Thursday, 25 April 2013

Missed houses. misty lenses

Apologies for not having posted much lately. There's been a lot going on, not all of it good. I backed out of the house next door and a For Sale sign has just gone up and I feel quite sad and wistful. I didn't back out on a whim. I was buying it to secure it for the guy next door, who was going to buy it off me next year when he got his money through. But ten days or so ago he collared me in the street and shocked me by saying, "I don't want you to rely on me."

Well, of course I was relying on him! I knew there was no point my buying it otherwise, as it needs heaps of modernisation and I don't have the cash. That put me in an awkward position and I didn't know what to do, so I mentioned it to a property renovator friend who toyed with the idea of lending me her builders to do it up in return for a split of the proceeds, until she did the sums and realised there wasn't enough profit in it to make it worth her while. So I would have been stuck with it. Mr G told me I wouldn't cover my costs if I sold it without improving it, so I backed out and the solicitor has slapped a bill for £900 on me, saying we were near completion. Then, to cap it all, Mr G has now started telling me I should have bought after all and spent £20,000 on a rear extension which would have been easier than rebuilding the illegal loft rooms. Why didn't he suggest that earlier? Too late now.

On Tuesday, I trekked into North London and saw a gorgeous flat. It had two bedrooms, a lovely garden and... oh joy... a bedroom with nobody above it. The agent said I had to make an offer there and then or risk losing it. I said I needed to sleep on it, as it didn't have much in the way of storage and I needed to think about it, and by the next morning he'd sold it to somebody else.

As well as all this, a friend has been diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy on Monday. I went over to see her today and apparently she had a severe reaction to one of the drugs and nearly died! Thank God she is recovering now. I hope she will be okay. She's certainly optimistic and determined enough.

There is a faint light of hope flickering on the publishing horizon. In my last post, I mentioned the latest hot genre, New Adult (what an appallingly unimaginative name). Well, the publishers are researching it and there is a possibility that my sexy book Perfect Lives, that was supposed to come out at Christmas and didn't, might be their first New Adult title. Please cross your fingers and toes for me...

Meanwhile, I have been buying lots of books for my Kindle. I have got into Judy Astley and have bought three of hers, plus three 99p books from an Amazon offer. I only read my Kindle when travelling. Yesterday, it made a half hour tube journey and a 50 minute bus ride pass so quickly that I almost missed my stops. I had been to the British Museum to see the Ice Age exhibition and found myself in tears of deep emotion. I felt connected to all the humans who have ever existed and in awe of the artistic impulse that lives in all of us. I wonder how the man or woman of 23,000 years ago who carved a reindeer's head on a piece of mammoth tusk would react to the sight of modern day people peering at it through the glass of an air-conditioned case whilst plugged into an iPod telling them all about it?

For a brief spark of a moment, I felt as if I were looking through a telescope at a fur-clad figure chiselling away with a sharp stone, his or her skin ruddy in the glow of a fire. For a microsecond, eyes connected across the millenia, deep-set brown with my own myopic hazel. Then the lens misted and I was back in 2013. Slightly regretfully.

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