Winter’s log, earthdate 201506.20

*The house photos and floor plan are now online on the “As Seen On…” page! Enjoy! 🙂

Ladies and gentlemen…. we have a Lemon Tree!

That’s “lemon tree“, as in the plant that grows in one’s back yard, not “lemon” as in something that’s not quite right! And seeing as we now have a back yard, it’s only fitting that it should have a lemon tree in it, with lots of big lemons on it 🙂 That’s right, we bought the Vermont South property this afternoon – settlement in sixty days 🙂

For some unknown reason, we’d both thought that the Auction was to have been at 11.30 this morning, but to be on the safe side last night, Julian not only looked it up on the ‘net, but he SMS’d the Agent as well. No, the Auction was at 2.30 this afternoon – open for viewing at two, Auction at two thirty. We arrived around ten to two and sat in the car and read until the house was opened up, when we dutifully trooped in, and I said a mournful “goodbye” to the place. I was so positive that we wouldn’t stand a chance of getting it – so many people had turned up – and one didn’t know who was a sticky-beak, and who was a potential bidder! I really didn’t know who to look daggers at! 😉 Anyway, the Agent came and spoke to us, and then this other guy came up and started chatting to us – he turned out to be the Auctioneer, possibly sent over to sound us out by the Agent (whose name was also Julian!) Two thirty arrived, and everyone traipsed out to stand around in the freezing cold while the Auctioneer went through his “audience warm up” and spiel – I leant against the letter box and tucked my hands under my armpits in a vain effort to keep my fingers from dropping off the ends of my hands like icicles. There were an awful lot of people there for the Auction – Julian reckons about 80, but it might have been more – on the nature strips, the road, in other people’s gardens… everywhere! Once the Auction itself got underway, no one was willing to make the first bid – in the end, the Auctioneer had to start off the bidding with a “Vendor bid”! Still no-one said anything! All those people, and no bidders? I couldn’t believe it! Finally Julian put in a bid, and again… not a single counter bid! There were a couple of people across the road being “jollied along” by the Agents, and they finally put in a teeny increase on our bid. More haranguing from the Auctioneer: what a wonderful property it was, this, that, and the other… you don’t want to miss out… etc., etc., and Julian put in another bid, putting the ball back in our court. The people across the road were pretty much badgered into making another, very feeble bid, which the Auctioneer didn’t accept – instead he put in his second “Vendor bid” (from memory, he was allowed two) Again! No response from the crowd! Our bid still stood. The Auctioneer and his henchpeople went inside to talk to the Vendors. I was incredulous! That wonderful property! All those people standing around in the freezing cold, and no-one seriously bidding except us? Unbelievable! The Auctioneer came back, kept the Auction going for a few more minutes for a completely unresponsive crowd, and because it had failed to reach its Reserve price, finally passed the property in. As the last bidders, we were entitled to go in and “negotiate” with the Vendors, so in we went again – I was so dumbfounded I couldn’t think of anything to say! We were settled in one of the lounge rooms (there are two “lounge rooms”, plus a family room) while the vendors conferred with the Agents in the kitchen. The Agent came back with a price. We “negotiated”. The Agent went back to the Vendors, and came back with another price. Julian was sitting there like a stone statue with a bad smell under its nose. The Agent started appealing to me! I said “Don’t ask me! He’s the one negotiating this!” (my) Julian said “Yes, but she’s the boss!”, to which I said something along the lines of “I. Am. The. Boss. Of. You!” [which is a direct quote from one of the many “Zork” games! – “Zork Grand Inquisitor”, actually] and making a “handing over” gesture, indicated that it was “back to you, darling (*big winning smile*)” After quite a longish pause, Julian the Agent, like Oliver Twist, started pleading for “just a little more”, until (my) Julian snarled (he really should be on the stage you know!) “alright…$XXX… and don’t ask for any more!” Julian the Agent went bustling off to the Vendors again… and came back with a great big smile, saying “Congratulations! You have the house!” (or words to that effect – I really can’t remember, I was so stunned!) And then we sat there and signed heaps of papers for a while – Mr. Vendor then came in with an enormous grin on his face and shook our hands, and that was it! We’d bought ourselves a lemon tree… in a back yard… with a house attached to it! 🙂

Back in the car, (my) Julian could drop the stern, tough negotiator image and become himself again (thank heavens!) We got the house for a good price – had the Auction gone differently, we would have gone a little higher, but things turning out as they did, we’ve largely negated the Stamp Duty that we’d budgeted for. Settlement date is August 20th, so now I suppose we start slowly packing things up, and shopping for furniture – the new house has a lot more rooms than this place, so we’ll need furniture for all the extra rooms – plus a nice sturdy outdoor setting and one of those gas patio warmer thingies. We’re going to need bookcases (we’ll probably wait until we move and then have them “made to measure” in the room(s) that I have earmarked for a “library” and an “office”) rugs, another lounge suite… beds… and a tumble dryer (we’ll leave this one here for whoever buys the apartment) So… lots of things to sort out, think of, and do! I’ll see if I can get Julian to grab the house photos off the ‘net before they’re pulled down, and scan the floor plan, so that I can give you a “preview” of our new home! 🙂

Weigh-in this morning. I guess it just goes to show what worry can do for weight loss – either that, or I have cancer – but I went down five points – half a kilo – overnight! From 86.3kg to 85.8kg. I know I’m going to bounce back from that massive drop – all I can do is hope and pray that I don’t bounce back too much! :/

So here I sit… hardly daring to believe that everything turned out as it did today! From the number of people who turned up for the Auction, to the almost total lack of bidders – it’s almost as though it had all been arranged before hand, and today was just a “staged event” to make it look like a “genuine” Auction! Everyone knows that I’m the original “Luck Child”, but this time I seem to have surpassed myself! I hope I don’t wake up in a few minutes to find myself sitting in the car outside the property, and that it’s all been a dream – that the Auction will be starting in half an hour, so we’d better get out of the car and take our places by the letterbox! That would just be too cruel!

And that’s about it from me for tonight – now we have to let all the other Agents we’ve been talking to know that we’ve bought a property and won’t be needing their services or suggestions any more – but that’s Monday’s job! Tomorrow, I think we’ll probably be happily romping through the coral reefs and underwater world that is The Plane of Water, whilst wondering which room in the new house we’ll turn into “Flipper’s Fabulous Folly” 🙂 Drop by again tomorrow night for all the latest news on how much my weight bounced back up, how many times we died, or came close to dying, in? on? The Plane of Water, and about our fabulous new purchase (I’m sure I’ve forgotten heaps of things I meant to tell you about it, but have forgotten in all the excitement!) – as I said, I’ll try to get the floor plans on-line, and some interior photos. But until then, I shall simply remind you all to bee good, remember that the average person thinks s/he isn’t (better look in the mirror when you remember that! 😉 ) and don’t forget to keep warm, drive carefully, and take care of yourselves… but above all… remember to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂