Early the next year we took an Easter flight to Nice and caught a local connection to St Catherine’s airport, Calvi. Di was intoxicated with the bustle of the tiny port and that’s where we’d start looking at property. That Sunday morning we parked in the pine forest behind the long stretch of luxuriant sand that is Calvi bay, and with sandals in hand, walked the happy half-mile into town. There we pressed our noses up against the dusty windows of a few estate agencies. Not much was on offer, the odd villa beyond our budget and wildest dreams, an old mill that needed care and conversion, a pile of ancient bricks in one of the outlying villages, a picture perfect plan of a palmed development that Ken and Barbie might occupy in a year or two. On the back of my hand I scribbled the contact mobile number displayed in the window of what seemed the most substantial office, ‘Agence Souris’, also the only place that seemed to offer anything for under a million francs. Heavy hearted we tramped to a sea front bar on the port, ‘Cuccarella’ and ordered coffee. We were served by a sparrow like lady who relayed our order into the darkness of the bar in cockney Franglais. Using Di’s mobile phone I rang the number on my wrist.
An indecipherable telephone number.