Wednesday, 15 May 2013

All Done.

That’s an auctioneers term (I think). And that’s us right now. Yesterday I got the call from the estate agents that we’ve been waiting for (and hoping for in a very superstitious manner not befitting those of a logical bent). Our buyers are chasing us for a moving date, and it looks like they are fixed on the 31st of May.
The date is ok, as it follows a three day weekend, the weekend before. When we looked at dates, it is one of the “golden” free weekends in June. What can one say, we need to pull our fingers out and get packing. The vans back, I’m cleaning it this evening (this post will follow at around nightfall), and hopefully we’ll have boxes, paints and paraphernalia sorted by 11am tomorrow so can move some stuff and get decorating at my brothers so he can sell up and move to Sweden (but that's entirely different story).
It’s all a bit hard to take in. It does mean however that we won’t be doing anything wild and woolly for yet another few weeks ... and apparently I’m supposed to organise a wedding for some time in late August ... belt and braces and all that ... we’ll need two years off to get over the previous two years (we may have to call our travels the Long Honeymoon).
Ttfn .

And Breathe.

All good things come to those that wait. Mohomoho is back, however I think Big Yellow is a better nick name: See pictures attached.

I’m 90% happy with the finish, though I have been spoiled in the past with flatting and polishing to a mirror finish; so maybe my expectations were a little too high. The welding is great and all the structural internal rust is gone. I have some tiny internal rust spots to deal with but these are entirely cosmetic. There are a few other bits for me to do, a soapy wash and wax, and fitting of the external body fittings (bump stops for doors). The insides are filthy with dust from paint over spray and filler rubbing down, so a wet wipe inside is due.

The old emergency light cluster at the rear has been removed, the blue roof light from the front is gone, and the windows on the side are re-fitted, there is a minor problem in this area highlighted by the external power wash, to whit; if you force water round the edges at high pressure it will get in. This isn’t too difficult to sort out, it just requires a bead of non setting windscreen mastic to be pumped into the seam. I am also going to replace the Herzim Strip (screw cover strip) that runs around the entire window edge (I did nearly 30mtrs of it on the old Moho, and is purely cosmetic in this instance).

Faults: one is mine for sure, I didn’t mention that the front door and wing offside were rubbing, they didn’t notice until after they sprayed and closed the door and some while later found a scrape on the door runner. There is a minor run at the top of the sliding door, on the bevelled part of the panel (you can only see it from a certain angle, and not direct on). Other than these obvious bits it’s fab, and Garry has asked us to pop back if we find any real snags.
So that’s it ready, sealed for conversion. I have to stuff out the internal skeleton with micro fleece, pre-line the sides with an ecofoil type product, and pull out the last of the redundant emergency vehicle electrics. Then on the third weekend of June it’s back down to Devon to be converted and we can sit back a bit and relax, save some cash, and enjoy high summer living by the seaside ... is the plan.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Big day today.

Today the van comes out of the spray shop. Widows welded, seams welded, patched primed and painted. There is at once both excitement and fear. A colour perfect for one vehicle or thing may look utterly shite on another ... by 5pm I’ll know if we have to live with an expensive wrong choice. Garry says the colour is bright and not acid, he also says it’s not too green, and not too cream. Colour, shade and hue ... what a palaver, but better a bright slightly wrong yellow, than a tedious dirty white ... he says like a man whistling in the dark; whatever the outcome the work finishing has come at just the right time.
A quick call to the solicitors this morning or late afternoon should give us an idea of a moving date, and from this weekend forward we will be moving in three directions in preparation for completion: furniture to temporary home, Plants to my mothers, everything else to the lock up ... and a fridge/freezer to our friends in Wiltshire ... so that’s four ways, no three and a bit.
As I looked out the window of the train this morning, scanning the fields for, pheasant, deer, rabbits and birds general ... and looked at the insane profusion of plants all in leaf and blossom at the same time, it occurred to me that I haven’t really spent any quality time in the outdoors for fifteen months. It’s like (and I have to think of it like this), you’re saving it all up, to do lots of it when you finally get away.
Dealing with the damp in the house and motorhome last summer and autumn ate the year in great big chunks. It’s mid May already, my birthday has just past, June is two and a bit weeks away, and that’s nearly half a year gone. Yes it’s been cold and windy, and summer isn’t in the slightest bit interested in showing its full face yet (pessimist says expect a repeat of last summer). But still ... half a year gone? And I can count on two hands the number of times I’ve cycled or walked off the beaten track.
In Cyprus last week we tried to cram in a tonne of activities and nature watching. We didn’t do too bad, and we had some lucky “right place right moment” moments, but I’m still suddenly disappointed that I’ve realised it’s damn near June, and I’m pining for English nature through the window of a train on the way to work.
I think I need to take a step back, and look at my time management, and where maybe half days or hours I could have been grubbing through hedges and undergrowth got wasted on procrastinating or odds and sods that could have either waited ... or didn’t really need doing at all.
 At this late stage of the game, one gets the jitters ... about everything. The risk of chucking in the job, the risk of living in a tin can on wheels for months ... the risk that after all is said and done it doesn’t live up to expectations. The realisation that fifteen months have passed since the idea germinated and we are still stuck on the blocks, and that the life we had before has been put on hold.
I think I like giving myself a rough ride ... I'd get bored otherwise.

Friday, 10 May 2013

State of Play

It’s been another rollercoaster week, and I’d be a liar if I didn’t say it was 90% or more good news.
First of all, all my paranoid rantings about surveys proved groundless on this occasion. The valuation survey approved the buyers mortgage, and this morning I sent signed contracts to our solicitors. So that’s all good ... well fantastic really.
The buyers are waiting for some searches to come back (I don’t know what and from where). Then we should be able to firm up a date for moving. Right now today, we could in theory move out on the first weekend of June ... there is of course still some fall through room (but one doesn't want to countenance it if one doesn't have to). We can’t move the second weekend because we are at a wedding, and on the third weekend of June the Moho goes to be fitted out.
We’ve changed our temporary accommodation venue to my brothers flat in Southend, as my mother is having issues with “Wet Macular Degeneration” in one of her eyes and needs a bit of peace and quiet while it gets managed by Moorefields eye hospital (and in all fairness I don’t come with peace and quiet as a default setting).
Finally the future Moho is nearly finished being painted. So as a picture speaks a thousands words, I’ll just shut up and show the pictures so far.

Have a splendid weekend.

The Rot

The rot cut out

The rot plated and welded

Filled and primed

Base Coat applied

Top Coat

And now we wait until next Tuesday or Wednesday to get it back ... and then before it's fitted out, we use it to move house.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Holiday Snaps.

Just a few pictures from around Paphos on our recent break and a link or two to sites of interest.

Geology of Cyprus.
Courtesy of:

Good people to book a day out with.

Our pictures:

Salt encrusted seaweed

Salt Encrusted Seaweed forest and mountains

Rock pool.

Kayaks getting ready to go a kayaking ... there should be some other pictures eventually, but I didn't take them. 

Our bit of coast for Kayaking along and poking around in sea caves.

Amanda, her sister Alison and her fella Yani (they live in Cyprus).

Collapsed edge of a cliff that used to be part of the roof of some sea caves.

Same edge from the inside.


Rock pool heaven.

I found what looks like a bit of a sea cave.

But can you get in it and poke around with out being mangled by churn?

Yes you can ... however I went all the way back and swam from the other end first because it may have been the case that this side was nice and safe ... and the other could have been a real pain in the arse.

Her ladyships one woman synchronised swimming show ... photo bombed by sisters boyfriend.

Beach/cove to ourselves.
Same bit of beach from the spit of land opposite.

A hundred yards or so north a secluded inshore fishing fleet, with a tiny tourist beach, some sailing boats and a beach bar ... who knew?

A Week Off

We’ve been in Cyprus for the last week; we needed a break (and it’s been a long time coming). Amanda’s sister lives there and they (the sisters) are all that remains of their birth family (I still have both my parents and three siblings). According to all sources (that’ll be the ex-pat community) it’s been the warmest, fairest start to May for a lot of years. A dust storm that usually blows north east across the Mediterranean, from North Africa around the end of April (the 29th to be precise), failed to materialise, and we’ve spent the entire week on various beaches north and south of Paphos, in spectacular weather. We’ve done a bit of everything: swimming, snorkelling, cycling, kayaking and the obligatory long walks, we’re knackered ... however that’s good knackered.
I’m starting this post in the departure lounge of Paphos international airport while waiting for a flight home, so things may change as I complete this tomorrow.
Before we left, we’d had a survey done on our home for a prospective buyer (of this I’ve made no mention until now, because these things are want to fall through). Effectively we are six weeks into what appears to be a very positive offer, on what could be a very quick sale. But; there are always buts. When we bought this place the survey came back with half a dozen provisos and a recommendation that we have a full structural survey or abandon the sale. Some of the provisos the surveyor mentioned were wholly inaccurate such as: an unsupported but removed chimney breast in the kitchen down stairs. Had the guy followed his own measurements he would have seen that the people who had the kitchen fitted, had just run a partition from the edge of the “alleged” missing chimney breast to the outer party wall, to make everything square for fitting kitchen cupboards, he’d cited that he thought there may be subsidence ... but he didn’t spot the damp, and so on and so forth.
The surveyor I saw a week and a bit ago, noticed the inconsistent external boundary and internal measurements and questioned me about them; in particular the “apparent”” absence of a chimney breast in the kitchen. I watched him check for damp, and either the beep noise was off, or the job we did last summer was as sound as I hoped it would be.
I guess after last year’s run of bad luck I’m just being a bit paranoid, and expecting bad luck, a bad report or some other upset to throw us off course again. So today is a big day, it’s phone the estate agency day, and phone the van re-sprayer day. I don’t like doing fingers crossed, I don’t like the worry of having other peoples opinions or their need to generate additional income fucking things up, but one has to be prepared thus. By way of explanation, our surveyor was doing a valuation survey. When it was booked in, the lady in the “call centre” said it was just a “valuation survey for now". That is a very telling statement, and it comes back to what’s wrong with this countries current business ethos. The subtext of the call centre reps phrasing strongly suggests that the surveyor needs to complete the survey and in doing so, find a way to push for either a Home Buyer report or a Full Structural survey, thus generating additional income for the umbrella organisation farming out the work to the individual surveyors (I suspected this so I asked the surveyor who he worked for, he said he was independent).
It’s that shite again ... some smart Alec somewhere has set up a company with a staff of hundreds of call centre agents fielding calls from estate agents and buyers, fixing prices for surveyors to do work, and taking a small margin off the top. But instead of being client focused, and getting the market moving, they are focused on generating additional work from the basic survey to increase their margin ... the problem with this is, that as soon a buyer see’s the chance that they may have to spend extra money on additional surveys ... they pull out of the sale, or as happened to our seller, and may now happen to us ... you have to put your hand in your pocket to cover the buyers additional fees because the surveyor’s remit is to drop in certain key words that make the mortgage lender put a stop on the mortgage until you’ve spent more money with the surveyor.
Clearly this isn’t a new practice, but when you add in the “call centre effect”, suddenly you are dealing with a purely process and profit driven machine. As I’ve blathered on about elsewhere, this ethos, despite all the bullshit in the “About Us” section of these web fronted, call centre centric businesses, about client care, customer satisfaction, core values blah blah fucking blah, there is one thing that’s key ... generate additional income, no matter the cost to the client.
Rant over. Time to make some calls.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...