Thursday, 22 September 2016

Autumnal Equinox Update

June 2016:

Our house goes on the market and within three days we have a full price offer.
We start house-hunting.
We find a house we like but it's over our budget. The sellers' agent suggests we put in an offer anyway, which we do. After a bit of haggling a price is agreed and we start the purchase procedure.
Our surveyor finds a potentially expensive problem.

July 2016:

While we are considering what we should do about the problem, we are gazumped.
We restart house-hunting.
Our buyers are under pressure from their buyers and attempt to put pressure on us.
We make 4 separate trips to our target area without finding a house we would be happy to live in.

August 2016:

We finally find a house we would be happy to live in and we make an offer.
Our buyers' buyers pull out, our buyers are not able to proceed, we withdraw our offer on the house we would be happy to live in.
We grant our buyers a three week window to find another buyer.
Our buyers do not attract another buyer and decide to withdraw.
We are back to square one.

September 2016:

Our house goes back on the market and within two days we have a full price offer.
We start house-hunting.
We find a house we love and after a bit of haggling a price is agreed and we start the purchase procedure.
Our surveyor will visit the property soon.

To be continued  . . .

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Five in five on the fifth

It's quite a while since I've joined in with Sandie's five on five, but as this month found me idling away my time on a beach in Suffolk on the 5th, I thought I would join in. So here are five photos all taken within five minutes on 5th August.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

5 in 5 Dining Suite

Well, Sandie will certainly think I've got a bit of a cheek, but anyway here goes.

I may have mentioned in an earlier post that GM and I are relocating in order to be closer to family. The only downside to this relocation is that as we are moving to a slightly more expensive area so we are downsizing, buying a smaller house than the one we currently live in, meaning that various items of furniture are too big or surplus to requirements in the new house.

We currently have the luxury of a lovely dining room, but our new house has only a kitchen/diner - the diner half has room for a table and chairs, but not the beautiful dining suite that we currently own. So it has to go. I'll soon be putting it on Gumtree or Ebay (haven't yet decided - ebay has a larger audience but Gumtree is cheaper [free]), but in the mean time if you, or anyone you know, are/is looking for a fabulous dining suite, please get in touch.

The table is an (up to) 8-seater, with 6 chairs and 2 carvers. I am told that the table top is "book match veneered cat's paw oak" and the chairs are stained beech. You can get a general idea of the size from the photos, the table has an extension which fits in the centre, there is also a protector cut to the full (extended) size and a plain (very slightly wine-soiled!!) cream table cloth to fit. If you are interested please comment below or email me joy.shallcross at btinternet dot com.
You will need to collect it from Warminster.

By the way, I know that the carver in the last photo looks as if it only has three legs, but you'll have to take my word that the fourth (rear) leg is completely hidden by the leg in front of it (otherwise it would have fallen over!).

Joining in with Sandie's 5 on 5, you can see other entries here.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

My personal EU vote story

I personally voted to remain in Europe, because, to my (I admit limited) knowledge I thought it would be best for everyone, for all of the UK citizens and for the citizens of all the other EU countries as well. I naively assumed that the majority of others in this country would feel the same. What I hadn't realized until only last Monday was the personal impact that a leave vote would have on me and my family.
My lovely daughter-in-law is Japanese, she and my son have been together for 10 years, married for 7 and they have two gorgeous daughters. My daughter-in-law is the main breadwinner as her job with a Japanese Investment bank provides a deal more income than my tree-surgeon son could hope to earn.
The work that she does is quite complicated, but I hope she won't mind me telling you that basically she sells European shares to Japanese investors. In order to do this, the company that she works for (and incidentally any other UK or international company that does the same thing) needs to be situated inside the EU, which means that at some not too distant point in the future the company and all its employees will need to be relocated to an EU country. If I remember rightly, the options available to them are Dublin, Paris or Frankfurt. So, instead of them being an hour's drive away, they will be heaven knows how far away. And, worst of all, my daughter-in-law, being a foreign national, had no say in the process, despite having lived in this country for many years, being married to an English man, having two half-English children, and having a mortgage on a house in England.
To say that I am sad is an understatement, but I guess that now I'll at least have the opportunity to travel to wherever they end up, as long as my pension holds out!
This is not a complaint or a whinge, just an individual viewpoint of how suddenly several lives can be impacted so severely. These two brothers, who have always been close, will now be separated, as will the four cousins who all get on so well together.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

2016 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt

I wasn't sure whether to participate this year or not, with so much else going on, but having just had a few days away with GM, in a very wet Wales, I saw some of the items I knew were on the list so I started snapping, and before I knew it I had found and snapped almost half of the items on the list (which can be found here).

No. 1 A wild heart - clover leaf

No. 2 A foot or paw print - found in Caerleon

No. 3 A skeleton, bone or xray - a snail, wearing his bone on the outside

No. 5 a porch or deck - at home

No. 12 A window - our holiday digs (spot the wildlife)

. . . and the remains of a window in Usk Castle

No. 13 The moon - through a window

No. 16 A map showing a trip taken - our day at Caerleon

. . . and the area we stayed in

No. 17 Twins - Cat and Hat (although I'm not sure which one is which)

18. A supermarket cart, basket or trolley full of groceries

If you would like to join in, please visit the link at the top for the complete list of items to find, and the "rules".

Monday, 13 June 2016

Subject to Contract

Most Bank Holiday Mondays are spent by us being pretty lazy - we don't venture out on the roads, preferring instead to stay still at home rather than in a traffic jam, but this year the Whitsun bank holiday was a slightly different one for us. Purple Bricks had sent us the final draft of the advert of our house, ready to go live on Rightmove, all we had to do was click the send button, which, with a huge sense of occasion, GM and I duly did together. We cheersed each other with our respective alcoholic beverages - lager for him and red wine for me. Then we sat down to our evening meal and told each other that we weren't to expect miracles, we had to be patient, it might take months, blahdiblah.

Tuesdays are busy for both of us, he plays bridge in the morning and visits an old friend for lunch and a natter, I spend the day on reception at the local MS Therapy Centre so we were both out and about until 3.30 on that particular day. He arrived home slightly ahead of me, and in his usual order of things he first changed out of his shoes into his slippers, fed the cat and poured himself a beer. Having then seen to all the important things, he checked his emails. I arrived soon afterwards and was greeted with "So, how many requests to view do you think we've had today?". Knowing that we weren't to expect miracles, we had to be patient, it might take months, blahdiblah I had a quick think and blythely replied "Oh my goodness, I'll bet we wont have any yet awhile".

Wrong!!! We had had three! Three requests from house hunters all wishing to view our house the following day!!

Wednesday dawned, breakfast was eaten, beds were made, dishes done, loo seats lowered, waste bins emptied, windowsills wiped, drying racks hidden from view, windows opened, fresh flowers picked, and by 9.15 I was on my way to spend the morning with GT, while GM was left at home to field viewings at 9.30, 11.00 and 12.30. The poor man just about managed to stagger, exhausted, to Wetherspoons by 13.15. and by 16.30 we had had an offer from the 11.00 viewers. The offer was too low, so was batted straight back to Purple Bricks to negotiate on our behalf.

After a very exhausting day GM slept like a babe, I was far too excited and spent most of the night in a wakeful state of excitement and a "will they, wont they?" frame of mind.

Thursday morning and it wasn't long before we had the call, they had raised their offer to the full asking price, they were in a good position to proceed as they already had a buyer for their house, so it really was a no-brainer. By Thursday lunch-time our house was sold, subject to contract.

Which now left us in a bit of a predicament - we needed to find somewhere to buy, pretty dam pronto. The afternoon was spent making appointments to view properties the following Monday (I had a long standing and non-negotiable family visit planned for the weekend), one at 9.30, one at 10.30, another at 11.30 then a break for lunch and a couple more in the afternoon. Friday and the weekend passed in a blur of speeding along the A303, grandchildren hugging, train travelling through London in both directions, ageing parent caring, eating and sleeping, until I arrived back home, exhausted on Sunday evening.

GM very kindly agreed to do the major part of the driving, so, on Monday morning, armed with various maps, lists and a rigid timetable, we set off at 7.30am and headed for our target area, duly arriving (after a brief cuppa at the Rownham Services on the M27), just in time for our first viewing. This was another day that passed in a bit of a blur for me, but I do remember that one of the appointments was cancelled due to the house having been sold (STC) over the weekend, and of the other four that we looked at, three of them were out of the question for various reasons. BUT the other one, the second house we viewed, was almost practically perfect in every way.

On Tuesday we put in an offer, which was accepted by Wednesday lunchtime, thus we have agreed to purchase a house, subject to contract.

It has taken me this long to be able to recall the sequence of events and place them all in the right order. Am I excited? Well, what do you think?

And now, of course, our sellers need to find themselves a property, and heaven help us if the chain goes beyond them - we mustn't expect miracles, we have to be patient, it might take months, blahdiblah.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Every Blog has its Day

Daisy Row started life as a play on words - I think most of you already know the story, but for newer followers I'll tell it again. When we were in the process of moving house, we were counting down the days, and on moving day itself, after we had arrived at our destination and off-loaded all our worldly goods, GM said  "Welcome to Day Zero", which I mis-heard as "Welcome to Daisy Row".

And so, for the past 4 years, with the exception of the last few months, I have kept a record of life at Daisy Row. During that time I have acquired an extra 3 granddaughters - I had one to start with, and two teenage grandsons - all of whom live over 90 miles away. I know that 90 miles doesn't sound like a huge distance, but any of you parents with young children out there will know that transporting babies, toddlers etc. and all their paraphernalia is not a task to be undertaken lightly, so family visits haven't happened quite as often as I had hoped. Now, of course, with the eldest of the girls having started school, and both DiLs being back at work, weekends are at a premium for all concerned. I have frequently done the 90 mile trip myself, staying away from home for two or three days at a time and seeing everyone, but I'm now finding these trips very tiring and very emotional, so the decision has been made for us to sell up and move closer, so I can do day-trips to visit one family at a time, thus spending quality time with each.

I may or may not continue with my blogging, I'm not really sure, I'm a bit anti social media at the moment, but I'm quite looking forward to a change, so the next time you log on to Daisy Row you may notice a difference, a change of name, possibly (although I wont be changing the address), and a different outlook. It's possible that I'll blog about the moving process, I'll just have to see how I feel. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to follow my adventures, thanks to all those of you who have left comments and special thanks to those of you who have become friends, either real or virtual, during this time.

Our house will be listed on Rightmove after the weekend, so if anyone is interested in a lovely, bright and airy extended semi with lots of rooms (lots of improvements over the years), new gas hob, new electric oven, new fitted fridge/freezer, new combi boiler, relatively new dishwasher, full double glazing and gas central heating, LAN, Wifi and loads more, close to a park, shops, railway station, library, doctor's surgery and the beautiful Wiltshire countryside, please contact me for details. Otherwise, watch this space.