Sunday June 4, 2006
“Right,” I said, closing the great wad of documents for what I hope will be the last time. “Let’s do it.”
Graham looked up from his book, regarding me over the top of his reading spectacles. I still get a little disconcerted when he does this. It’s a recent development. Used to be me did the intimidation thing over the top of spectacles. I was really rather good at it.
“Do what?” he demanded. “It’s too hot to do anything energetic.”
“Time to sign the contract.”
“Ah. That time. Right. Let’s do it.”
No matter how often I sign a house purchase contract I get a little tremulous when the moment arrives. This time was no worse than any prior signing but even so there was a distinct wobble to the flourish I call my signature.
“When do you think we’ll exchange?”
“Well, Sally will be ready on Friday, and she’ll probe the seller’s solicitor for a date then or shortly before. Could be Friday, depending on the readiness of the sellers. If it drags out beyond Wednesday next week we’ll need to ask why, and request the agent to obtain a date.”
So, anyway, we signed the papers, I scribbled out a cheque, shoved the lot into an envelope ready to deliver tomorrow, and we settled down to enjoy one of Graham’s new wines before dinner.
“How do you like this one?” he asked.
“It’s rather good. Where’s it from?”
“Good heavens. Haven’t had a South African wine since before apartheid.”
He went on to get all technical about areas, climates and wineries and such but I’m afraid the information floated in one ear and straight out the other without encountering a non-tremulous brain cell on the way. I suppose I could go and dig the bottle out of the trash and record the detail but I’d rather not. Doesn’t seem important this time, somehow.
“Happy?” I asked, a little later. “No doubts?”
“Nah. It’s a darn good buy and I’m still excited at the thought of living in it. You?”
“Oh, I’m perfectly happy, too. Mind you, I’m going to hold to my line on selling houses in future.”
“What’s that then? Remind me.”
“I’m too old for this shit. If we ever move house again you’ll have to do all the paperwork and negotiating.”
“We’ll cross that bridge when the hens have laid it.”
“That sounds suspiciously like one of my lines.”
“Could be. It’s the sort of twaddle you put together.”
“I’m going to take that as a compliment. I’m too tired to get all affronted.”
“Quite right, too. If you’re that tired perhaps we should have an early night.”
And that is what we did.