Wednesday, 28 July 2010

On The Move?

As I tweeted earlier, we've found a buyer for our house.

It's been a tortuous journey so far.  We put our house on the market back at the star of May with an internet-only estate agent.  Now, being a total geek, I was convinced that this was the way forward.  Everyone looks for houses online, don't they?  And internet-only agencies have no premises to finance, so their fees are low.  It's a win-win situation.  Isn't it?

Well, we'd hoped it was.  The agency ( - I'm not scared of mentioning them) were definitely cheap.  £399 up front and then 0.1% of the sale price.  That's at least £3,000 cheaper than the nearest competitive 'ordinary' agency.  What could go wrong?

Nothing at first.  We had a few viewings.  But feedback from those viewings was hard to come by.  It was almost as if they'd decided that they'd got £399 for nothing and decided not to bother even trying to sell our house.

Hey ho!  After a couple of months of arguments and frustration, we ended up going with a 'traditional' agent.  And ended up choosing one which was the most expensive of the local agents - but we had a good feeling about them.  Castles, they're called.  They're in Farnham and Aldershot.  And we can definitely recommend them.  Because, five days after signing an agreement with them, they'd found us a buyer. 

OK - it's still early stages and there's a chain to worry about, and surveys, etc, which we have to keep our fingers crossed about.  But we managed to get an offer close to our asking price and so, with any luck, we'll be moving down to Andover or Salisbury in a couple of months time.

As someone at work said to me: "now you've got weeks of frustration to look forward to".  Yikes - it's the start of another adventure...

Friday, 9 July 2010

By Heck As Like!

I read a news story this morning about the search for 'crazed gunman' Raoul Moat, in which the police, described Mr Moat as having "a Northern accent".

Now, I'm only an ignorant southerner, whose attempts at accents from Cheshire to Sunderland all come out as 'generic Northern', but surely this identification advice from the police is next to useless.

First of all, if a wild-eyed, crazy man jumps out and points a gun at you, I think the best tactic would be to duck, run or pray. You're not going to say "hold on, old chap, can you just say something so I can ascertain your geographical origins".

Secondly, if Moat is elsewhere in the country, trying to blend in (maybe he's wearing a wig, or a Groucho moustache) and he asks you directions, you're not going to know whether it's him or not, are you? "Northern accent"? That's too vague. OK, I guess from the news footage that the guy might be a Geordie. And those in the know can probably discern a Newcastle accent from a Sunderland or Durham or Darlington twang. But for all we know, he lives in the north-east, but was actually brought up in Manchester, or Liverpool, or the Lake District.

Thinking about it, from where I live, a rural Berkshire accent (yes, there is one) counts as "northern".

So - be careful Northerners. Because of the police's slapdash advice, you might be fingered as a crazed gunman at any second. I expect to read reports of Stuart Maconie, Ian MacMillan, David 'Bumble' Lloyd and the Big Brother voice-over man being hauled in for questioning...

PS - Raoul is a funny name for a gunman, isn't it? "Raoul". It brings to mind a camp maitre'd in a Californian restaurant rather than a burly, homicidal maniac. Not that the two are mutually exclusive, of course!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Eine Kleine Match Music

With a slight sense of shame, I've enjoyed the German performances at this year's World Cup. With the obvious exceptions of their rather lacklustre defeat to Spain last night, and, of course, their win against England, which was somehow both comprehensive and a bit lucky.

In tribute to them, and to Danny Baker's recent "what can't you help saying/thinking when the commentator mentions a player's name" (i.e. Emerton becomes "Emerton, Lake & Palmer") here are a selection of German footballers who may feature in rock songs.
Feel free to join in. Or not!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010


A friend came home from South Africa recently. He told me that he'd caught herpes from a vuvuzela. He's dyslexic though, so it was probably a zulu vulva.