Saturday, February 27, 2010

Our new home

I am thrilled to be in our new home in the village of Ebor, population 102 (we are the 2 - lol). This is our little place which actually has a name, it is called "Appletree Cottage". There is a lovely folk art sign attached to the front.

The purchase was settled on Friday at Coffs Harbour after much ranting, raving and tearing out of hair by me at the Bank's agents who had a major breakdown in communications and stuffed up big time. How hard is it to read a bloody letter for Gawd's sake?
Honestly, with less than 2 hours to go till settlement last Thursday, I received a phone call from the Bank's agent enquiring as to the whereabouts of Dorrigo, where I had booked settlement to take place, and whether it was within proximity of Newcastle. Given that I had advised the bank twice in writing and the agent's settlement department four times by telephone that Dorrigo was located one hours drive inland from Coffs Harbour and that the nearest branches of ANZ was Coffs or Armidale, upon hearing the question, I exploded.
Many years of legal secretarial training stood me in good stead for the following 2 hours of phone hockey which I engaged in with the bank, the vendor's solicitor and the real estate agent. There is very little I could do at that late stage to ensure settlement would take place at the time and place that I have previously booked and, mind you, had confirmed four (count them) four times!!! So the whole matter had to be postponed until the following day.

Of course, now there were extra expenses to be incurred by the vendor's solicitor to get the documents to an agent in Coffs by courier which I offered to pay as I foolishly expected the bank to come to Dorrigo. They said they would 4 times and you just have to take them at their word, don't you? *sigh*

The bank admitted that the booking error was theirs and that I could "possibly" be compensated for expenses following an internal investigation. Secretarial training once again came to the fore as I kept written notes of every conversation I had in those 2 hours and, how great is modern technology - the mobile phone log allowed me to transcribe every call, the time and duration and to whom I was speaking.

I have created a tax invoice and a 2 page letter to the bank's agents and I named names! They are not dealing with some silly old woman who knows nothing, no, they are dealing with "Litigation Linda" the toughest, fightingest, rootin-est, tootin-est hombre that ever was!!! I am not going to settle for such unprofessional and sloppy mismanagement of a very serious matter. MY matter that is. I expected a moderate amount of competence. Sheesh!

Anyway, the house is ours at last and we are both very happy. The dogs are loving it as they have a large grassy yard to run and laze in, Matt has his shed, I will have a craft room as soon as we get around to painting it and setting it up and we are once again just the two of us in our own space.

Coffee and tea with scones will be served to one and all who would like to drop in. The Ebor Falls Hotel/Motel is across the road should you feel the urge to stay a night or two to perhaps go trout fishing. This is a beautiful part of NSW and well worth a visit.

Love to all and, don't settle for second best in anything.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

And now for the next big move

Well, I am sorry to say that things did not work out as I thought they would living at Lismore for various reasons so we have bought a little cottage in the village of Ebor, population about 100. We have partially moved in even though settlement is still over a week away. The vendor (an elderly widow) let us in after exchange so that we could mow the lawn and get started on the cleaning and painting. The house has not been lived in since June 2009 and the previous occupants were a pair of geriatric smokers with two little stinky dogs.

Cleaning this house will be a full time job for months to come. The tobacco smell is at times overpowering and every single surface will need to be cleaned to remove the smoke residue from ceiling to floor. Being a reformed smoker from the time when a packet of 20 Winfield reds cost 47 cents at Franklins, I should be a bit sympathetic I suppose but I am NOT! The stink! A curse upon anyone who smokes indoors. You'd think with all that we know about the effects of smoking on the body that there would be less and less people taking the filthy habit up but, no. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Anyway, back to the house. Upon closer inspection, there are filthy marks on every doorway, light switch and the window glass is yellow. The stove is in a less than desirable state so I have unearthed the trusty Sumbeam electric frypan and am cooking our meals in that until the sdtove cleaning fairy pays me a call. Fortunately the carpets have been professionally cleaned as the real estate agent said when he first saw the house, the smell was dreadful and there was no way he could market the property until the carpets were done. In retrospect I should have hired a professional cleaning company to do the house top to toe before we moved in but that would have cost a bomb. I know if I was a professional cleaner I would charge like a wounded bull to do this place. Nevertheless, I can see the potential of this house, how wonderful it will look when it has been painted and the arrangement of the rooms is asthetically pleasing.

The dogs now have a large grassy yard to run around in any old time they want to and there are a couple of Kelpies next door they can get to know through the fence plus a bonus - the other side is a large paddock with an old wooden shed and a couple of horses. Lou Lou likes to bark at the horses. I have also seen a few rabbits there. I just love the view out the loungeroom and bedroom windows of the horse paddock. Matt has a large double shed down the back where he can tinker away as long as he likes. The Guy Fawkes river is 200 metres away and is full of trout.

There is no mail delivery or garbage service so we must rock up to the local post office which is a postage stamp size building (pun intended :-) to collect our daily mail and the tip is 2km out of town. *sigh* I am going to love being here full time. Still a little stuff to move from Lismore which we will do over the next couple of weeks.

I will definitely NOT miss the ants in everything, the humidity, trying to sleep on a hot night, the cane toads, mozzies, having to do the doggy shuffle to avoid Lou Lou and Peg fighting, not being able to cook 'cause I got no kitchen, having to go to the main house to shower and use the loo, and having to pee in a bucket at night.

Must finish off now as I need to light another incense stick which helps to override the tobacco smell. Crikey.