From The Old Byre
One of the properties not on our list during the May trip was still for sale when we returned home and remained so for some time. Chris kept saying that there must be a problem with that one, and when we visited again in August it was still for sale, so we went and had a look. Although it certainly needed a good amount of work - it had been attacked by the DIY man from Hell, we both felt that it was worth going for. We made an offer subject to a satisfactory survey, which was accepted, but when the results of the survey came through, another lower offer was made and accepted. We were guided through the whole process by a very friendly Solicitor in Stromness, and between her and the Surveyor, saved us a lot of our hard-earned cash. We became the new owners in late October 2005 and arranged a trip very soon afterwards. At that time I had a Renault Kangoo van, which was loaded to the gunwhales so that we might indulge in a spot of 'indoor camping' for a couple of weeks. We couldn't believe our luck when we entered the place again after that initial viewing, which had had to be accompanied as there were many personal belongings in the place. Everything was exactly as it had been the first time, even the kettle still had water in it and the waste bin was half full. We were a bit unsure of what to do about all of these things which had been left behind, but on talking to the Solicitor, were informed that the vendors did not want any of them and we were free to deal with them as we wished.
Although nothing had any great value, to us they were extremely valuable, in that we could live very comfortably in Orkney, without making the house in Southport too bare until it was sold. We gave some of it to charity shops in Kirkwall and Stromness, some went straight to the tip, and the rest is still with us. Now that we had time to really check everything, we were still very satisfied with our decision and really had a great time cleaning and tidying and generally sorting things out. We met many of the neighbours on that first trip, and felt that we would be easily accepted into their little community. We had ordered beds from the furniture shop in Stromness, over the phone from Southport and they arrived after teatime on that first night - we thought we might be using the floor!!
More to follow
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