Sunday, September 18, 2016

We are buying a house in England

"Hold your nerve", I say to my husband, the French-Canadian veterinary research histopathologist with whom I share my life (and fleas).  "Buying a house is not easy in this country".   I use both of my tiny little monkey hands to lift the 3L bottle of Co-Op London Gin up onto the kitchen table, and get the winch out.  I realise he is only partially aware of what 'Grade 2 Listed' means, and I am not in any hurry to get into any sort of deep chit-chat about the ramifications of living in a house with a thatched roof.   The winch is winched; the bottle tips; the drink is 73% gin.

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 that 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.

Pip pip!



katie said...

Hello. I would like to know whether Steve was already called Steve when you got him, and, if not, what he was previously called? Also, I have a tip which you might not know about having only recently moved back from Canada, which is that Aldi own brand 'Oliver Cromwell' gin is surprisingly nice and only about £10. Lidl own brand gin is not that nice.

Anonymous said...

Ahh, at last some useful advice from the internet. I will stop off at Aldi on the way home.. Thanks Katie.

Lizzy said...

Are those rabbits (hares? if they're boxing?) on the soon-to-be-yours thatched roof? Lovely. As is Steve.

Anonymous said...

Hello NWM,
So. Did you ever buy a house ??
I know you may be extremely busy but you really should keep you adoring fan(s) informed.

Time for an update I think.


Katie. He was called Rocco, but now he is Steve (in public) and LITTLE TINGTONG STOP BITING MY TOES in private.
Anon. Yes we did. We are in it. Was about to write a web-based web-log post about it last week and found out there was a terrible thing happening involving DNS addresses etc, now sorted by David of GoDaddy, so here I am. So much to report.
Lizzy. They are hares.

Anonymous said...

I am on my couch, watching telly, and I wondered what became of NWM after she returned to England. Would you consider an update? You must have lots of interesting things to tell us? Thanks from a NWM fan xx


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