We are moving house, as the Americans say.
No, we are not moving our mansion, ‘White Ladyes’, brick-by-brick to a new location. ‘White Ladyes’ is staying in place, while M and I move on.
I thought I ought to tell you this, because I may be a little distracted over the next few weeks, and may even be put out of commission as far as my ‘rant’ duties are concerned. Apart from anything else, someone has to figure out how to hook up my computer at the new place.
M and I have sold ‘White Ladyes’ and we have bought another house, not too far away. The new house conforms to the trade description ‘chalet-bungalow’, a term that sounds as if we are preparing for our dotage by moving to heaven’s waiting-room. Perhaps, unconsciously, we are. The close proximity of the two houses would make the whole exercise pointless except that we are downsizing, as the industry calls it; or downgrading, as I call it.
Our transaction coincides with reports in the British press that the housing market may be getting ready to tank. One research firm is predicting a forty per cent decline in prices over the next five years. That will probably turn out to be five per cent over the next forty years. The British housing market may be volatile at times, but only on a steadily rising long-term curve.
Still, with Brexit creating confusion and doubt in the housing and many other aspects of the economy, it is a little worrying – although, to be honest, at my age there is less to worry about with each passing month. Make that each passing day. Not giving a flying rat’s arse is the solitary advantage of old age.
If the forecaster is right, I have sold my house at the top of the market – well done, sir – and bought another at the same peak – why did you do that, sir? I would call the transaction a well-fought tie. It may yet yield a result as the game now goes into extra time.
The physical process of moving, as many readers will already know, is painful – all that accumulated junk (twenty-years worth) in boxes in the attic – some never unpacked from the last move – not to mention the accumulated junk in my wife’s office, in which for many years only two people have been able to stand up, and only then by engaging by snogging each other.
M has the hoarding impulses of a maharajah. I am a disposer. We have one month in which to avoid killing each other.
We ordered a skip (dumpster to my American readers) and within days it was a third full, and I have not yet thrown in the broken garden furniture and the three ruined wheelbarrows. We may need a second skip, perhaps yet a third. Especially as the charity shops no longer accept electronic goods, of which we have enough to keep the Chinese scrap industry going for a week.
At least my son-in-law has vacated the garage. He has sold his vintage Daimler, which like the Forth Bridge is a perpetual work-in-progress, and all the other automotive paraphernalia that have rendered the garage unusable, at least for the purposes for which it was designed, for the last two decades. Only I will have access to the new garage. That is an order I intend to enforce. My wife says that will last a week. I think she is right.
So, I will do my best to keep you entertained, or depressed, over the course of the next month. After that, as the bookies say, all bets are off for while. Donald Trump will no doubt be relieved.
See, I knew I could work him into the piece somehow.
Oh, and a happy July Fourth.