1 October: Had a call today saying that our proposed purchasers are keen to have the searches carried out, which means things are still moving with the sale. So time to seriously start packing up!
5 October: Had a call from a very helpful person from Severn Trent Water and the meter problem with baby bungalow has now been sorted.
11 October: We had a good journey up to Derby this evening, apart from the motorway being closed and the diversion signs being rather remiss - or we weren't very observant. This resulted in arriving an hour later than planned to find that, as the bungalow has been unoccupied for nearly two years, it's become a very convenient parking space for the neighbours, and we couldn't get into the drive!
There was a very informative letter from Television Licensing waiting for us, explaining what to expect at our Court appearance for not paying our TV licence. And we haven't even properly moved in or got the TV to work yet!
Discovered why no decent TV: reception in Mickleover is not the best, all the neighbours having two TV aerials, so that's what we need. Responded to TL giving them the information, and buying a licence. But why are they so heavy handed?!
Joined the library properly, now we have a utility bill from Severn Trent, so can check emails as well as borrow lots of books to read.
Saturday 12 October: Over the past couple of weeks we have viewed several (many) houses and at last found one which fulfills nearly all our criteria. Rang to put in an offer - and the number given must be a fax as that funny noise was all the response we got.
12 October: Our proposed purchasers visited our property today to measure up - for the dog's part of the garden. The most important part!
We have now made our offer and are waiting for the vendors to discuss the offer and come back to us. Fingers crossed!
Tuesday 15 October: No news from agent and was going to to Derby, so popped in there when I arrived. Their news was that our offer needed to be a little higher. So offered £5k more, which was accepted.
16 October: A letter was waiting for us at Cromer Close (baby bungalow) re gas and electricity supply, asking for meter readings (already supplied) and for us to register as customers.
21 October: Registered for gas and electricity, a simple procedure, and sorted out direct debit.
22 October: Ordered survey of big bungalow from Tim Stubbs, which due to high demand cannot be carried out for 12 days. 5.30pm: call received from surveyor and due to a conflict of interest they are unable to carry out the survey. This is because they surveyed the house 18 month ago when the present vendors bought the house. So they've given me the numbers of three nearby surveyors whom they recommend.
23 October: Booked a survey with Martin Hoskins, to be carried out on Friday 1 November.
Wednesday 30 October: Took another van-load of stuff up to Derby and put it in secure storage. The people at Access Self-Storage were very helpful. The place is open 24/7, so long as we registered by 5pm we could stay as long as we liked putting out possessions into our lock-up.
Friday 1 November: Met the surveyor at the house and went afterwards to a cafe for a coffee. After long explanations from the surveyor, reluctantly we have decided to pull out of the purchase. What a shame! So now back to square one but very glad that we at least have a pied a terre whilst we search for another property.
Monday 4 November: Returned home to find a message from our estate agent and our solicitor. The people who are purchasing our house would like to move in asap. In this case asap is two and a half weeks time.
We will have to now rent a larger lock-up as will be between houses for more than a month, so can't expect relatives to have their houses piled high with out boxes. So we plan to go up to Derby next week to move our possessions into a larger lock-up, so when we finally bring the rest of our stuff up it'll all fit in.
November 7th: To carry on re sale of our property. Big hiccup today as had an email from our solicitor confirming that they were going to exchange on our behalf with the price of the property £11,000 less than the price we agreed. Emailed back immediately in a great panic. Then looked through our paperwork to confirm that that price was incorrect - and pleased to find the memorandum of Sale which showed the property price, and a copy of this document had been sent to our solicitor on 6 September!
13 November: Still awaiting exchange, this should have taken place last Friday, so am having to take on trust that this move is actually going to happen. Perhaps the Scottish system is better after all! We've said goodbye to many people, resigned from organisations and today even cancelled the telephone and asked for its installation at our temporary property. Have been in this place before, last year and then, when it all fell through, because people couldn't contact us they thought we'd already gone! Fingers crossed!
14 November: Don't talk to be me about storage! We dropped some stuff off at Access storage a couple of weeks ago and now are having trouble. Will elaborate further when this is eventually sorted - one way or the other!
16 November: STILL awaiting exchange - no idea why! And the prospective purchasers would like to move in by the end of next week. It's almost getting to the point of 'no can do' so far as moving out our stuff is concerned. We're now thinking that our remaining possessions may not fit into a sprinter van plus our two cars - so what to do? Freecycle seems very quiet at the moment, a charity I approached re giving away some furniture can't collect until after our proposed removal date, and it would be rather a shame to take excess stuff to the tip. Someone mentioned a charity called Anode (http://www.anodecharity.co.uk/AboutUs.html) which takes stuff to help people start again. But they're not open 'til Monday morning.
18 November: Anode can collect stuff but are choosy about what they take but at least they will take some items and it will be nice to know that someone else will enjoy using them.
20 November: Today we hired a sprinter van again, loaded it up and drove up to the storage locker. Emptied van with help of two willing(!) younger people. Stayed the night in our baby bungalow, exhausted - and this is only day one of the marathon.
21 November: Returned to Paignton in sprinter van, loaded it up again (how did we accumulate so much stuff?!).
Took some bags of unwanted items to the local charity shop - mishap on the way as I opened the car door a bag fell out and a glass smashed in the street. Luckily a local hairdresser was able to load a dustpan and brush so it could be cleared up. It would have been funny if the 'workers' loading the van hadn't been waiting for their snack lunch!
Anode called with trailer and took away a few pieces of furniture.
We stayed the night with some friends, enjoying a fish supper and film.
22 November: Finished loading the van, last clean of the house - still hadn't heard whether we'd actually sold or not but felt we had to proceed anyway as if we didn't then we'd be in real trouble as we had to vacate today. Although we took a trip to the tip there were still some items which we didn't get chance to dispose of - but we feel that having to move out in such a rush meant that the purchasers couldn't complain too much if the place wasn't completely cleared (we did get permission from them first).
Digression re cats: We were about to leave - and couldn't find one of the cats - how to they do it?! I'd sprayed a special cat-calming spray around the place which had worked when we tried it a few days ago.
But Tiger decided she'd rather be calm outside, sitting on the compost bin. We tried for nearly an hour, but every time we got near she scampered off, more wary than before. In the meantime, Malcolm was happily sitting in the middle of the deserted living room floor, looking rather bemused and wondering where all the furniture had gone.
We decided that David would have to leave or he'd be too late returning the van and that I'd stay and summons help later from a friend. I think Tiger picked up on this as she then allowed herself to be picked up and put in the cat basket. However, she wasn't quite to happy when we put Malcolm in with her and tried to escape.
But once in the basket they were quiet, so we put them in the car and I made a hasty exit, to start the 230 mile journey up to Derby. The cat spray must have worked as they were pretty quiet all the way up the motorway, only murmuring when there was a change of speed.
I didn't dare stop for a drink or to use the facilities so drove all the way non-stop only slowing down for the three traffic jams on the M5. But we still did the journey in just over four hours and when we arrived we carried the basket straight out to the conservatory, where we'd set up camp for them, complete with cat flap out to the garden.
As they'd been so long in captivity I took them straight out into the garden, then showed them their food and places to sleep. Later I showed Malcolm how to use the cat flap and also took him on walks to neighbouring streets to get his bearings. Often he's more like a little dog so we enjoy short walks together.
But to return to the actual house sale: we left David driving the van up the motorway and me following with said cats and various fragile pictures. Half way up the motorway I had a text to say that we'd actually exchanged contracts! Hoorah!! Then later a text to say that we were rich as we'd sold!
23 November: Obviously too much excitement yesterday as today have gone down with a terrible flu-ey cold.
28 November: At last the money for the house has come through. I don't feel happy having all that money, it was much better having money invested in bricks and mortar (is that a British attitude as people in other countries are happy to rent all their lives and have a portfolio of investments?). So now need to spread the money around, so that there's no more than £85,000 in any one bank (or banking group) per person, for compensation in case the banks go bust - not something we'd have thought about before the Northern Rock fiasco. For more information on this, see: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/savings/safe-savings and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/savings/9280429/Keep-your-savings-secure-when-banks-get-into-trouble.html