Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mad fools

The last few days have been something of an emotional roller-coaster ride. And I hate roller-coasters. I mean, what is the point of them? Where's the fun in terrifying yourself until you wet your pants? What possible good can come of wearing someone else's vomit? And how stupid are you going to look, turning up early at the gates to heaven and explaining to St Peter how it was all going fine until that one bolt worked loose? No, roller-coasters are not for me.

Which makes what the Horse Doctor and I are putting ourselves through right now all the more difficult to understand.

Regular listeners may recall my moan last week about a certain property that was tantalisingly just out of reach. Well, following much soul-searching, some calling in of favours and a nod to the wonders of modern financing packages, we yesterday made a slightly higher offer, and had it accepted.

Cue dancing around like a mad thing and being all happy and stuff. But of course, there is a problem. There are always problems. Problems might be my middle name, were it not a really stupid thing to call a child.

Mostly it's the old yapping dog in me. I've had so many things almost happen, only for my hopes to be dashed at the last moment. The English system of property buying (and by extension the Welsh, since we operate under the same law) is designed to make people suffer from ulcers, heart failure and other stress-related illnesses. Yes, our offer has been accepted, and unusually for an estate agent, the property is no longer being marketed. They've even taken it off their website. However, there is still a tortuous legal process that has to be gone through, searches to be done, mortgages to be finalised, surveys to be carried out and much money that has to be spent, before the exchanging of contracts. Anywhere along that path something could go wrong, and it can takes weeks, if not months, before the fingers can finally be uncrossed. At that point, I'll allow myself a long drawn-out breath, but it won't be until I've actually got the keys in my hand that I'll run around in circles and make whooping noises.

Then, of course, the reality will start to sink in. We've got eight years of accumulated junk in the loft. This is just my comic collection:

don't be fooled by how tidy it looks

There's even more detritus on the other side, mostly boxes full of old PhD notes, bits of computer that really ought to be in a museum, an enormous collection of backpack, soft bags and suitcases, most of whose zips no longer function, vacuum storage bags full of clothes neither of us have worn in a decade, rugs that don't fit these rooms and a thousand and one other useless items.

boxes, boxes, boxes. Oh, and did I mention boxes?

Packed under the eaves are the boxes for pretty much everything we've ever bought: the dismantled IKEA chairs and beds that turned out to be a lot less comfortable than they looked in the showroom; old bits of stereo equipment that may or may not still work; about a hundred kilner jars of varying sizes; bags and bags of bubble wrap, padded envelopes, tissue paper and other parcelling things that just might come in handy one day; all my old Archery gear, unused in fifteen years; you name it, it's shoved up there, out of sight and out of mind.

And all of it is going to have to come down out of there, even if it is just to be thrown away. Then there's the books, and the bookshelves; my office, which is of course extremely tidy and well-organised; the kitchen full of all those gadgets we never use, and even more books. I have to go an lie down every time I think about the garage, the shed, the polytunnel and everything else not nailed down in the garden.

Still, our rental agreement says we have to return this house in the state it was when we moved in. Back in '00, it had been empty for ten years. The water tank had leaked, leaving the ceilings all mould-spotted and saggy. What carpets there were might best have been used for the growing of mushrooms. The walls were mostly painted in dark shades of gloss blue and purple, so it felt a bit like living on the inside of a great big boiled sweetie. We're going to have to have a hell of a leaving party to get everything back the way it was.

I just wonder where I can find a dead bat to put in the bathroom basin.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Stuart MacBride said...

Good luck!

September 13, 2007 12:20 pm  
Blogger Chaser said...

Awesome!! Congrats!!

September 14, 2007 3:09 am  
Blogger JamesO said...

Thanks, peeps. It's all a bit daunting, really.

September 14, 2007 11:02 am  

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