The news is not good. Despite the letting agents assurances that the cat would not be a problem at property number two – he is. The landlord is adamant that he does not want animals in the house – so glad that he hasn’t seen Alexandra and Calder in action.
The optimism that had been building up over the morning and the plans for property number 2 stall. We’ve been upfront about Pushkin’s presence so we’re not comfortable about taking on the rental and trying to keep his presence in the house a secret. I’m ashamed to admit that I was the first to suggest having him rehomed – but I quickly retract my words. Daddy Simon bought me a print last year ‘ The Berney-Edwards Family – Singing in the Rain since 2017’. It’s a picture of four pairs of wellies with and a wee paw print with all our names underneath. Pushkin is part of the family and we can’t leave him behind. I apologise to the rest of the family -two of whom are squashing peas into their tomato sauce and applying it as a face pack.
We go through our options again- it doesn’t really take long. I’ve gone right off the property citing that it was dingy,grubby and there was a smell anyway. Don’t want it. Daddy Simon phones the agent to enquire how adamant the landlord’s adamant was.
All back in the car and head back home. We discuss upping the budget a bit and Daddy Simon gets onto the Right move app but it doesn’t yield many more results. We discuss a slight change of location but there’s not much within budget there and we have no idea what the area is like. The letting agent that showed us around property 4 with the ‘Wall of death’ phones to see if we had made a decision.We tell her that it’s just too small – Bridge burnt. She seems to understand and suggest another one that has just come onto her books slightly over original budget – but feels that it would be worth us taking a look. We juggle things for the following day and agree to head back down tomorrow and manage to book in another couple of viewings to make it worthwhile. We get back in time to put the kids down for a nap that they decide they’re not really interested in taking but it does allow Daddy Simon to escape to his night out. An element of optimism starts to creep back in as I shuffle things about on Kitchen Whiteboard to accommodate our unexpected trip out tomorrow. I get Alexandra and Calder down and let them run about and burn off some of the energy that they’ve had to contain all day. Dinner is noisy and surprisingly messy considering it’s just a sandwich and Pushkin is sat in the corner staring at me malevolently. “It’s all your fault anyway Fuzzy Felt! ” I mutter as I pour myself a glass of wine. I get Henry Hoover out – now smelling incredibly Zoflora fresh – and vacuum crumbs off the floor, high chair tables and the children. They still have a fair amount of energy to burn off apparently so I take out my hearing aids and let them get on with it. I start bedtime routine a little early as I’m single handed but still end up putting them down about ten minutes later than usual. Bedtime story is ‘Ten Little Pirates’ because I know it by heart and can cut out about seven of them without it damaging the plot. Nursery lights out and within five minutes so are Alexandra and Calder’s.
Quick catch up with a friend on the phone and a bite to eat…might as well have another glass of wine – I’m sure that Daddy Simon isn’t on the Diet Coke. I persuade Pushkin to let me have enough of the sofa to make myself comfortable and I end up dozing off. Someone’s snoring wakes me up – might have been Pushkin’s – might have been my own. Find-a-Friend (Stalker App) pinpoints Daddy Simon still in a London hostelry so he’ll be at least an hour before he’s home. I decide just to head up to bed and attempt to read my book for a while but once again drift off to sleep.
Nursery FM broadcasts Alexandra’s dulcet tones around the room at quarter to three. There is a shape under the duvet on the other side of the bed but it doesn’t move so I get up to relocate what is probably just a missing dummy. The dummy’s are supposed to be visible in a dark room – but I think that you must have to pay extra for the night vision goggles in order that the blasted things glow in the dark- because I can never find them. A quick sweep around the cot fails to locate it so I can only surmise that the silly wee moo has rolled onto it.Noise and tension levels are climbing and if this was a film I’d locate the errant dummy 007 seconds before she bellows. I try to roll her over gently and do another quick sweep – too quick a sweep as it turns out because I manage to knock it right into the corner of the cot which would have been brilliant if I’d been playing pool – but I’m not am I? Resident of cot two starts to stir and before I know it he’s standing up staring at me and begins to whimper. ‘ Auto-Dad’ mode shuts down without warning and now there are three of us standing staring blankly into the darkness not really sure of what’s going on. I’m just getting Alexandra settled and about to turn my attention to Calder when I see that the shape that I left under the duvet a few minutes back has appeared in doorway, swaying, in it’s pants. Oh goody a family get together! He stays long enough to tell his children how much he “really,really loves them” and then must feel a really,really chilly stare and returns whence he came. Calder is coaxed back down easily enough but Alexandra seizes the chance of some bonus Daddy cuddles so I indulge her long enough for her to return to sleepy bye-byes
Friday morning is pretty full on breakfast and kiddies dressed. Early Sainsbury’s delivery and catch up with a friend. Daddy Simon deals with another removal company quote – pretty well considering that his head must be banging like a big brass band – and fills me in on the details of his evening.Listening to the names that were in attendance Gary, Jason and Mark I have to ask if he was out with Take That.
Our departure is a little more organised than the day before and I realise that Daddy Simon must be feeling rough if he suggests that I drive. We have very different driving styles – probably one of the few things that we disagree on. He will usually drive and I will find some way to distract myself in the passenger seat. It’s generally a running commentary and/or questions – ”
Are you letting fourth gear have the day off today?”
“Do you think that we’ll be there before the MOT expires?”
“Shall I just get a bus to the pavement then?”
But I’m back in the driver seat so I buckle up, gun the engine and wheelspin away from the kerb.
We’re early for our first viewing. Its in a sprawling estate of eighties built houses, ten minutes from the station. We park up outside and survey our surroundings. Hmmmmmmmm.
Inside it’s very tired looking and in dire need of a good clean and a coat of paint but by the time we get to the top floor she’s mentioned that the rent is negotiable and that the landlady will have it repainted throughout. Pushkin would be welcome and by the time we’re walking back down the stairs we can see how we could make the somewhat odd layout work for us.We make an offer and hope that this will still include the aforementioned repaint and go on to our next viewing whilst the letting agent tries to get in touch with the landlady.
We’re early for the second viewing too so have a picnic in the car in the allocated parking space of today’s property number two. Even the allocated parking space is small. We put the kids on their reins and let them stretch their wee legs for a bit because it’s looking like they may not be able to do that when we get inside this house.This was the one that had just come onto the agents books – the same agent that knew we needed a bit of space. So why she thought we might be interested in Barbie’s Townhouse I’ll never know. It’s a definite no.
Hat trick! Early for viewing number 3 too. I’ve a vague knowledge of the area and relocate a small cafe at the edge of a country park where there is a pond with ducks and swans. Alexandra and Calder get a bit of time communing with nature and charming the locals before we head back to our final viewing of the day. It’s opposite a Primary School and we’ve arrived at twenty past three. The 4×4 blocking the drive finally works out what the flashing orange light on the front of our car might indicate and clears a space long enough for us to gain access.The back seat occupants are still banging on about “QUACK,QUACK DUCKS” so we get out a have a quick look round and by that I mean peer though the windows. First one we’ve seen today with white walls- Yay! Jumping up and down at the gate lets us see a good size flat back garden and the London-Brighton train line st the bottom of it.Well that should balance out the noise of the primary school at the front. We can see the letting agent coming down the street. It’s one of the few that we haven’t met in the Surrey area but we’re now pretty proficient at spotting a letting agent at about a hundred yards.
She unlocks and opens up the front door. The dazzling white paintwork and new carpets smell beckons us in. (once we’ve taken our muddy shoes off.)
Oooohh! I think that we may be home…
“Doesn’t look that deep to me Calder – just have a quick dip. I’ll wait here.”