For three years now, I have been looking for a house to buy. The one I'm in is great, but it is rented and there are frustations to that which I won't bore you with now. Basically, I want the same sort of thing that I have now, only for it to be mine!! So, ridiculously remote, too high to be practical and with views to kill for.
After several thwarted efforts to buy houses in a rising market I rather guiltily greeted the 'credit crunch' with an element of glee. Finally houses might start becoming affordable. Now, there is a house in the same valley as me, at the same sort of height on the hill and with killer views (makes mine look suburban) and I have had my eye on it for a while. It's been on the market for over a year because, frankly, it is a terrible house. dark to the point of ridiculousness, and facing a farmyard that it doesn't own. The first time I went to see it I dismissed it out of hand. They wanted silly money for it and the location may have been amazing but the house was terrible.
A couple of months ago they dropped the price for the third time and I thought I would go and have another look. Whilst drinking some disgusting wine that killed the plant that I tried to discreetly tip it onto inspiration struck. There was a cunning and genius way to adapt the house so that it became light filled and faced the right way. This was a method that did not involve hiring a giant to lift the house up and turn it around, but involved a cunning extension.....
At this point things got awkward. The planners were unhelpful to say the least, suggesting a single storey lean to would be more than enough and that they thought that 'the house looks very quaint as it is now' despite the fact that it was unsellable because of the pitch black nature and the shambolic view of somebody elses farmyard. This meant that I didn't dare put an offer in without a more professional opinion on what might be possible. This did not stop me mentally planning where the furniture would go, how everything would look and where all the bookcases could be built.
I called a couple of architects that I know. One said in a very snooty way that they were booked solid for six months and he couldn't even waste time talking to me on the phone about it. The second said he would come and have a look in the next couple of weeks and give me an idea of what I would be up against. Hurrah. Well, not hurrah actually. This was six weeks ago.
Now, here is the banana skin. Finally the architect rings me at lunchtime today to say that he could come and have a look this evening. I leap around for joy and call the owners to check that this is ok. They say, 'hmm, errr, ummm we just accepted an offer this morning'.
Goddamn wretched banana skin. Three and a half years of trying to find a house and I am thwarted at the last minute by the wretched architect taking six weeks to come and see me. The Cosmos hates me.
The price of health
12 hours ago