Well, I've not been at this in a while. You'd think that as life got more stressful, I'd want to write more, but the actuality is that I get home from work and the gym, feel like a big braindead blob, and park my butt in front of the TV. We're still mid-throes of buying a house. What a big pain in the butt. And not in a good way either.
Robin just got home - he's complaining that they sent him the wrong colour blades for his hair clipper (he got replacement blades). Oh major tragedy ensues...
Anyway, back to things I care about... The house buying process in England is a little bit more fraught with uncertainty than in the US. For starters, the prices in London have not gone down at all, and make New York City look almost affordable. It was my job to find the place, as, after 7 years, David still can't find his way out of a paper bag in this city. So, while unobserved, I looked at several hundred places online, and we actually went out to visit about 12. Each place is listed by any number of 'estate agencies', and the estate agent works for the seller only. This means that it is very very much a 'caveat emptor' type situation - you can't trust the estate agent much farther than you can throw them. Much research is needed to make sure the house isn't actually a big piece of crap and is being sold for a (semi) reasonable amount. Once we decided that the place is, indeed, a good house, we put in our first offer. Rejected. Wait a few days - put in a 2nd offer. Wait. The offer is accepted. However, nothing is legally binding. Now comes time to apply for a mortgage (they now require 25% down payment for a decent rate), and hire a solicitor, who is responsible for talking to the seller's solicitor, as well as checking the local planning permission, the title, etc. The house has to be valued by the bank as well. As it dates from 1893, we're going to get a full 'building survey', to make sure it's not going to fall down. Once this is all completed, we exchange contracts with the sellers, after which it becomes legally binding. Finally, on an agreed date, we meet with the sellers and the estate agent and receive the keys. The offer was accepted about a month ago - we don't really expect to be moving until about October. I don't want to be doing this again any time soon!
So, lots of stress, not much sleep - general blahness.
On a completely unrelated note, London just started its bike-hire scheme last week. 6000 or so big, clunky blue bikes that you can check out and drop off, all over central London - 24/7. A brave new world of numbnuts, toodling about on 45lb behemoths. The very first one I saw being used was, appropriately enough, being run through a red light. Ah well - some things never change.
TfL Bike Hire
I'm sure there have been lots of other things to have happened, but I'm too tired at the moment to think about it - plus I have to fix a few things on my bike.
I suppose I will try to be a bit better about this (hmm) - so many times I think 'Oh, I should write this down', and then I don't, and I forget...