Monday, 30 January 2012

65 Days

I haven’t written a blog since before Christmas, mostly because we have been moving house.
That isn’t really much of an excuse because Lois has written something every day, much of it about the actual process of moving. On the other hand, it has meant that she has hogged a certain amount of the meagre internet connection that we have managed to keep running. Sometimes by driving into town to drink coffee in places that had a WiFi, sometimes by other means, but never courtesy of BT who seem to think that a modern society requires people to be cut off from communication for a month if they want to move house.
I have the added excuse that I have been working with the iPad, because Lois has hogged the Mac Air and I find blogging from the pad a bit tedious. This is probably my fault, but something funny happens to the formatting when I write in Pages and try to upload to blogger.
For the last few weeks, we have got onto the web with a MiFi, so I have less excuse, but by then the number of things I might write about had also become daunting.
All excuses have now gone, even BT have relented and got us connected to both phone and WiFi. Why not ask Sky or Virgin or someone else I hear you say. The fact is Sky simply refused to give us broadband, said they couldn’t do it. I suspect that this is because we are in a new building and in the nine months while it was being constructed no one thought to make sure that phone lines were up to scratch. We did mention it to the developers about 10 times, but got no response.
So all this amount to there being a number of sagas that I will need to write in order to dump all my frustrations and anxieties on any poor reader. For today a summary, of sorts will have to do, in the form of a poem, a ditty, or maybe it is a song.

Days of Christmas

The first day of Christmas the agent said to me,
“I’ve found a buyer
who will take your house
with the partridge and the pear tree. 

It is true, we do have a pear tree and a pair of partridges often visit, though I’ve never seen them in the tree.

On the second day of Christmas the plot begins to thicken
We leave the Scottish land
Cutting short our tripping
Driving miles and miles in the dark

And the weather breaks, so we drive back in pouring rain, stopping in the lake district to sleep.

On the third day of Christmas negotiation starts for real
We agreed upon a date,
Much too soon for comfort,
but better to be sure I guess.

Are we lucky to find a buyer who wants to move at breakneck speed?

On the fourth day of Christmas, we begin to plan
we phone a moving man.
Who came at once to see,
Wrote it all in a little book,

And he gave us boxes and lots of lovely string, well sticky tape actually.

On the fifth day of Christmas
We start to throw away
All the attic stuff
We’ve kept for years and years

So much stuff we never knew we had and a hundred reminders of former lives, but it all has to go.

On the sixth day of Christmas,
We telephone to Sky
Try to book a phone
And lovely broadband too

One of the most charming and helpful telephone operator I have ever encountered, and they have a new system that brings you back to the first operator even if you have to visit other departments.

On the seventh day of Christmas,
We hire a storage room
And then another too
And finally a third

And the people at Storage King are a delight and their boxes are the best, and they provide trolleys, though Lois doesn’t seem to be able to drive one in a straight line.

On the eighth day of Christmas,
The removal man phones up
And cancels.

So we hunt around all day for another man with a van, and throw away more and more stuff we’re never going to move.

On the ninth day of Christmas,
Sky send us a text
Refund on the way
They can’t fit the line

Not only that, they have no idea why, and when we try again, they repeat the booking and subsequent refund as though we are in a time warp.

On the tenth day of Christmas,
BT cut off the phone
We redirect the post
And pack the motorhome in case

And a man from Shy phones up to ask if he can fit the line tomorrow, obviously no one told him the thing has been cancelled twice.

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
We start to pack the van
When the agent gives a call
We’re not moving house today

Half the money has failed to arrive, some problem with a mortgage broker failing to provide information. The buyer is heartbroken, but the breaker is the broker.

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
We activate plan B
Talking to the bank
Most of the working day.

But they make countless cock-ups and  the thing drags on and on. Twelve days are not enough. 

On the sixteenth day of Christmas
We finally move in
Then walk along the river
Drink a glass of wine in Brown

And generally feel a whole heap better because we are now on the third floor a long way above the river, which is rising rapidly.

On the twenty seventh day of Christmas
The money changes hands
The old farm-house is sold
And we open up the champagne.

The bank ring me up to say did you realise a huge sum of money has appeared in your account. Are they completely stupid, most of the money is the mortgage we got from them because the other bank was so slow? They have to work so hard to get their bonuses.

On the sixty fifth day of Christmas
I start to blog again
No partridge or pear tree 
but a nice view of the river instead

The view from our new living room