Tuesday 8 June 2010

Home affairs

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.


Anonymous said...

I'm smiling - that all is well, that you've achieved such a lot and that your plans are unfolding. Your home is beautiful, as will be your next one, and it will have a garden!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful house! And I think you and Scooter both deserve an award for bravery for the last few days.

Jan x

Annie (Lady M) x said...

Your house is gorgeous - I love your taste!

Dan said...

Wow Rachel, your house looks great! Really light and airy!

John said...

I live in Massachusetts but if I lived in NuT, I'd buy your house in a heartbeat. I'm looking forward to reading about and seeing your new garden.

Lesley said...

Oh no, it looks so lovely you'll be gone in no time - from whom will I live four doors down then?

the veg artist said...

Progress, progress. Bet you will have sold before you know it! (My last house sold in 5 days!!!!!)

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

Oh good luck! It is all looking great. You have actually done what everyone tells you to do about preparing your house for sale. I am sure it will whizz off the market.
I see from your Somerset comment that I have not persuaded you to look at North East Wales, very beautiful and a bit of a forgotten backwater, not bad at all for prices (but not the west country, ok).
I think if it were me, not one of life's most tidy types, I might have to live in the car to keep it looking so immaculate!

Susan Frances said...

I bet the first folks through the door buy it! It looks great. I like the borrowed cushions, but I always wonder what a bedroom looks like overnight when you have to throw them off the bed to find room to actually sleep? Some of these " makeover" programmes have the bed covered in cushions! Good luck with the selling bit, and I agree about the name of the Somerset agents. They sound like good people!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I'm not surprised she felt at home in your house , it looks calm , cosy and comfortable ..... and beautifully tidy !!!
How exciting that you can start thinking of new adventures and building another nest , given that nest building is definitely your forte !

lovethosecupcakes said...

Oh wow, selling the house and moving is becoming a reality. It all looks fab. Of course, after seeing the results of all of your hard work I'm going to have to walk round here with my eyes closed.

Lynda (Granny K) said...

The VL would probably be good at Poker. She knows it will sell. Glad you are getting another valuation as well :o)

I'm now off to check out Big Black Hen - I'm so excited!

Glad Scooter is OK and back home safe. Will you be putting butter on the cats' paws when you move?!

Sue said...

I'm glad the visit went well and I hope the estate agents in Somerset can find you what you are looking for.

"Sunshine" said...

What a lovely home you have. So light and bright and cottage like. A place for peace and quiet reflections.
I happened to come across your blog and I have added you to my friends list.
We have a Yorkie as well, she's a total delight. Also have a Maltese.
Happy days ahead for you.
Ragna S

Susan said...

Well done ... Scooter's home, the house looks beautiful (lovely styling/staging), the Valuer Lady has come and gone. Life sounds pretty darn good over there in NuT. xo les Gang of Chats from Black Street

Rattling On said...

It's looking realy good. Love the styling!

Pam said...

I did wonder why you had two round mirrors. I mean, they're lovely. I just wouldn't have thought of it.

Your house is indeed an oasis of calm. Now, do that ironing.

Marie Rayner said...

You have such a beautiful home. I would imagine you will have no problem selling it! Oh, and so happy to read that scooter made it home safe and sound! Whew!!

mountainear said...

Your house looks wonderful - a credit to you.

Where were the cats and dog when VL was doing her thing?

Marcheline said...

Rachel: Three things.

1. So glad Scooter is back home! YAY! I missed the whole drama while in a vintage linens hunting daze, and just lived through the whole story this morning, nearly choking on my coffee the whole way until the happy ending.

2. Why are you moving? I'm sure you told us, I've just forgotten. Those vintage linens can really do a number on the brain, apparently.

3. When can I move in?

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