Tuesday, 8 December 2009

More conveyancing fun

So much has happened, most of it not good at all.

Conveyancing rumbled on at the beginning of last week and by Tuesday we are the point where the only thing holding up exchange is my mortgage offer paperwork. I have been chasing Chelsea as much as possible and Mark has been liaising with the central office on my behalf. On Tuesday at 4.45pm, I am just leaving the office to go and order my kitchen from B&Q when I get a call from Mark. He wants to ask me a few questions about my bank statements. I politely point out that I have answered many, many questions about my bank statement already. In fact I spent half an hour on the phone to Claire answering questions about my bank statement. I’ve no idea why the underwriters care that I spent £7 in a kitchenware shop, but I did, and I don’t care so there *raspberry*. He then informs me that all is fine and the underwriters will now be processing the paperwork. However I’m not fooled. Claire told me the same thing when I ran through my bank statement with her WEEKS ago.

From Wednesday until Thursday I’m kept on the end of a bloody string – being given deadlines by Mark “Well we did to get this done by 10am or we won’t be able to release the funds in time” followed by “well we can still do it via telegraphic transfer, but it will cost you an extra £25” (I told him where he could stick his £25). All this time, apparently, the underwriters are chasing up with the compliance department, who for all I know have serious concerns over the fact that I once spent 99p on a lolly.

Apparently Chelsea could have got the paperwork, exchanged and completed on Friday, but in the end I called it off at 4.30 on Thursday when the papers were not through.

To add insult to injury. POP rang me on Friday to tell me that after I’d damn near given myself a stroke getting all the papers sorted out in time, my buyers couldn’t release the funds in time to exchange that day. At this point I strapped on my angry eyes and considered (for the first time, but not the last) going on a mad axe rampage.

The weekend passed, I did a bit of halfhearted packing (by this point, I have actually stopped believing that I will ever get to move) and before I knew it, we were at Monday morning. I feel quite cheerful. Today is the day. I will exchange and then everything is ok for completion on Wednesday. Easy peasy. I call my solicitor first thing to get him on the case. He tells me that he is waiting to hear from the buyers’ solicitor on whether they are able to release the deposit funds for exchange. I suggest that he chase them up on that – he says that he will if he hasn’t heard anything by lunchtime. Useless eejit. Does he have more hours in the day than the rest of us? Only thing I can think of to explain the complete lack of urgency attached to everything.

I call him mid afternoon when I have heard nothing. He tells me that he chased up (Not sure when – 1 or maybe 2ish, lalalalaaaa) and has not heard back from the other solicitor. A vein starts to slowly throb in my forehead. I stress the importance of exchanging today. In one ear and out the other. I’m starting to really hate this man.

At 5pm I get another call from him. He has received a call from the other solicitor and wanted to check with me if I was still ok to complete on Wednesday. WHAT THE F@CK IS HE WAITING FOR? A GOLDPLATED INVITATION???!!!! JUST EFFING EXCHANGE, I HAVE BEEN CHASING YOU ALL DAY! DON’T YOU THINK I MIGHT HAVE MENTIONED IT IF I WANTED TO CHANGE THE EFFING COMPLETION DATE???!!!! I then receive another call from him at 5.30 explaining that he has been unable to contact the other solicitor and there will be no exchange of contracts today. Frankly I lose it. I tell him to make sure the exchange happens tomorrow by 10am – no pissing around waiting till lunchtime – just GET THE EFFING JOB DONE! I point out that this is costing me extra money – we’re now looking at the telegraphic transfer, and given that there was no earthly reason why we couldn’t have exchanged, I am appalled at the abysmal service. He did not know what to say. I get off the phone, tell my dad the bad news, hang up and cry and cry and cry for about 10 minutes. Murdoch licks my face to try and cheer me up.

I fail to understand why this has to be so difficult? I think these people have law degrees written on the back of a McDonalds napkin in pink crayon. I cannot believe that anyone who has enough passion, commitment, drive and intelligence to get through law school could be so incompetent. It’s just a mystery to me.

So this morning I send Loveless an email to reiterate that I expect exchange to happen by 10am today. Frankly by this point I don’t care what he has to do to achieve this. If he has to run up Haslemere High Street with his chap hanging out, I don’t care - whatever it takes. I go into a meeting at 9.30am and come out to a voicemail message telling me that the buyer is now on board but they are having trouble contacting the people that I am buying from. Good job it was a voicemail or I would have gone ballistic. The vein from yesterday is still throbbing in my forehead and anyone that knows me knows not to mess with the vein. It is a harbinger of doom. I also have a message from my dad. He tells me that he has spoken to Loveless and instructed him to go ahead and exchange as soon as possible, no need to ring me up and check.

12:10 I get a call from Loveless. My heart beats faster in my chest. Unfortunately this only causes the vein to throb harder when Loveless tells me that they are ready to exchange and he is just ringing me to check that I am still ok to go ahead. WHAT THE [insert your favourite expletives here]. I calmly told him to just get the bloody job done.

12:22 I get another call. We’ve exchanged – about effing time too.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Conveyancing Fiasco UPDATE

After lunch yesterday...

Called Helen at POP. She told me that she had faxed Blake Lapthorn (buyers’ solicitor) about the leasehold info and was sure that they would contact POP if they needed anything (thanks for the sense of urgency dear). She said that my solicitor’s partner would be back in tomorrow and the file would be passed to him for action. I asked her whether she felt it was realistic for exchange to happen this week. She said no, probably not. The woman is an effing limp rag, it would be nice to prove her wrong.

Having got such a laissez faire response from POP, I called BL to check that they had received the docs and promptly got a bollocking for ringing them direct. I did however ascertain that they had received the docs and that they would be reviewed this afternoon. I then emailed Tony at Mann and explained all of the above to him and asked him to keep chasing BL as much as possible.

Went into the loo for a little cry and was greeted by a colleague with the words "hey stressypants" which was nice and helped matters loads.

I then called Chelsea BS again as they hadn't returned my call. They took another message, then Mark called me back. He started at Guildford branch yesterday so doesn't know a thing and asked me disturbing questions such as "so how much were you wanting to borrow?".  Not what you need to hear when you're supposed to be at the point of exchange.  Apparently there is a note on my file that POP is not on the panel of approved solicitors - Mark is not sure what that means. He is going to call the underwriters this afternoon, find out what the hell is going on and call me back.

UPDATE 15:45

Utter disaster. Mark from Chelsea calls me back. To inform me that because I have £3k outstanding on a student loan (which they have known for weeks) the underwriters are not willing to lend me the full amount that I asked for. Bizarrely they have reduced the amount they are willing to lend by more than the amount of my student loan, so it seems as though I’m being penalised for having one, which is nice. I ask Mark when this decision was made and he informs me it was made on the 16th November – 10 days ago, and no-one had bothered to tell me. Then Mark starts going on about POP needing to contact the Law Society about a change of address to be added to the panel. It is evident that he has no clue what he is talking about, as he is unable to answer any question I have about this.

So I hang up, go into the car park, call my dad and start to cry hysterically down the phone to him. After about 5 minutes of hysteria, my dad asks me what I would like him to do. I ask him to call Brian Farley – another solicitor at POP and a man that managed my conveyancing last time round without a single issue. I was just too upset to be able to do it. Dad caught Mr Farley just as he was about to go to London for a meeting but nonetheless he found time to look into this beforehand. Within minutes, he has sorted out the panel issue and will be looking at the other conveyancing issues this morning.

And that’s the saga up to date. Will I be able to complete next Friday? Doubtful. But I’m going to keep my chin up and get this bloody job done. Keep your fingers crossed.....

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Conveyancing: An object lesson in how to create an utter fiasco....

Wednesday 10:00. I receive a call from Tony at Mann Countrywide Haslemere – the estate agent who sold my flat back in May. Tony helpfully informs me that my solicitor has swanned off to the Costa Del Whatever for a holiday without having the courtesy to tell me. Usually I wouldn’t mind, we’re not close personal friends and I’m not Passport Control, but given that I’m supposed to exchange contracts this week with a view to completing at the end of next week, this is not welcome news. I call Potter Owtram and Peck and they confirm. He’s sipping cocktails by the pool and the person assigned to my conveyancing in his absence is out of the office until tomorrow. Unamused, I suggest that they might want to locate my file and update me on the current status of the conveyancing. They promise to keep an eye out for it, but I hear nothing.

Tuesday 09:00. I call Helen at POP; she is back in the office and helpfully starts our conversation by asking me whether they have received a response to an outstanding query from HydeMartlet, the housing association who own the lease on my current flat. I patiently point out that it was her effing job to tell me that. I then point out that I had in fact done her job and chased up with HydeMartlet and that it had been sent 11/11 directly to my buyer's solicitors; Blake Lapthorn. I gently suggested that she contact them to confirm receipt and to ensure that they have signed paperwork and are on schedule for exchange.

She then informs me that we couldn't exchange without my mortgage offer paperwork which still hasn't come through. I respectfully request that she call Chelsea Building Society to chase up the docs. Not filled with confidence, I also called the Guildford branch of CBS and actually managed to get through, which made a nice change. I was then informed that Claire, the woman who has been dealing with my application has moved to the Southampton branch. It was at this point that I started to wonder whether a nefarious Bond villain was screwing with me behind the scenes, or possibly that Al Qaeda desperately want that particular flat to construct pipe bombs and are hell bent on not letting me buy it.

I ensured that the chap was aware of the urgency of the situation - that it was the only thing holding up the process and exchange is due NOW. He is going to get Claire to call me back. Have heard nothing as yet.


Mann just called me again. Apparently HydeMartlet have not sent through the info. On the 11th they sent a memo saying that they were processing the query and have had nothing since. Have chased HM again. Someone hates me.

On the upside I have booked a removal van for next Friday from the MVH in Rake. That was disturbingly easy, so no doubt I will show up on Friday and there will be a wheelbarrow waiting for me.


I have dealt with HydeMartlet for over eight years. During this time they have demonstrated time and again a propensity towards bureaucracy and incompetence, however two weeks ago I stumbled upon the lone helpful and efficient employee there. I can’t imagine she will last long, but hoorah for Michelle Tant, I will name my first born for you. She has tirelessly liaised with the rest of the eejits there and it seems that for once it is not HydeMartlet throwing a spanner in the works. Bravo to Julia Morey who did actually send out the information on the 11th November and forwarded on the email that she sent to the solicitors to prove it. It does contain the answers to the queries. Have forwarded this on to all solicitors and copied in Tony so that he can push through.

UPDATE 11:07

Have got delivery failure message from Blake Lapthorn email. So maybe they didn't receive the original email after all.

What next??!!!!

UPDATE 11:21

Spoke to Tony at Mann - they confirmed that HydeMartlet ARE in fact useless tossers who used an incorrect email address. I sent it to the correct one.... and got a ruddy out of office! Thankfully there was a contact listed on it so forwarded the email on AGAIN marked URGENT. Mann is also going to call up to confirm receipt and to ensure that papers are signed ASAP.

I'm tired and it’s not even lunchtime.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

One from the archives....

.... Smackdown

June 2006 - an ordinary morning, just like any other. I had just walked onto the playing field after a stroll through the woods, when Murdoch ran off to the right. I called him to me, and the cheeky little devil started running on a diagonal that would have allowed him to run past in front of me. So I ran forward to intercept him. I foolishly thought that he would have enough sense to stop, but he didn't and ran full pelt into my legs.

He was only a puppy at the time so I don't think anyone could have foreseen what happened next. The impact of him hitting my legs sent me flying in the air and I landed with one heck of a thud on my back. Full body slam. The impact of my head hitting the ground made my glasses fly off my face - I found them on the ground 5 metres away. It may also have caused an earthquake in Tokyo.

To be fair if there had been any casual observers, they probably would have peed their pants laughing, it must have looked so funny - the sort of thing that would have earned me an easy £250 on You've Been Framed. Unfortunately I think that it also earned me a mild concussion (self diagnosed mind you).

I post this as a cautionary tale - anyone who states that having a pet is good for your health has clearly never been mown down by a staffie on full hurtle.


Sunday, 15 November 2009

Mortal Enemies

The hound is not the most liberal of creatures.  He knows what he likes and he has even stronger opinions on what he hates.  The list is quite long and includes all other dogs, birds, cats, clothes airers, bits of paper that fall off the table, the man that delivers the newspaper and the postman.

On our recent holiday to Scotland we added another to the list.  We were happily walking out towards the loch for a nice walk (after yet more rain - thought we were going to get washed away for most of the week) when Murdoch made the fateful decision to walk on the other side of a wheelie bin to me.  The lead went taut and of course knocked the bin over.  This scared the jeebers out of Murdoch (the hound is scared of PAPER falling for chrissakes).  He tried to run away but unfortunately the lead had got entangled in the wheel and the more he ran, the more the bin "chased" him.  I was torn between concern, hysterical laughter and physical pain as the bin whacked me in the shins each time Murdoch ran past me.  Eventually managed to get the lead untangled, but was unable to get Murdoch near the bin again for the remainder of the holiday.  Bless him - he really is a dog of little brain.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Mmmm tea

Yesterday Murdoch helped himself to some Blackcurrant, ginseng & vanilla tea.  Didn't manage to boil the kettle so just had a good chew on the bag.  There is now tea all over my sofa so will therefore be washing the throw for about the 100th time this month.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Highly upsetting experience

I have just been subjected to a lunchtime abs class in the gym.... in front of mirrors!

My stomach podge looks bad enough when standing up, but being forced to watch it ripple and bulge as I crunched was both hypnotic and vile. I think it is a strategic ploy by the trainer to put fatties off eating pie. Well job done, lady, I’m now determined to stop being such an enormous fatty.

Which is proving slightly problematic today. I think I may have an actual illness that is making me ravenously hungry all of the time. In all seriousness, I ate a chicken pasta salad for lunch and was hungry again five minutes later. Thankfully there is a DEARTH of anything nice to eat here in the office. I was forced to eat a cup a soup that had been lurking at the back of my drawer for about 2yrs and it was VILE. And I'm still hungry.

Maybe I’ll eat quite a bit of chocolate to cheer myself up – and wear a very baggy t-shirt to the next session.....

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Hoover FAIL!!!

Came to the realisation yesterday evening that my Hoover is UTTERLY crappy. This stunning revelation occurred as I spent an hour and a half “scrubbing” my carpets with the pet hair removal attachment. Why does the Hoover do such a terrible job without this attachment? I had to empty the container FOUR times, just full of dog hair. It was actually quite disgusting to think that this had been sat in my carpet all this time, despite the fact that I vacuum regularly. Kim and Aggie would have had a field day.

Monday, 19 October 2009


Murdoch has finally made the link in his furry little brain between Marmite on toast (one of his favourites) and the large glass jar left on the kitchen counter.
This leap of intuition was accompanied by a leap of effort and the subsequent gain of the Marmite jar. I got home from running training to find Murdoch sitting in his bed with his guilty look on his face, and a Marmite jar with a severely chewed lid on the sofa.
Determined not to let the hound get away with such thievery I grabbed the jar and put it in his face, stating firmly; “Naughty. NAUGHTY”. Chastisement works better if you are able to keep a straight face while chastising. Tragically I was unable to do so, as the hound managed to completely undermine me. Not his fault bless him, he was desperately trying to keep his end of the bargain by looking all sad and guilty, but his nose let him down . He just couldn’t help sniffing at the jar of deliciousness that I was waving under his nose.....

Friday, 9 October 2009

Scared the ruddy life out of me.,.

The combined stupidity of myself and hound just culminated in a situation where he scared the bejeesus out of me.
I came into the living area to see Murdoch trying to get something out from underneath the sofa. He was using a nose / paw combo, so it was clearly something that he was desperate to get. I thought it might be a spider or something, so didn't want to get too close, but just as I neared the sofa, he got it, pounced and a squirt of red stuff hit the floor. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!!! What the hell?! What the heeeeelllllllllllllllllll is thaaaaatttt??! As I stood there gibbering, Murdoch hooked out something else from underneath the sofa.
As it turns out, it was an empty punnet. Hound had only stolen some plum tomatoes from the worktop. So not a giant bloody spider or mouse then. Boy did I feel stupid.......