Friday, 20 July 2018

On The Move

The ‘phone call from our solicitor came as we were driving home after visiting friends – “you’ve exchanged!”  We gave a little yelp of excitement but the feeling was more of relief than celebration.  We contacted the removals company without delay but Derek gave a big sigh and said “we’re fully booked all next week, it’s a busy time of year”.  Eventually he relented and they are sending a smaller van to do two trips first thing Monday morning to put our furniture into storage.

I shall feel sad saying goodbye to this flat.  It’s been a good place to us over the ten years since we bought it.  We have good neighbours and it’s a pleasant area to live in but toy town feels very noisy and crowded in summer and I’m craving for more space and quiet.  We shall head back to France on Tuesday and enjoy the remainder of the summer out there.  If all goes to plan we will be heading towards a new life in Lincolnshire in the autumn.

Here we go again!

Monday, 16 July 2018

Departure Lounge

It feels like we have been stuck inside an airport terminal for weeks, waiting for our flight.  A departure lounge with no air conditioning.  In actual fact we are just ‘trapped’ inside our flat, half packed waiting for the news of an exchange date.

Our coach house is an ideal winter bolt hole, warm and cosy and comfortable.  It is not so great during an English heatwave when we have to leave all the windows open and Rick barks at all the noises of the estate.  He is pining for his garden. The solicitors and estate agents are leading us a merry dance.  Three weeks ago we were told we would be exchanging on ‘Wednesday’ so we rushed home to start the packing.  Since then three Wednesdays have gone by and we are still waiting. We are fairly confident that the sale will go ahead (apparently there is a problem with deposit money coming from abroad and having to go via the UK tax office) but we dare not book the removal company until exchange is confirmed.  So we are stuck here and getting extremely bored and frustrated.  And hot.

Fortunately we managed to sell and complete on our rental property within five weeks.  The solicitors expressed surprise when we said we wanted to exchange and complete on the same day but why wait when the house was empty and the vendors were temporarily living in a camper van.  It all went through incredibly simply.

As soon as we get the long awaited ‘phone call on this place we can finish packing in 24 hours, put everything into storage and hot foot it back to France to enjoy the remainder of the summer.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Turn Around When Possible

My RAF daughter, Kat, has come down for the weekend, she is currently stationed at Cosford.
I asked her if she’d had a good week.  That was when she sheepishly confessed to getting stuck up a mountain.

Kat is a clever girl but has absolutely no sense of direction.  She once missed a business meeting when she took the wrong direction on the motorway and ended up in Exeter instead of Leicester.  On Tuesday evening she drove from Cosford to meet a friend for a picnic in the Malvern hills in Worcestershire.  Of course it wasn’t really Kat’s fault that she found herself half way up a mountain track on her way home.  Sat Nav told her to take the next turning so she took it.  Kat quickly realised her mistake. “Turn around when possible” said Sat Nav.  Unfortunately that wasn’t possible with a steep bank on one side and a sheer drop on the other.  She gingerly drove on up the mountain track, hoping that there was a turning point ahead.  Further and further she drove in the evening dusk.

Suddenly her knights in shining armour appeared in front of her – the fire brigade!  A fire engine had been patrolling the area and had spotted Kat’s dilemma.  They helped her turn the car around and marshalled her down the mountain.  The fireman asked her where she was trying to get to.  He had a very wry expression when she answered “the M5?”

Friday, 6 July 2018

Just One Cornetto

The windows are open and it is so noisy here.  The seagulls are making a racket, the neighbour’s dogs are barking, traffic, chatting mums and kids on their scooters.  I was quite surprised to see grown women scooting along on their shiny little machines alongside their children on the school run.  More eco-friendly than 4x4s I suppose.

In the evening we hear the merry chimes of the ice cream van – Just One Cornetto!  Brings back memories of council house estate life when I was a youngster.  Not many people had freezers in those days so the ice cream vans were a regular sight – The Ding-a-Ling Man, Tonibell and Mister Softee. They used to stop right outside our house; it was a mad scramble to get some money out of the piggy bank and then join the queue of children – a real social gathering.  If you were too slow you had to chase the van down the street to the next stop.

At the moment I am suffering from a pollen allergy and have a sore throat and streaming nose. Ice cream and cold lager is helping.  Fortunately we have ice cream in the freezer so Paul doesn’t have to go racing down the street.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018


We’ve cleared the attic and this morning I went through the kitchen cupboards and threw out some very old herbs and spices and a half opened packet of Cream Crackers left over from Christmas. We can’t really continue with the packing until we book the removal company and collect some boxes.  But we can’t book the removal company until we have a firm date for exchange of contracts.  Any day now according to our solicitor.

In the meantime we are still in negotiation for the property in Lincolnshire, we are waiting for a response to our latest offer.  Waiting, waiting, waiting.