Poking the hedgehog

We have a new euphemism, “Poking/waking the hedgehog.”

After eleven months of legal and other wrangling, the household now has a household. I have been asked repeatedly by German friends why we have bought at all. When they see the horrors of renting in the UK they understand.

And as usual on such occasions, we have gone from one form of excitement to another.

…The new fitted kitchen obviously cost a lot, complete with its glowing pink/lilac internal cupboard veneers, but sadly what they spent on cupboards they saved on fixtures and the whole thing is held up with Roald Dahl’s Sky-hooks…

… The new fitted kitchen mimicked the original layout without understanding needs – there is now nowhere to put a fridge or freezer, or to store perishable food…

… The smart meters are so smart that they won’t talk to anyone, not even the companies that supposedly use them to bill the household. They’re blank until further notice…

… The sky-hooks in the built-in wardrobe failed – the door leaning against it was also suspended 30cm up, so it was quite memorable when it came crashing down…

… The former residents liked square rooms, so simply fitted plasterboard over the walls, regardless of shape or size, leaving the edges, voids, smothered electrics…

… The number of windows on the outside doesn’t match the number of windows on the inside. More plasterboard again…

… The ornamental arch is structural, the wall it’s in isn’t…

… The plasterboard is so soggy that one panel bent when we walked past it…

… There’s a weird smell throughout, but it’s not the cigarettes, dog or cat…

… The lino and carpets are structural. The floorboards are ornamental…

And the hedgehog? Well, our new companion is a real, live, snuffling hedgehog that goes to sleep under the car when we park outside. Before driving off we have to gently poke or wake the hedgehog, as we’re prefer it to be alive and well.

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2 Responses to Poking the hedgehog

  1. Harma says:

    You mean you found something. You’re a bit vague for your friends from the other side of the pond

  2. hevsqk says:

    No, we kept on finding places. But the system for buying in this country meant it took 11 months to buy, when it is ‘supposed’ to take 6-8 weeks.
    For example:
    – Gazumping is still legal (the act of waiting until another buyer has done all the surveys, legal costs etc then simply out-bidding them to buy the place yourself last minute).
    – Suddenly refusing to buy/sell on the day of exchanging contracts unless the seller/buyer alters the price by £1000s is legal (a friend was told £20,000).
    – Ghost gazumping is when the seller withdraws last minute to stick it back on the market to put the buyer in a bidding war – the buyer will still do it because of the expense on all the surveys, legal costs etc. Still legal.
    – Selling something you don’t actually own is legal – it’s up to the buyer / buyer’s solicitor to spot it or once bought to sort it all out (as in, despite buying it, they don’t own it).
    And right now there’s a lack of housing stock so prices are high and everyone’s desperate.
    Now we’re on to ‘Caveat emptor’, buyer beware, where we discover what they ‘forgot’ to tell us or didn’t know, such as what all the random hanging wires with working switches attached in the cupboards actually do and why there are lots (at least 20?) of pipes sticking out of the floors / plasterboard that have been sawn off.
    The gash on my arm from the wardrobe door is healing nicely.

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