We’ve pretty much ticked all the boxes on our sequence lists and I’m now in full packing-up mode, this includes selling the old French police car, I'd bought for this project last year.
I’ve been telling everyone that the car is for sale. A couple of weeks back, when I was alone at the house, I had just stuck a 'For Sale’ notice in the car's window when I saw a familiar Mercedes pulling into our drive, M.Mullet got out of his car, greeted me a little too intimately, prowled around my car and asked me why I was selling it so cheaply, ‘Leave the car with me when you go - I will sell it for you’.
The paperwork for selling vehicles in France is complicated and I told M.Mullet that I needed to have the car sold before I left France, but if he found a buyer he’d get a cut, I went into the house to get drinks for us. When I came back out M.Mullet's demeanor had completely changed, he seemed to be trying to control himself, then he put his face close to mine and snarled, ‘you will never sell that car’ and drove off.
That shook me up
I stepped up my campaign, there was a pétanque tournament at the village bar on Saturday, so I drove the car there and parked with my ‘For Sale’ notice showing prominently, by the end of the afternoon one of the players, a Dutchman, had made an offer and we shook hands on what we both knew was the bargain of the century, he insisted that I took the ‘For Sale’ sign out of the car, I passed it to him and he tore it up. We drank many glasses to celebrate the purchase and he said that he would come by and exchange cash for the vehicle a few days later.
While the Dutchman was out test-driving the Laguna, The Walrus who is also Dutch looked at me and gave me a warning.
be careful! he is from Holland – he will not pay what you are asking.
So when I received a call that evening from another prospective buyer, I said that it was probably sold - and I took her number.
Sure enough, a couple of days later the Dutchman phoned, having assessed my urgency to get the car sold, he was offering me a considerably lower price than the one we had agreed - he said that his new price was all he was prepared to pay, he would call back when I’d had a chance to think about it.
I phoned the woman back, asked if she still wanted the car and took it over to her that evening. She lived a long way away and it was midnight before her husband drove me back home with 3,000 euros stuffed in my underwear.
...and I got to tell Mr Dutchman where to put his money when he called the following day to see when he could pick up his Laguna