6 September 2009


On the day we were to take ownership of our little house and get the keys we had arranged to meet Antony the agent there about an hour before we were due at the solicitor's.   Antony arrived, just a few minutes late and let us in to the house. All three of us gasped as we walked in.


It was completely empty. Everything had gone. All the furniture, all the ornaments, the oven, washing machine and dishwasher, the light fittings, even the shower curtain and rail.

The only things left behind were anything that was either useless or difficult to unscrew and remove, including a fridge. (It was firmly fitted into a kitchen unit which was part of the "kitchen furniture" included in the sale.) There were bare light bulbs dangling from ceilings and walls. Wall lights were precarioulsy loose where someone had attempted to remove them. In the bedroom there was an old rickety clothes rail which they obviously either forgot or thought was broken. The grotty bedroom carpets were still there and they had thoughtfully left the loo seat.

The space where the washing machine used to be.

Apparently where a toilet used to be, too.

We heaved a sigh of relief. In some ways it would have been useful to have a dishwasher and it would be expensive to replace it but on the whole, we were delighted that what we were left with was a blank canvas.


There was a certain amount of junk left in the cellar and on the landing but anything useful, such as the spare box of kitchen tiles that we had noticed before, had gone. All the intact roof tiles had gone from the pile in the garden; just the broken ones were left.

It looked as though our first job was to do some essential shopping. A bed, a table, some chairs.

And some champagne.


  1. When I bought my place There, I was grateful for a few bits and pieces, especially the fridge. Lots of the furniture that I intended putting in there came from having downsized Here in the previous year leaving me with some stuff in storage. The previous owners were lovely people who were finding leaving There a big wrench. I didn't want to say anything to offend when they left behind some unbelievable floral curtains. Some of the stuff that they thoughtfully considered "useful" was disposed of immediately. I made absolutely sure that I kept my gob shut on my plans for the house. But the biggest challenge was the main bedroom. It's a fabulous big room and, when you lie on the bed, you look straight across the valley where the sheep have arranged themselves in a picturesque pattern. The only problem was the colour. It was pink. Edging up to Barbie pink. I may not drive a Harley but I ain't a pink girlie at all. When I arrived on the completion day, the lady was there to hand over the keys. She was weeping. I felt like I'd just kidnapped her child. Because they liked me so much, they'd left some stuff in the bedroom. The handmade floral curtains with swags. The handmade matching central lampshade. The bedside lamps with matching pink, ruffled shades. All pink. The kind of pink that has your reaching for the migraleve.

    Curiosly, it's not pink anymore ...

    Mad x

  2. Oh dear, that sort of pink, eh. I know just what you mean. How lovely to have a big bedroom with a view like that. Definitely doesn't go with pink.

  3. They'd even taken the plugs from the sink when we bought our house.


  4. GG - I have seen boxes of plugs at vide greniers, and light switches, taps, door knobs......