One step forward, two steps back.

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And so it continues. We had a good weekend – headed over to see our friends James and Rachel, and nearly froze to death out at Waddesden Manor. As we went to leave Bristol we stepped outside the door and went “Oh dear god it’s cold”. From an incredibly mild November it’d suddenly become a bitterly cold November. There was an icy wind and clear winter skies… and we scuttled back in and grabbed an extra jumper and then headed off.

After chilling (or warming) at James’s, we crept out to see the Christmas fair and, we thought, the manor. Unfortunately, it turned out that Manor tickets were sold out… so we padded around the Christmas fair – which was fun – until the icy wind finally beat us into submission. We tried hiding in the gift shop in the manor for a while, but when the sun went down we gave in to the inevitability of failure, abandoned the idea of seeing the light display, and headed back to James’s home.

There, once thawed, we tried out a new game for us (old for them) called Takenoko. Despite looking very simple, it’s excellent fun, and although it’s competitive, because of the game mechanics you’re not deliberately screwing everyone else’s game up. The whole thing’s fun and gentle, and yes…it’s been added to the list of games we want.

Then Sunday we headed over to my sister’s house for lunch – it’s been a long time since we’ve been over there, and bloody hell have their kids grown. I’d forgotten the way that teens shoot skywards. Anyway, after yummy food we got in some more gaming, playing Gubs, which is almost invariably popular with people we play it with, but in the boys hands turned into an all out war on other players in a competitive way we’ve not seen before(!). We also played Gloom which we delight in, but which we got the rules wrong for until about 3/4 the way through. In this case it just meant that I died with painfully positive people… something that should be a bit of a rarity, but actually didn’t hugely affect the playability of it.

Anyway, it was a good weekend all round, and then Monday we headed over to see our friends with a new* baby who is very cute. They also seem to be doing well, so that was all very positive and happy.

Then yesterday, we headed down to drop off pot-plants at my mum’s (because we won’t be able to take pot-plants with us). All of this is because we’d been told last week that exchange of contracts was ‘just waiting on new, corrected, mortgage paperwork’**. And whilst we were there we got the exciting news that the paperwork for the mortgage had arrived with the buyers.

…but no. Then we decided to take a giant leap backwards.

We’d been told that the buyer’s solicitors had assured our solicitor that there were no further queries. Hence us signing our contract over a week ago. But yesterday they suddenly raised further queries. Only they’re not further queries, they’re the same (damn) queries that were raised 3 weeks ago, and which we responded to. It’s not like we’re giving vague, wooly answers. We’ve given our answers, paid for indemnity cover against ridiculous things (like the £4 / yr charge that’s payable to a non-existent, defunct company…in case they raise themselves, zombie-like, from the dead, and demand back payments****), and we’ve in general sucked it up. But now they’ve said they want things that don’t exist and can’t be obtained. At least, it would be difficult, cost £1000s and take large chunks of time to obtain.

Finally, yesterday, we said “No” to our solicitor. “No”, we won’t pay this frivolous thing. If their solicitors want indemnity against the 78 year old access road being bought by someone and the owners suddenly being barred access to it, they can pay themselves. We didn’t get indemnity against it because in UK law we have a right of access over that road.

The most frustrating thing is that what we get from the estate agents is that the buyers are really excited and want to move in. They, apparently, were thrilled to get their re-done mortgage paperwork yesterday, because they thought that meant we’d be moving forward. This all appears to be solicitor and mortgage company demands for the impossible.

So we’ve moved from just waiting for some paperwork (“Yay! We should get completion in a few days!”) to waiting for solicitors that seem unable to talk to each other to reach an agreement**** which has made us arrive at “Oh god, we’re never, ever going to move”. It’s incredibly frustrating and is contributing to an all round low mood. Not aided by the fact that I am barely able to get any work at the moment – so we’re only just covering bills rather than saving up to move.

To sum up: *STRESS* and *Really f*cking pissed off*.

* 7 Week old.
** cf. 2 weeks ago when we were told exchange would happen that week***.
*** cf. 1 week ago when were were almost sure to have an exchange of contracts that week.
**** Which, even if they’d never been payed (I think they were payed up until either the 50s or the 80s) would amount to a grand total of £312.
***** Ours essentially whinge continuously about the unavailability of theirs, but then only seem to actually do anything when we ring them and say “what are you doing”. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if their solicitor was saying that ours wasn’t supplying sensible answers to the questions.


Kate's a human mostly built out of spite and overcoming transphobia-racism-and-other-bullshit. Although increasingly right-wing bigots would say otherwise. So she's either a human or a lizard in disguise sent to destroy all of humanity. Either way, it's all good.