Thursday March 16, 2006
You can only do the bated breath thing for so long before commonsense dictates the resumption of normal breathing patterns. Well, as normal as is possible in the circumstances.
I reached that point after speaking to the estate agent, who has satisfied himself that contracts are to be exchanged tomorrow or, at the latest, by Monday. He also promised to check the situation daily and let me know instantly if anything further happens to threaten further delay. My bad cop routine yesterday has had the desired result, it seems. I took it one step further and played the disabled person card, explaining that if Graham has to go off to Somerset before we move I shall be unlikely to be able to manage the move on my own. That had the desired effect, too.
Then, a little later, I picked up a return call from our solicitor who gave me the same story and, when I identified the date beyond which the house move becomes severely problematic assured me that in her opinion we would be able to meet it. She already knows about Graham’s need to be in Somerset for the start of the season, and about my reduced physical mobility problems, too, and has made sure that everyone down the chain knows the score.
I very seldom play the disabled person card, which may explain one of the reasons why it’s so very effective when I do. Leaving a disabled person stranded in Lincolnshire isn’t a publicity stunt that appeals to most people.
“John, I really think you’re safe to expect exchange well before your deadline,” Sally said.
“Bless you, Sally,” I said. “I’m glad we have you looking after us.”
I put the phone down and it was as if a great load had shifted from my shoulders.
“I’m alright now,” I said to Graham. “Somehow, for the first time, I know that we’re going to be able to do it.”
“Good,” said Graham, looking up from packing CDs and Fiesta pitchers. “Tea?”
And so Graham pressed on with the packing, almost done now, with Dolly the Mega-cat and I offering further tea and much sympathy from a safe distance.
Over the weekend we shall do a tidy-up and clean house and we’ll be ready for whatever comes the moment it arrives. The removal estimator is calling on Tuesday and we’ve pencilled in some dates early in April that are ok with them.
With the arrival a few days back of the first month’s advertising revenue from the website I’ve checked out the laptop fund and concluded it’s quite healthy enough for me to order my ThinkPad the instant we exchange. They have it available off the shelf on a next-day delivery basis.
During the early evening I had a momentary loss of confidence and reached round for my three touch-for-luck objects—a piece of driftwood from Big Sur, a chunk of stone from the summit of Scawfell Pike, and a small bust of Athena I bought on my last visit to the Parthenon—only to find they’ve been bubble-wrapped and stowed into a cardboard box.
“It’s certain to be alright now,” I said.
“How do you mean?”
“My good luck charms are packed safely away.”
“There you are, then.”
It’s all quite exciting, really.