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Wednesday, 29 February 2012

The Woman in Orange and the Pointless Offer

Wednesday 23 February 2012 – Today I find myself unravelling, threads of my existence having no purpose – or in a nutshell; and easier to say, I’m at a loose end. I have a quick walk around town, and come across a sign inside the window of an independent music shop; it’s an offer that’s really not an offer. the sign reads:

 Sale: cassettes unplayed - £1 each or three for £3.

Despite my not being fond of sitting in the cinema, we decide to go and see the film adaptation of Susan Hill’s ghostly masterpiece, The Woman in Black. Daniel Radcliffe is pleasing in the role of Arthur Kipps, but not outstanding. There’s plenty of moments designed to make the viewer jump in their seat, and although the story has been tinkered around with, it’s not a bad adaptation; despite the sentimental drivel tagged on at the end – possibly to please the American audiences.


In the evening I take a stroll around the churchyard of the impressive church opposite the pub where ‘The Renegade Writers’ meet. I turn a dimly lit corner and come face to face with a cheery looking woman, dressed in an orange fleece; her shape making her look like a walking tangerine. I’m a little startled, but not as much as she is to find me poking around among the graves in the dark.

Mrs Tangerine tells me a little history behind the building of the church, and with a promise to come in the daytime and check out its interior I leave her for the writers’ group.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The Housing Lottery

Tuesday 21 February 2012: So today we go to view the only property we feel suitable on the letting agents list. We drive over early and take a look at the area, it’s raining, road works just outside are making the traffic look like a demented snake and there’s the disembodied bark of dogs in the air.

To be fair, the area may not be aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but at least it’s convenient for local amenities. We wait for the landlord to arrive and when he does, he has other people with him. It soon becomes apparent that we’re all here to view the place. The front door opens and we’re met by carpets that have three inches of dirt around where they meet the skirting board. (the previous tenant mustn’t have had a very good vacuum cleaner – if any).

The kitchen has paper down to soak up an undisclosed puddle of water, the bathroom is as cold as Captain Scott’s moustache, and the purple bedroom with luminous butterflies assaults the retina.

It turns out that the agent does block viewings of properties, asks if the clients are interested, and then decides which one will get it. Despite being better odds than the lottery, we feel it’s an unfair situation to put people in.

We discover that the funky smell in the dining room is coming from a half pot of yogurt on the windowsill, (weeks past its ‘best by’ date), we take this as our cue to leave, just as the two lesbians in Harrington jackets decide to take a second look upstairs at the purple bedroom.

Fifteen minutes later the letting agent calls to ask if we’re interested, the reply is a resounding, no!

We spot a sign in a newly refurbished property a few streets away, a quick phone call later and we’ve found an ideal house for us.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Hindered List

Monday 20 February 2012: So we are definitely in an hiatus situation, because of an errant relative, we are now powerless to complete our move to the land of La Dolce Vita. We have been informed that it may now be another four months before the probate etc. is wound up, so far we’ve waited two and a half years for said errant cousin to state his intention; RE:the will, and now another four months are added to the wait; suffice to say we’re not holding our breath in anticipation it will be over by June 2012. So having sold the UK home we are now looking for somewhere to rent here, and what a nightmare it’s proving to be.

thumb_280-to%20let%20signWe register with a letting agency, pay £77 for credit checks and we’re given a list of properties available: Well just three actually and a note telling us two more are coming available soon. One property has three bedrooms, and another four; we rule these out thinking it unfair to go for these, as there must be families in need of larger ones. We are left with two, two bedroom properties, one available and one coming soon.

We know the coming soon property so call the agent to say we’d like that one. The response we get isn’t good. “You’ll be offered that one when it comes vacant,” we’re told. “But we’ll take it,” we say. “We’ll offer it when it’s available.” We end the call bemused, why is the agent reticent to put us down for it, surely if we want to take it they’ll be happy is tenanted?to-let-sign

So we look at the list again and decide to view the last remaining one available. Another call is made to the agent, and we register our interest. The iPod shuffles and Ace of Bass start playing, ‘All That She Wants (is another baby)’ maybe if we had one of those getting a place to live would be easier?

Thursday, 9 February 2012

So What Prompted Me?

09 February 2012 – It’s been a while since I updated my blog, and quite a lot has happened, much of which has prevented me from writing. Sadly both of my dogs passed away and to top it off a friendship came to an end. Christmas arrived and departed, with us being homeless, as we sold the UK house. Our Italian home was broken into and most of the things we had over there were stolen, so all in all it’s been a bit of a low point in my life.

But, life goes on and as soon as we get back over to Italy we shall be restoring the house and land in earnest, and hopefully start to enjoy our new life in the sun.

So what prompted me to get back to my blog?

I’ll tell you. – Spelling mistakes.

The first of these was on a board advertising a house for rent, apparently the master bedroom came complete with an ‘On’ suite bathroom.

Just a matter of minutes later I am driving passed a bed showroom, and in the window is a handwritten sign proclaiming discounts on all bedroom furniture; including ‘head-boreds.’

The final one was a sign inside the window of a Polish convenience store, so the writer could be forgiven, with English not being their native language. However it amused me as the sign asked for engine parts in any condition required, also wanted are ‘geraboxes.’

So as Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds play ‘Supernaturally’ I’ll upload my first blog entry for 2012 and also leave you with a snowy shot from a few days ago.