Category Archives: stuff

Our house

It would seem that we’re about to buy a house! Having met up with a few people at Greenbelt who I assumed would have known, I realised the result of blogging less is that news just doesn’t get out. I had been meaning to write this when we found the house, but ah well, better late than never.

We’d been talking about moving for a while- wanting (or needing in my case) to get out of London, to somewhere with more space, a garden, and where achieving these things wasn’t impossibly expensive. We’d decided Reading would make the most sense- reasonably easy commutes, well located, and I knew it a bit from working there.

So in June we went for a day to have a look around. Not to look at houses, just to look. Except there was this one we’d seen that just looked perfect in the photos- right part of town, well looked after. And I loved the garden! Well, it can’t hurt we thought, just to give us an idea, we’re only looking. There’s bound to be a catch. But there wasn’t. We went from room to room getting more and more excited, and just walked out wondering if it was crazy to go for the first house you see..

Three days later we’d had an offer accepted and done a speedy mortgage application! And suddenly had to find out what all these terms meant. Someone should write a dictionary. The last few months have been a blur of solicitors, paperwork and mortgage related jargon. But finally today the deposit has been paid and now we’re just waiting for the mythical exchange of contracts- this is the point at which we realise why everyone complains about solicitors. We’re currently in  some kind of limbo waiting for the sellers solicitors to get their act together.

The strange thing about this happening so quickly is there’s very little time to think about how big a decision it is, and also not much tome to get used to it. Right now it’s just very exciting!

Navigation

I had an interesting conversation with a taxi driver this week. I say conversation, he didn’t really require much response, and I couldn’t really hear most of what he was saying. I realised at one point quite how much of a blessing this was. Having shared the story of his last fare- a couple who he had possibly managed to cause an argument between by suggesting that a magazine found in the back seat (which he showed me, complete with scantily clad woman on the cover) might have been theirs, he went on to explain to me the difference between men and women. For which I was understandably grateful.

Driver: “You know why men can navigate much better than women?”
Me (trying to not burst out into feminist-rant mode, and also rather intrigued): non-committal mumble
Driver: “Well its because when they finish school they just spend a lot of time in pubs…”
Me: thinking he might have a point there
Driver: “…and because they go round town from one pub to another they have to be able to find them all so they need to be able to navigate from one to the next.”
Me: another non-committal mumble as I start to realise that he’s actually not joking.

The best bit came next;

Driver: “and women don’t do that you see, cos they don’t go drinking in lots of pubs”
Me: wondering if he’s making a point about women not being drunken yobs, or being more discerning..
Driver (bursting my bubble): “women just go shopping, and all the shops are together in the middle of town, so they don’t need to be able to find their way around. And that’s why men are better at navigating than women.”

Unfortunately I was at the time too shattered to unleash the feminist wrath from within. And also too shocked for words.

This was then followed with a tale of woe which consisted of the result of many pubs closing, which is that men are losing this uncanny ability, or not learning it to start with, and are therefore forced to rely on sat-navs. The end result being that soon they will be “as bad as women”.

Priceless. The taxi I took back the day after wasn’t nearly so entertaining.