And hell, what a barbeque it was! Gorgeous house, set in 2.5 hectares of manicured garden, spotless swimming pool, sunny weather and more good food than you could throw a Mr. Creosote at. Wine, beer and good company on tap. Now that's more like it. The Fingernails spent the whole afternoon in the pool and zonked out as soon as their little heads hit the pillow. Which was just as well as the Syrians in the badly-insulated flat upstairs are now five in number, which gives them 5 square metres each. Did I mention there's a ten-month-old baby there, too? If we didn't see any elephants in the Safari Park we can picture a herd of them upstairs: them simply walking around above our bedroom makes the walls shake. I don't know if there's any legal recourse to getting the landlady to at least provide them with a carpet, but we really have to do something before we go crazy by sleep deprivation. Mrs. Fingers realises that she's only going to make herself ill if she carries on fretting about it so we're viewing this situation as a Magic Flute-like series of tests. Whether we fare as well as Tamino and Pamina is still open, though.
Spending time in the country, surrounded by so much space cemented our mid-term decision to move out of the centre. Our delightful little flat will at least remain stable due to its location and virtually all the areas we're looking at are gently falling in price. The ideal time should come in about a couple of years, when we should be able to grab a five-bedroom villa with a pool, seven acres of garden, a live-in nanny and a courtesy helicopter for 45p.
We can dream, can't we? Providing we can get to sleep in the first place, that is.