Dot writes: I was just looking at yet another comment on Princess Beatrice’s hat and thinking, “Oh dear, I think I got Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie confused in my post about the royal wedding” (so Beatrice was the praying mantis and Eugenie was the floral sofa, right?). Only then I realised I had never posted my post about the royal wedding; it will just have to languish among the drafts until Prince Harry gets hitched and it becomes vaguely relevant again. But it has been quite a busy week and I have been preoccupied, with trying to write a paper as well as with liaising with our broker, chasing the house agent, arguing with Ken about how much we could offer on the basis of our single remaining mortgage approval, weeping on various shoulders (if you see any academics wearing gortex indoors, they are colleagues of mine) and generally fretting myself silly. Plus we had an afternoon of presentations for the students on the MPhil I co-ordinate, it was the first of the big first-year exams I’m involved in on Thursday, my friend Aura had a naming ceremony for her daughter Maya yesterday, and to cap it all it was the week of the Eurovision song contest.
So, I don’t doubt you are wondering, how did it all turn out? Well Azerbaijan won. I can’t think why – admittedly, I didn’t hear their song as I was phoning my mum at the time. Moldova were the stand-out entry for me (cone-shaped hats, a unicyclist, musically a cross between Madness and the Beastie Boys with trumpets and a twisty clarinet in the quiet section), along with Italy (jazz, very stylish), Lithuania (perfect 70s throwback, could have been an early Roger Moore Bond theme perhaps sung by Carly Simon) and, I admit it, Ireland (go Jedward!).
Oh, and the sellers agreed to our reduced offer on the house. We heard yesterday afternoon. So from now it is all go; valuation ASAP, broker to obtain letter of offer ASAP, contracts to be exchanged also ASAP. Our solicitor is away until the 24th but he has a very competent junior who has been emailing me about freehold and leasehold and stuff like that. And I am going to have to start arranging for quotations on things like replacing the boiler; and we are going to have to learn to rip out carpets and sand floors. It’s exciting but somewhat daunting.
In fact, I’m not equal to reporting in full on the drama and dreams of our house-buying process; telegraphic updates and the odd woeful moaning session seem to be the best I can do. So instead here’s an odd little conversation I had with Hugh earlier. We were eating lunch and Frank was entertaining us by opening his mouth really, really wide to demonstrate just how much he was going to massacre that yoghurt.
Me: How big is your mouth, Hugh?
Hugh: A hundred. [Pause] It’s really lots of money.
Hugh: People like my mouth because it’s so big.