Pesky solicitors

Monday March 20, 2006

The slow, steady warming has continued today. When I went out to do our weekly provisioning trip I needed neither hat nor windcheater to feel comfortable. There were still several layers between skin and the outdoor air but it’s a sign, a good sign, that the constrictions imposed by winter are lifting. There was even some sunshine, and a few patches of blue sky that, while insufficient to make a pair of sailor’s trousers, would have sufficed to provide a very fetching pair of shorts.

And, blessings be, I counted almost twenty wild daffodils in bloom between here and the supermarket on the outskirts of Boston. If the warming continues I’ll not be able to count them much longer.

All of which helped to keep our spirits high, as did a phone call that Graham made to our buyer, from which he emerged smiling and happy. It transpires that her buyer, the third in our three-customer chain, is equally anxious to get going, and is hopping mad with his incompetent solicitor. Seems that this legal eagle had noted the completion date incorrectly. “What’s the rush,” he is reported to have said yesterday. “You said you don’t want to complete until the end of April.” The customer’s reaction was not reported but it’s likely to have amounted to a quite reasonable “Grrrr!”, and the solicitor is now working to the same timetable as the rest of us.

Now, ultimately, the responsibility for checking dates and other crucial details, belongs firmly to the solicitor who, as a professional, has a primary duty of care to his client. The canny client however, aware of the ever-present possibility of human error, checks and double checks these things all the way through the conveyancing process. I always have, and then I pass the paperwork over to Graham so’s he can check them, too. And, once the details are set, I habitually write my solicitor a brief letter to act as a memorandum of understanding, setting out dates and financial details in black and white. Sally, as part of her scrupulous care and professional practice, always responds appropriately. And we do the same thing to record important phone calls.

Hey ho.

So the reason for the delay is revealed at last, along with a good feeling that all three members of the chain are keen to get the thing battened down as quickly as possible. The guy at the beginning of the chain has a pressing need to get it done—he and his family are living in a house on a short rental, contracted to end before Easter.

The log jam is about to be released. Won’t that be a relief.

While in Tesco’s I picked up a first-day copy of the new Harry Potter DVD and we sat down to enjoy it this evening, a fresh bottle of chardonnay at our side. Smashing movie. Rather darker than any of the previous instalments, it’s dense, fast, and will require at least one more viewing before we’ve caught all of its subtleties. I can happily recommend Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. There are some very scary bits, though, so the usual cautions apply.

“Cor!” said Graham. “That was a helluva ride!”

“Sure was. You know the thought I’m left with?”


“If I had a tame dragon I’d get him to fly over to Wales and give that pesky solicitor the fright of his life.”



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