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The (strange) things we have to do ..

 
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GillianF



Joined: 20 Aug 2012
Posts: 642
Location: Dordogne

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:24 am    Post subject: The (strange) things we have to do .. Reply with quote

We have our own gites and look after another close by on behalf of friends.

(We're in France - not sure that's relevant!)

500 metres up the road from our home is an English-owned house. The family had it built about 10 years ago, lived there but didn't get on with France or the French so returned to the UK. They come out a few times in the year and rent it for the Summer to help with costs. They have a gardener and a cleaner/pool lady for visitors.

The cleaner/pool lady this year is a friend of mine - Jean. Jean has mentioned a couple of times that the current set of guests are being a bit of a pain: they keep ringing her with questions, said the pool pump wasn't on even though it wasn't scheduled to be, ask for local information, help etc. etc. Jean is a helpful person and does her best but her patience is being stretched.

Jean lives 20 minutes from the property.

So, yesterday teatime Jean 'phoned me to ask a favour. Could I go to the house she looks after because Mr. Guest had 'phoned her and said he was worried about two men around the property. They had, apparently, been into the (unfenced) garden, approached a locked shed and were loitering around in the next door field. Mr. Guest said they seemed to be 'immigrants' and he was nervous about it all. I agreed OH and I would go up and see what was happening and report back.

We approached the house and Mr. Guest came out. We explained who we were, why we were there. Mr. Guest took us around to the back of the property and indicated where the 'immigrants' had been walking and said that when he shouted "Private Property" at them they had turned and gone to the neighbouring field and were there now lying in the shade of a tree. Mrs. Guest then appeared and said the woman (woman?) had on the full, long black dress Arab women wear and had seemed to be being held up/supported by the man when they'd approached the shed. Mr. Guest thought the 'men' were looking for somewhere to sleep. Mrs. Guest was very unhappy that "you never know about these people" and that when the family were at the pool the house and their belongings would be very exposed. Mr. & Mrs. Guest were worried about what would happen "after dark".

OH and I could see the couple. We asked a few more questions. OH and I agreed to walk down the field on the pretext that the family who 'lived in the house' were worried the young woman was unwell and did they need help. OH and I started to go down the hill and Mr. Guest followed at a discreet distance. I agreed with OH that I would go first and do the talking as it would be less threatening. We called out a "Bonjour" and they replied and raised an arm in greeting.

They were lying down, in the shade, relaxing and chatting. Two young people in shorts and t-shirts. Very smiley, very happy. I explained that the family who lived in the house didn't speak very much French and had 'phoned us because we lived nearby. I explained the family were worried the young woman was unwell. They said no, everything was fine. They were on holiday and out for a walk along the stream at the bottom of the garden/field (there is an official but forgotten public footpath there) and when they'd realised it was someone's garden they'd found the shade to lie in for a while. I asked if they were sure everything was OK and they said it was all fine. We chatted about the lovely weather and how pretty the walk is and I said I often walked my dog along the path etc. etc. They asked if I was English. Just chit chat.

We left them to it and told Mr. & Mrs. Guest the gist of the conversation. It didn't seem, to us, there was any cause for concern and that if the couple were up to no good they now knew we knew them and that Mr. & Mrs. Guest had an eye open so they would have to be pretty bold to make mischief.

The young couple in shorts and t-shirt didn't seem to fit the story of "two men, immigrants" nor the woman in full Arab dress .....................

Whilst I can understand Mr. & Mrs. Guest's concern I'm not sure what they really expected/wanted us to do.

Back home OH and I discussed it and he made me promise that if something similar occurred here, at another place or on our own property that I would not get involved if he was not around. Fair enough - I probably wouldn't.

Just really wanted to share an interesting incident and ask if others get involved in odd, unexpected situations - the strange things we have to do ....................
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CircÚ



Joined: 13 Aug 2010
Posts: 361

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh yes! Not necessarily just from paying guests & various owner. Most of the non-French speaking Brit population round here seem to think I (and several others) should sort everything out as we've been here so long, speak French & 'know everything'.
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Dusty



Joined: 19 Dec 2012
Posts: 254
Location: St Cernin de Labarde, Dordogne

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can understand the concerns of the guest and hope that the owners of the house in question appreciates you getting involved and helping them out. It could well be that the couple in the woods were just looking for somewhere 'private' where they could send some time 'together' and the shed looked an option until they were spotted and the woods were the next best option.

It does amaze me sometimes when people come to France and expect to get support from anyone and everyone. I often wonder how they would feel if a person went into a shop in England and started talking french to the shop assistance.
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akwe-xavante



Joined: 01 Jul 2015
Posts: 210
Location: Hornsea

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only odd one I've had was when I had a phone call to say that there were two men in the garden and very much interested in the shed. They were also wandering around the garden too.

Told them to phone the police, I know that the station is less than 3mins away by foot. I also phoned the station directly.

Scrap Metal Thieves at work. They were arrested and taken away for questioning.
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CircÚ



Joined: 13 Aug 2010
Posts: 361

PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We're caring for a unicorn!
A lovely family who regularly rent one of the places we manage 3-4 times a year bought a very large inflatable unicorn a fortnight ago. A top-quality unicorn I must say, not your usual cheap type. It seemed silly for them to cart it home where they don't have a pool, so he's staying here until that house is empty of guests. Then we can store it with their pool toys over the winter, and he can come out to play when they come back.
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Mouse



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 7101
Location: Balearics

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing

I have to say that this year has been exceptional for pool inflatables. We've had lobsters, flamingos, a swan and a unicorn.

What has also been exceptional is that all of these were deflated and packed up and taken home. This year none have been left.

Mousie
p.s. the unicorn didn't make it though....we found it collapsed (punctured) by the gate on check out.
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Moliere



Joined: 08 Mar 2007
Posts: 4592
Location: Magalas, Languedoc

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mouse wrote:
Laughing

I have to say that this year has been exceptional for pool inflatables. We've had lobsters, flamingos, a swan and a unicorn.

What has also been exceptional is that all of these were deflated and packed up and taken home. This year none have been left.

Mousie
p.s. the unicorn didn't make it though....we found it collapsed (punctured) by the gate on check out.


Got stuck with his horn, did he Mousie?

Mols Laughing
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farley



Joined: 29 May 2014
Posts: 80
Location: Poitou Charentes

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never had the joy of unicorns or flamingos but had no less than 3 Lightening McQueens in the pool last week!
And yes, they all went home with their owners:(
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Mouse



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 7101
Location: Balearics

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moliere wrote:
Mouse wrote:
Laughing

I have to say that this year has been exceptional for pool inflatables. We've had lobsters, flamingos, a swan and a unicorn.

What has also been exceptional is that all of these were deflated and packed up and taken home. This year none have been left.

Mousie
p.s. the unicorn didn't make it though....we found it collapsed (punctured) by the gate on check out.


Got stuck with his horn, did he Mousie?

Mols Laughing


Laughing Laughing he clearly couldn't keep up the pace Laughing

Farley......I'm intrigued; what is a Lightening McQueen?

Puzzled Mousie
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farley



Joined: 29 May 2014
Posts: 80
Location: Poitou Charentes

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well Mousie, I'm now an expert on all things Cars movie related Smile
Our grandkids love these Pixar films. The lead character is Lightening McQueen, a stock car racer.
There's been a lot of film merchandise around this year as Cars 3 has been released. Hence multiple inflatable cars in our pool:)
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