Wednesday, July 1, 2009
We only had one appointment today. It was uninspiring. I asked Demetrios, “Well, what do you think so far?”
“Strangely enough,” he said, “I can’t get that little place in Ormskirk out of my mind. I like it because it’s secluded so I feel we could safely leave it unoccupied sometimes, and it’s cheerful looking and so pretty, with all the flowers.”
So off we went on the bus to Ormskirk, and into the office of Brighouse Wolff Estate Agents, who had listed the flat. Kathleen got on the phone and made us an appointment for the afternoon.
We had lunch in some pub and then went to see the old hospital where Demetrios had his first job as a physician. Most of the old buildings have been torn down and replaced, but the one where Demetrios lived is still there. He pointed to an upper window. “That was my room, where Dr. and Mrs. Coventry brought me. After I left Greece, they were the only people I had in all the world, and when they left, I flopped on the bed and cried hard for a long time. And here’s the Phillip ward, where I worked, and the Elizabeth ward, for women, right there next to it…”
After a while, we went to see the flat.
It’s a dollhouse! It’s all done up in blue and cream, with little flowered prints and decorated tiles. It’s bright and immaculate, perfectly kept up.
I think we were about halfway through when I turned and whispered to Demetrios, “I think I’m in love!” and he nodded.
There’s a monthly fee involved, but when we heard what it covers, we realized we’d have all those expenses in any case. It includes insurance, lawn and garden services, exterior painting and exterior window-washing (!), trash disposal, parking space, interior painting and carpeting of communal areas (entryways), servicing the elevator … so that seemed fine after all.
Then the lady said, “I don’t know if any of the furniture would interest you, but if you don’t take it, I shall have to have the Salvation Army come haul it away, now that Mum is in a rest home.”
Well, the furniture is half the charm of the place! It’s perfect, as if made for this flat. The vendor is willing to leave it all (except her laptop computer), including a radio/CD player, the duvets and pillows on the beds, an iron and ironing board, and a “hoover” (vacuum cleaner).
“It’s too bad I’ve just tidied away the crockery and cutlery,” said the lady, “or you could have had that, too.”
We tried to behave in a nonchalant manner, but were probably betrayed by how long we stayed. This house costs more than we can really spend, after all. Unless she will negotiate, or we can re-think.
But we came away elated. “It’s better than I thought we could find,” said Demetrios.
“And in Ormskirk, where you wanted to be!” I replied.
These pictures don’t do it justice, but here they are, such as they are…
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009