Those of you of a vengeful turn of mind can take the hat pins out of the wax effigy now. I have just received a long, explanatory and apologetic email from the ex-buyer of my house, forwarded by the estate agent.
He had originally been told that 7-year training places start off in Newcastle, and only heard on July 26th that he wouldn't be based here after all. He tried in vain to renegotiate his contract, he says, but was faced with buying a house that he would not be able to live in for three years, and withdrew his offer with reluctance.
Oh well, at least he wrote to explain. Let's forgive him, shall we?