28 January 2018

Rick and the Estate Agent

Ten years ago, when we sold our last house in the UK, internet marketing was still relatively new.  At that time the estate agent just sauntered round and took a few photos with his own camera and the details were listed very quickly.  How times have changed.  Nowadays it seems that in order to sell your house you need to have a professional photographer to do the job – for a small fee of course.  Then there is the energy certificate -  another small fee. Do potential buyers really care about the energy efficiency of a small flat? We also had to show that we are not money laundering mobsters by providing proof of identity.

We have instructed Helen, a petite but fearsome redhead (Paul says she’s blonde), to sell our coach house for us. She seemed to know more about selling this type of property than the Vic Reeves lookalike.  She came round yesterday with some paperwork for us to sign.  Rick tried to lick her to death.  She said she liked dogs but I was worried about her designer jacket so I sort of wrestled him to the floor and held him down, gritting my teeth against the pain from my hip. Paul was too busy drooling over Helen to notice.

The photographer is coming round on Tuesday.  I expect another week will have passed before this place actually goes on the market. I’m not going to clean the windows again, I’ll just drop the blinds instead.

26 January 2018

For Sale

We had an estate agent round yesterday to value the coach house; another is due at midday today.  Yesterday’s agent looked a bit like Vic Reeves, we quite liked him.  He said it was a tricky place to value, it’s not a flat and it’s not a house – it’s an anomaly.  I live in an anomaly.

I have been busy hiding clutter and polishing everything in sight.  I managed to hurt my hip while I was clambering on the sink to reach the kitchen window on Wednesday.  It is extraordinarily painful and I’m dosed up on painkillers.  Last night I managed to splash mouthwash into my eye and that’s when the tears really started.  At least it took my mind off my painful hip for a few minutes.

Kat is wisely staying away during this process, she knows that I would probably tidy her away in the car with Rick while the estate agents are here. 

Now, where’s the duster...

21 January 2018

Dog in Red 2018

Dog in Red 2018

It is raining cats and dogs today.  We got absolutely soaked on Rick's morning walk.  At least there weren't any cyclists or small children about for him to chase after.  The flat now has a wonderful aroma of Eau de Chien Mouillé to woo prospective buyers.

19 January 2018

Deer Encounters

It should have been a simple repair job but Mr Smillie had other ideas. “We’ll just quickly whizz away some of this decay and replace the filling” he announced gleefully.  I was in no position to protest (his hand was in my mouth). The whizzing took at least twenty minutes;  I’m now £90 lighter and have a very numb face.  Hugely relieved it’s all over though.

Paul took Rick out early for his morning walk.  Rick got incredibly muddy earlier in the week when we took him along the Ridgeway and we had to put him in the shower when we got home.  All the bridle paths and fields are very muddy right now so Paul kept to the hard pavements of the housing estate today.  Our little market town is bordered by fields and open countryside but Paul was still surprised to come face to face with a small Muntjac during his walk.  He thought it was a stray dog to start with and Rick was very eager to say hello.  The little deer was very chilled and just trotted across the road and disappeared into the thick hedgerow.

17 January 2018

Just Follow The Instructions

just follow the instructions

January is not my favourite month.  Life always seems a bit flat and fraught after Christmas. On Monday I went to Bath to visit my audiology consultant.  The weather and the traffic was a nightmare but at least I wasn’t kept waiting.  On Friday I have to return to Bath to visit my lovely dentist.  I broke another tooth over the weekend.  Kat says I should stop chewing rocks.

The new Vax carpet cleaner arrived this morning.  It’s probably going to take me an hour just to assemble the thing.  I looked at the instructions for use and decided I will leave it to Paul to play with.

Hetty Lawlor's portrait of David Tennant

Last night I watched the first episode of the Sky Portrait Artist of the Year programme.  Nine artists, both amateur and professional were split into three groups to paint a celebrity.  So one group had the Dr Who bloke, David Tennant, another group had singer James Morrison, and the third group had actress Micheala Coel.  The winner of this heat was 17 year old Hetty Lawlor.  Her painting of Tennant was very accomplished but I personally didn’t like the way she used an iPad and copied the image almost exactly like a photograph, barely seeming to refer to the live model.  It’s fun to watch the artists at work and the different approaches and methods they use.  I’m looking forward to next week’s heat – cousin Reggie Yates is one of the sitters!

13 January 2018


Christmas is over, the girls have gone their separate ways, and Paul and I are planning.  We are consummate planners.  We will spend the next week or so getting the coach house into tip top, gleaming condition before we invite the estate agent round to take photographs.  We have ordered a carpet cleaner today to deal with doggy paw prints and I have bought some expensive luxury infuser reeds today to disguise any doggy odours.  I’ll hide Rick in the wardrobe while people are viewing.

We have started to compile a short list of desirable properties although we will not view anything until this place is under offer.  This is proving to be more difficult than we had anticipated.  There is a very hard realisation that we are getting older and we need to be practical about our house choice.  We found a beautiful cottage in Ross-on-Wye with amazing views but I’m not sure a mobility scooter would cope with the steep forest track in future years.  Another Georgian farmhouse had a superb garden but we really don’t need five bedrooms and it was situated near to a busy road.  I thought I had found the perfect bungalow overlooking a canal until we discovered the village is liable to flood in winter; I would be so anxious every time it rained. But I really want something that I can love and the sensible, boxy bungalows don’t do it for me. The other difficulty is finding a plot big enough to suit Paul’s gardening needs.  I often find the ‘perfect’ house but the garden will be too small.

So the search continues and in the meantime I must start cleaning my windows and making sure everything is shipshape.