And pause.

So, I went to see my mom (deliberate) this weekend; I’ve not been down for a while and consequently the list of things that needed doing was quite long. I did start to wonder about how my dad kept up.

(skip past this bit for the wittery kate talk)
I… bought fencing material and fenced off with barbed wire both ends of the river (after 6 years of people trespassing and damaging my mum’s garden the fight just got a bit nastier; incidentally, while Nikki I’m sure (being a farm-lass) would have had no problems dealing with barbed wire, I found it almost as much fun as it looked like it’d be); put up the new washing line; repaired the gate; removed the excess fencing from the gate post; ‘repaired’ my mum’s car door lock (it jams, locked, irritatingly); cleaned up mouse crap from high up where my mum couldn’t reach; put up a shelf and hangy things in the shed (well, technically, my mum, in a disturbing character change has decided to become much more independent (she’s perhaps fed up of having broken things around the house waiting for me to visit) so I drilled holes and she screwed the bits of wood up); I also prepared but didn’t put the edging up on the bridge (I think we need some ‘nicer’ wood). This took up the large majority of the weekend and when I left, just before lunch today I was knackered.

I also checked and found out why the speaker in my car was working intermittently, the ‘quality’ soldering I’d done when I put it in (like a lot of other jobs) was rather botched, so it’d snapped. I put that on my ‘when I get home’ list. However, when I got home I did the supermarket shopping (Woot, I have food!); finally fixed the frying pan that’s been broken for months (now it has a screw made from some high-quality-metal or other which will I’m sure soon add the daily requirement of rust to my diet); the saucepan that’s had a loose handle and thus sat on the table for weeks; the broken wire to the speaker in my car (‘cos I couldn’t go to work without it working!) and now I am… knackered.

Oh, I also watched Jean de Florette, with my mum, which turned out to be excellent and added to the strangeness (my mum had been excitedly showing me screwdrivers earlier in the day, a quality I presumed I’d inhereted from my dad…) when my mum professed a need for a widescreen telly. I tried and tried to persuade them when my dad was alive, but no need for a widescreen telly ever existed before… suddenly now, I’d given up hope and watching stuff on the ex-rental telly with the poor colour rendition and the flickering from bright to dark had become kind of normal. And then, suddenly, she’s all ‘I need a widescreen telly’. The world is going odd.

(and stop skipping) 

Anyway, I had a long chat with my mom about moving. About not being able to afford to stay in Bristol and thinking about moving Northward… I kind of expected a flurry of ‘no’ – me being further away will almost certainly mean less of me seeing my mum. But there was none. My mum basically said ‘for god’s sake, get on with it’. So, now I’m thinking about it more meaningfully. I’ve even got a Birmingham Univeristy Hospital application form sat on my desktop waiting for me to fill it in.

I guess I’m starting to step outside my comfort zone again. Which is kinda scary. I was talking (I do a lot of that) to Trey about it; and it came down to the fact that I want to leave this country in 2 years. Either I can struggle in Bristol, probably not be able to get the kind of house I want, and so on; or I can move up North, get paid the same, live in a cheaper area, almost certainly find a house I actually want, or at least that’s appropriate and in my price range (and has a garage, hell, I’ve seen a few on Fish4 just scanning the listings). This will hopefully also allow me to save up a bit, and having a garage will mean that left-hooking Rebecca and getting her all prepped for the journey shouldn’t be so hard. So I’m going to give a couple of places a ring on Monday afternoon, see if I can’t scare up some jobs.

Of course, this is in addition to writing my dissertation; and I’ve realised I really need to start preparing Rebecca for Pride. The call is still out, incidentally for Stewards. We just need two shiny people who’d like to be stewards around a shiny, shiny black Minor. Go look at (last years, okay, I know) the Pride of Minors website. The car that needs stewards is Fifi, the shiny black one, driven by our mate Guy. Go’wan, y’know you want to be a star…

Anyway, I seem to have stopped, and I want to go play with this form, so I can get it sent off nice and sharpish like. So. Yes. I’m also very tired, and quite hungry (all I ate for lunch today was a slice of plum and chocolate cake).

Pre-thought

Okay.

If I ring Health Match BC; what are the chances they’d be remotely interested in a newly qualified nurse from the UK. Should I just say ‘fuck it’ and go, if they give me the option it’s certainly tempting. Very tempting.

I’m sick of being at the bottom of the property ladder. I’m sick of renting; and much though I love Lauren, she’s a great housemate, I really want a place of my own. And the prices in the UK are so fucking steep that it’s beyond a joke.

It seems like my options are:

– Attempt to rent place in bristol. This will take at least all of my money, probably more. Will probably involve me moving into a bedsit, packing up 90% of that which I own and becoming very depressed.
– Continue to search for property in Bristol; I have noticed that the properties available in the current auction do not meet my requirements (or at least, are very unlikely to, one remains a ‘vaguely possible’)… and are pretty near my financial limits anyway.
– Leave Bristol for the Frozen Northern Plains, and find a house, and a job up there; until I can move to Canada (currently awfully tempting).
– See if I can coax Canada into letting me come over as soon as I’m qualified and registered (also tempting, but less likely to actually work).
Anyway, I’ve got uni tomorrow so I should go lie down and be miserable in bed.

More thoughts.

I should have remembered to turn the heating off yesterday, but I got home too late to think about it and just fell into bed. Doh.

Edit to add: Reasons for feeling ranty also are perhaps related to the fact my assoc mentor yesterday told me *not* to bring in stuff to go through with her, but to go through it with my main mentor. Then today had a go at me for not bringing it in when it was quiet ‘cos she could have gone through some of it. AARRGH.

Anyway, auctions are less fun than expected. Well, to be honest, I didn’t think it’d be much fun; but having some pillock bid only 6k from his upper limit as the first bid (and distressingly only 3k from mine). Well, that was frustrating.

I’m not so much pissed off that I didn’t get the house, in the sense of pure unadulterated pissed off. Because it went for so much more than I could afford, and so much more than it was worth (even by the surveyor’s reckoning. I didn’t even think it’d be worth that much*) I more feel like the person who bought it paid over the odds and will end up regretting it when they get there and find it’s a big damp box with no roof, electrics, plumbing or heating.

Anyway.

Bitter much?

No, what really bugs me is now I have to go through now:

– Probably: Finding a house to rent (after Lauren moves)
– Finding another house I actually want to buy that’s in my price range (the two on the next auction aren’t great. There’s one listed which might be a ‘possible’. I’m suddenly tempted to move where property is much cheaper).
– Getting the bankers draft converted back into money in my account, which, I’m told, is not simply a matter of destroying it (indeed, entirely the opposite); nor taking it back to the bank and having them destroy it. Oh no, it’s a pay-to-solicitor-get-them-to-pay-me-back game.

And then the *whole* process of checking out the house and blah, and blah, and *BLAH*.

Meh.

* But there were some spectacularly stupid people there going ‘oh, this one looks nice’ and pointing at it – and some of them were involved in the bidding. Yes, it *looks* nice on the outside. So’d a cardboard fascade if I was quick enough to take the picture *rolls eyes*. If I’m ever selling a house by auction I’ll nip round with some poster paint the day before they do the auction catalogue and make it look way nicer than it is.

I believe that’s what’s called a ‘learning experience’

So, back to work today. Much fun of the “oh my god you cut off all your hair… it looks really cool” variety. I like looking good. I don’t often feel that great about myself. Well, moreso these days, but today was like “commentathon”, which was fun. And my hair? It needs trimming anyway.

Also lots of talk about the potential house. Someone at work was:

“Oh my god I can’t believe you’d even consider living there”.

But she drives me nuts anyway. Everyone else was really startled and doing the whole ‘what the fuck?!’ when she did that. But anyway, completely ignoring her after work I left and headed into Bath. I had the choice of driving to my branch in Brizzy, driving nearer to Bath city centre or walking, from work, into Bath. Walking seemed like a great idea.

The traffic is always lousy in Bath, and then I’d have to find somewhere to park… Not driving at all saves on fuel. Ignoring, obviously that I slept appaulingly last night and was completely wrecked after work I set off. In the rain. 2.5 miles doesn’t seem a lot normally, in fact, it’s a teeny distance. But after a day stood up at work? Maybe not so great on the plan front.

I did however get my Bankers Draft. It’d disappointingly like a normal cheque; and I discovered that to get my money back into my account having had the draft written I actually have to get it paid into the account it’s written for and then have them pay me back. What the fuck?! *sigh*. Hopefully I’ll win the auction and then that won’t be an issue!

Anyway, by the time I got back to the car (5 and a bit miles later, as my navigation in Bath was of it’s usual standard) my shins were aching; by the time I got home both my legs were sending daggers of ‘please stop driving’ all over the place. So. Yes. We learned something today. We don’t do that again.

Housey Update

They are not accepting offers on the property before the auction. Bollocks.

I am preparing myself for being pissed off, on the other hand if they had accepted my offer now then the chances of me getting any work done in the next few weeks would have been tiny. On the minus side the reason they aren’t accepting offers is that they’ve had offers and the owners have just gone ‘nah, wait for the auction’. They’ve had offers. Offers plural. Bugger.

oh holy crap oh holy crap oh holy crap…

…I’m thinking about buying a house. I am thinking… of spending… more money that I’ve ever spent before… on a house… with no roof, with damp, with no heating, no worthwhile electrics, no kitchen… barely any ceilings…

*pause*

No I am fucking terrified. Scared witless. Holy crap, holy crap, oh holy crap, oh holy crap.

Seriously scary.

Okay. Ring. Ask if they’ll accept an offer now.

A swimming pool you say? How delightful

Lord am I tired… It was the burial of my dad’s urn / casket today; and the service at Amaravati. ‘cos my mum was stressing I drove over to hers last night – enabling us to set off at 6:30 this morning. Unfortunately it also meant I slept terribly; I think I got about 3 hours. Then we got in my mum’s car and I drove us to Amartavati in Hemel; It was only about an hour and a half, and the traffic was pretty good really. The service was really nice; the dahna offering went well too; the little nephews behaved themselves really well :-)

I got to try more Thai and assorted other asian foods – and apart from accidentally eating a chilli (and the accompanying period of me *looking* like I’d just eaten a chilli) and the experience as a whole was a good one. Driving back though, what with drinking only decaf, and the minute amount of sleep, I really really struggled. Anyway, got my mum back, fixed her waterfall, drank coffee, picked up my birthyday presents,m hopped in the car, drove back here and found… the subject of the title.

The damp survey is back on the house; it’s got *no* damp proof course at all. It is all but a swimming pool (Moisture content as high as 28%) and 2 walls in two rooms need to be replastered floor to ceiling ; but the quote for this is actually what I was expecting as the quote for *just* damp proofing to be, but actually they’ll do floor to ceiling plastering and 1 m high in the other rooms. So it’s really all *rar*.

It’s not really any worse than I expected; and actually better in some ways… so we await wednesday with baited breath.

Did you want the bad news or the bad news?

Okay. How about the bad news first?

I got a quote, just on the off chance like, of how much it’d cost to re-roof an entire victorian butterfly roof’d terrace with knackered joists and all. The ‘rotten as a pear’ assumption.

The bad news is that my rough guestimate for a new roof was *wildly* inaccurate. Laughably so.

The other bad news is that it was wildly inaccurate in the wrong direction; I was assuming it’d cost *way* more than the roofers think it’d cost. Arse. This now means that if the survey throws up the roof as being nadgered that I then actually will think ‘hrm, best get a quote from a couple of roofers’.

Oh balls. Oi! Universe! Stop tempting me!

And so it continues

So, back to doing more… I’m going to have to get a different keyboard I think. I keep moving this one around but I am suddenly seeing the point of Ergonomic keyboards. Bollocks.

Yeah, back to doing more Uni work today. Still got EU Maternity to do, but I’m mostly through it. Once I’ve answered all the bits I can I’ll start on the EU Mental Health; this is because there may be things I need to get from Uni for the EU Mental health, and I’d rather do them as one trip. I did spend 10 enjoyable minutes trying to find a paper for the Maternity pack, which I couldn’t find because… they’d got the bloody reference wrong. All that bollocks about marking us down for getting references wrong and they do it their-bloody-selves. They’d missed out a space, making ‘birth plans’ ‘birthplans’, eventually I thought “hang on, maybe they’ve made a typo” and found it. Bastards.

In other news, I’m still running after the NHS / the Government with a big stick saying do your fucking job. You know, given that they’ve made me wait 2 sodding months because they failed to send a letter, and the people in the NHS at the other end failed to actually check that they’d received a letter (both assuming that it had gone / arrived (*rolls eyes*)) you’d think they might be a little teeny bit pro-active about actually checking that things are now moving. But no. No. Apparently not.

“Hi, this is Kate, did you get a fax from X on Friday?”
“No….no, definately not. They did ring to ask for a fax number though.”
[Thinks… and you didn’t think it was odd that you then didn’t get a fax at all? *HEADS DESK*]
“Oh, ah, okay, I’ll go chase them.”

“We sent the fax on Friday”
“Right, well, they didn’t receive it”
“Oh. Well, I’ve got a sent recipt here”
“Yes, but they didn’t get it. I don’t know why. Could you send it again? Please?” [… before I’m forced to come up there, kill every last living one of you bastards, and take the form down to Bristol by hand myself]
“Okay. I’ll send it again.”

I will be ringing again in a couple of hours to check that it has, this time, been recieved. Before I’m forced to beat them with sticks. Beat. With. Sticks.

In other news, my wrist is hurting and I’ve not even started working today. Bloody thing. Also, I’m still completely stuck on this house, I know exactly how I want to layout the bathroom now. And the bedroom, I have some *really fucking ace* ideas for the bedroom, if the roof doesn’t need doing. God yes. Although they might cost too much. They might cost more than it’s worth to do it. But I have a concept. It would actually require builders though, and hence might well not be worth it. But hey. We can but think about concepts. If it’s too expensive, it’s too expensive. I don’t have the house yet. I alternate between dreams of no-one bidding on the house and me getting it for less than the guide price, and bidding wars where it rapidly disappears out of my price range; and of going with the surveyor and him saying “it’s knackered, fit only for demolition” and equally, going with the surveyor and him going “this roof’s just been replaced…” :-)

At any rate. I should be working now, so I’ll go prod my EU pack with sticks.

The good, the bad and the downright disasterous

I’ve done it again. It’s another Rebecca. It is. I’m a big sensible adult now, and I can see when my insanity is trying to take me places where I really shouldn’t go. That’s why I’m getting a free timber and damp treatment survey done. And then I’m going down there with a surveyor who’ll do me a shiny shiny survey.

But I love the house. God damn it, I love every mouse ridden damp rotting corner of it.

[lots of pictures]

Continue reading “The good, the bad and the downright disasterous”