Tuesday, 8 June 2010
After all the eating and sleeping, there was much delighted rolling, nose-touching and play.
Followed by more sleeping. Scooter was home and all was well. Our hearts fell back into their right place.
Meantime, the house had been tidied to within an inch of its life, Valuer Lady being due at 5 pm. Her office rang to warn me that she was running late, so I sat peacefully for ten minutes with my snag needle and got rid of all the kitten-claw clicks left in the cushions. A soothing, mindless job, just right to while away a few minutes that would otherwise have been spent looking critically at my house and wishing I didn't have a half-painted dormer.
I would rate a snag (or click) needle as an essential household item for any cat owner. I've rescued so many items of clothing or furnishings with this wonderful little implement, with the rough, eye-free end that drags the click through to the wrong side of the fabric.
Valuer Lady arrived, a cheerful, brisk, slightly seen-it-all, nothing-new-here sort of a woman on her last appointment of the day, and trying her best to hide that she wanted to go home, as well as having upset all her own plans by leaving her mobile phone at her previous visit, a long way away. I let her in to the lobby that smelled somewhat revealingly of Brasso, gave her a cup of tea, and led her through the unnaturally-neat house.
I was careful not to state the obvious: "And this is the kitchen" or "This is the bathroom" - it always cracks me up when people do that. I was also careful not to say things like "This is the enormous basket of filing that remains to be done." or "This is the shed that is about to burst, it's so tightly stuffed with stuff." I'm not daft.
But I did issue a warning as we reached the spare room, now unrecognisable as the one that the Lovely Son turns instantaneously into a Clothing Bomb site when he visits.
Me: "Should I have hidden the ironing in the car?"
VL" "No! You didn't, did you?"
Me: "No. But some people thought I should."
But I had moved it to the other side of the spare room bed (with borrowed cushions and bedspread) so that we didn't have to climb over it on entry.
VL: "That's not much ironing! You should see mine - fills the utility room!" Reassuring.
She liked the back yard, where the lupins had obliged very nicely, just in time.
She thought that the loss of a reception room by turning the dining room into a kitchen might put some people off, but then remarked that the original kitchen, now the utility room (the back kitchen) was rather small, and therefore better suited to its present purpose.
She liked my bedroom. As do I; it's my favourite room, despite the unfinished paintwork, the jumble of old furniture and the assorted pet beds.
Digression: Notice I now have a second old circular mirror, the kind that I love for their beautiful silvering and their simplicity? £5 in the charity shop where I deposited a car-boot's-worth of stuff yesterday.... But my favourite mirror is this long oval one, found in a back lane:
Anyway.... Valuer Lady.... when we reached the infamous small attic, not only did she describe it as a small double (blimey!), but when I said that I used it as a workroom-cum-boxroom, she exclaimed: "A very orderly box room!" Ta-daaaaa!! Brownie Points to me! Little happy dance when no one was looking.....
Interestingly, she said not to bother with more painting; it wouldn't make a difference to a buyer's decision. As if - I'll finish the dormer at least, but the white floor may never get its long-awaited second coat.
She also looked closely at some things with the preoccupied and thoughtful air of someone taking notes for themselves, rather than for the business in hand. "That clematis is doing well...." and "Your home has a very nice feel...." and I felt more pleased about the 'feel' part than anything else, because that's exactly what I value in a home. Feel the niceness, don't look at the stair carpet!
And then we talked fees, and she went away, and will write to me. She says she has a heap of folk wanting to live in this street, because the people across the road (18 viewings and 5 offers in next to no time) have changed their minds about selling, leaving some disappointed would-be buyers.
So what now? Well, it's 9.20 a.m. and after an early night and a restful sleep, I'm going to ring another agent now to arrange another valuation, and also await a response from the email I sent to an estate agent in Somerset, Big Black Hen - how could you not love an estate agent who names their company after one of their hens, and who puts in a plea for battery-hen rescue on the website? They also have a house that I fell in love with, despite its unavailability because of price and remoteness, so I thought I should talk to them about my plans, and see if they can find me another home in which to create a very nice feel.
Now for the next challenge: how to live in a house which is as tidy as this and keep it that way.
Posted by rachel at 09:24