Friday, 27 November 2009

Our New House

Well, strictly speaking it is not new, but it's new to us. It became ours on Tuesday, so on Wednesday morning with a Land Rover full of stuff and towing the box trailer, we mooched eastwards to explore our new house.

Two things will stick in my memory about our first visit. Firstly, the boiler would not light and we spent a very cold night huddled together in the bed we had taken. Fortunately the fire in the sitting room was fully functional and there was an immersion heater so we had some heat and lashings of hot water. A phone call to my ex-employers got a Service Engineer to call and withing 15 minutes, he had the boiler working and the house slowly warming up. So, Mick joins Gary as one of our heroes.

Secondly having introduced ourselves to our neighbours for 2 houses each side, we were struck by their niceness. They are a genuinely welcoming group, one of whom who lent us a portable gas heater to take the chill off the bulk of our house.

Some photos:

two of the front

One of the garage:

it's beginning to look like a muddle already.

The back of the house in sunshine...

The sitting room....

the kitchen....

and two views of the conservatory..

That's it for now.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

A good number and a bit of a gap.

Yesterday was my birthday and it passed in a relaxed and pleasant fashion. Most of the Children phoned to wish me a Happy Birthday and my beloved cooked me a delicious dinner, while I took pleasure from reading a most enjoyable detective story.

I am now 61, and I'm minded to remain 61 for the rest of my life. It seems a respectable number and implies a decent degree of wisdom and experience without seeming unduly ancient. Nothing annoys me more than little old ladies who pepper their conversation with "I'm 84, you know!" Who cares? If I ever do this then I hope someone will dispatch me to the hereafter very promptly.

I am looking forward to having the kids home again for Christmas. It has been nice, not having them, but after 30+ years of having them around, I miss them more than I thought I would. It is rather like having a hole in a tooth, one's tongue keeps feeling the offending tooth, but one can do nothing but wait for the dentist to fix it. After they have been home for a week, I've no doubt that I shall be longing to see the back of them again.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

I thought we'd never get there.

At long last, yesterday we exchanged contracts on the house we are buying. It becomes ours on Tuesday, so today as been busy so far getting money to the solicitors for the balance. However, that has been done, so there should be no more hiccups. Now all we have to do is move some stuff over there.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

What a nice lady

Two years ago, I was asked by a friend who happened to be a Headteacher, if I would be prepared to audit the school fund accounts. I was happy to agree to do so.

The job of bookkeeper had just been taken on by a new lady who works part time at the school. On the days she does work, she acts as doorkeeper/receptionist and bookkeeper. If there were ever two roles that do not go together it is these two. When counting money and adding entries to the accounts book, one needs a period of uninterrupted time in which to concentrate on what one is doing. The school bookkeeper does not get that because she is constantly interrupted by the buzzer and the need for her to activate the door opener.

The poor lady has had no experience of keeping a set of books and no training, other than some mentoring by me. In this set of circumstances it is not surprising that she has made a number of errors. It is so unfair of any organisation to expect people to do a job without giving them the skills and tools with which to do it. I do hope I get the chance to tell the Headteacher and the Governors that they are being so unfair to this nice lady.

Friday, 13 November 2009

One down, one to go

Property transactions that is. The sale of my late mother's bungalow completed this morning. It is no longer my responsibility.

Our proposed purchase is a different story. The documents have proved very elusive, but as of lunchtime, everything seems to be in order. So, we should exchange contracts on Monday and complete some 10 days later. Surely nothing can go wrong????

I took myself off to have another look at the house today. It is as good as I remembered and some of the jobs I thought I would have to do have already been done.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Our Hero..

We had just got all the stuff from the van in the house and the heating expired. We only really noticed yesterday evening, so a call to British Gas Services was called for, and to our great relief our hero Gary was available this morning. He called at 9 a.m. and by 10 we were warm again. Who could ask for more?

Saturday, 7 November 2009

It's all gone in!

This morning was one of work. The roof rack holder in the garage had broken, the box trailer was full of wood and there was a big van full of furniture on the drive. By 1:30, the roof rack holder had been mended, the trailer emptied and was in use as a temporary store and the furniture and boxes had all been taken out and put into our garden room. It means the garden room is out of action for a few days, but it all went very well. My thanks to Alan for his help with the beds and mattresses - I shall pay him back by helping put his freezer back tomorrow.

This afternoon has been an opportunity for a big zizz. Zzzzzzzzzzz.

Friday, 6 November 2009

What shall we do with it all?

It is the best part of a week since I managed to be sufficiently calm and well organised to set down some thoughts, so what's been happening.

At long last, after some shouting at the solicitor, we finally managed to exchange contracts on the sale of my mother's bungalow. It ceases to be mine next Friday. Next Friday is the 13th and Friday 13th may not be an auspicious date, but there it is. Having got to this point, a van was rapidly hired and we decamped to Gerrans to get the place cleared. It was always going to take two van loads. We have arrived back in Solihull and outside sits a full van which will get emptied tomorrow as I see the weather is going to be nice.

We drove down to Cornwall on Tuesday afternoon and worked hard yesterday to pack stuff up and get it loaded into the van. It is a very long time since I have undertaken such concentrated physical labour for so long. We were both knackered.

On Monday, we're off to shout at the solicitor again to get him to exchange contracts on the house we are hoping to purchase, and the whole process starts again. We are currently wondering where all the stuff is going to go, but hey, that's a problem for tomorrow.