Lots of exciting news about The Art of The Delaneys this week which is now available at All Romance Ebooks, and has also received reviews at: Literary Nymph Reviews (4 star); Brief Encounters Reviews; and at Goodreads, a 5 star review and a 4 star review. Many thanks to all for commenting on the story and reviewing it.
In addition, Entertaining the Delaneys was reviewed at Three Dollar Bill Reviews, so many thanks also to Indigene for that one. Also, The Gifting is now available as a paperback from Amazon UK, so that's encouraging.
You'll find my review of Still Missing by Beth Gutcheon at Vulpes Libris today, and I've also managed to squeeze in one meditation poem into the pure mania of this week:
Maacah is a hard-working woman.
Her husband does not help;
he is too busy
boasting of his many sons
and the cities he has built.
So she scrapes a harsh living
under a harsher sun,
flitting like a small shadow
through her menfolk
and their vigorous lives.
What can I say? Nightmare City but with a very very slow edging towards the light. As it were. When it comes to our move into rented accommodation, we've sorted out the contents and car insurance, as well as the redirection of mail and notifying the bank. The rental agent told us yesterday that they need the deposit and first month's rent, plus their fees, cleared into their bank by Tuesday to allow us to move in, so we attempted to do a bank transfer through the Nationwide, where we've banked for years in a variety of ways - but sadly the Nationwide needed us to make an appointment to do this and they didn't have any spare time until next Friday. Hmm, it does not compute. Several moments (if not more) of sheer panic went by (particularly bearing in mind that the bank holiday makes everything slower), but K's lovely company stepped magnificently into the breach this morning and have solved the problem for us - what heroes ...! Naturally we have paid them back, but it's still a life-saver.
Meanwhile I have not been slack, though sadly rather more unsuccessful. I came back home last night to find a message from our flat estate agents saying how unhappy our buyer is and the deal is seriously in jeopardy if we don't exchange this week, and they desperately need our nice neighbour (called G) to sign the updated lease document for the tricky middle neighbours' solicitors (whom I shall call P). So today I did the following (and I can only really explain it in bullet form, sorry, as it's doing my head in ...):
1. Rang the lovely neighbour who kindly agreed to come round with the lease document herself.
2. Rang our solicitors (who go by the name of L) and told them I planned to take the signed document to P directly so they had it in their hot little hands, and then find out what they needed us to do at that point. I said I would bring it to L in Knaphill (quite a drive but I was beyond caring, frankly) if they needed to see it also. L were unhappy that I was directly contacting P as that is not the "done" legal thing. I said I didn't care about that either and it seemed that the only way of achieving results was for me to become my own private conveyancing service, so I wasn't asking them - I was telling them.
3. Rang P who said, eventually, that would be fine but they would need to discuss it with L. They also said that G would need to give them her passport and a utility bill to prove identity. G was fine with that but at that point needed to go to meet a friend for coffee. I agreed to take the signed lease into P there and then so they could get on with working towards exchange (ah, such optimism ...), and G agreed to meet me at the flat later with the passport and the utility bill for me to take to P in the afternoon.
4. Rang our estate agent (S) to update, and also rang K (remember him, Gawd bless him?) to update.
5. Went to P to give the lease to them. L rang me and said there was an additional identity document G needed to sign and they had already discussed this with P while I was on my way there. L also said that ideally, G should come in to sign another similar identity document with them in Knaphill, although, if P were in agreement, the signed identity document at P's offices would suffice. Had a meeting with P, and was told they shouldn't really be getting G to sign the new identity document at their offices as it was really something she should do with L in Knaphill. However, under the very complex circumstances of the case, they would do this if L had agreed to it, which they had. P also said in that case G needed to bring a passport photo with her for identity purposes as they therefore needed to actually see her in the flesh. P also told me there were two additional documents G needed to sign which hadn't yet been sent to her with the lease document and I said G could do that this afternoon if she was happy to come in with me to see P. P also said that completion would be delayed as they needed to register the new lease with the Land Registry (first I'd heard of that too ...), and with the bank holiday, it was hard to know when this might be done. But it should, in theory, not delay actual exchange, if all the solicitors in all the colours and sizes could agree.
6. After the meeting, I rang G, who was happy to meet me at the flat with the documentation and come in to see P with me. What a heroine - and way way beyond the call of duty ...
7. Went back home and updated everyone on the current situation. K not happy because L has been saying to our buyer for weeks that we're on the point of exchange, which is obviously far from the case, and therefore that is why our buyer has been getting hugely frustrated. I cannot blame him, though we also do wonder what P has been saying to L to make exchange seem imminent. Not sure who's lying, my dears, but someone is ... K writes firm but polite email to L, putting this to them, but no response as yet.
8. G arrives (Gawd bless 'er!), and I take her to Godalming. G gets her passport photos done and I utterly insist on paying, which is frankly the least I can do. G and I have meeting with P to sign documentation (on the way we were utterly drenched in the sudden downpour and had a bout of hysteria, wondering if the day could in fact get any worse ...). P's receptionist very po-faced and obviously not good with hysterical soaked-to-the-skin people who aren't actually clients. Didn't give a fig as to her feelings frankly. At meeting P happy, but when directly questioned, admits there is no chance of exchange today as the tricky neighbours (my phrase, not theirs), their clients, have not signed the necessary documents. In the meeting, I ring L to say what we have done. L still umming and aahing over whether they can accept the identity documentation being signed with another solicitor, even though they have already agreed this with me on the phone. I hand the phone over to P so the two solicitors can actually discuss it on the phone directly. Big surprise to all! - they haven't thought of speaking before ... L tells me that as P has witnessed the identity document, then she doesn't need to see G in Knaphill and all will be fine. At least we seemed to be one small step further forward, ho hum. L and P promise to keep talking once L has updated the buyer's solicitors and seen what they might accept in order to move the situation forward.
9. I take G for lunch. G insists on paying but I bargain for some kind of contribution and she accepts a small donation from me. It should have been more, G!
10. In the carpark in Godalming, L rings me and says they might have to ask G to come to Knaphill after all as they have changed their mind about the identity documentation as they're not sure what P has done. I say that I have just spoken to P in the meeting, rung L, and L spoke to P directly in the meeting also so surely this has already been decided. L says yes but she has tried to ring P once more to confirm (I am obviously not to be trusted ...) but P was not available. I ask G if she would in principle be happy to go to Knaphill with me, and she says yes. I relay this information to L, tell L that I am going home at which point I will ring P again and ask them to contact L to discuss further to confirm whether the Knaphill trip is needed.
11. At home with G, I ring P and tell her that L are having second thoughts and could P please ring them to have a further chat. P agrees to do this. We wait for half an hour. Nobody rings back. I ring K to update him. Both of us by now have lost the will to live. Probably G has too, but is happy about being kidnapped and driven to Knaphill for mysterious legal reasons if necessary. G now a serious contender for Best Neighbour Awards 2011. I ring L back. L says yes, they have spoken to P, and Knaphill is now definitely off the agenda. L has also spoken to the buyer's solicitors and all three sets of solicitors are now "in principle in agreement" that an exchange date can be considered. Well, good-oh, eh. However, it will not be today, but will be whenever the tricky middle neighbours think they can sign the documents.
12. I let G go, after giving her a tray of courgettes. Sounds mean, I know, but I told her in all seriousness that she could have anything in the house that she wanted to have, up to the value of half my kingdom and that is what she chose. To cap it all, G also agreed to ring the tricky middle neighbours, with whom she has a better relationship than I do, to see how long it might take them to sign, and to keep me updated. I promised G I would buy her all the courgettes in England if that was what she wished for.
13. I rang S (our estate agent - remember them?) to tell them all the above in words of one syllable as I don't have the energy for anything longer. S in a state of resignation but slightly more confident that they can keep our buyer as there is some kind of positive news in it all. Really? Ah, the power of positive thought. However, our buyer withdrawing is also a very real option on the agenda at the moment, an opinion with which I could only concur, and we must prepare ourselves for anything. My dears, I have spent the whole damn day preparing myself for anything so one more item isn't going to make a jot of difference.
14. Rang K to update him. Lay down on carpet for extended period of time, trying to work out if it's worth cleaning it or not. Decided not to bother.
Oh, and in the midst of all this, I asked Godalming Museum about a launch date for The Gifting (they will ring back), sorted out a taxi firm for a big do at work which I hadn't been able to finalise yesterday, advised my change of address to the optician, bought and started writing some change of address cards and managed to write a few hundred words on the current novella. God, but I'm good. And then people wonder what I do all day when I'm off ... Hey ho. Is it Friday yet?