January 19th, 2005

Occasions: Halloween (House)

Houses, the weather and an update

We've seen four houses thus far, two in the Elgin area and two around the Stirling area. The first house, a bungalow, simply needed too much work doing to it and a fair bit of money spending on it. The second one, also a bungalow, we both really liked and felt that we could live there - both property and area - but the closing date is this Friday (21st) and there is no way we would be able to get a Bank survey done by that time. Also, to be honest, we didn't really want to leap in on after only seeing one other property. However, we have asked the Estate Agent to let us know if for some reason the property doesn't sell on the closing date. The sellers have a particular price in mind, they've already turned down three offers, so I suppose it's possible that they might not get their desired price. There seemed to be other properties in the area on with local (to Elgin) EAs, so I shall see if I can track any of them down.

The two we saw yesterday were also both 'nos' for different reasons. The first was another bungalow, but just did nothing for us when we walked into it. It wasn't a no/no insofar as if push came to shove, we could live there, but at this stage we wouldn't really consider it. The second one was superb as far as room and room size went - we could easily house our huge book/zine, DVD, CD collection and have plenty of room left over for more. However, it also needed a lot doing to it, including making one of the showers usable by me, plus not only did it have a open-tread staircase (horror), but it had several lots of steps throughout the house generally. We got the feeling that the sellers would actually have dropped the price somewhat had we been really interested, but there was just too much to overcome.

We're having a couple of days off, it's been more than a bit of a strain especially for me and I feel as though I've been through the grinder and out the other side - and that's with increasing my Morphine intake. So we might just have a little drive around the area again tomorrow and look at some of the places I haven't yet seen.

Our trip up and back from Elgin was partly completed in the snow - in fact at one point we seriously considered turning back and not going up. However, in the end we kept going, although we did decide not to see the third property we were due to see on Monday because due to road works and the weather we were running over half and hour late (unheard of for us), and with the weather as it was on the way back to Doune, we're glad we did call it a day.

We woke up to a white world yesterday and seriously wondered whether we would be able to get out of our drive way. It was stunningly beautiful, just like a Christmas card or painting, so still and so untouched - that is until Tansy started to romp around the garden. Poor thing, she loves the snow, but with her short legs she couldn't walk through it, so she had to bunny hop around and then came in looking like a snow bear. It snowed on and off throughout yesterday morning, but finally stopped early afternoon and we haven't had any more since. It's still fairly deep and untouched in some places and I find looking at it on the hills/mountains is just wonderful.

There was one small thing on Monday that really surprised, but pleased me immensely. Pleasant a drive as it is up the A9, there aren't that many toilet stops, in fact Murphy's Law says that when you really want one, there simply isn't any to be found. Eventually, we pulled off at a garage-come-post office that said it had a toilet. Wondering just what I'd encounter - I've seen some of these places before - I went in hesitantly. I was stunned, not only was it clean, warm, with water and loo rolls :-) but it also been adapted for disabled use with bars either side. I had never come across this kind of facility outside of 'official' service stations, Universities, etc. etc. etc. - in fact it was cleaner and tidier than when we stopped later at a branch of Tesco! I made a point of complimenting the man who ran the place on the facilities, after all I sometimes think we are willing to moan when something isn't right, but don't praise when something is good. I keep saying that one of these days I'll write a 'Best Loo Guide' and believe me this would go right up in the top five! We'll certainly be remembering it for our next trip. Yes, the petrol was more expensive than other places, but if it came to it one could happily just buy a Kit-Kat or something - although to be honest I reckon he wouldn't object to it being used without anything being bought, but one can always eat a chocolate bar :-)

Current Read: Who Is Ray Doyle? by Darby Brennan
Occasions: Halloween (House)

Email and a moan

I'm still not sure about my email - it seems (touching wood and crossing my fingers) that most mail sent over the last day or so has got to the intended recipient, but I can't always tell. I'm waiting to see whether I've got any read receipts today in respect of the messages I sent yesterday - bother, I haven't

maubast I sent you three messages yesterday. Did any of them arrive? I did receive a message from you yesterday, BTW

caffyolay I received two messages from you.

londonronnie I sent you a message yesterday.

Judy, if you're reading this, I sent you two messages yesterday.

Hubby spent over two hours yesterday on the phone to our previous telephone/broadband suppliers, just trying to ascertain whether our phone lines had been disconnected. This follows several other long phone calls and at least one letter, their administration side is appalling, it really is. He kept getting passed from department to department and back again, with each one saying that they couldn't help him. Finally, when he did speak to someone who was able to confirm that it had been disconnected, she told him that anyone could have done what she'd done! On more than one occasion he asked to speak to a Supervisor or Manager only to be told that it isn't possible to do that, you have to leave your name and telephone number and they'll get back to you in forty-eight hours! Do not touch NTL. Quite frankly, even if we could get it now we've moved we wouldn't go with them again. The actual service and price is fine, the engineers know their stuff and are friendly, polite and efficient - but the administrative side of it .......