Friday, 8 April 2011

The Calm Before The Storm

The mood here at Golem HQ has been a strange one of late. After a flurry of activity, late night meetings and intense bursts of decision making, we are left to wait for other elements of the house-buying process to slowly grind into place. Completely out of our control, we can only hope that they respect our tight timescale and get a blimmin' move on.


This week, amongst other things, we commissioned a survey of Mould Mansion, and are awaiting the results with baited breath. 

There will undoubtedly be surprises, but rather like waiting for the MOT result on an old rust bucket of a car, it's inevitably going to be worse than imagined. You panic when the mechanic does that sharp intake of breath that only mechanics (and builders, I suspect) can do, and brace yourself for the worst. When it comes, you suddenly look at your car as though it were some death-trap on wheels which could tear itself apart from the inside at any moment, and wonder how you ever got it to the garage in one piece. How have you survived your daily travels in this perilous conveyance?

Then you take a step back, breathe deeply and realise that the car is no more dangerous than it was yesterday. The difference now is that you know that the suspension is shot, the exhaust needs welding and the head gasket is blown. You know the cause of the strange banging noise when you go around tight corners, and why you can only park on hills below a certain gradient.

None of this information makes the car more dangerous, and when you can stop panicking for long enough to appreciate it, the exhaust clears and you feel better for knowing what is wrong and how to fix it. Even if there is nothing for it but to scrap the car, the certainty can be an unfathomably welcome relief. 

This rather lengthy allegory is meant to demonstrate the atmosphere here at Golem HQ when the survey is mentioned, and how I hope it will be responded to once it is received. None of us has even been involved in this process before, and I, for one, had never expected it to be so emotionally involved as it is. And as we wait for the diagnosis of Mould Mansion's health, it is hard to stop imagining what we will do if we manage to get our mitts on it. The garden is being planned, Sven and I are getting over excited about insulation and DIY solar air heating, and Lloyd is contemplating the best places for sound proofing in his bedroom/studio. Indeed, we have to keep imagining and dreaming these things, because if we do win the Mansion at the auction, we will have only 28 days until we get the keys, and that 28 days will be a period of such intensive physical and mental activity that there will be no time for dreaming.

So, with crossed fingers and crossed toes, we wait by the letterbox for the heavy tome of the survey to arrive, and until it does, I'll be planting fruit trees against the back garden wall.



  1. You need to be a lot more detached. A house is a machine for living in. It does not define your identity. It is merely bricks and mortar. Somebody out there is wetting their pants hoping you will buy their mouldy nightmare. This isnt really about capital; it's about revenue. Forget the fancy stuff: if you cant afford £10k in double glazing and £7K for a brand new central heatng system, 5k for insulation plus £150 a month in old fashioned gas bills, you can resign yourselves to a wheezy cold future.. good luck, and hang on to your wallets...

  2. I'm happily attached thanks. I'm also happy to get emotionally attached to things I care about that are important to me. I'd find it weirder to *not* be. And a house isn't just a "machine for living in" in my book. Just as I don't view the natural environment around me as being entirely at my disposal as a rational commodity, I don't see the built environment as that either. As part of the world which meets my basic (and less basic) needs, I have a reciprocal duty of care towards it.

    Also, in terms of reducing gas bills, that should read £14k on insulation, £1k on draughtproofing, and £7k on a new central heating system. - H