A year that made me weep openly on the streets of Walthamstow

Life on Marsden

Share
Related Topics

When you devoured this column on 23 October, you will have experienced throbbing waves of sympathy as I recounted my failure to complete the theoretically simple process of selling my flat and buying another one. Today the horror continues apace, like a nightmare you can't wake up from where you're strapped to a Greek ornamental column wearing nothing but a novelty tie and Secretary of State for Local Government Eric Pickles is advancing towards you with a hacksaw and a pitbull named Tetchy.

This week is the first anniversary of the beginning of the process, a year that's seen estate agents cause me to scream incomprehensibly on the A635 outside Holmfirth, weep openly on the streets of Walthamstow and force me to utter the phrase "Don't swear at me, Stuart, I'm putting the phone down now" when Stuart got cross. They say, don't they, that moving house is more stressful than having your head bisected – but I'm nowhere near moving and the near-constant angst has already caused me to put on 5kg. If removal men ever deign to enter my flat my nervous system will probably issue a statement of unconditional surrender and I'll experience catastrophic erectile dysfunction. But three things have baffled me throughout this whole episode. One: solicitors send faxes. Faxes!

The second: a lack of urgency on the part of everyone involved. Even if you kidnapped your vendor and held a knife to his throat, everything would still roll along at a glacial pace while he mumbled something vaguely reassuring about trying to obtain a building regulations approval certificate.

The third is the mystifying absence of moral obligation towards the poor saps down the chain. A couple have been waiting to move into my flat since May, and their plight sends spasms of guilt coursing through my body every day. But I reckon the people I'm trying to buy from are snorting cocaine in a penthouse suite somewhere in Mayfair while observing me on CCTV, cackling as they see me resubmit an expired mortgage application, then phoning their solicitor and saying: "Let's make him wait another month – we like the way he keeps mumbling 'What's the point?' to no one in particular." So, if my vendors are reading this, please stop snorting cocaine and sell me your property. (Hopefully this bold strategy will work.)

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: Science versus religion in the three-parent baby debate

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
Kylie has helped to boost viewing figures for the talent show  

When an Aussie calls you a ‘bastard’, you know you’ve arrived

Howard Jacobson
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee