Week 26: Bread and salt

Arrival at what is now really our house . . .

Arrival at what is now really our house . . .

. . . in the warm sunshine

. . . in the warm sunshine

On Thursday the escritura ceremony took place: the signing of the deeds. We gathered with the Sensibles and their lawyer, our lawyer and the agent at the offices of a notary, whose job it was to update the deeds via a computer linked to a large, wall-mounted screen for everyone to observe. Then the four of us – the Sensibles and we two – signed the printout. In the preceding days tears had been shed, mostly by Mrs Sensible, with whom I felt enough empathy to want to cry as well, but in the notary’s office we all behaved ourselves.

Our lawyer is wonderful: unassuming but well organised and guillotine-sharp. Everything went very smoothly. Almost everything. Among his tasks was to present the Sensibles and the agent with bankers’ drafts – we had lodged the necessary euros in his client account in advance, of course. A small flurry went through the room when it turned out that the agent’s draft was three euros short. In a good-natured way, our lawyer showed the email from the other lawyer with the amount specified, which revealed where the mistake had been made. He then took three euro coins out of his pocket and stacked them up on the agent’s draft, to everyone’s satisfaction.

Our agent is forceful and unconventional, as you will know from previous descriptions. It would be fair to say that she is cut from a different cloth to our lawyer, and I suspect they did not always see eye to eye in their dealings with one another, but each has served us very well. The agent took me to the electricity suppliers’ office once the signing was done. On the way she complained about someone she has to deal with who doesn’t submit to her ways. ‘Ach, donkeybrain,’ she said. ‘Making so much trouble.’ She helped me set up an account, calling up my bank to obtain a critical number that was somehow missing from my paperwork. (Actually, it was just two existing numbers put together.) While in the electricity office she got the man there to make a few photocopies of her own paperwork for her. Another triumphant smile flashed at me. Impossible not to admire her.

We met up again, the Sensibles and us and our characterful agent, at a roadside restaurant where we drank to the new state of affairs with a bottle of red wine, just within shelter of the suddenly torrential rain. Then the agent left, and eventually so did we – back to the reliable comforts of the Chalet, while the Sensibles returned to what was now our home for the next two days. An untypical arrangement, which worked for us.

Saxon welcome

Saxon welcome

We have already knocked through so that the two small houses become one

We have already knocked through so that the two small houses become one, with the help of Eleutherio, local farmer

It remained rainy until Saturday, when we drove up to our new house in beautiful sunshine. The Sensibles had gone, leaving us bread and salt – the traditional housewarming gift of the people of Saxony – and a lovely message in German and Portuguese: a warm German welcome into our new Portuguese home.

It is week 26 and therefore exactly halfway through my blog journey, and it feels like just the right time to have taken over our house in the Algarve.

9 Comments

  1. Hazel

    Congratulations!!! How lovely it all looks! Makes London seem so uninviting. Lots of happiness in your beautiful new home! xxxx

    Reply
  2. Pauline

    Wonderful. Congratulations xx

    Reply
  3. Ruth

    Very enjoyable read! Giving bread & salt on moving home is also something we do in BADEN.
    Please more pictures of the inside of the house…

    Reply
  4. Vic

    Congratulations on moving in!!! Yay xox

    Reply
  5. Chris B

    So happy for you – it all looks wonderful, bet you can’t believe it has finally happened!! Wishing you a long and happy future in your new home…..

    Reply
  6. Janet M

    Hooray! It’s finally done, now you get to enjoy the new house.

    Reply
  7. fatma

    OMG! It has really happened. How exciting – I feel excited for you! And jealous. Your house looks so big!!! And you’re making it bigger already. Congratulations over and over. You did it!!!

    Reply
  8. Kate Kelly-Tanguay

    I misread “once the signing was done” as once the SINGING was done..which somehow seemed entirely appropriate.
    Congratulations..how wonderful that you are home at last.

    Reply
  9. Sue Forde

    Congratulations to both of you. How fantastic. Cannot believe it has been 26 weeks which is a testament to your storytelling.

    Suexx

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: