Saturday 16 January 2010

Time to move on?

15st 5lb, 1.5 units. A quiet day at home, the Everest of excitement being the arrival of Uncle Dave in a big white van containing two large and very heavy cylinders of propane gas, which he had to heave over a low wall and then do battle with a very determined holly bush to install. As tradition demands, he arrived at precisely the moment when Mrs H had put our lunch on the table, but at least this meal was accompanied by vegetables rather than salad, so could be popped into the oven to keep warm until the outdoor pleasantries were completed. Uncle Dave admitted that he had meant to turn up yesterday morning, but pointed out that our oil tank was configured with a fuel circulating system which meant that it would not suffer from an air lock if we ever ran out again. Not that it matters very much, since we never will. I shall make sure of that.

After lunch I lay on the sitting room floor for some time, very much in the attitude of a stroke victim, trying to coax some gas through the pipes so that I could light our sitting room fire. I eventually achieved a text book ignition, without burning my eyebrows or blowing my head off. Mrs H looked faintly disappointed.

The K2 of thrills today was pushing the buggy and walking the dog to the neighbourhood duck pond. As we walked past the farm next door Mrs H casually mentioned that we had received in the post some sort of notice about a planning application, addressed to “The Occupier”, so she had opened and read it then put it away somewhere safe. She could not remember any details. When she eventually retrieved the letter I went online and found that it related to a pretty major development of holiday accommodation and “live work units” in the redundant farm buildings overlooked by our house (these rather odd proposals no doubt stemming from the barmy regulations on new housing in the countryside, which prevent the old barns being converted into the des reses for which they would be perfect. This seems a bit of a shame for the owner given that we are within easy walking distance of the centre of a reasonably sized village.)

The redevelopment can only improve our view, though I am less sure about the large, new, modern grain store that also forms part of the plans, and the actual construction phase will no doubt be irritatingly noisy. On the other hand, what is being sought is renewal of a planning permission originally granted in 2005, since when sod all has been done, so with any luck the first brick won’t be laid until the property market has turned up and we have moved on. Indeed, having a posse of hairy arsed builders whistling at her every time she opens the curtains in her underwear (serves her right for installing curtains there in the first place) might be just the stimulus Mrs H needs to accept that we cannot remain in our present rented house forever.

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