Week 102

28th November, 2010 

We went back to a development that we had been monitoring for over a year. The Pinnacles, ironically built in the grounds of the former St Peters Convent, Maybury Hill, Woking. It quite appeals to me – the fading away of religion being replaced with modern property.


The apartment, which will not be ready until February/March, is a two-bedroomed duplex with underground parking. It is in gated grounds with lots of huge trees around. It is just out of but not far from Woking centre. It represents easy access to London and to Folkestone. It is five miles from Pauline’s sister who will keep an eye on it while we are away.

29th November, 2010 

Today we are organising our finances and preparing to make an offer. By looking at quite a number of developments in the past few days, we know that their prices are starting ones. It is possible to negotiate up to 15% off  and, as cash buyers, we intend to do exactly that.

After sitting throughout the morning with our accounts, we decide on our strategy. The apartment has three toilets and two bathrooms each with a bath but no separate shower. We decide to offer £30,000.00 below the asking price plus insist a bath is replaced by a walk-in shower. On that basis, we go over to the site office and stress our credentials – cash buyers who are prepared to move quickly. Actually, the apartment will not be ready until February/March and we should only have to put a £2000.00 holding deposit down. The sales assistant gave cause for a fair degree of optimism. She said she would put our offer to the company and get back to us within the next 48 hours. We will be in France tomorrow, weather permittting so she will have to phone our mobile. We haven’t decided what we’ll do if they reject our offer.

30th November, 2010 

Today we were supposed to be going on a wine buying trip to France. We left West Byfleet at 5.00 am for an 8.00 am crossing on the Tunnel. By 6.00 am, we were in a blizzard and the traffic was crawling. We decided that discretion was the better part of valour and we turned round and headed for Huddersfield. Thank goodness we did. We went through two or three absolute white-outs on the M1 but, on each occasion, we emerged into sunshine. Huddersfield had had plenty of snow. The motorway is the highest one in the UK. During the evening, more fell. We feel rather trapped. The Property company phoned to say our offer had been agreed in principle. They wanted to move money around to increase the headline value of the property but pay all the Stamp Duty for us. They’ve also agreed to our requested alterations. The deal, to all intents and purposes, is done.

1st December, 2010 

My white rabbit’s turned black!


Today we have another blizzard. The television news confirms that we did the right thing by turning around yesterday. People were stuck on the M25 and M1 for hours last night. We managed to get home before the jams really formed.  We are supposed to be picking up our new car today. We have already posponed from this morning to this afternoon.

We had a window when the snow abated and we picked up our new car. Chris, the dealer, reminded us that it was the 20th new car we had bought from him over the years. It is still lovely to drive out with the new car smell in one’s nostrills. We went and bought Sainsburys up in case we got snowed in again. We just got home and the heavens (or whatever) opened and the world became white out for two or three hours.

We received an email with official confirmation of our purchase of the duplex in Woking. Family members might see the delicious irony in the fact that, not only is the property built on a former Convent site but it is next to St Columba Retreat.

2nd December, 2010 

Another freezing day surrounded by feet of snow. I stayed in all day because BT were coming to install a phone line and Parcelforce were delivering Homehub Broadband equipment. When it got to 5.00 pm and neither company had contacted me, I was getting very annoyed. I tried a phone in a socket just on a whim. It worked. The line was set up without entry to our apartment but they had failed to tell me. Thank you BT. Our lovely Post Lady struggled through the snow drifts and arrived at our door just before 6.00 pm with my Broadband hub. I will spend the evening setting up a desktop and a laptop. Oh joy!


Transferred a deposit for the purchase of our new Duplex in Woking by internet from our Bank to our builder’s bank. The deal is sealed. Chris, my Honda dealer, emailed me to say that in the past 20 years we have bought 20 brand new cars from him – an Accord, 8 Preludes and 11 CRVs. If we have another Honda in the future, I will almost certainly come back to Huddersfield to buy it from Chris. He has been a real friend as well as a salesman.

3rd December, 2010 

We fought our way back up the M20, the M25, the M1 and the M62 to get back to Huddersfield on Tuesday afternoon. We have been surrounded by metres of  snow and in temperatures constantly falling ever since. Last night Yorkshire reached a record breaking -19°C. We have remained in doors. Our new car has still only done 4 miles but we intend to enjoy our last few weeks in the North.

4th December, 2010 

Just an ordinary day – snow bound. At least I have the internet to reach out to the world. It does appear a little warmer today and there might be a little bit of a thaw this morning.

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