I decided today that I’d better start looking at houses myself as at the moment I have nowhere to move to! So Fickle and I decided to go and see Holly Cottage.
Now, in the estate agents blurb it says ‘Holly Cottage is a charming 18th century detached cottage, situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty.’ Sounds good, doesn’t it? Plenty of room for Fickle to chase around outside, not near a busy road and with a bit of character thrown in too.
So off we went. Fickle thought we were going for another walk so she was very excited. As we drove up the lane I slowed down and looked again at the details from Rubble & Kay who had allegedly been ‘successfully selling houses since 1869.’ They had a supposedly witty cartoon at the bottom of the page with two chaps talking, one saying ‘do you want to buy my house?’ and the other saying ‘yes OK then.’ Underneath the cartoon was entitled ‘Life before estate agents.’ Maybe either Mr Rubble or Mr Kay had a sense of humour!
However, as Fickle and I turned the corner I was then in no doubt that Mr Rubble and Mr Kay liked a joke. I pulled the car to a stop and Fickle looked at me. I looked back at her and then we both looked out of the window. Dogs don’t talk you know, but Fickle was definitely saying ‘why have we stopped here and what on earth is that?’
On our left was a very muddy farmyard. It wouldn’t have mattered if you had been visually impaired. Or even blind. The stench coming from that farmyard was enough to identify it as a farmyard even if you were standing in northern France. Poor Fickle. Her nose is one thousand times more sensitive than a human one. Heaven only knows what she was smelling!
At the back of the yard was what looked like a farmhouse, with some very authentic manure outside. And then a few yards to the left of that were three terraced houses. These, it appeared, had been knocked into one house, and hey presto you have an ‘18th century detached cottage.’ Why is that estate agents these days call anything that is a terraced house a ‘cottage?’ According to that logic the cast of Coronation Street all live in ‘cottages.’ The last time I was in the back streets of Manchester I certainly didn’t see any ‘cottages!’ And I wasn’t seeing any cottages now either!
Just then a large very scruffy looking cow walked in front of the car and Fickle launched into the mother of all barking fits. The cow was not fazed at all and just swished her fly ridden tail in the air and sauntered on.
I glanced back at the details from the aptly named Rubble and Kay. ‘Outstanding natural beauty?’ ‘I’m not seeing any outstanding natural beauty,’ I said to Fickle. Then just at that moment there was the loudest train horn you have ever heard. I drove the car a few yards further up the road and sure enough there was a level crossing for a railway line. The 12 noon train to London had just passed , and had it been going any faster I think it would have melted the rails.
‘Fickle,’ I announced decisively, ‘we are not living in here!’
There was no argument from her, and after a deep doggy sigh, she lay down again on her seat, contemplating which angle the next cow might approach from.
As I drove back home feeling a bit dejected I wondered whether I should really be trying to move house at all? Things aren’t really that bad in The Vale, are they?
by Samantha May