Sunday, 6 December 2009

So near and yet so far...(when opening your mouth without engaging your brain can lose you what you really want)

As a year comes rapidly to an end I start to reminisce, tonight I thought about the first time I saw this place; the first time I met Roger.
I love Roger – I think I did from the very beginning. When I picked up Charlie that evening, that golden summer evening you know the type; heavy and hazy and just full. Everything golden from grass to leaves to crops in the fields – OK so it was June but the fields were golden - full of OSR and my husband full of hay fever!
Welcome to the country! I picked him up from the train station and just drove him to the house; I couldn’t contain my excitement and we cruised past backwards and forwards.
We couldn’t wait to get a better look. P brought the details and there she was - pink. Very, very pink. With a red roof. Lots and lots of Georgian windows and large pottery Gloucester pig placed jauntily in front of an elegant wrought iron garden bench. All this framed by verdant foliage and an emerald green lawn – freshly cut.
But that’s where it stopped – where were the best bits? Where were the internal shots of the beautiful drawing rooms and large farmhouse kitchen; the dining room? In fact any room?

Just a bald statement:

The productive Residential and Arable Farm known as … with substantial 16th Century Farmhouse (Listed Grade II); Modern and Traditional Farm Buildings and 248 acres of Fertile Arable Land being of the Hanslope (411d), Ashley (572q) and Ragdale 1 (712g) Associations (MAFF Grades 2 AND 3).
For sale by private treaty as a whole or in 4 lots

Lot 1 was the farmhouse and 3.93 acres … “in need of some updating and modernisation”.
Dear Charlie wished me luck the next morning as he left to catch the train to London – I had a viewing and would tell him all about it when he got home that evening and say whether I thought it was worth him coming along the next time.
I don’t remember much about that viewing except meeting Roger. Before we knew it the agent and I were taken down the garden going through a seriously overgrown rose arch with more brambles than rose and down to the moat through the tallest nettles on the planet.
I trotted doggedly after Roger as he strode forth in shorts and open toed sandals, totally oblivious of the chin high nettles and brambles that made up the back paddock, through the encroaching trees to the moat where he bade us turn round to look at the house. All the time he chattered, smiling thorough his grisly grey beard, his bushy eyebrows dancing with ill concealed delight every time I flinched, jumped, and stumbled after being stung, scratched or being tripped up. The agent fared no better – I swear that Roger did it deliberately and, knowing him as I do now, I’m sure he did. He took us through the dirtiest, smelliest and most tangled way round that garden that he possibly could. I was in three quarter lengths and backless sandals, while the poor agent was in his very best suit and brand new loafers. Needless to say we were wrecked and we hadn’t even set foot indoors.
The next memory I have is of being in the spare room upstairs looking out over the moat and into the wood on the opposite side. The sun shining on the water and casting dimples of light all around the room I was in and I go and open my big mouth and do exactly what P had begged me not to – I asked how much and the agent replied and I so naively said that’s great we can go to X - a good £30,000 more than was being suggested. As soon as I did this I knew I was in trouble. I tried to backtrack but I could see the gleam in the agent’s eye – he knew it and I knew it; I was hooked and I was the very first person he had taken round – how many others would do the same?
Foolish girl.
I can’t explain how wonderful it felt to know this was the one and how terrible to know that we could lose it just because I couldn’t keep my trap shut. I couldn’t keep my enthusiasm under control. I couldn’t be cool.
It would not be long before Dear Charlie and I were told that the property would be sold via sealed bids…


Expat mum said...

OMG I'm jealous. I have a four floor Victorian town house in Chicago; a walk to the beach and to Michigan Avenue with lovely back graden and large roof deck with extensive views of the downtown skyline. Fancy a swap? (No, I know you don't.)

Michelloui said...

Its sounds totally, absolutely gorgeous!!!

Tattie Weasle said...

Expat Mum - Yours sounds fantatstic too but maybe it's because the grass is always greener? You're welcome here anytime...
Michelloui - it is lovely, however, it also brings about mild hysteria but I'll be blogging about that shortly!

Liz (LivingwithKids) said...

Oh bidding for a house is SO stressful - go in too low and they won't think you're serious, go in too high and they'll take it and you'll be scrabbling round for funds forever more. What an idyllic sounding house though!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Wow, your place looks fantastic. What a great place to live. You had a lot of foresight to take that one. Amazing.

Tattie Weasle said...

Liz(Livingwithkids) - I think we were the latter! Though to be honest we haven't finished yet some 7 years later...
MOB - Foresight absolutely - not. Just incurable romantics with MUG written on our foreheads!

Anonymous said...

I have a rabbit hutch in London.

I want a moat.


mountainear said...

If I'd seen it first there would have been an unseemly tussle and the stamping of feet. I want that moat!

Seven years sounds about right - we restored some years ago and it seemed an endless project which soaked up money and energy.

It looks fabulous - even though, on clicking, I guess the photo was taken many years ago. Next installment please.

Dawn/LittleGreenFingers said...

Am really hoping that's you in the photo - complete with hooped skirt and top-hatted companion!

Tattie Weasle said...

Mud - you temptress you; an offer I can hardly refuse!
Mountainear - it feels like forever and still more to do!
Dawn/Little Green fingers - absoloutley I'm the one on the right..we inherited the photo taken in 1880. The things we have found and the stories/tales we have been privy to are all thanks to Roger and his amazing family. It couldn't have been easy to sell up after 120 years...

Go on you know you want to...


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