Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Do I dare say it (the E word)?



Do I dare say it? Shall I whisper the words? In teeny tiny letters so as not to tempt providence and the gods of ill-fate? We have exchanged!
I tried to post the news yesterday but kept being booted out so maybe it wasn’t supposed to be a fanfare. In fact, I didn’t even know it had happened until several hours after the deed was done.

Yesterday I had taken Zoe’s advice and gone off to get myself some serious pampering. South Molton, by some bizarre fluke, has a practitioner of chavutti thirumal, possibly the best massage in the entire world. You lie, butt-naked, with a sort of towel nappy over your bits, on the floor and your massage therapist uses her feet to massage you, while balancing on a rope slung across the room. OK, so it sounds like the weirdest kinkiest massage going, but by heck it’s soooo good. I had my last one twelve years ago and have raved about it ever since (which says something methinks). Anyhow, I was probably having my left buttock poked by a big toe at the moment the papers were signed and a fat dollop of dosh was being deposited into some account somewhere in cybermoneyland.

The run-up to yesterday had been – to put it mildly – fraught. Our buyer reverted to type and didn’t just move the goalposts but picked them up and ran off the pitch with them. At the very last moment he demanded to keep our Aga (having previously agreed that he’d stick by our original arrangement that it would go with us). Pastard. I was so angry I could barely think in a straight line. It wasn’t the Aga so much (to be honest, it doesn’t cook evenly and not sure it would even after renovation) it was the sneakiness and sheer unfairness of it. I will drive a tough bargain but I like to think I’m always fair and above board. He wasn’t. So all our plans of leaving everything tickety-boo with a bottle of champagne and a list of useful people and nice places to go have gone out the window. Petty, I know. But I’m afraid he’s lost our goodwill.

I should be feeling cock-a-hoop, I really should. But there’s a sort of anticlimax about it all now. Having waited nearly three years for this day, it would have been nice to have been able to celebrate it in style. But other events crowded in to nudge the lustre off it. My mother is getting more helpless and frail, and I am seriously wondering how much longer she can remain on her own. A crisis happened over the last few days and so I spent most of yesterday talking to my brother in the US about how to handle it all. Then we got the news that my father-in-law had been raced into hospital with pneumonia. His lungs are shot to pieces so the outlook is not great.

So, all in all, we didn’t really celebrate. Funny, isn’t it, how the rough and the smooth go together – as Faith says, life really is a rollercoaster. Nothing is clear-cut. There are no easy answers. Everything is shades of grey.

The ‘medicine’ of the last few days was that of the ant. We went walking in Horner Woods, where there is a lovely sculpture trail (OK, the sculptures are a bit ropey, but it’s fun finding them). We came across several huge ant-nests among the trees, absolutely teeming with ants - an incredible sight. Ant represents the power of teamwork. It also speaks of loyalty, duty and sacrifice, of learning one’s place in the larger picture –it’s an augury of family and community. It indicates a time of preparation before making further moves – a situation where patience and strategy are tantamount.
I thought it was very apt. Not just the family business that is unfolding, that must be dealt with, even though we would love it not to be there. But also the preparation for moving into a community. Away from our lonely hill, our rainswept valley, and into civilisation!
I also thought about our little purplecoo community and how intensely valuable it is. I can’t tell you how much your support has meant to me – all the way from CL to here. In the scheme of things, our problem was small but nobody belittled it. Everyone gave kind words, encouraging words, tales of triumph over adversity (I am still reeling at AnnaK’s experience!) – some even sent daily emails (Grouse, bless you, as if you don’t have enough on your overladen plate!).
Of course we can’t totally relax until we’re in the front door – if Bradders is out there, sure she’ll tell me what can go wrong twixt exchange and completion! But for now, it is good news and I am blissfully happy to share it with my dear friends. If nothing untoward happens by tomorrow night I intend to crack open the fizzy stuff and raise a glass or two…..(oh, OK, the whole bottle). Hope you’ll join me!

btw, no that's not me in the photo, nor is it Exmoor! It's my dear friend cowgirl on her recent holiday (I know a few of you have been asking after her)....but the pic sums up the feeling!
PS - don't know how many of you have read Hopping Moon's blog recently but she's having a really tough time and could do with all our thoughts and prayers and whatevers.

21 comments:

DevonLife said...

fantastic news! i've been away from blog world and looked at your page in slight trepidation. But what JOY (big letters!). A long time coming and now it's time to move to the next and new chapter of life. Can't wait to hear tales of the wonky wall, river running through it etc.

Grouse said...

I cheered last night when I got your news.....theres no such thing as a happy ending, just a constant flow of good and bad, so we have to enjoy the good news when it comes! And share other's when ours is a bit thin on the ground!
So sorry to hear about your Ma and Pa-in-law.....I think you should consider a second bottle, though!!!

Posie Rosie said...

Jane, Yippee, that is brilliant news. Massage sounded great, things are coming together, although I bet you feel a bit in a no man's land just now, am so looking forward to more blogs about your move and new home, good luck.

JacquiMcR said...

FANTASTIC JANE! I am so pleased for you and I'm sure everything will start going your way from now on.

Its lovely to know that you are getting back to your old self (me too, thankfully) and your massage certainly seems to have contributed.

I'll say a prayer for your father in law and hopefully he will improve soon.

Take care - Jacquix

Faith said...

Jane! Wow! I just emailed you after reading Walker and then came back here - great news, so happy for you! Everything will fall into place now. Picking you an angel card right now this minute at 21.48 on 31/5 and it was 'Light' - definitely the light is breaking through!

CAMILLA said...

Busy busy today, have come here early hours of the morning. Jane dear girl, I am so pleased for you, contracts finally exchanged.What bad luck about your beautiful red Aga, that naughty man. You will have to get another now, and they dont come cheap.So sorry to hear about your dear mother, quite worrying, and you want what is best for her of course. I am sorry too to hear about Adrian's father, I wish him a good recovery, poor chap. Once again Jane, fantastic news about the house, I am so pleased for you, now all we need to do is get you that AGENT.,(Novel).
Camilla.xxx

Pondside said...

What great news - you must feel quite divested of that heavy 'something is not right and it's always with me' feeling. Let the Aga go, let the nasty man go and just move forward. In all our years of moving around, buying and selling houses - never the dream house, just a place to live - my favorite day was always the one on which the moving van drove away with our possessions. At that moment, each time, I felt so light and free. I'd always think that if I never saw that van again it didn't matter - all that mattered was the Great Dane and the children.
So sorry to hear about the worries that you have with parents' health. I wish your joy in your house sale could be undiluted.
Best wishes x0x0

@themill said...

I hardly dare say, 'Great news' but will keep everything crossed for you getting in through your new front door very soon. Suggest you leave a kipper frying on the Aga for the pastard. (And spill milk on the floorbaords under the bath)
Sorry to hear about your ma and pa-in-law. Tempus fugit and all that I suppose. We are there with my pa-in-law too and it is really very sad.
Am going on holiday in three weeks and am taking 'Walker' as my reading as I don't have time to sit down with it yet. Will have a week to become completely absorbed.
But what about M&B?

annakarenin said...

I am so sorry that the 'great exchange'has been tainted by family sadness but at least you will be in a better fraame of mind to support them now your own stress is passing.

But oh the excitement of being able to get on with your life again moving in day for all its hassles is a good feeling, we certainly did open a couple of bottles, so pleased that it has finally happened for you.
RachelX

annakarenin said...

p.s that photo is fantastic do you think she will be able to join us soon I miss her blogs she is incredibly inspiring for a lazy bod like me. Where is it?

lixtroll said...

Berlimey Exmoor that massage sounds amazing and it sounds like you need it.

I am so sorry to hear about your family's health problems - you are soooo right about the rough and the smooth and how they tend to run concurrently, life really throws us some stymies from time to time doesn't it!

Will certainly join you when you are ready to crack open the bubbly dear Jane - just say the word!! xx

bodran... said...

HE hey what a catch up xxoo
As for the slime ball whos moving in i do hope asbo leaves him a sculpture!! maybe not in the aga though...good wishes to your familyxxoo
And cowgirl the rum un".

Suffolkmum said...

Fantastic news Jane, I have been thinking of you so much, and hoping you were about to exchange ... and then when you do I miss your blog about it! I always read through the 'I've blogged today' bit, so I guess I must miss those of you who don't do it there. Anyway I am delighted for you- sorry about the extended family, seems like it really is a time for you to focus on family and hunker down in your new home. Yup, I bet Asbo could leave the new occupier a little gift ....
Off to read Walker.

Zoë said...

Stupidly I crossed everything and stayed silent when I read this, not wishing to incure the wrath of destiny.... all I can say now is , will someone call me an osteopath to untangle me! Sending you all the good karma I can muster x

sally's chateau said...

Happy memories of South Molton too ! Oh let him keep the two oven Aga, you are going to move on and get yourself a hunky four oven affair in a colour of your choice. It is going to be your NBF (new best friend). It will iron for you on the warming plate, it will sizzle your roast whilst your rice pud cooks slowly in the warming oven. You will be goddess Jane ! I would say go for it if you can !!

Hopping Moon said...

I have literally just crawled out of bed to read your blog - i am so so pleased for you that it is finally happening and I hope by now that you have opened that bottle of fizz and enjoyed every bit of it!

Thank you so much for the PS - very moved by it. Looking forward to hearing all about your new home ...

toady said...

Oh Jane I've only just found your blog. You didn't announce it. I've emailed you asking you to blog about it and you already have. Doh. Anyway very pleased for you. You're not being petty about your buyer he is a real Mr. B....r. Anyway onwards and upwards.
[Saturday evening 02/06]
Toady

Crystal Jigsaw said...

There's always light at the end of a tunnel. I like massages also but yours did sound a little 'different'! Mind you if it did the trick I guess it's worth being poked by a big toe in the buttock. The very best of luck to you and I look forward to reading more. Crystal x

LittleBrownDog said...

So pleased to hear it's finally happening and know just what you mean about the last-minute underhand aga incident. Our buyers knocked us down to every last penny and then had the cheek to have a lawnmower and a fridge delivered and send a cable man round to rig up their new TV system before we'd even completed. I felt like loading them onto our removal truck and pretending I thought they were gifts, but instead contented myself with parking the enormous lawnmower in the middle of the sitting room (tee hee). Good luck with it all, and hope things improve on the relatives front.

snailbeachshepherdess said...

Well what a relief - just take it one day at a time now - fingers crossed - dont get niggled by stupid man and aga - not worth it! Hope your mother and father in law's health problems stay under control. Deep breath, shoulders back - you can do it!

Pipany said...

Hurray! At last and hopefully no more problems. Like the idea of Asbo leaving a moving in pressie. What about one in each room?!!! x