Not a bad day’s work, really

Friday June 27, 2008

I was in the shower when the phone rang.  Didn’t hear it so I was taken off my guard when Graham came along to tell me about it.

“Seems we’ve sold the house,” he said, looking a little shaky.

“Oh, really?”  I said.  “How much for, to whom, and by which of the two agents?”

The answers were not too clear at this stage.  Graham and the [fired] agent had some more negotiation to do before getting down to finalities.

When, after about half an hour, he was satisfied that the deal was worth serious consideration, Graham handed the phone over to me.  The price he’d pencilled in was at the very bottom end of acceptable, but a cool £25k over that put forward by the agent a week ago.  The first thing the agent said was that he’d got a little more than that, and plomped another £2k in my lap.  Clever that, making up to a guy you’ve offended enough for him to sack you is best done with cash.

“Will that be acceptable, John?” the agent asked.

“Probably,” I said.  “Talk me through the chain, mortgage and timings again, one more time, and from the top.”

He took a deep breath and gave me the details in an organised fashion.

“Ok,” I said. “Well done.  We have a deal.”

“Great.  Thanks.  I’ll get the details out to all parties promptly, and we can jump to the starting line.”

I put the phone down quietly and carefully.

That was when we did our “WE DUN IT” jig.

“Right,” I said.  “There’s no way I’m going to be up to fixing lunch today.  And I want to get out of the house, too.  What say you we go visit Burnham-on-Sea and find a seaside eatery?”

I was astonished at the response.  Not a word of argument.  He just put his coat on and stood tapping his feet while I struggled into my socks and shoes.  Two years I’ve been struggling to get a visit to Burnham-on-Sea out of him and what does it take?  A house sale, that’s what.

Anyway, keeping in mind that no house sale or purchase is a done deal until contracts have been signed and exchanged, and deposits paid, the likely sequence of event is this:

  • Two days before completion we shall move ourselves, Dolly, and the patio plants down to the caravan at West Quantoxhead.  I’m looking forward to seeing Dolly’s reaction to finding herself in the caravan once more–she’s always loved living in them.
  • On completion day our furniture and stuff will be moved into storage.  Life on the cliff-tops at West Quantoxhead will resume.
  • Somewhere along the way we shall have started the search for our new house, in the Swansea cachement area of South Wales.  There is no great rush;  we are reliably informed that prices are decreasing at about 1% per month, and likely to keep on doing so until the credit crunch is done. We have a short-list of about ten suitable properties, mostly bungalows, and all either empty or on the market with the promise of ‘no forward chain’.  That way, when we press the button, it’ll take a maximum of eight weeks before we move in.
  • The moving in steps will of course depend on the condition of the new property.  We may need to clean and decorate and, possibly, do a bit of fixing before we can take up residence and there’s no way of planning that until we get further along the path.

So, that’s the plan.

Lunch turned out to be a large platter of roast Welsh lamb with all the trimmings for me, and a Cornish pasty meal for Graham–he doesn’t do roast meals generally and certainly not mutton or lamb.

I sat back, patting my tummy and feeling virtuous.  Just as I’ve been saying all these years, a good, balanced meal of traditional ingredients is healthy and not overly-fattening.  There are rather a lot of red-faced doctors and dieticians about the place just now, having had their ‘healthy life-style’ theories thrown back at them.  When they started persuading us back in the seventies that we were eating all the wrong things, there were very, very few fat people around.  Now look at us.

Anyway. That is a more or less accurate account of how we came to take our lunch at the Bay View Cafe, looking out over the bay towards the Hinkley Point nuclear power station, and followed it with a pleasant stroll along the Promenade with ice cream treats half-way through. Not a bad day’s work, really.


26 responses to “Not a bad day’s work, really

  1. Congratulations, John! Congratulations, Graham! And last but not least, congratulations, Dolly!
    Sometimes life’s just wonderful, isn’t it? 🙂

  2. That’s excellent John! I’m looking forward to hearing about the move and eventually, the new house.
    The lunch sounds nice too 🙂

  3. I’m so relieved, and so happy for yee – was it the military couple or the lady in love?

  4. Congratulations on selling, hope all goes well with the sale.

  5. Andrew Duffin

    Fingers crossed that normal service has been resumed – ie, John and Graham are moving house.

    Well done all.

  6. Many congratulations, John and Graham! May it all go smoothly.

  7. Wagons roll…………..
    Here’s to another glorious English summer, spent in the caravan, and looking forward to reading more adventures in the search of your next “nest”.

    Congratulations !

  8. What wonderful news!Well done!

  9. Good for you 🙂

  10. Well, Dolly, it looks as if you’ve done it–no more of these pesky stairs where your monkey faces can keep sneaking out of sight and Graham off overnight on the weekends. You’ve been more than patient, Missus, and I think you’re about to have your reward.

  11. Well done! Congrats to both of you. I can’t wait to see what the next abode is like.

  12. I also am curious who the buyers are. Any reason you left that out?

    I got a big kick out of your “probably” and can see the agent rolling his eyes. 🙂

  13. Shirley, in PA

    Congratulations! You next adventure is about to begin. So who bought your house?

  14. Wonderful!

  15. Good thing Graham had done that painting this week, eh? Congrats! That must be a relief!

  16. The doctors were correct in saying that we were not eating with our overall health in mind. That we didn’t listen is not the speakers fault, but that may be the very reason why some of us are fat and in such poor physical shape. Eating properly along with meaningful exercise is the best revenge.

    That was indeed received wisdom here until a few days back, when an inspired medic exposed the fallacy and the facts. Seems we’ve most of us (no, of course, not all) been misguided. Of course, the story may change again tomorrow… 😉 Of course, ‘meaningful exercise’ is a meaningless term when applied to people who cannot walk more than 75 yards in one go.

  17. Mosst excellent news, John. And I’m sure you are both greatly relieved to have got it over with. Congratulations, and now to the opening of a new chapter, eh? I’m truly curious as to why it’s back to Wales for you three. Not complaining, mind you. It’s lovely there, just wondering.

  18. Um… thanks!

    Not sure at this stage which of the two women it is that took le plunge and found the money for a deal. Can’t say I’m bothered, really but I’ll make a point of finding out when I can.

    Why Wales, Mary Lee? Graham has got to the stage in life where he wants to be closer to his mother. For me, I love the country, and look forward to getting to grips with Dylan Thomas land… 🙂

  19. Great news, John!

    “Go West, young man, go west!” Back to the Druid-haunted woodlands and mossy banks.
    Dreams of laughing women in woolen shawls
    and choirs of angelic voices, mayhap singing a pentatonic ballad.

    Hugs from the mountains of the East,
    ~ Sil

  20. Congratulations! I can hardly wait for the next chapter.

  21. Congratulations! Well Done!

    Selling a house in this market is quite a thing. Wish you guys could have gotten more. All the work Graham does on the house, all the time y0u spend keeping it up for the buyers to view, it doesn’t seem fair. But you sold it and that is a lot better than many are doing.

    Seeing the seaside makes we wish we could all meet and have lunch to celebrate. Hopefully Rey and I will get over to Half Moon Bay again someday soon. Too bad you two can’t join us, it would be a hoot I’m sure.

    All the best!


  22. Congrats guys! Hope you find a place fast and don’t have to live in a caravan for too long!

  23. John and Graham….Please add my congratulations to those above! I am very glad for you and will enjoy reading your daily progress to settling in Wales. Surely you must be doing something RIGHT when you sell a house when all about you others are unsuccessful. Perhaps that might be a new career for you…home selling consultations.

  24. Wonderful, simply wonderful. You can hear me cheering. That fired guy turned out to be an ok bloke after all.

  25. Oh wonderful! So the new chapter begins. Looks like the new web you will be starting soon is very timely!

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