15/5/17. Long time no speak! When we last spoke,the news was that we were unable to get into our house because our tenants were refusing to move out. This was because their own house (which is being rebuilt following a fire) is not finished. It was expected to take 6-10 weeks for legal proceedings to force them to return our home to us.
Since then it has become apparent that the situation is worse than that! Amazingly, the estate agents managing the property while we were away failed to keep themselves up to date on new legislation in the lettings market and missed a change back in October 2015. As a result, they failed to use the correct form to give notice to vacate the property when we returned at the end of April. So they have had to reissue the notice last week which gives the tenants a further 2 months before we can start the proceedings to reclaim our home -assuming they do not leave as “requested” on 11 July which seems unlikely given their previous stance and that their house is nowhere near completion. This means we will not be able to get into our home until the end of August at the earliest!
We have been staying with Alaric and Annabelle at their home in Didcot which has been most enjoyable and kind of them. However, it is a small house and 4 adults is a bit of a “squeeze”. Diana and Hywel, the parents of our daughter-in-law Tamsin, have very generously let us use their family holiday home in North Wales for a week (by the way, get yourselves to the Llyn Peninsula if you can – it’s absolutely gorgeous!).
All of this is fine and dandy – but it is also incredibly frustrating as we were so looking forward to spending the summer in our own home. In particular, we were anticipating spending time getting the garden back into fruit and vegetable production and excited at the prospect of welcoming family and friends for Derby Day (a longstanding tradition for the first Saturday in June). This is not now possible.
So the big question is what do we do with ourselves for the next three months?
We’re sure you will have guessed! We’re going off cycling!!
Once Christine has some dental work completed (which involves traipsing down to Surrey from Didcot several times) we are going off to the top of Europe to ride down the Iron Curtain Trail which,as the name implies, follows the border between the East and the West from the Cold War days. It goes down through Finland and into the Baltic republics before heading along the coast of Poland and into Germany. It then heads south along the border between East and West Germany and on to the Black Sea between Bulgaria and Turkey. We won’t have time to go all the way, given the speed at which we cycle, but we’ll see how far we get.
By the way, Christine’s leg has healed well, thankfully, with almost no pain, but she does have a nice scar – in a place that is not very visible!