Friday, 1 February 2008

OK . . . . we are in!

Well, after a great deal of negotiating, we are finally in our house.  We still did not know until 10am yesterday (20 minutes before the container arrived) whether we actually had the house.  DL turned up to hand over the keys and sign the contracts – when he saw the contracts, there was unfortunately a spelling mistake on his name, so he refused to sign the contracts.   He wanted us to hand over a cheque for £30k and then after his appointment (which he was desperate to go to) he would sign the contracts and then give us the keys.  There were times when I fully expected a camera crew to be hovering nearby, with Rogue Traders filming him, but we were told to trust him . . . . .   Needless to say we felt a little twitchy about handing over our cheque without anything in return, but after a great deal of cajoling, he finally agreed to leave us with the keys – all 42 of them.  Every door in the house, be it a cupboard or a bedroom or a bathroom has a key and can be locked! 

We were nearly there . . . .  he then went off to his urgent meeting, and after a promise to sign the contracts by 1pm, we got into the house to wait for the container.

The container arrived, duly on time, looking far more rusty than it had when it left UK shores.  Customs had opened the container and apparently had checked about 10 boxes for contraband.  Now, we really don’t quite know what happened, but this is what we saw when the container was opened:

This was a far cry from the beautifully packed container we had left in Basingstoke.  We were told it had fallen over.  No . . . . !  Did that mean that the container had fallen over?  Was it just the boxes that had fallen over?  Who knows, but we were a bit worried and thanked our lucky stars that we had paid for tip-top insurance to protect our possessions.

The guys started unloading – every box has a number, which you then tick off on a sheet and tell them which room you want the box in.  I cannot tell you the muscles and strength on these guys.  One of them sauntered in with a 40” TV box perched on his shoulder . . . . a box which had taken 2 people at the other end to lift, if for nothing else but its size!  Incredible. 

Then, Tim’s mobile rang . . . . it was the bank.  They wanted to know whether we had issued a cheque for £30k and was it OK for it to be cashed.  The bloody DL’s urgent appointment at 10am was with the bank to cash our cheque!!!   Many adjectives and expletives were used between us when Tim had finished the call . . . . . but we had to still hope that he would sign the contracts.

But they were still coming with boxes and packages of all shapes and sizes.  We had no more time to fret – we had to just get this stuff in the house.  They unloaded the van within about an hour and a half, at which point, they stopped for a break and Tim went to pick up the kids from school.  I started to explore and unwrap presents – oh, the excitement, but let’s not forget, we still had no contract to actually be there . . . .

At 1pm, the call came – DL had signed . . . . . oh the relief that the man’s word was as true as he assured us it would be!  We were legally OK – all of the time and energy it had taken to get this “deal” sorted. 

The time has come to now open all of the boxes, so as you can imagine, things are rather messy – we are trying to ascertain damage (if any)!  I will send some more photos in a few days.

Take care everyone!

Alice, Tim, Oliver & Ella




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