Saturday, 5 November 2016

Hallelujah!



Earlier this year when I wrote about the state of affairs in our lane I did not expect to be writing this post only a few months later. Well that bottle of champagne that had been on ice for some time, waiting for the house at the top end of the lane to sell, was joyfully drunk about a month ago.

When a sale of the house fell through in the Spring we heard with dismay that the owners, who I had named Del Boy and the WAG, had taken the house off the market and decided to stay. We thought that they would never move and we were going to be stuck with them forever. They were truly the neighbours from hell. Amazingly, they somehow had managed to sell a house that was not for sale, when for eight years they could not sell a house that was for sale. Almost unbelievable, but true. There were always a lot of comings and goings next door, so we would never have picked up that there was a potential buyer around. The first that we had any inkling that a sale might be imminent was in the middle of September. We had been away for ten days and returned home on a Friday afternoon. The next day there was a self drive hire van in their drive. Over the course of the weekend they appeared to be moving out some of their furniture and belongings. We needed to know what was going on. So husband hot footed down to the neighbours at the end of the lane, who had kept an eye on our cottage while we were away, with a little present for their good deed. Coincidentally they happen to  be the only neighbours that Del Boy and the WAG spoke to. To our surprise Del Boy had told them that they were close to selling. What good news to return home to. So we started to watch with eager anticipation they comings and goings next door. After the weekend's activity nothing much happened  during the next few days and following weekend, but they were still living there. Then, it is hard to fathom I know, they went away on holiday for a week. On their return there was a lot of frantic activity, culminating in them finally moving out on the Thursday and the new owner moving in the following day, which was the first Friday in October. At last Del Boy, the WAG and their barking dog had gone. I can not say how pleased we are to have seen the back of them.

At the end of May the new owners moved into the first house in the lane, which had stood empty for seven months while they sorted out some problems with the house, had decorators in etc. By this time the grass, which had not been cut since the previous Autumn, was about two feet high. And it took our new neighbour a considerable amount of time to get it under control.

Now the lane is fully occupied and we start the next phase of its' life. So far the new neigbours are fine, quiet and law abiding, with no barking dogs or loud music. In some ways life is quieter and less colourful than it was when Del Boy and the WAG lived next door. Without intending to, they certainly entertained us and life with them next door was quite an eye opener.

Friday, 7 October 2016

The price of driving a bargain

I know that I have been AWOL again. For a good  reason. Well goodish. Back in May my mouse and I spent rather too much time surfing the Internet. The result was a problem with my neck and a weary mouse. In an attempt to give my neck a chance to recover I awarded the mouse a well earned rest, but every time that I picked up the mouse my neck complained. The only thing to do was to have a complete break from using the mouse and the computer. Needless to say I have found other things to do with my time and my mouse has got used to being idle. Enough of waffle and excuses.



Since January 2015 I had been looking, on and off, for a replacement car. Like all of us my car, Bluebell was ageing and needed money spent on her. I had decided on the make, model and colour that I was looking for. Now it was just a matter of finding it. With each MOT, tax and insurance anniversary my search intensified.  Then wained, when I could not find what I was looking for. Searching via the Internet allowed me to view all possibilities countrywide and saved what would have been many fruitless trips out to second hand car showrooms. Last year's prang, although repaired to look like new, had left Bluebell with a rattle and the driver's door window did not always shut as tight as it should. If I was going to change the car I realised that I would have to consider an alternative colour. So that decision made, it was not long before I found a car that was a possibility. In addition to being my second choice colour of white silver, it was older than I really wanted and the details supplied by the dealer sparse, by comparison with other cars that were also for sale. Over the course of the next few days e-mails flew between myself and a salesman at the showroom, that had the car 30 odd miles away. Eventually I managed to prize out of him the information that I wanted regarding the car, which appeared to be a middle of the range car without many extras, but it would suit my needs. Now it was decision time. Did I want the car moved to the local dealer so that I could see it? Yes, I thought so, but before I got around to asking for that to be done, I followed home from the supermarket a top of the range model that I had not considered. In fact, you do not see many of them about. It set me thinking. So there are some benefits to doing the supermarket shop. It did not take me long to establish that the local dealer, just two miles up the road, had two or three possibilities, all within my price range and more suitable colours than the car that was 30 odd miles away. OK they were all older. I reasoned that if I bought an older car, that I just would not keep it for so long.

What I have ended up with is a silver grey top of the range car with a lot of extras, which I would never have specified and shall probably never use, but at £10 more than the low specification middle of the range alternative it seemed to be a bargain buy. It has cost more to tax and insure, but it is fun to drive even if I do not need the extra power. More importantly a silver grey car is a more practical colour than white silver for someone who lives up a muddy lane. And those heated seats will come in useful in the winter won't they?

Monday, 27 June 2016

Something to celebrate

Away from the doom and gloom and turmoil in the UK, husband and I are celebrating our silver wedding anniversary in Agios Nikolaus, on the Greek island of Crete. As we had met on the Greek island of Alonnisos, when we decided to go away to celebrate our anniversary we thought where better than somewhere in Greece? We had been here before a couple of times and been smitten by the place and the hotel just outside the resort, where we are staying. The weather is reliably hot and sunny. The food is good. All the ingredients for a super lazy week in the sun. Sadly we return to grey, wet England tomorrow, but for now here is the current view from my sun bed.