A long long time ago Rebecca tagged me in I’m a Nosey Blogger and it has taken me until NOW to finally be able to produce a vlog where I show you around my English castle, (sorry Rebecca!) I have had a short break to Cornwall, two family birthdays and a massive catch up to do, plus the fact preparing a video does take time and I had to make sure the whole house was clean – never an easy feat!

For those who don’t know, we moved in at the end of last June; this particular house wasn’t our first choice as it had so much internal decorating to do, some of it has been started but the bigger projects require LOTS of money and therefore I am making do whilst I hope to win the lottery. I wrote a post way back on how our front room looked when we saw the place and you can also the bathroom in it’s previous state too so enjoy a stroll around chez moi!

So as the rules state I must tag 5 people to do the same and I shall go with Mummy’s Little Monkey, Over The Hill Mum, A Scandinavian Sojourn, Frankie Parker and Young and Younger who is currently moving home so we’ll wait to see her home when she has a bit of time – good luck with your move Heather! Head over to Two Became Four for rules and info

Tara over at Sticky Fingers set a very special task for this week’s Gallery.  It was to take a picture on Sunday, August 29th to mark the beginning of the #Blogladesh Save the Children journey that Josie, Sian and Eva are taking this week. My photo was taken on Saturday 28th August 2010 in my back garden. We were holding my grandma’s 90th birthday party and to capture the generations at this special occasion we took some family photos to cherish for a while to come

Nona (my grandmother is centre back between my mum and me with Tracey my sister-in-law on one side and Jean, Doms’ “not new anymore” bird :) Mum and I are holding a twin each and Rosie, who starts secondary school in a few days sitting on the grass. Four generations present!

A fabulous day was had by all and I didn’t take any photos on Sunday as Tara has asked 1) because I had failed to read the post properly and 2) because I was nursing the mother of all hangovers, maybe slightly exaggerated but I wasn’t feeling my best that’s for sure.

I think the day will be remembered for all sorts of reasons by each person who came, the excellent food, the flowing alcohol, the range of ages of our guests, from 94 down to 2, the laughs and the tears and it was a pleasure to be able to hold the event at our new house.

Generation Game

I have chosen this photo to mark the start of Blogladesh for many reasons, firstly for the importance of family who step in in time of need and maybe that’s one thing lacking in Bangladesh that the girls might pick up on.

The sumptuous party with a spread of food fit for kings and queens, another thing we take for granted and that is so important to mothers living in Bangladesh who struggle to find bread and water for their little ones.

The laughter, the fun, the enjoyment of all spending a happy day together, one thing I’m sure you agree that is important in every child’s life, helping to form a healthy, happy individual.

Please look out for The tweets and blogs written by the girlsthis week and pop over to sign the petition Press for change

Bring on September!

Welcome home!

‘Sorry. Your front room’s in a bit of a pickle love’ 

Last famous words from the Phil the removal man. 

I can’t have too much of a go at him as they were brilliant seeing as I was alone that day. Paul, not being able to get the day off work due to others on holiday, left Winterscroft that morning at 7am and came home to a new home that day. Weird to say the least. 

Phil and his men had Winterscroft completely cleared out by noon, garage and a couple of plant pots too that I shoved on at the last minute. I had dismantled the bed and the cots single-handed, roaming the house with my Phillips screwdriver and an Allan key and feeling very ‘handy Andy’ I must admit. The solicitor had phoned to say we had received our buyers’ money and so it should only be another half an hour for completion. 

Brilliant news! 

On that note I phoned my buyer, Mr Elliott (remember him?) and arranged to hand over the keys if he could get there as it was all going very much to plan. 

The 28th June was a massively hot day, whereas Phil on the day of quotation had told me to leave the kettle and tea bags till last he hadn’t mentioned cold drinks, so I phoned up grandad to do the honors and he nipped out to Morrisons’ for me and cane back with bags of water, coke and soft drinks. Just as well as they were all sweltering in the heat and so was I! 

‘bit’ of a pickle?

Anyway, keys handed over, Phil and his men gone, I made my way round to nans’ where the girls were with my mum, nan and grandad. A light lunch was prepared for me which I woofed down in nano seconds – hungry work being a handy Andy I can tell you! and I waited and waited for my phone call. 

‘They’ve all gone to lunch’ (mum) 

‘The money has got held up in a queue’ – (Grandad – ex banker) 

2.00pm I call the solicitor for info. ? ‘Oh yes, who knows what has happened? You know sometimes there’s just a delay – anyway all over now. (yes, and did you have a nice lunch??? ggrrr) 

2.30 I collect the keys = Very Excited Mari :-) 

Putting the key in the lock for the first time is quite something. Is this really happening? Will we be happy here? Wonder if the neighbours are looking? Which room shall we do first? Hundreds of questions that went through my mind. 

The house was quiet, musty smelling and HOT, I made a point of rushing around and opening every window I could to let some air in. 

Now the decor guys, leaves a lot to be desired but that’s part of the project right? I think the tops is the downstairs toilet/shower room which is 70’s vintage – or that’s how I’m selling it for now, grey blue tiles and light blue formica…nice eh? 

The entire afternoon was spent unloading the two vans and trying to make some sort of organisation out of pure chaos. the girls were very much left to their own devices in the overgrown back garden until I had an afterthought about sun cream and dragged them inside again much to their dislike. 

moving in

Mum trying to make sense of the kitchen

Paul came home to a nightmare and slowly slowly we started to get our new life together. The girls went to bed filthy that day but in clean cots and wearing clean pyjamas (one day won’t hurt!) and we managed to put our bed together before crashing on top of it. Yes, on top as it was far too hot to sleep in it. 

And that ladies and gentlemen is the day we moved to Shorne.

Euro Lottery that is.

Again for the umpteenth week I have bought my two lucky dips leaving it all to destiny to decide should I be the lucky winner of £113,000,000 this Friday evening.

Once I have my tickets, I feel very lucky and will continue to do so until I watch the draw. (There’s a 13 in there, lucky for some… and all that.)

I also spend a lot of time wondering how I’d spend all that money and over the past months this has become a favourite pastime of mine.

I would also be quite happy sharing my win with another one or two so as not to have too much money. That would be vulgar.

Usually my dream spending runs like this :-

  1. House, probably with an indoor swimming pool, huge gardens (with a gardener!) walk in wardrobes, massive kitchen and garages for all of my..
  2. Cars. An Aston Martin, a Jag and a little mini to run around in..
  3. Holidays, well more like one big journey around the world, returning every now and then to check the gardener has done his job.
  4. Wedding. Well Paul and I could tie the knot in style, we could afford to fly everyone we know to wherever we decide to marry.
  5. Gifts to my family and closest friends (could possibly be thousands of pounds remember so keep on popping back!)
  6. Charities – The Smile Train, The Miscarriage Association, Breast Cancer research.
  7. A villa in Folgaria so I can visit my kids and see my friends when I like

And there’s plenty more I’m sure. But the girls are waking upstairs and rudely interrupting my shopping spree!

So how would you spend your money on a big win?

 

house

This has been our family home now for the past two years and having finally received the settlement for my divorce back in October we wanted to invest it and move to a bigger home.

We would like a house with its’ own garage and driveway and four bedrooms, a downstairs loo would be good but not compulsory and I would like a nice big kitchen so I can cook and follow homework at the same time when the time comes. A garden bigger than our present one would also be very welcome. (I quite like the idea of starting a small vegetable plot…)

But lucky old us, we’re in the middle of a recession – the worst since the second world war. And the property market is veeerrrryyy slooooooww.

We had the property valued in October ’09 by 4 different local estate agents and all but one came up with a figure between £180 – 185k. Another agent quoted £175k and I crossed him off the list there and then, well – if I can get more I’ll try…right?

Their fees ranged quite a bit the most expensive was £3000 and the lowest ended up at £2000 incl VAT. So it made sense for us to go with the lowest. A second agent came by and asked what would it take for us to go with them and on mentioning the fees, he said he’d match them. They were the better known agent and so I was tempted. The next day I phoned the 1st agents, to inform them of our decision to go with the second agency and the guy was very upset, I felt dreadful so I told him I’d stay with them and phoned the second agents to say I couldn’t do it to him. C’est la vie.

We were placed as Property of the Week in the local rag and listed as a premium property on rightmove.com so with all in place we sat back for the punters to come rolling in….and they didn’t!

In the first 5 weeks only one viewer came by and that was the owner of the property we had placed an offer on. She had two teenage boys and was downsizing after her marriage breakdown and our property was too small for her.

At the beginning of December, we were contacted by the second agents again as in order to process our offer on one of their properties we had to have a sale. With a bit of persuasion we managed to get out of our 10 week contract and move on to a joint contract where both agents would represent us. I had the feeling that there was a bit of animosity between them, covered up as ‘friendly competition’ in front of the client ie. me.

Both promised the New Year would bring many buyers and so far we have had two viewings booked with one, today’s, being cancelled due to the snow and train connections being affected (the lady is coming from London)

We had a visit a couple of weeks ago from the manager of the second agents himself! He looked around the house and advised lowering the price by £10,000. Why? I asked,’ You and 2 other agents gave us a quote of £180 – 185k’…

‘Yeah that may have been to get the business…’ He rambled on about getting more for your money on Riverview Park (an area close by) but I wasn’t getting it. We told him we weren’t ready to drop so soon and would revise the situation in February.

Last weekends’ viewing was unproductive as they found the house too dark and too small. For the small there’s not a lot I can do but for the dark I shall be turning all the lights on and leaving them on until they leave the house.

Now I have this project in mind I want to see it move along quickly and after a quick look on rightmove.com I have noticed another 3 properties go up in our area all priced around the same mark. So confidence rebuilt I hope to have news soon of many potential buyers.

Fingers crossed