Solicitors are doin’ it for themselves
I walked to the next (correct) corner and located my actual front door, the door that my lawyer had mysteriously informed me that had been stolen from me since I first viewed the flat only weeks before. If anyone wonders why it takes so long to buy your home in England or Wales (the Scots wisely have their own laws on the subject) they need look no further than at the self serving obstacles that lawyers put in your way.
One of the last phone conversations in which my lawyer engaged me – with the clock ticking, naturally – was to ask whether I knew there was a railway line running some 300 yards from my house. I responded by informing him that there was a dotted white line down the middle of the road, and that I was charging him Â£80 an hour to research the fact. Oddly he didn’t get my point and further padded my bill by exchanging a series of letters (price Â£50 each) with the vendor’s solicitor regarding the positioning and usage of our rubbish bins (that’ll be garbage cans on t’ other side ot’ pond). You can read more solicitorial lunacy here.
Since I had no landline I took out my mobile and rang the first person I could think of to tell them the news, who happened to be in Sweden where I’d spent the previous week. “It sounds like you’re in a large, empty room”, he said. I put the phone down and looked around. He was right. In all my excitement to move in I’d forgotten that aside from the flat itself I had almost no posessions whatsoever, not even anything to sleep in.
After a call to a dear friend on Portobello Road I acquired a sleeping bag, two mismatched dinner plates and a fork (I still have all of them) which, during a trip to Sainsburys I augmented with a frying pan, two toilet brushes (”TWO toilet brushes?!”, my friend admonished me for my extravagance), a packet of spaghetti, some olive oil and some vegetables. I still have all but the food.
That night I slept on what is now our kitchen floor. One empty room was pretty like much the next and since the vendor had removed all the curtains I had to choose the one with the least direct street lighting.
The final instalment is tomorrow, the 10th anniversary of my moving in.