Thursday 26 November 2015
Sunny with huge black clouds
Well this was a stressful one! Started off calmly with a couple of hours on the newsletter and got it more or less licked into shape. Stunning articles by Gillian Harris of Gillian Gladrag - she has a wool shop in Dorking in Surrey. Her thing is colour - masses and masses of it. Here you go, for an injection of fluffiness and zippy joy
The phone rang. A colleague who wanted to line up some visits for this afternoon and tomorrow. Great, due down town in 30 minutes and I am not even dressed. Ran around, dragging on clothes with one hand and the phone in the other.
The first meeting is with the seller of the little town house. We are signing the Acte de Vente today and the buyer is flying in from the Middle East. I have some trouble getting in the door and the owner comes down stairs and lets me in. I had forgotten a letter at the end of the code for the door. We do the meter readings, arrange to meet in the town where the notaire has her office, and he leaves. I take a quick look at a new antique shop. There is the most ravishing hot chocolate machine from the 1850's. The owner shows me an oil paining of the lady who ran the shop where the machine was used. She doesn't look like someone who enjoyed herself. Stiff black clothing and lace collar. Eyes like chips of coal. My phone rings and it is the buyer. Hurrah. We have coffee and then go to the house.
I cant get in with the code. I try the new code and the old code. With and without the letter. Why wont the sodding door open? Neither owner is answering their phone. The buyer wanders off and buys some onion bhaji and samosas. I finally get through to the lady owner and she says she will ring her husband. She then rings back and says he has gone to a town 20 kms away and has locked the door with the key (!) and if we want to go in the house, we will have to go and pick up the key from her husband.
The buyer says he is not buying the house without seeing it again. I am so stressed that I cannot remember where I parked the car. The buyer drives us to town, and back again, and we finally enter. It is not an understatement to say I was horrified. The owner had stripped the place. Light bulbs, doormats, curtains, curtain rails and there were large holes in the walls where he had taken down pictures and furniture. The buyer walked around saying 'shit, I should have paid more attention to the inventory'. I feel totally sick and have to have some water. From the tap as there is nothing to drink it out of. They had even taken the plastic goblets.
I rally and say to the buyer that he has got it for 40% under market value and did he really want all their old stuff anyhow. He calms down and says, what the hell. Let's go and buy this place so we do.
An hour and a half later, I find myself in a bedding shop with a man who is not my husband, choosing bedding. Feel mildly hysterical. And very relieved. Have some wine to celebrate and go home and gabble feedback to OH. Dog wont go out because owls are hooting. He is very nervous of owls. Watch the Last Kingdom and it is just getting better and better.
Get to bed at midnight and still feel totally wired. In the blackness of the room, it looks like there are hundreds of black wriggling lines. After an hour, when I had finally passed out, dog starts barking. Let him out. Back to bed and oblivion.