Can’t grumble at that

Saturday May 28, 2005

We couldn’t defer our shopping trip any longer so off we set Boston-wards, enjoying the sunshine which was rendered considerably less oppressive by a brisk, gusty breeze.

To PC World so that Graham could exchange the additional cooling fan he bought for his new computer for a slightly smaller one that’d fit without cutting into the case. That was successful, and I enjoyed poddling around looking at mouse mats and gasping at the price they ask for low-end laptops. We also looked at bright yellow Netgear boxes. On comparing prices we concluded that we can save at least twenty-five pounds by ordering the same box online, even allowing for shipping charges. Small wonder these retail shops are feeling the pinch. I did note with interest however that PC World are now offering support packages for the crucial areas of computer ownership, right down to a one-off network installation deal where a guy comes to your house and sets up or makes operable a home network using your existing gear. Now that’s sensible, answering a distinct need. I reckon there’s a distinct likelihood of private individuals with the requisite technical knowledge and lower overheads stealing this business from under their feet however. You happily call in a plumber or an electrician when you need one, so why not an independant computer engineer?

Fortunately Graham, already well versed and experienced in plumbing and electricals, is intent on becoming expert on network installation and maintenance, so we don’t need to think about paying a guy to do the job for us.

Computer business done, we made our way with some reluctance over to B&Q where Graham wanted a replacement overflow pipe and washer thing for the cistern in the bathroom loo. House maintenance doesn’t finish while you’re selling houses, in fact it’s even more necessary to keep everything shipshape and Bristol fashion when buyers may descend at any moment.

The aroma of fried onions wafting across from the hotdog stand wakened a severe attack of the grumbles in the general area of my stomach so I excused myself and bought a sausage-inna-bun which I enjoyed greatly, standing in the shade and relishing every last morsel of it, in spite of teeth that are no longer able to bite through a string of cooked onion. I really, really need to face up to the fact that I have to find the money for a dentist to pull the bulk of my top teeth and install a denture. Not a thought I care to waste much time on when the sun shines.

Then, to Tesco’s. Boring stuff, though I was delighted to find a very small soft camera case for my pencam, to protect it from bumps and knocks when it’s in my bag. Less than two pounds in price, so I dropped it in the trolley. When I came to place the pencam in its new home I found there was room for a second one alongside it. No need for a backup just now but it’s nice to know I could go for one if necessary.

And then, in the gathering heat, we returned over country roads, avoiding the long streams of vehicles coming in for the Bank Holiday weekend. While Graham unpacked the goodies—he’s a champion fridge-packer—I fixed the mesh screen over the french doors in the study so Dolly could enjoy a blast of fresh air, made tea, and checked email.

The rest of the day was spent hooking in all but the last two of my photogalleries to the new photoblog, relishing in page after page of flower photographs. I became tired of taking flower pictures sometime back and am now inspired once more. There’s no better way of achieving such colourful pictures with a camera unless you live close-by a market where exotic fabrics, fruit and vegetables are displayed for sale.

The last two galleries, showing our two previous houses, I am going to attach directly to the photoblog side-bar in an ‘our houses’ section, giving me a good place to put the pictures of this one when they come back from the lab.

There is still no sign of ready-to-go buyers for this house, nor for the one which our putative buyers need to sell so they can buy ours. Houses are selling slowly and steadily in this part of Lincolnshire, including one just up the lane a way that’s just gone over to ‘sold subject to contract’ status. Other than that, the UK house market looks to be entering on a stagnant phase. Might just be a summer lull, but I suspect it’ll last longer, perhaps for as much as two or three years.

This house will sell, of that I’m reasonably sure, but we’re likely to need to spend a much longer time in the next one before the market picks up again. We’ve discussed the situation, and my projection, and are happy with the thought of settling down for a while. There are any number of decent houses for sale in or close to Lincoln that’d be ideal for a protracted stay, and they run at asking prices well within our purchasing limits. The idea appeals to us. Greatly.

So, we’re entering in on a period of waiting for someone to turn up and set the thing in motion. There’s a steady trickle of incomers from the much more expensive South-East, and London, seeking nice retirement houses in quiet rural locations, regardless of the state of the market, so our sale here will happen. Eventually. Meantime, we’re intent on enjoying the summer, taking it easy, and enjoying excursions to parts of and places in Lincolnshire we’ve yet to explore. Can’t grumble at that.



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