Tuesday August 16, 2005
“So what you’re saying is that you’re not in a position to proceed,” I said, finding it very, very hard to keep the acid out of my tone.
“I have two buyers wanting my house.”
“But neither of them is in a position to proceed, either?”
“No. But one of them is a vicar.”
I smiled best I could, restrained my urge to say something along the lines of “Well, foopey-whuckin’-do,” and brought the viewing to as rapid an end as was consistent with good manners and sensible behaviour.
When I had waved them off down the lane I sat on my chair outside the kitchen door and swore. Profusely. In several languages, cursing carpet treaders, house agents and the UK property market, to name but a few. I can’t say I’m overly proud of that but it did make me feel a little better.
But, I ask you, how else are you supposed to account for a wasted day? For a respectable old lady who lies through her teeth to the agent to get her feet inside your door for the second time? And one you can’t really tell off for fear that she might, just might, come up with a buyer and go for your house after all?
Shortly after that, something after four o’clock in the afternoon, I came to realise I’d had nothing to eat all day and, in spite of my state of enhanced bile, I really, really needed sustenance for the body. Nothing to do for the spirit at that stage.
I hadn’t the energy for a trip to Tesco’s so I popped into Spilsby, picked up fruit and some comfort food for my dinner, and walked over to the chippy where they were just stoking up the friers for their early evening business. A tray of chips, liberally doused with salt and vinegar and taken on a bench under the trees in the market square, restored my blood salts to a sustainable level and, when I got home, I finished off with a sausage roll and a bowl of apple and orange segments. That made me feel much better.
Then I took myself off for a much-delayed nap, and slept solidly until nigh on eight o’clock in the evening. Dolly yawned at me from the bottom corner of the bed as I came to, and stretched herself mightily.
“Yeah,” I said. “It’s been a funny old day, Dolly, and no mistake.”
She yawned again, we both stirred our timbers and plodded into the kitchen for refreshment. I opened the french doors in the study and we sat quietly to watch the light fading over the fields.
“There you go, Dolly,” I said. “I think my spirits are restored at last.”
Just to make sure I put on a CD of good old-fashioned rock’n’roll and bopped my way round the house for half an hour. Dolly stayed firmly by the open door, refusing point blank to join in even a single chorus of Good Golly, Miss Molly. Well, I suppose one of us had to maintain a veneer of respectability.
And that was my day. One of them is a vicar, indeed.