All change

Tuesday February 7, 2006

When I woke this morning, just before sunrise, it was to see the sky clearing and to hear a fresh breeze springing up. As the sun came into view the cloud started to burn away but then, like a wobbly saucepan lid, seemed to lean down and cover the sky once more. The breeze stayed, though, so I knew it’d not be long before the last of the Great Gloom would be gone.

Sure enough, by lunchtime, the day turned bright and windy, and that was it. We’re back to changeable weather once more and I hope to relish it, good and bad. There’s even talk of a light snow fall on Saturday. I shall do my best to remember the Great Gloom and to keep my complaints to a sensible minimum.

If it hadn’t been for the great wad of legal papers that turned up in the post, needing urgent attention, I’d have wrapped up and gone out for a good long walk to make up for being mostly housebound these past few days. As it was, I sighed, confined myself to a short stroll up the lane, said hello to the open fields and skies, and then came back again to settle down to doing my duty by the paperwork.

Last time, two years back, I complained that there seemed to be more paper involved in a house sale than ever before. This time there’s even more. To complete the second batch of questions I had to delve into old files to pull and copy documents I’ve not looked at since we moved here. It got done, mostly, and I shall be able to finish it tomorrow ready to post back to the solicitor but I’m left feeling I’ve lost a day I’d much rather have spent doing other things.

“I’m getting too old for this,” I said when Graham and I spoke over the phone. “Next time we sell you can handle all the correspondence and I’ll sit quietly in a corner, drooling, like as not.”

“We’d better not plan on moving again for a good long while, then.”

“Suits me.”

“Mind you, you start drooling in a corner and I shall have to kil you.”

“That suits me, too.”

It wasn’t a serious exchange of course. I’ve no intention of drooling and, when I hand the packet over the post office counter, all sealed and ready to return, I shall experience that old feeling of satisfaction at a job well done. Can’t help but feel some justification for my complaint, though. Selling houses, like growing older, is not for sissies.

I did a quick Spilsby dash for milk and sausages as the afternoon turned to evening, and took a stroll round the market square, relishing the fresh breeze. It’s good to be able to breathe good fresh air once more.

“Too much fresh air here tonight,” Graham said when we spoke last thing. “I think we’re in for a bumpy night.”

“Wish I was there to enjoy it,” I said. “I’ve fond memories of Somerset gales.”

“Won’t be long now.”

“No, it won’t be long now.”

And, if all goes according to plan, it’ll not be long, not long at all. We’re scheduled to exchange contracts at the end of this month, and to complete in mid-April. Everyone seems happy. Graham’s going to talk to selling agents in Minehead tomorrow, planning to view the town house after which I’ve been hankering and to see what else is available. If that doesn’t pan out he’ll repeat the exercise on Thursday, possibly doing the rounds of the agents in Williton and Watchet.

He’s limited by lack of transport of course, so we’re not counting on too much. When we’re all safely in the caravan I shall be able to devote my entire daylight hours to searching and we have every confidence that somewhere, somehow, we’ll end up with a decent place to live once more and which, all being well, will suit us while Graham’s working at St Audries. He loves the job, and has no plans to move on but he’s darn good at his mid-life career choice and successful bar managers are like hen’s teeth so there’s no telling, really, what the future may bring.

I count myself fortunate that, in my retirement, there is still change in my life. It’s just the paperwork that gets to me.



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