Thursday, 26 September 2013

Another day, another (potential) buyer....

   This evening we have someone viewing the house, so I'm busy moving all the boxes we've packed so the place looks more like a house and not a warehouse. As always something crops up to help put a bit of perspective on things. Last night on TV a solider who had lost his legs and an arm in Afganistan was busy building a house for himself and his new wife, a baby boy arrived just before the place was finished as well. So as much as I'm a little down with the house sale thing, I've not lost sight of the fact that we're lucky to have something to sell in the first place and haven't gone through some kind of helll to get there.
   The next step is to be someone looking out into the World and not looking inwards. Not that I do that now, as much as I have in the past but I have to admit. When things don't go right I sometimes slip into "why me" mode.
   I guess it's at times like this. When things aren't going to plan I can see how better I cope. How quicker I get out of a negative frame of mind. Oops there I go looking inward again. Post nearly complete. Breakfast finished and time to run no1 daughter to the station. Looks like it's going to be a good day here. I hope it's a good day where you are too.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of fulfilment :-)))

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

What would Chris Gardner do now ...........

...... The house sale has collapsed. The buyers have pulled out. No reasons given. Our agent told me this morning that they weren't answering the agents calls or replying to the agents emails. So I emailed them and asked them nicely to let me know. They emailed the agents. Bit spineless, and a waste of twelve weeks of everyones time.
   The agents have put ithe house back on the market at £10,000 less. Couple that with a bill for all her wasted time from our solicitor and the very real prospect that the homes my ex and I have found may go back on the market and we lose them. Well it's not been a good day.
   The agents don't get paid unless we sell. So they've got the house back on the market. They have a booking for tomorrow evening and are arranging another open day for this coming Saturday. We'll need to unpack a few books, move the wall of boxes that has been building up in the conservatory and make sure the house is at it's best.
   I stayed pretty positive yesterday but didn't sleep much last night and woke up pretty dejected this morning. However I'm a much changed person than when I started this blog a couple of years ago. So there is no point in being dejected. CG wouldn't and he was the kick that got me moving in the first place.
   Happily Fulham won last night. I listened to the game online. they were pretty dreadful for the first half hour but got there game going and came from behind to snatch a victory which was a plus and it's a positive note to end todays post :-)

Onwards and upwards in pursuit of fulfilment :-)

Monday, 23 September 2013

Open House weekend.

   It was "Open House London" weekend. So to take my mind off, of the stalled sale of my house I went with Gallery Girl and looked around others. There was a huge list of places to visit. What's left of Battersea Power Station, a prison, 10 Downing Street (the official residence of the Prime Minister) and about 750 other places. We opted for a couple of local places, with gaps in between, just in case something interesting popped up. First call was Kelmscott House found on the Upper Mall facing the River Thames in Hammersmith. Gallery Girl and I parked the car up by the Chiswick Brewery (parking is free there on Saturdays and Sundays, just in case you're interested) We walked from the Brewery along Chiswick Mall. On one side you have some pretty large and impressive houses dating back to the early 1800's on the other, the river. Full of rowers and sailors enjoying the last of the dry weather and the beginnings of the autumn winds. Chiswick Mall turns into Upper Mall. Same interesting architecture but with the addition of a couple of nice pubs. Which we earmarked for later use. A bit further on and we find Kelmscott House or rather it's coach house next door, which was our first stop. The House was once the London Home of William Morris. Morris was part of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. A bunch  of bearded hounds who weren't that keen on the industrial revolution and wanted to return to a more man made and crafted existence. Open any home interiors magazine and you're sure to find a window or wall covered in WM's fabric or wallpaper. It's still available today. Due in part I guess, to the industrial revolutionn. Old hairy chops must be spinning in his grave. So back to the coach house. Morris used it's basement to set up a printing machine. Printing his poetry and translations of foreign books, mostly old medieval tales. The Brotherhood were seriously into all things medieval. Their paintings are full of red haired maidens and blokes wearing shiny suits of armour. But back to the house, there isn't much left from Morris's time but the volunteers who keep the place going were an interesting bunch and eager to share their knowledge of Will and his posse.
   As we left and were uuuming and aaaring about what to do next. We stumbled on a Quaker Meeting House. Also part of Open London thing. Now neither Gallery Girl or I knew much about Quakers. So in we went. We were shown around by Margaret, a Quaker from Pennsylvania. She told us a little of the history of the building. There original home was bombed in the war and this was temporary (70 years temporary ???) We were shown plans for their proposed new building plus a little about Quakerism. Which sounded interesting. So much so, I spent Sunday morning goggling all sorts of facts about the Quakers. Some of famous brands available on the high street were started by Quakers. Cadburys and Frys, Clark's Shoes, Bryant and Mays matches to name but a few.
   On our way back to the car we stopped at one of the earmarked pubs for a pint and a sandwich, crab for GG and bacon for me. I guess we were there for about an hour. Chatting about what we had seen and what we needed to look up. We walked back the same way. The houses were the same, we just noticed way more detail than before and the river looked and sounded a bit busier.
   Next on our list was JMW Turner' the artists little hide away house in Twickenham. Around 1810 Turner in his mid thirties and having made a mint from his paintings buys a couple of meadows in Twickenham. He designs and builds a little house in one, where he can get away from work, his mrs and their two kids and spend a bit of quite time fishing and going for the odd ride in his little buggy with his dad (The second meadow in case you wondered, was brought to keep the horse in). GG and I were in the last group of 15 given a guided tour around the house and garden. It's in a really bad state. They are just about to start renovating it, now they've found a bit of money. Odd to think that the house of one of this Country's greatest known artist is being saved by a small band of dedicated volunteers. Raising money and interest as they go along. Well done those people. I salute you.
   The end of the afternoon was spent with a bit of food shopping and a visit to a charity bookshop (two books purchased) and another visit to another pub. So I could watch Fulham lose to Chelsea on the big screen TV while GG worked her way through one of the charity buys.
   A happy day and a full day, where we learned lots and didn't spend much. Shame about Fulham losing though.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of fulfilment :-))) 

Thursday, 19 September 2013

No longer looking for happiness ........

...... because I've realised it's here and always has been but it's just not a very boastful or loud friend. It gets pushed to the back by my bullies sadness, stress and bad luck. Please feel free to add your own particular bullies here.
   It's rare to be constantly happy and that's where I think I've made a major error. Over the last three years of blogging there has always been many moments of happiness. So I've had no need to be in pursuit of it, it was there all the time. What I needed and need to do is, "keep doing it." Remember the feeling and keep working at replicating that feeling. Get better at being happy. The better I get the more I'll feel it.
   I wouldn't be able to play the violin by searching the web and reading about it, would I. I'd have to practice right?
   It's taken me a while to get to this. So my first reaction was "how dumb am I" but I know I'm not dumb. Where I probably went wrong was not asking myself the right or  the specific questions and once I'd locked on to those was keep asking until I had the answer. So the three years have been spent coming to the conclusion and understanding the fact that I don't always ask the right question. Now I've answered that I need to practice, get better at and just do it.
Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of fulfilment :-)    

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Words and pictures ........

   I had an enjoyable and educational weekend. I met up with Gallery Girl and we had a wander around our local Auction House, looking at all the lots coming up for Tuesday evenings Auction.
   We then moved on to Tate Britan and a walk through the galleries. There's one room, the 1810 that I really like. It contains paintings painted between 1810 and 1910. There are the paintings of the rich and famous of the day and the odd nude. Which you kind of expect to find but peppered in amongst these are the seedlings of change. Paintings of the everyday life of ordinary working people, paintings where artists are experimenting with the way they put the paint on the canvas or how everything doesn't have to be in focus or the right size and for the first time the emergence of Women artists. the 1910 room (Paintings from 1910) is a real explosion of colour and style but it's beginnings and what gave it it's chance lay in the previous room. I wonder if the reason I'm drawn towards Room 1810 is maybe I share that feeling or hope of change at this moment in time.
   After a coffee and debrief about what we had seen and which paintings we'd happily hang over the fireplace if the Tate needed extra wall space. Gallery Girl drove me home. On the way, we passed a place where I used to work. It was the worst job of my life and the boss was a real nasty piece of work. I was telling GG about this and how, after I'd left he got the sack for some misdemeanour or other and she said "Ever pig has his Sunday." I'd never heard that saying before. She said she picked it up in Venezuela when she lived there. It made me laugh. I can't wait to use it.
   On Sunday I got to talk, well "text talk" with a friend online. We spoke for ages and it made for a nice ending to the weekend. There is nothing better than a proper face to face talk with someone but that's not always possible when you're miles apart. You could speak on the phone which is almost the same but having to type it out, changes things. There is no um and ar-ing in type talk like you can with the phone or face to face. The big downside for me is the spelling and punctuation. Mine is sooo bad. I give Dyslexic's a bad name. I think I'm the only person Microsoft charge for using spell check.
   The picture at the top is by John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) it's called "Portrait of Madame X" it caused a scandal when it was first exhibited for both Sargent and the subject Virginie Gautreau. Why? here's the link

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of fulfilment and happyness :-)       

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

and what did you learn today ?

   Our stalling house sale moved forward a little yesterday and the signs are good for the moment. I'm waiting on a letter from the local planning office which should clear up the last remaining issue. I also cleared up a little issue of my own.
   Our buyers solicitors have asked a bundle of questions. Which is the norm. However if they don't like or understand an answer, they just ask it again. No request for further details or an explanation as to what they would like, just the same question again and again. Our solicitor tells them in very polite legalise, to get off their fat arses and find out for themselves (as it is on public record). So the situation has got bogged down. The solicitors aren't too worried. As they are getting paid and have other people to annoy but our buyers are getting frustrated thinking we are dragging this whole thing out. They are telling our agents that if everything isn't complete by such and such they are going to look at other properties. Our agents are then phoning the two parties we're buying from and informing them that maybe there's a problem and they may want to put their properties back on the market. So it's headless chicken time and for a while I joined in that dance too. Blaming everybody else and wanting to curl up in a ball and wait for the whole thing to sort it's self out.  As I have done in other situations before It didn't then and it wasn't now. So I got stuck in and smoothed things as best I could.
   Now here's where I learned a lesson. While I was smoothing things as best I could, it was always in my mind that this wasn't my mistake. The blame lay with others and I was being a really wonderful human being sorting all this out for them. I was wrong wasn't I! I'm trying to help sort things out because I have a vested interest in the outcome. Is anybody really at fault, no, they are doing what they think is right. Maybe they could do it better but that's their issue not mine. I needed to get my precious head out of my backside and help the situation along and if that involves carrying a bit extra for a few steps, so be it. Maybe in future I should first think how I can help and not who to blame.
   Now on to other business. I've been having a go at liking myself a little more recently. I'm at the don't really like that about me and should I tell me and risk maybe upsetting myself.  I'll keep you posted.
Onwards and upwards in pursuit of fulfilment and happiness :-) 

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Giving up. Is it an option?

   So a couple of things happened this week. A friend is feeling really low, rock bottom low. What do I say to help? Do I try some helpful advice, knowing we've all had, at some point in our lives helpful advice that's not been that helpful. Or do I share the feelings, emphasise. I've never been a great receiver of empathy. I know, not very magnanimous of me but I'm not convinced it does enough or shows I care enough.
  When I'm having a bit of a bad moment I want everybody to turn into Doctor Phil and give me heaps of good advice. So what to do? The only thing I'm happy with is a mixture of both. Trying to find something in my past and how that worked out.
  So, giving up? is that really an option and is that what any of us really wants? Is it top of the list. Or does it just seem the easiest of all options. The one thing that's stopped me thinking the worst is, "is that how I want to be remembered." As someone who couldn't get through it. You're not going to be remembered for anything else are you. Well fuck that, there has to be and there are other ways to pull out of the terrible spiral of events we sometimes get into. I do have a couple of good qualities. I'm nice to kids (I spent all my early years going to school with them). I can raise a smile out of most people and have a positive outlook on all things (which is odd, how can I suffer from the blues but still be positive ???????) On balance I think I'd prefer to be known for these things. So how to go about it. Well I know pills don't do it for me and my constant companion Mr Procrastination makes sure I never manage to follow any kind of helpful routine. So what's left. Liking me, I've never really done enough of that. I've always mixed that up with "don't be so hard on yourself" but weirdly I like that part of me. The buck stops with me, if things go wrong. I'm in control (well most of the time) of me. So if I'm late, it's not because of heavy traffic or the train decided to break down. It's because I didn't get my fat arse out of bed and allow myself enough time. I really can't think of too many episodes in my life where things didn't go to plan and I could of made a little more effort to stop them going pear shaped. So actually I like that about me. I'm starting to warm to this now. go and get yourself a drink this might turn into a loooooooong read. Maybe I should focus on the more negative parts of me first. There maybe unexpected little nuggets of likes there that I hadn't considered. Not giving up, I don't. Even when that really would be the most sensible thing to do, I don't. I like that about me. I think too much. I like that about me too. I daydream. I really like that. So much so I'm going to say it again. I daydream. I think I can do anything, give me a hammer, some nails, glue and a spanner or two and I can make it (do you still want to come round for dinner?). I do accept that's impossible but that only comes a minute or two after I think I can and I really like that about me. Who needs Doctor Phil ! you don't even need to read on do you. I think we've all got the idea. You're already thinking about it already. So I'll move on to part two but just before I do I just like to say to the friend in question. I do hope you're feeling a bit better :-)
   So the house move has stalled and our buyers are threatening to pull out because things are moving too slow and they think we're not dealing with their solicitors daily dose of dumb questions quickly enough. The problem is we receive dumb questions and answer them, then our solicitor rewrites our answers in to legalise Which basically is "that's a dumb question, go find the answer yourself" to which their reply is "thank you for that and here's another dumb question which is very similar to our last dumb question you didn't answer." Tuesday was the worst and I started to think, sod it I don't care. Don't buy my house and my ex and I won't buy the places we've found and started to daydream about. I've had enough of trying to please and keep everybody happy and on track. You can all bicker amongst yourselves and blame somebody else. See if I care. So I took myself off to bed. Tossed and turned and couldn't sleep. I decided to get up, watch TV for twenty minutes get tired and return to bed. I parked my self on the sofa and switched on. It was the last half of one of those self build programmes. A nice giggly couple were renovating an old cinema, turning it into a home. Shit happened, as it always does in such programmes but they just giggled and got it sorted. I thought, I can do that. Went to bed, slept and since then haven't looked back. I haven't pulled it out of the fire just yet but the signs are good. I don't want to give up on my dream just yet and I don't want my ex upset because she has to give up on hers too. I like that about me :-)

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of fulfilment and happiness :-)