"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."



('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)




Saturday, August 23, 2008

Serrurier, anyone?

A very nice man came to do the energy assessment of the house for the HIP yesterday (that's the Home Information Pack - yet another of the government's 'jobs for the boys' and means of extracting ever more money out of us). As I say, he was very pleasant and even changed into another pair of shoes to come into the house in case he made the floors dirty. Apart from that, he prowled round the outside of the house for a few minutes, counted the radiators, looked at the boiler and stuck his head into the attic space to check on the insulation. Money for old rope, really. I was tempted to ask him if there are any vacancies in his line of work.
Then he told me that the highest score any house can possibly get is about 66% as the system is set up to take account of the years ahead when houses will be ever more energy efficient, but not a lot of people know this. Given that, according to estate agents, very few people bother to read the HIPs anyway, those who do are perhaps not going to be terribly impressed by a reading of 66% or less.
Anyway, to get the the title of this post. Keith is now getting very excited and is wondering about taking his van with him when we go to live in France so that he can carry on with his business. He has spent a few hours this morning searching for auto-locksmiths in France and has not come up with any. I told him the word for locksmith is 'serrurier'. Try saying that after a few glasses of vin rouge and pronouncing the 'r's properly!


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