 I was still palnning a return to St Puy and what I may be able to acheive whilst I was in france, still considering the need to find folk for renting my house in Brazil and hoping to get by for the year on what seems a very lean income from rental. It as always been slightly difficult for me to rent as my house is away from the hustle and bustle that so mant Brazilians adore and well away from the apparent security that travellers care to have as well as no safe regular transport to and from the village and no direct transport to the airport. I have mentioned before that I have felt some what let down by the attitudes of the Mayor of Camacari and the consequences of poor service from the Camacari council, water company, electric company and worst of all the Oi telemar telephone compnay. Well all this was still the case in February this year and had shown no sign of changing, as was my attempt at selling my house here in Brazil, January had seen me rent my house out to a family and then get a bill for over R$1.000,00 for the water for the one month, no rental for the December 2011, and then only a short rental for Carnaval 2012 as it came so late this year and no one wished to rent for the whole month, this was in my mind when i left for France in March 2012.
January into February 2012 had seen one rather unpleasant experience arise and still be with me when I was leaving for St Puy, a long standing friend had decided that he would get me to help him with his house in Scotland but had not it seems thought that this might be me a problem for me when I was in Brazil, consequently when i said it would not be convenient to go to Scotland he took a rather severe and alarmingly bad attitude to myself , this resulted in an exchange of emails that did not resolve anything but left a bad taste and a distinct break in our long friendship, which in reflection does not seem to have been the friendship that I had thought it was and showed up a desire to manipulate others, to deceive, fool, hoodwink, trick or cheat , what ever the prefernece in words the meaning can only be sort by the person doing the act and not the receiver of it, they are left reflecting on the past comments and actions and seeing that things were not what they assumed at the time, what might have seemed a kind act now seems a calculated blind to get another response. This series of emails led to another occurance in St Puy and fortunately led to a move on my part that perspitated a change for the better and a move that as now provided me with a better lifestyle and a road to recovery, finacially.
Before leaving St Puy in 2011, had arranged with friends to borrow their house there for the first month of my return in 2012, this would give me a start at making my house habitable and therefore save money on rental, each year it cost me in euros on rental in France and I now wished to use this money on materials for my house there.
My return to France came with a few days of warmer weather there, so it was a good thing for me to find temperatures around 12 c and not the minus that had been there just a few weeks earlier. Also my friends house is so comfortable that my house in Brazil seems barren by comparison. It was here that i became aware of what my friend had done after our exchange of emails, it is he that had supplied me with the workshop at the Bergerie, a garage that was in four sections and which I had roofed and put in the electrics, we had an agreement while he was not using the space, for me to start up my own business there and if he wished me to do work on the bergerie I would allow time for this and he would pay me for the work minus the cost of materials and workshop. I having left my LandRover for the six months in the garage at the Bergerie had requested a friend to go there and charge the battery before I returned and check that all was well there, the result I found when I got to St Puy was that the electricity had been cut to the workshop so preventing me using any of the machines there. The story is winded and so not worth putting in writing for the world but the result as been that I searched out another workshop to try and complete what work I had on promise from 2011.
My first few months back in st Puy had a new value to them, I cracked into work on the house and found a workshop practically next to me in the village. By the time that my friends had returned to retake their house I was close to finishing the basics on mine, although they now got interupted by a pleasing but unexpected visit from my eldest brother and my nephew, so a few days holiday was called for and we toured a bit of the region for four days, a lot of chat and a story of new lovers was unfolded to me.
My brother has been divorced for many years, almost as many years as my three divoreces, it has been almost 50 years since he married ( my brother is 74), so any story of a new love in his life was some what unexpected. It was with some one that I and my nephew had not met or knew of, in fact it was difficult to have any knowledge as this love affair seemed to have started just a week or so before he came to France, this being his first trip to europe and only the second time in his life when he had left GB. Two weeks later , after their return to England, I received an email from my nephew asking me to interveen and chat with my brother, he had evidently returned to GB and decided to marry the mysterious lady, to add to this she was a Quaker and lived in Somerset...., then my brother wrote to me and told me that indeed he had asked the lady to marry him and they had set a date, wishing me to accept an invitation to the wedding, which I did...the date was set for August 2012.
After my brothers return to GB I continued to work on my house in St Puy and moved into it whilst it still had no windows or doors, not even the front door, to make things a little difficult the weather changed and it returned to cold winds and rain, a time to appreciate that the roof still leaked and the cold can penetrate every gap in the house.
My move to the new workshop as proved inspiring, a new friendship as come with the move, the workshop is rented from the Mayor of St Puy but the machines are owned by Raymond, the cabinet maker who has been there since 1978, a native of the village and very much liked by all. I am a cabinet maker by default while Raymond was trained as one and in an enviroment of artisan skills, he tells me that the village had many carpenters and furniture makers but as with all the trades in rural villages, they are dying off, it is this reason that was my luck, raymond had been offered money for his business but had wanted to find some way of keeping the activity functioning in the comunity and keeping what is almost the last working tradesman in the village, to this end Raymond and I are as one and we have a loose framework for the continuation of the artisan tradition in St Puy, it would be even better if we can possibly start up a school for locals to come and learn the basic skills of furniture making ( before Raymond and I pass away).
This sad note is so close to one when just in the last few weeks there have been deaths of two people I know in the village of St Puy, both are neighbours and with both I would pass the odd French courtesies on a daily basis. There are two other elderly ladies with whom I also have daily chats and they now seem so vunerable, with me being Brazil at the moment and not returning untill around march 2013, it gives a slight worry that the winter will not treat the old kindly and it may be that the village will have lost more inhabitants before I return, this is a village of 650 with its surrounding area but only about 250 that live in the village itself, so a loss more than four this year makes a difference, strange and not so strange is the fact that two folk I knew here in Brazil, have died since my return here.
Just before returning to Brazil ihad an email from an estate agent, he had seen an advert that i placed on the net some three years ealier and although had replies to it had never found it a positive advert. The advert was to sell my house in Brazil and was designed to get some response to redirect the client to my advert that I had placed on my blog, but the nature of the advert never really achieved this until now. The chap that wrote to me was indeed an agent and working from Salvador, Bahia, he was also not Brazilian, a Danish man that was now married to a Brazilian and living here permanently, the difference becomes apparent when you ask the agent to sell your house, a native will give very little time to sell the house and waits for cliets to appear from thin air and then does not always show them all the houses that he could, prefering to show the houses most close to them and at the lowest price to get a quick sale. This has not been the case with this agent, he had several folk interested and viewing my house even before I had returned to Brazil and negotuated quickly to sell the house, which has now completed, a dream of mine for many years and a wish since my last divorce in 2007. The year as not finished so it may be that I have more surprises in store, one may be this coming Monday, tomorrow, I have a person coming to see my wood working machines which I have here in Brazil, these are the last problem in clearing the apartment for a possible sale.
One snag about the house sale is the new neighbours and their music !!!!!!!!! not good ......