Welcome dear readers to my comfy chair, adjacent to my cookbook shelves. The shelves adorned by epicurean tomes of varying degrees of wonderment. Some are a bit hopeless (“Baking Magic” with its stock photographs and uninspired recipes was one such poor judged purchase), but others are classics and modern classics. I ask you, how would I live without Nigella Express when I’m in a calamari mood? I’d never make blueberry jam without Rachel Allen’s Food For Living. And I’m sorry, Ebeneezer Scrooge would not have needed 3 ghosts to teach him to keep the festive season in his heart always if he had Nigella Christmas.
I’m in a reflective mood. I’m generally exhausted at the moment. Sleep is evading me a lot. I fall asleep but wake all too easily. Last night in my sleep, Jim Robinson from Neighbours was adopting a baby boy. I was talking to him about his parenting experience. I told him that Scott turned out OK as did Lucy, but Julie was a pain and Paul was a shark in the water. He admitted the same. Now, Alan Dale aside, my sleep grew disturbed when some student types were singing The Saints Go Marching In around 4 am. More came home after 6am singing Chelsea Dagger by The Fratellis. I was up shortly after 7 watching 10 Things I Hate About You. Heath Ledger was so cute in that film. Got quite sad thinking bout him and little Matilda…..
So where is life taking me? Well not into a tent to hear Mel and Sue saying Ready Set Bake. Now in previous years I understand they do telephone interviews, auditions then cast. I don’t even get a phone call? I would have been perfect for televised baking. Shortsighted producers. Not only am I easy on the eye, I would have been destined to have a terrible baking incident every round. I would have been TV gold… Never mind eh.
I found out the casting had occurred on the same day I received worse news so I was never that upset over this lack of success. After a few good years in our home, Pete and I are ready to move on. To obtain a bigger property, to move to the suburbs, rather than the city living we currently enjoy. I’m nervous but so very excited. And we thought we’d found the one. The pile of bricks. The house with the views, with the grounds, the room sizes, the potential. It ticked so many boxes. We did our sums. It just as possible. Enough of a project but not too much of one, enough to do but the structure was sound. So we went for it. Offer in. First couple of offers we’re rejected. We held strong. In a volatile market, we were strong. No sale, no chain. After 6 months on the market, we were surely ok. Weren’t we?
I’m no dumbass, but I forever live in self doubt. I had a feeling. A nervous feeling. I just didn’t feel I was seeing a full picture. As the week went on we weren’t hearing in response to our best and final offer. We kept hearing that it was as the vendor hadn’t got back to the agent. Now, I thought to myself, regularly out loud to anyone who would hear, that she got back to the agent soon enough when it wasn’t acceptable before. I eventually got told that they had been on touch with an earlier interested party and had given him an ultimatum- proof of funds by a deadline or no deal. This person was offering more than us months previously. I argued that I would not wait indefinitely. I said that I needed clarity. I even said that I felt nervous, that this man needed a line drawn underneath his interest at some point, as I would be nervous that at any time prior to exchanging contracts we could have the rug pulled from under us. The agent laughed and said this seller would never do that, she has a strong set of morals. I laughed at him and said many a sainted person has been seduced by money.
The next day I got a call saying our offer was accepted. I was thrilled. I danced through the day. I could not believe my own fortune. I was so excited. I wanted so badly to run out and buy Farrow and Ball paint, buy some wallpaper for the downstairs loo, to buy a couch I had seen in John Lewis, but didn’t. I was so giddy mind. I told everyone I was so happy.
The weekend came, and I went for a jog. I ran down the street. I was skipping with joy thinking I was to be resident on this here road, to be a part of this community. I found the doctors surgery, the nearest place to buy milk, the nearest post box, I was so sentimental. We confirmed our finds with the agents, it was ours, sold subject to contract but for solicitors details. Monday morning, and I confirmed a solicitor, and called the agents. I asked “so will this be marked sold STC now?”. And there was a pause. “umm, I don’t know. I need to speak to The other agent about what’s happening now on this property”. I was nervous. It was subtle. She said she hasn’t done anything on this property so was unsure. I just couldn’t help having a nervous feeling. I went to the gym but it didn’t shift. I went to bed, woke up the next day and initially was ok but it came back. I asked my friend to call and do a mock enquiry, and she was told it was sold STC. I was relieved. I left it alone. I had the photos from the Internet on my phone. I just kept scrolling through them. Then my phone rang.
A few pleasantries exchanged. I wondered what we had to talk about so soon. The agent told a tale. A surprise visitor with proof of money called yesterday. The vendor had to toy with it. More money. Hard decision. Decision to go with higher offer. Acceptance of offer no longer stands. These phrases washed over me as all I could think was I knew it. I just knew this was going to happen. The agent asked me if I wanted to increase my offer. I said it was not feasible. Then clarity hit me as I heard the next words. “I hope you can understand how hard this has been for the vendor and how hard this call has been for me to make today. I hope you know how disappointed I am and now hard I have found this”. I grew irritated. I had to tell him how little I care about the vendor and him, and I was understandably disappointed. I told him I found him a bit ridiculous. He said he understood my position but I had to understand his perspective. I told him it was not for me to care about him. It still makes me cringe that someone tried to find themselves in my disappointment! It was terrible, I knew it was wrong but as soon as that happens you almost feel guilty about being disappointed, like I was self centred, like I was being selfish in being upset. It does make one a bit paranoid about perspective. My face was a bit like this.
I then had to tell Pete which was horrible, I had to do to him what the estate agent did to me. Crush him. That was a horrible call to make. It’s been a couple of weeks now. I’m a bit over everyone saying something better will come along. I’m not going to be of that philosophy until that something betters is before me and I have put my offer in. I wont believe it until I am there. I’m sure it’s true. And the experience will be invaluable, from here on in Adam will be far more business like and less emotional. And I learnt the truth- that the agent works for the seller right to the end. And as a result I need to be more like an agent myself. Less humble, less apologetic, and work for me and Pete. It’s an important lesson to learn.
Since then, it’s been wound licking time. I keep my eyes out on the agents websites. Little coming on at the moment, but the spring influx will be on us soon. The daffodils are out, the shoots of other flowers are showing themselves. Signs of more colourful and brighter times. And let’s face it we have had a dry run, a public dress rehearsal ready for the main performance.
So, what else? Oh I’m increasing my running distances again. And introducing some killer hills in to push myself more. Shape up for summer. I’m like a GMTV feature or whatever. And next weekend is my trip to Bristol with MC and Amy to buy us some happy from Mulberry’s factory shop in the luxuriously named Shepton Mallett. Ooooh. I called to find out if they had any cute dog ware ready for the Westie Pete and I plan to get, and one for Holly of course. They have a dog mac in. In the Trippy Tiger Print. With rose gold components. This tiny dog mac is more expensive than my Cerruti coat. Than my Tommy Hilfiger coat. Than my Full Circle blazer. I’m afraid neither Holly nor the tentatively named Daphne are likely to wear that jacket. But I’m hoping maybe I will pick up a little something for myself.
Now this has been rather cathartic. It’s been a way to get it out. Not just talk about things, not just to moan, but put it down. And whilst I’m still disappointed, it is surely something that will not be in my mind forever. It was a house, it’s not to be ours. I feared it wouldn’t. I could feel it wasn’t to be. And my disappointment was hardly unforeseen. I foresaw that this risk existed. I cross my fingers that next time round, the sailing will be plainer. My nerves won’t take it!
I hope all in Internet land is better with you. It’s Diva month on Food Network. Last month was Italian Month. I almost had a stroke from pulling a cringe face everytime I heard Giada Di Laurentiis say “pecorino” or “parmigiano reggiano” in her clipped Italian voice. I fear it shall continue during Diva Month. That and watching Anne Thornton on Dessert First cutting offensively massive pieces of cheesecake etc and calling it “a real piece”, clearing up that her voluptuous appearance is in no way attributable to any thyroid condition.
Anyway. I’m off to check on the boeuf Bourguignon for dinner.
Blog later lovely folk. Missed you all. X
– If ever in doubt, just ask yourself- What Would Ina Do? You can bet your bottom dollar it would involve Hydrangeas and Homosexuals