Monday, June 05, 2006

Upside Down World

Hello dear friends, long time, no speak.

It's been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster here lately so I was waiting till things levelled off in order to bring you witty banter of a jolly nature. Rather than me dripping on you from your computer screen.

Not sure the level ground has appeared....but I must...on this blog anyway.


You'll remember we decided (reluctantly) to put our lovely house on the market due to the council's strong desire to ruin the view with a wacking great road across the river in front of the house. Bless their cotton socks.

Well despite our best efforts to render the house immaculate 24 7 (succeeded)...there were not many fishies nibbling at the bait. (Alyn & AJ - think 'prawn fishing'). Indeed 2 days before the Big Auction (shudder) we had 2 people vaguely interested for all our efforts...and one of those definitely couldn't afford it. Ahuh. So the estate agents start talking about the Big Auction as 'just part of our marketing strategy'. And 'it's not about a one-off event'. Which is code for 'we don't think there's a snow ball in Antigua's chance of flogging it on the day'.

Normally bad news, when you're trying to sell a house. But of course we don't really want to sell this house. So enter (stage left) 'a whole load of mixed feelings'. Shortly followed by (enter Stage Right) ' a feeling of intense relief that we can stay put' accompanied by Vague Hope 'maybe they won't build the bridge after all'.

So cue the Big Auction day. I can't quite express to you how much I was dreading this. It may be a bizarre English thing of 'my home is my castle'...but the thought of having a whole bunch of people snooping about in your house who are mostly nosey neighbours who are just sharking about for an idea of neighbourhood prices.... and then watching the humiliation of it not selling...all while you have to BE THERE. Well, shudder. Maybe it's just me, but....pull my fingernails out with tweezers...I don't enjoy that kind of thing.

I guess it's worse when you love your house. You don't want to sell it. You have nowhere lined up to go. Oh and you're nearly 6 months pregnant in a foreign land where the only familiarity you have so far established is with your home.

(Can you hear the violins? Should I have waited for an upsurge on the rollercoaster before posting? Dang it, I knew it)

Anyway, low and behold the auction begins...the house is full of neighbours sitting on my furniture (why does this bother me? why?)...and pull my toenails out with a pair of rusty pliers - some one starts to bid.

The Estate Agents (nice one, scary one and Influencer-on-Crack Auctioneer) bundle Dave and I into the study off the lounge and start telling us to accept the offer. Which is sadly quite a way below our reserve figure.

Well there is considerable haggling back and forth...with the Estate Agents (nice, scary and I on C) rushing back and forth between the study and the lounge. They turn the music up in the lounge to mask the furtive conversations and it appears to be quite a party atmosphere in the lounge. I feel like I should be offering the neighbours cheese on sticks....

Meanwhile the 3 estate agents come back to the study where Dave and I are and look very excited. They can smell a sale - in a very flat market.

Well conveniently this is where my emotions kick in and it suddenly occurs to me (DUH) that we are about to sell our home. So I start to cry. The Auctioneer on Crack looks uncomfortable and leaves the room. My overwhelming feeling is "I DON"T WANT TO SELL" and I'm struggling not to completely sob. (Fortunately years of training in UK culture enables me to stifle powerful emotions at key moments. Hey and we have great road signs. Just 2 reasons to love the UK)

So now I have about 3 minutes to decide whether to accept the offer or not. I look out of the window at the view. I try and remind myself that the view may not last. I try to still my quivering lip. I remember that finding a buyer in 4 weeks has been tantamount to a miracle. I am churlishly ungrateful for miracle and wish miracle were not happening.

Anyway to cut a long story short, we decided to sell. The deal was struck within seconds. The buyers signed the contract with no conditions, handed over a deposit. And there that's done it. The house was sold.

I hid in the study while the neighbours left muttering about the lack of party balloons and silver skinned onions and sausage rolls.

So that was it. The Big Auction. And I know I'm supposed to be pleased that we sold the house....and part of me is very pleased. The part of me that doesn't have to worry about the road anymore - or the value of the house dropping like a stone. The part of me that straightened towels and tweaked duvet covers every time she left the house for 4 weeks. The part of me that spent dosh on marketing the house. All these parts were pleased.

But the part of me that felt homeless, displaced, disoriented in a place far from home...with no place yet to go...4 weeks in which to move...and yeah the very pregnant part of me....wanted to weep on the carpet.

It kind of took me unawares. After all I had been trying to sell the house. So surely selling the house (duh) is good?
I suppose I hadn't counted on the fact that having been trying to setlle in NZ for the past 6 months, we were about to shift ourselves again. And I really like feeling settled. And it takes a long time to achieve. And here we are throwing it up in the air again.

I dunno. You could say it's just the hormones. But I think there's more to it than that. I just want to be able to picture where I am going to be living for the next 6 months....where I am going to be bringing the baby back to.

Anyway, the violinists can put the instruments back in the case. Thanks for listening to me being maudlin. I know I should be grateful. I am grateful that we have a house in the first place. And we can get somewhere else.

So we are renting for 6 keep our assets liquid while Dave develops this piece of land we've bought. And then we'll be moving again.

In the meantime, Harley chose his own method of transportation to the rental property:

Oh and here in Upside Down World - it may be June...but it's snow season.
Dang pretty though isn't it?
This is Ngarahoe (the very cone-like volcano) and Ruapehu (the ski slopes).

Not such a bad place to be moving from pillar to post in, is it?


Anonymous krista said...

I love the sound of your violins. You have a way of playing them, so that I half the time laugh at how true your isms are, and the other half of the time *sigh at how true your other isms are. There is something about having a home. About having structure in one's living surroundings. About not having all your possessions once again go into boxes. About knowing where you will open those boxes. That's not weird, or whiny violinesque talking, that's just truth! And I love you all three.

3:36 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Hi Adele,

Just want you to know that you guys are in my prayers - it's not easy at all what you're going through but I pray that God gives you an even more beautiful home to go to and one that is not going to have a road built on it.

Love you loads,
Ash xxx

4:06 AM  
Blogger s@bd said...

I've been trying to leave a comment on this post FOR THREE DAYS!

for some reason, the comment page was freezing on me.


anyway, i'm just kind of sad with/for you and wanted you to know.


Also, a good friend of my sister-in-law's is in New Zealand, newly pregnant and feeling very lonely. You'd love her (maybe I should be doing this by direct email ... meh!) so I'm going to send her your email address. :-)

4:22 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

hey honey,
you hang in there love you bucket loads and know it'll work out.... you're getting a real live baby just abandon all ideas of actually moving anything yourself (except the baby) Your nesting instinct will take over and you'll make the next place your own.

5:09 PM  

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