Waiting for the Miracle

Baby, I’ve been waiting,
I’ve been waiting night and day.
I didn’t see the time,
I waited half my life away.
There were lots of invitations –
I know you sent me some,
but I was waiting for the miracle,
for the miracle to come.

It’s Thursday morning. A couple of days ago I phoned the solicitor, to mke sure that everything was in place ready for completion, which happens today. Apparently the keys will be released around lunchtime. I’ve got up and I’ve got nothing to do – won’t be going back to work for a week while we move house. The clock ticks on ever more slowly and eventually at quarter to two, I get a phone call from the estate agent telling me I can pick the keys up, followed shortly after by one from the solicitor telling me the same.

Half an hour’s drive later, and after a quick stop-off to get the keys, and we’re there. And it’s mostly as I remembered everything. Without any furniture in it some of the decor looks a little… underwhelming, and whoever wallpapered several of the rooms really has no idea how to line up wallpaper properly (there’s anything up to a half inch overlap!). There’s a certain sadness about empty houses, and this one’s no different, just echoes of the former occupants. Soon, though, the building will be full of our stuff and it’ll feel like home.

So, having taken some measurements for curtains, etc, pictures taken of the place it’s time to leave it alone for now. Plans for redecoration, renovation of the kitchen and the bathroom and so on can wait – initially there’ll be a couple of licks of paint, maybe, while we decide on the rest of the decor.

For now we’ve had trips to buy a fridge and a washing machine and are now trying to decide on curtains.

Pictures of the place, for the interminably curious, are at http://gallery.sleepawaytheafternoon.org.uk/index.php/Moving/New-House

25th September 2010Permalink Leave a comment

Four Seasons in One Day

Four seasons in one day,
Lying in the depths of your imagination.
Worlds above and worlds below…
The sun shines on the black clouds
Hanging over the domain.
Even when you’re feeling warm,
The temperature could drop away
Like four seasons in one day.

Nine days to go. The removal van is booked, and the only thing left is for the insurance certificate to turn up.

On the day we exchanged, I phoned the insurance company and explained that I’d just agreed to buy a house and needed to insure it. I repeated the fact that I didn’t want the paperwork sent to the new house, as I didn’t own it yet. They said that that would be no problem and repeated my current address back to me, reassuring me they’d send the certificate to the right address.

They didn’t. I phoned a week later and was told it went to the new house. No problem, they said, we’ll send you new copies. Have they turned up yet? The hell they haven’t. Fortunately I managed to get hold of the current owners of the house and they’re forwarding me any letters that do turn up at their address.

And then there’s removals companies. I’ve contacted three, two local companies and one big name, well-known firm. The results?

  • Local firm #1 Booked an appointment for Tuesday evening, which they rescheduled for Thursday after other issues. He failed to find our current address for looking over our stuff but otherwise seemed OK, and promised a quote within a couple of days.
  • Local firm #2 Turned up on Saturday morning as booked. Looked around, had done their homework (the estimator already knew our new house is set back from the road with a green in front of it) and promised a quote within a few days.
  • National firm – Couldn’t get a survey done for at least two weeks, and would only do it within office hours. Then decided they couldn’t do a survey at all and sent me a questionnaire to fill in which would get me an accurate quotation. Failed to send said questionnaire to me for a couple of days.

And the results? Local firm #2 won. The fact that they’d been the most reliable and accessible of all the firms contributed, always calling back straight away, getting things done as and when I asked. The price was good too. The national firm just didn’t seem to want our business, and local firm #1 lost out just through being slightly less well organised.

14th September 2010Permalink Leave a comment

I like the way this is going

I like to watch TV with you –
There’s really nothing that I would rather do.
Then maybe we can go to bed,
Get up and do it all again.

I like the way your pants fit,
And how you stand and how you sit.
Whatever seeds that you’re sowing,
I like the way this is going.

It’s been a long time coming, but today we finally exchange contracts and agreed to buy a house in a South London suburb. I’ve got onto the insurance policy to take out coverage for the future Sleeper Towers, and that’s sorted. Completion date? Three weeks’ time. In a spectacular display of karma, the idiot at the top of the chain who’s held things back for so long has been ejected – their buyers are going to rent instead, leaving everything in place. I’ll not go into the stress that was involved in getting our mortgage extended thanks to that particular fool again, but at least it’s out of the way now.

Cue the next couple of weeks – a mad ring around of removal companies, sorting out white goods, packing, throwing out stuff we don’t want / need any more.

The ordeal is nearly over? Hell, no. It’s only just begun.

3rd September 2010Permalink Leave a comment