Thursday 26 April 2007

Sad blog

January 2007

I’m gutted. Three hours cleaning and clearing this morning; lighting fires, putting out flowers, putting away the weekend’s clutter – and how long do our viewers stay? Fifteen minutes! The agent was taking them round and I could hear the odd comment. ‘It doesn’t look like ten acres.’ ‘Oh, we could fit our bedroom at home into this one three times over.’ ‘Yes, we’ve got one of those, only ours is bigger/better/nicer.’ After they had departed, the agent came back in and shrugged her shoulders. ‘They think they can get a huge fantastic house, with tons of acres and stabling, on Exmoor, in the National Park, for next to nothing. They’ve got a big surprise coming up.’

Then she broke the bombshell. The house we want, ‘our’ house that we came so close to getting in the summer before our stupid ex-buyers pulled out, is about to go under offer. I had to bite my lip so I didn’t burst into tears. I know it’s stupid but I fell in love with that house, hook, line and sinker. And now someone else is going to have it….someone else will sit in front of the huge fire; someone else will tend the vegetable garden; someone else’s dog will press its nose against the gate and watch the passers-by. Of course, on the other hand, someone else will have to get the asbestos sorted; someone else will have to shore up the wall that’s about to collapse into the next door neighbour’s garden and someone else will have to deal with the nastiest case of rising damp I’ve seen in a long time. But then again, someone else will have the wonderful opportunity to turn a rambling house stuck in the 70s into a warm, embracing family home. As James would say: ‘It’s just not fair.’

As soon as she got out the door, I burst into tears. Poor Asbo ended up with a very soggy coat – he isn’t as good a shoulder to cry on as our old boxer, Monty (much smaller bonier shoulder for starters) but he did well under the circumstances.
‘Maybe it’s for the best,’ said Adrian. But he didn’t look terribly convinced.

Now of course we have to decide what to do. We’ve been hanging on with the viewings in the desperate hope that we could get a buyer before the other house went under offer. Now we’re wondering if we should take the farm off the market and put it back on in late Spring. It’s what the trade calls ‘tired’ (heck, it’s not the house that’s tired, it’s us, flipping exhausted). And maybe a new agent could come with fresh ideas. Maybe we can cobble together the funds to do some more cosmetic work – some new carpet possibly; even some tiling for the hallway. But it’s so hard putting love into a house you’ve already mentally left. I feel like we’ve spent the last two years for absolutely nothing.

Sorry, this is a miserable blog. But then I guess that’s life. It would be a bit odd if one could blog cheerily and amusingly all the time. To cap it all, it smells like snow. It sounds funny but I can always smell when snow is on the way – it’s a crisp smell that catches you at the back of the throat. The wind is blowing from the North-East and the clouds are full, brownish-grey and pregnant. I can hear a dog barking mournfully from the farm over the hill. And the crackle of flames in my little fire (which has obviously felt sorry for me and decided, after two hours of sulking, to burst into life).

This afternoon, after lunch, I have to pull myself together as I’m supposed to be talking on radio in the Midlands – I hate doing radio interviews so it would be a trial at the best of times. But today, of all days, I feel like playing truant and running away and hiding under the duvet.

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