Seeking to Renovate

French ruin

“Matthew, look at this place!” the wife exclaimed, exploding out of his car before the agent immobilier had even turned off the engine.

Her husband followed, clasping the details, while his feral children shrieked towards the stream.

Luc hung back, lighting a cigarette.

Already, the Englishman was muttering about roofing, plumbing… but still he waited.



Luc found them huddled round the photograph, drinking up its coffee-coloured glimpse of yesteryear: buckets of geraniums; lace framed windows; charming French family at the door.

“We’ll take it.”

Of course.

Sometimes imagination wasn’t enough.

Sometimes clients needed his wife’s skills with Photoshop.



Photo by Piya Singh (Bittercharm)

 All constructive criticism gratefully received.

21 thoughts on “Seeking to Renovate

  1. A clever and original take on the prompt. Enjoyed this, and the coolly cynical attitude of the immobilier. I’ve met a few such.

    • As have I, Sandra! They say ‘write what you know’ and we spent a long few months searching for a house in France a few years back. It reminded me as soon as I saw that photo.
      Thanks for stopping by, I’ll be coming by your site later.

  2. I am a Realtor. So, of course, I should be offended. But I’m not. My profession is full of snake-oil salesmen who give the rest of us a bad name. I enjoyed your story. Thought it was funny as well as only a slight stretch of the truth!

    • Thank you Paul, no offence intended, and after all, my immobilier only gave them a little nudge in the right direction!

    • I think we can all recognise a lot of politicians in this sort of behaviour – the family could have walked away, the husband clearly had some common sense – but Luc latched onto their dreams, and they were sold. Glad you liked the story.

  3. Very well-done and I especially liked the “feral children” (not that I would like them in real life, you understand, but…). Reminded me of something from Peter Mayle, although written in a very different style and the Photoshop was a clever twist.

  4. I thought this was going to be another “oh no, what has my husband got us into?” story, but instead you gave me a good laugh and a nice hint at the cynicism of (many) agents everywhere. What’s the difference between a photoshop’d photo and a staged bedroom after all?!
    If I would change anything, it would just be to make the beginning a tiny bit clearer, so that we know the wife is excited not appalled right from the off. Exclamations are a tough thing to shade, though, and it works as it stands.

    I’m over here:

    • Yes, I see what you mean, the wife could appear appalled. I shall have a think about how to fix it. Very useful comment – thank you.

  5. Oh, those… “feral children”…fabulous, no explanation required. One wonders how many travel brochures are also “photoshopped” …false advertising…they should not be legal. PS: I always find Elmo’s constructive comments interesting.

Comments are closed.