In Canada (where we have been), buying a house is sort of like it is in Scotland: you say you want to buy it, you sign a thing, you do some surveys and shit and then - assuming you haven't got cold-resistant termites or bodies in the converted basement - 5,000 square metres of fine Canadian real estate is yours for the price of a one bedroom flat in Shepherd's Bush. There isn't any of this 'gazumping' nonsense; agents don't seem to be massive cocks and people tend to do what they say they will.
In the England, it is different. Our offer has been accepted and the house is "Sold STC", but someone could pop up offering 30p more than us and - in theory - the owners could take the offer and we would be back where we are, i.e. living in nice but leaky rented house with carpets like those you would find in an office just outside Coventry, surrounded by sinister people who live in bungalows, drive top-of-the-range Audis and shout 'THIS IS A PRIVATE ROAD' after you, the suspension on your 2007 Ford Fusion Zetec audibly snapping as you speed away, bouncing over potholes on the way to the Co-op.
But. But. I think it will be OK. The owners (Scottish, very nice, fine taste in gardens and basins) seem excellent, and want to get back to Scotland. While we wait, we wake up at odd hours in a cold sweat trying mentally to fit our enormous Canadian furniture into a house built by toothless Tudor cordwainers; even if we grease it up good and proper it's going to be a struggle worth buying tickets for, and some things will have to go, or go into storage (e.g. collection of fezzes, furniture built purely to hold your television set, The Complete Ant and Bee, etc). I have spent 23 minutes looking up "How to cook on an electric Aga", an hour being put on hold by various 'mortgage providers' and 15 minutes talking to a solicitor who tells me there is nothing she likes more than 'dicey permissions'.
I will not go on more. We will have to see what happens. It is too soon to show interest in the fact that the Parish Council have had to buy a new Dog Poo Bin themselves because Cambridgeshire County Council simply REFUSE to pay for it themselves. I also have ZERO interest in the fact that pub (6 minutes' walk from our front door) has a Pie Night every Wednesday. Of even less interest are the quality of our cricket teas, and whether we will be featured in the monthly village newsletter, which makes a point of welcoming new people to the village. "Please welcome the new arrivals to Monkey Cottage at 1 Bingbong Lane. They have just moved back to the UK from Canada. Say hello to NWM, JM and their cat, Steve".
Talking of Steve, this was the picture on his cage at the rehoming centre. We got him two weeks ago. He is excellent but now gigantic, and chews on our toes in the night.