Sunday, 17 January 2016

View From The Window

What a change this morning, we have snow, in the gap the view is frosty with sunlight, very atmospheric, I suspect it is also pretty cold, the view is spoiled somewhat by a large yellow skip with the remains of Eyebrow Cottage's kitchen, the lady is getting a new one. Off the road the snow is still fairly thick, about three to four inches, it was that nice powdery stuff which crunches as you walk on it, it will now be icy but it is still pretty. There has been a bit of interest in Washington House recently with several viewings over the past week or so, also the house at the side has sold, if all goes well we will have new neighbours in a month or so.

Buying a house in England is a nightmare, the buyers can pull out almost right up to the arrival of your removal van, and I know at least one person here in the village that has happened to. I don't know how this is possible but no one in decades has done anything about it. You cannot do this in Scotland, as soon as you agree to buy you are stuck, so you have to think long and hard and be sure, you can't muck people around up there, you wouldn't want to in normal circumstances either but you can't when buying a house.

Buying a house here in the UK makes me sick, it is a needlessly complex transaction where professional bodies like estate agents, solicitors, surveyors and the local government all have a vested interest in taking as much money off you as possible for doing as little as possible, this probably explains why the situation above has never been resolved, and never will be. For instance a land search has to be done to ensure that the house actually belongs to the person selling it, and this has to be done every time it sells, why? Surely if we all agree that the present owner legally owns the house then when you buy it you own it, why search again when you sell it? That's a couple of hundred smackers gone. Then there is the surveyor who makes sure the house is fit to live in, is not over a mine shaft or has damp in the attic etc. but wait, nowadays you have to sign a document which basically says that if he does not find anything he can't be sued for anything he didn't find! And get this, most 'surveyors' unless you shell out thousands of pounds only come in, look around, make some measurements and leave, another few hundred sheckles gone. I have bought properties twice now with damp problems. And what about the estate agent, they take a photo of your house, put it in the local paper a couple of times, pop it on their crowded website and boom, you owe them thousands when the house sells.

I didn't clear the kitchen last weekend which came as a surprise to me, I am clearing it this weekend, most of it was done yesterday. The kitchen people come tomorrow morning, so there will be another skip parked out the front, when you hire a skip here it would seem that you are hiring it also for your neighbours and passing scrap metal dealers. Neighbours come in the night and throw in the stuff that the bin men won't take, the last time we found a horrible, disgusting animal cage popped on the top with the remains of all sorts of creatures rotting in the bottom, god knows what had been in there. The scrap metal dealers must have some kind of jungle telegraph as they turn up within a day or so and dig out all the metal and other stuff they can sell, they left the cage.

When I was in India several years ago an obviously upper class family passed me on my way to the beach, father in suit and tie carrying a child, then mother, another child, then several more in descending height behind her. He stopped, handed the child over and then happily peed at the side of the road in full view of a great many people. Obviously that would not happen in a civilised country. Three days ago, one of the kitchen fitters across the road came out the house, walked into the drive of Washington House, looked around, came back to the front of Eyebrow Cottage and peed in the front garden. It is not a hidden garden and it is directly across from the Post Office on main street. There are toilets in the cottage!

How many ???? does it take to change a light bulb, you will have heard one version or another of the joke, well if you have sunken ceiling lights like mine the answer is simply, you can't, you're stuffed mate. I noticed one of the lights in the bathroom was out, I had a spare, I took off the cover and found that there was no room to grab the bulb, it was flush with the holder, with perhaps a millimetre or so free around the edge. The bulb is designed to pull out and you push the new one in, but somewhere along the process of getting it off the drawing board no one had thought about changing the bloody thing. Naturally I grabbed two knives and attempted to wiggle it out, bang, pieces of glass on the floor and half the bulb still in the fitting. Luckily we have an electrician coming to rig the kitchen, I am hoping he will get it out. The missus looked up YouTube, and someone suggested getting a sucker on a stick to pull it out, why didn't I think when they were put  in that I would need a sucker on a stick!

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