I got up and stared at my scribbled calculations. We had only offered our maximum bid, we did have two other figures we could go to, though they would mean quite a stretch financially. Was it worth the risk? In cases like this I usually follow my instinct, and my gut feeling was carry on with the offers. We wanted the house, it had great potential and we didn't want to loose it.
After breakfast we telephoned our friends, Stella and George, who'd lived in the area for several years and knew it well. We thought, if anyone can help us make up our minds, they could. Now both retired, George had worked as a French diplomat for most of his working years. Academically brilliant speaking 7 languages fluently, Greek being his first, and always impeccably dressed; we knew we could rely on him for an honest opinion.
We drove through their imposing wrought iron gates and across their graveled drive and after the customary kisses entered their beautiful Charentaise home.
Stella had laid on a fantastic spread and we sat and ate whilst telling them of our dilemma.
" What should we do George, we love the house, but do you think they're asking too much?" I said.
He studied the details, looking more like a solicitor in his shirt and tie than a man relaxing at home.
" Now let me tell you," he said with his familiar, passionate tone, " If you did not get this house, you'd be fucking crazy!" And with that he picked up the phone.
" Oui, Bonjour...." He continued speaking in French, most of which we couldn't quite understand, though we recognised our names, the name of the house and our 'if push came to shove we'd loose it' maximum offer. Then the receiver was replace.
"OK! You have just bought yourself a house!" he said with a grin. "We'll go together tomorrow for another viewing and to sign some papers, but your offer has been accepted. I think this deserves a glass of champagne!"