Saturday, December 22, 2007

Barney takes a well-urned break


Barney, as you've never seen him before


When you move house... Pause for gasps of astonishment - it's happened. There is a system in place after all to facilitate the selling of a much-adored home and the dream relocation. It's not just a Channel 4 fantasy. Who knew? My solicitor John, for one. Being a conveyancing professional, he finds the transfer of property not only routine but even mundane, judging by his singular failure to match my hysteria.

House of Pants has, this very day, passed into new ownership. The procedure is not dissimilar to how I imagine a ransom exchange going down. Your solicitor phones you to confirm that your money has been transferred into the bank account of your choosing. This triggers frantic phone calls from the estate agent, demanding to know when you're going to bring in the keys. You toy with them, the agents I mean. You have to. You also play with the keys. It's your last chance, after all? 'I'll be there within the hour', you say.

In reality, you're still hanging on the phone to Hackney Council's bulky waste service trying to get your old mattress and ironing board picked up. Yes friends, I have finally fulfilled my lifetime ambition of leaving my twenty-year-old Warren Evans mattress in the street. Only now can I truly call myself a Londoner.

I was also a bit held up waiting for people to collect all the superfluity I advertised on Freecycle. Miraculously, even my wackiest items found homes. What are the odds of four pairs of different sized Wellington boots (don't even think about asking), being taken by the same person? What would you say if I told you his name is Godfrey and his son runs an organic farming project? Result, hey! Three people phoned about a tambourine. Draw your own conclusions.

I dawdled away that hour and then some, largely because I could but also because I kept finding dirty patches even though I'd cleaned for a solid week. There is a weird rule of house selling that dictates you'll be forced to clean on a week of dull days only to find that the sun floods through your slimy windows on completion day, illuminating every organic red pesto spill you've ever failed to deal with appropriately.

After eleven years, you want to pick your own moment. It seems crazy after the months of fretting about it, but the situation demands that time bends to your will. So, I'm on the 236 bus, very likely for the last time, and the agent phones to tell me my buyer is there waiting to 'take possession'. Seriously, what do they think you're going to do - abscond with the keys? Apparently so. The key handover ceremony involves the agent taking a colour photocopy of all sets of keys and getting both the buyer and seller to sign the copies.

Do you have a kitchen drawer that looks like this?


Good, I am normal. I'm going to give you a piece of advice that you will never follow and neither will I. You will attempt to clean out this drawer approximately once every five years. When you do so, you will find at least one set of very large bolts. You will have no idea what these are and why you have them. There will be three of them which will give you the perfect excuse to throw them away. You'd think twice about it if there was an even number.

These are the 'travel bolts' for your washing machine. You would be wise to put them in an envelope and label them. No, I'm pretty sure I won't either.

Here are two of my three lovely removalists.
That's Pete on the left and Kevin on the right.


And yes, you will note that I've managed to transfer photos. After the fiasco of spending fifteen quid on a pointless lead, I ended up in Jessops in Islington where I had to discover from a ten-year-old that all I needed was a Universal Card Reader. Duh! So, why isn't anyone telling me this stuff?

Oh yeah, and Barney's been cryogenically suspended in the cocktail shaker. No one on Freecycle wanted it, so it was the perfect solution. I've never known him so serene. House of Pants is now a backpack. We're at large and will be in touch soon...


18 comments:

R.H. said...

Prime Munster Rudd says:

"Don't come here, we're not ready yet."

(Melbourne is having its wettest December on record. I hope you're satisfied!)

R.H. said...

You- and your bloody cat!

Reading the Signs said...

Thank god someone has finally told me what those bolts are for. Pants, my drawers are far worse than yours, and so are my puns. I almost feel moved to take a photograph to prove it.

I am glad that House of Pants is at large and have in mind the words of Osip Mandelstam, who wrote:

"And under purgatory's temporary sky we often forget that the happy repository of heaven is a lifelong house that you can carry everywhere."

That's So Pants said...

Hi RH

Good news - I'm not arriving until March. Bad news - Barney was dispatched by FedEx last night and should be with you by 10am. Please be in to receive.

xxx

Pants

Dame Honoria Glossop said...

How did you get that photo of my kitchen drawer? Have Barney & Buster been in communication?

That's So Pants said...

Your Dameship

I'm afraid there is a lot of truth in the old adage, 'you can't get the staff'.

xxx

Pants

Quink said...

Good luck. If ever I get a cat - and I hope when I have more room I do - I shall buy it a cocktail shaker.

Reading the Signs said...

ok, you don't like Mandelstam. And Barney's not talking to me either, but I suppose if he's being fed-exed that might explain it.

That's So Pants said...

Hi Quinkie

Barney doesn't actually like to be called a cat. It's 'owly-cat'. Lucky for you he's not conscious at present.

Dearest Signs

So sorry, didn't see you there. I'm having a little trouble with this unfamiliar computer. For some reason it takes forever to save and then sometimes doesn't. Arrgghh. What are the next six weeks going to be like? I did like the Mandelstam quote but not too sure how much I'm going to love lugging House of Pants across the sub-continent. Seriously, Barney can't talk to you at present.

xxx

Pants

Andrew said...

I am not allowed to have a junk drawer, so I have small collections of junk spread around. The beauty of a single junk drawer is that you know 'it' is in there somewhere.

H.Glass said...

Signs? I LOVED that Mandelstam.
I have been living out of a backpack since last February and my DREAM is a Winnebago - which fulfills Osip's description.

RH? Pants jokes not about that delivery. I gave her your address.

Pants? - it appears that London LandRats are sillier than Melbourne LandRats: photcipying keys? That's So Alice In Effing Wonderland!
Happy Trails

lavenderblue said...

Happy Christmas,Ms Pants......
and Good Luck !! xx

That's So Pants said...

Hi Andrew

Well,yes, except that mostly you don't recognise the things in it. Do you, by chance, know what those funny-shaped metal ring thingies do?

Hello H Glass

You know the backpack thing isn't so bad once you get used to it, now is it?

Hi Lavenderblue.

Thanks, you too.

R.H. said...

Thanks H glass and Miss Pants, this could become the most travelled cat in history, beginning with RETURN TO SENDER.

-Robert.

That's So Pants said...

Hi RH

If you think it'll be that easy to get rid of him, then you SO don't know Barney my friend.

You take care now.

xxx

Pants

R.H. said...

Yes well if we keep sending him back and forth eventually he'll get lost in the mail. Meanwhile it's pussy ping pong, no kidding.

It's been cool here for the last few days, and eerily quiet after torrential rain, but according to the bureau there's a heatwave on the way. You've probably heard about Melbourne weather: singlet one day, overcoat the next. I don't like it much. The Australia v India Test begins here tomorrow, you'd best keep an eye on the result, it may influence your reception in the jolly Sub Continent (whether they fry you or grill you). Keep a tight grip on your bag anyway.

-Robert.

Kris said...

Fair winds anf following seas Ms Pants.

Hackney won't be the same.

That's So Pants said...

Hi RH

Thanks for the weather warning.

Hi Kris

I'm sure I'll miss Hackney too.

xxx

Pants