Sufficient excuse

Thursday May 5, 2005

Today the third and, hopefully, final estate agent called to give us his valuation. He estimated the likely selling price half-way between the highest and the lowest and, if he’d been a more dynamic bloke, and his company just a bit more up to date, he’d have secured our business, albeit with me nudging his valuation up a little. So we went for the first company, and nudged their valuation down a little.

On Monday they will send their photographer round, and their business manager, and I’ll get to sign a contract, and the house will be on the market. A couple of days later someone will drop off a copy of the sale brochure for me to approve and then we’ll really be on the market.

We regard this as the psychological point of no return. The actual, legal commitment is weeks away but for us, this was it.

“Happy?” I asked.

“More like satisfied,” said Graham.

“Tell ya what. Let’s walk over to the community centre and cast our vote. Then I’ll do us lunch and we can all have a nap to get over the strain.”

And off we strolled up the lane, across the main road and down the footpath to the Polling Station, where we marked our crosses on the ballot papers, dropped them into the box, said a nice thank you to the two election officials, and wandered off, back into the bright sunshine. When we compared our votes it seemed that, to an extent, we’d cancelled one another out.

“No matter,” I said. “That’s democracy, and at least the Conservatives got no support from either of us.”

“Fair enough. That’s it done for another five years, then. And good riddance.”

“Yes. Though I’m not going to be happy until I see enough results come in tonight to be assured the Conservatives haven’t won.”

At which point, passing the opening from our lane to a smart, newly completed small housing development, Graham dragged me in to see what the four new houses and two bungalows are like. Very pleasant. Very pleasant indeed. And with selling prices that make your eyes water. One bungalow has sold already, and there was an agent there, showing a man and woman round one of the houses. It was tempting to take them aside and whisper to them of the benefits of our wonderful house, just down the lane a little.

“You can’t do that,” said Graham.

“You just watch me if things go too slow.”

By then I was close to the end of my maximum walking and standing still capacity so we proceeded home without further delay.

Late in the evening I turned the TV over to the running election coverage and witnessed the results as they were announced, a slow trickle at first, growing to a torrent at about 2 a.m. At the point where a Labour victory over the Conservatives seemed to be assured I switched off and toddled off to bed, happy and content. I have no great love for the present Labour government and its prime minister but my loathing for the generation of neo-fascists still in control of the Conservatives directs my voting and, so it seems, that of sufficient other people to keep them out of office for another term. I’m happy with that. I don’t want to see a Conservative government yet. I really don’t want them back, not until they rewrite themselves.

Closing my eyes, far too late, my last thought was to chide myself for forgetting to take photographs today. No matter. I’ll do it tomorrow. A General Election is sufficient excuse for anyone, I reckon.



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