Rightmove is my bitch

img_0840

Top floor : my humble abode

I love my flat.

It’s a good size: I can do jumping jacks and lunges in the lounge if I want to without breaking something (that is without breaking something in the lounge, there’s every possibility I will break something in my body with these kinds of athletic shenanigans).

It’s in a great location: pretentious yummy mummies and down from London-ers as far as the eye can see, excellent transport links for going to other places, plus the best park in England is around the corner and so is a very handy Sainsbury’s Local in case you run out of cake milk.

It has a parking space: It costs approximately 2 million pounds per hour to park in Brighton so a parking space is a precious commodity.

My mortgage will be paid off in ELEVEN years. Eleven years ago was 2006 which feels like yesterday so I’m pretty sure 2028 will arrive before I know it.

However, as is my feminine prerogative, I am not satisfied with a nice property in a good location and the opportunity not to have to give the bank half my wages every month. No, this is not enough for me. I want a garden.

Yes, the best park in England might be just around the corner, but on the glorious and endless summer days that we experience in this country, I can’t sit in the park on a deckchair whilst enjoying a nice glass of wine at the end of the day…

… Well, technically I can but then when the wine inevitably makes its way to my bladder I’ll have to walk all the way back up the road to my flat to use the toilet. I’ll have to cart the deckchair and the wine up the road with me and then put the deckchair down as I fumble for my keys and try not to drop the wine, all the while doing the ‘I really need a wee’ dance.  It just doesn’t work.

Plus, the flat is mine and not jointly owned so I want to share the joy* of home ownership with my lovely new husband.

*Blatant lie. I actually want him to be accountable for mortgage repayments, DIY and phoning the council when they haven’t collected the damn bins again.

Unfortunately the lovely location that we live in at present is only affordable if you live in a flat and as we want a garden, we will need to travel. Leave the best park in England and move next door to a murderer/the local tip/a busy A road.

So we’re now house hunting. Well, when I say ‘we’ are house hunting, what I actually mean is that I am house hunting and Brad is supervising by approving or rejecting properties that I have vetted. I check for properties with minimal risk of murdering neighbours and consider proximity to the tip and then highjack Brad when he is least expecting me, bombard him with photographs and wait for him to say: ‘Yes, that looks good. Let’s see it’ at which point I generally respond ‘Brilliant because I’ve arranged for us to see it on Saturday’.

I am so addicted to Rightmove that I fear an injunction for harassment is imminent. I check to see if new properties have been added. I check to see if any of the properties that I like have been sold or reduced in price. Then I might refresh to check for new properties again. Then I widen the search criteria to make sure all properties are showing. Then I reduce the search criteria because actually I really don’t want to live further away after all. Then after 30 minutes have passed, I do the same again. Just in case something new has been uploaded.

Running alongside the Rightmove obsession is the compulsion to spruce up the flat that we want to sell. Don’t get me wrong, the flat is not student dormitory standard, but we want to sell it for as much money as possible make it inviting for the new purchaser.

We’re busy painting, cleaning, fixing and hiding those ‘will probably come in useful at some point but we’re not exactly sure what to do with them now so they’ve been sitting on the dining table for 5 months’ things.

Now, I’m not for one moment suggesting that we’re doing a half arsed job, we’ve been out and bought proper paint and everything – pigeon grey for the kitchen and custard cream for the hallway (suspect those are not the actual paint names) but we have had conversations a little like this:

“Dammit, there’s a cobweb that I didn’t spot”

“How big?”

“Not very”

“Can you just paint over the top?”

“Good shout. I’m all over it”

and:

“What is that mark on the carpet?”

“No idea. It’s been there for years”

“We could hire a carpet cleaner?”

“Or we could just move the rug slightly to the left?”

“That is why I love you”

So, we’re nearly there. Cobweb infused paint aside, the flat is looking pretty sharp and we have some promising looking properties to view next week.

In the meantime though, I’m just going to head on over to Rightmove to check that nothing else has been recently listed…

My Asdaversary

ASDA_logo Thursday was my Asdaversary. For those of you who are unfamiliar with that term (which is actually everyone, because I just made it up – copyright: me), it describes the moment, that happens roughly once a year when I momentarily forget why I don’t shop in Asda and I find myself carelessly wandering into a store in a cloud of innocence and naivety, previous Asda experiences eclipsed by the passing of time.

This blog entry is therefore designed as a warning, an aide-mémoire to myself. A reminder of the fact that I don’t shop at Asda because it is a truly terrifying ordeal. The retail equivalent of the Jeremy Kyle show.

On Thursday, I was lured into a store because it was 1.30pm, I was in Crawley, I didn’t have lunch with me and I was about to attend a disciplinary hearing where a growling stomach would not have been a very professional addition to proceedings.

I just wanted to buy a sandwich and a bottle of water. 2 minutes in and out, or so I thought. I wasn’t reckoning on the shop being about the size of London and it had completely slipped my mind that it would be filled with more tattoos, leggings, fake ugg boots and sovereign rings than a Saturday afternoon at an Argos half price sale.

Asda shoppers generally fall into the following categories:

a) The Gravy stain brigade
Always wearing a top, t-shirt or cardigan with a prominent gravy or grease stain visible. Often smell a bit funky, as though their washing routine involves being licked clean by the dog. Most likely of all Asda types to use a deep fat fryer and to not know what broccoli is.

b) The flip flop faction
Old women with gnarled old feet that they insist on exposing to the shopping world by wearing flip flips or open toed sandals, no matter what time of year. They wear nail polish in a vain attempt to make people believe that they have young, pretty feet. They do not.

c) The shorts squad
Male equivalent of the flip flop faction. Men, usually with beer bellies, who insist on wearing shorts all year round. Potentially to show off the giant tattoo of the Union Jack, a bulldog or a black panther proudly shouting out from their calves.

d) The “he really should have put something on the end of it” contingent
Young couples, looking tired and miserable, glaring at each other whilst traipsing around the shop looking for nappies and formula milk to placate their very unplanned screaming child.

e) The see you next Tuesday cohort
These people use the evil queen of swear words in everyday conversation. We’re talking about the swear word that should only be used in dire emergency swearing situations. To prevent using the word right now, I’ll replace it with another alternative word like erm, blunt. So an example of something they might say would be: I just took the blunt of a car to the garage. Two hundred blunting quid, bunch of blunting rip off merchant blunts. These characters are likely to describe their daughters as “mares” and dote on their sons (who may fall into below category).

f) The car crew
Young men, likely to be buying Carling, Pringles and Marlboro lights. They drive to the store in their suped up Peugeot 106 or Ford Fiesta and strut around like they are gods gift to women. Although, I suspect that the bigger the exhaust pipe on the car, the smaller the driver’s penis…

g) The polyester prince and princess
He wears ‘slacks’, slip on shoes and has exceptionally greasy hair. She wears floral outfits from a specialist “clothing for the over 50s” supplier and has quite a pronounced five o’clock shadow. However, they dote on each other and there are clearly sparks between them, although that might be the polyester overload.

ASDA : A Superbly Damming cAtalogue of reasons not to shop there…