I’ve Been A Knitting

I may have been on quite an extended blog holiday (oops), but I have been busy knitting and now I have actually finished things to prove it!

First I used up some leftovers and had fun with my fair isle book to make a small project case.  I was very grateful to my mother for helping me with the lining and the zip!


The summer then became the years of the baby blanket.  First I knitted this for my cousin’s first child; the first of the next generation of that part of the family.  I loved knitting this, as the pattern was so simple and the rainbow colours worked so well in the end.  It was based on this pattern, but with a garter stitch border.


Then I started the next baby blanket (for a knitting friend) and secretly I may almost like this one more (who doesn’t like stripes and chevrons?).  It was based on this blanket, but having preferred the proper border from the first blanket, I added this.  I think it makes it look much crisper.


Then I decided it was my turn.  So whilst on holiday in September (oh Yorkshire Dales how I love you) I finally made inroads into my colour affection (aka colour affectation or colour affliction.)  This is going to keep me very cosy this winter.


Whilst in Yorkshire I also went to Yarndale, so I have goodies to keep me going for a while.  Meanwhile I’ve just knit go faster puffin stripes and may have to do yet another baby blanket…

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Catching Up

Ooops.  Really oops.  Without even realising it an awful long time has passed since I last updated here.  I did think about it in January, but then suddenly it was February and…

So, since last time I am ridiculously settled in my first home.  Most of my things are now here and in their new places.  Just the last few bits to be rescued from the rents.

I went to Florence with the bestest before Christmas.  Here be a picture of pretty Florence.


Ok, it was so pretty, have another


Then I knitted a cowl and a puffin for my mother for Christmas.  I never took a picture of the cowl, but it was a cascade falls and a lovely knit.  Here is the puffin, a very handsome chap.


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And The Bert Lived Happily Ever After

Given that I have been living here for over four weeks I thought I should finally blog about the fact I am a property owner!  No more Estate Agents to deal with, hurrah.

After what seemed like truly ages, and a week where one piece of information was so crucial that its outcome could mean the end of the whole thing, finally in mid September I exchanged contracts and completed on my birthday.  I will possibly never get again such an extravagant gift.

I loved in at the beginning of October and last weekend the main bulk of my possessions from my parents arrived.  I now have books!  Nothing makes a place seem like a home than books.  Below is a before and after (well, current) comparison.

SavedPicture-2014113144537.jpg          SavedPicture-2014113144251.jpg

There has been much cleaning, sorting, throwing, spending and visiting of DIY shops, but I think I am almost there in the liveable with stakes. It was lovely to put nails in the wall without worrying about landlords!

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Pudding Night

My local knitting group owes its origins to Rosie’s Tea Room and so last Tuesday we decided to go on mass to their Pudding Night to say thank you.  A light main, four puddings and tea or coffee, what is not to like?  It was all as delicious as it looks.

The first pudding was blackberry and apple tart tatin


Then next a chocolate and orange mousse


Followed by sticky toffee pudding and ice cream (which I think was my favourite)


Then to end a lemon posset with shortbread


As you can see the presentation matched the taste.  You may also be able to tell that I now have instagram…


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The Home Owning Adventure Does the Foxtrot

So I ended the last update with the saga of the mortgage. The application was sent off on the last day of May and then I received updates about the valuation, and then the rearranged valuation (quick, quick). I also went away on holiday (which was lovely, I really should blog about it before too long) and didn’t think about anything flat related. Hurrah. (slow)

Three weeks later, on the day I was travelling back from holiday I had an email telling me they had just noticed (if so what incompetence) I had a student loan (this is surprising how?) and were going to reduce my loan by £12,000. Well as I didn’t have an extra £12,000 to spare and my loan was much less than that, I paid off my student loan that very evening (quick). Not something I ever expected to do. I then had to wait for another three weeks (slow, slow) before they sent me the confirmation paperwork. After nearly six weeks suddenly my mortgage was in place. Meep. (quick, quick)

I have also received a small tree’s worth of paper from my solicitor. (slow, quick, slow)  Information is still being waited for and checked, but perhaps this stage of the dance is beginning to near the end…

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The Home Owning Adventure Advances

I left the last tale with the arrangements for visiting the Ooh Flat again.  This proved more interesting than it should have been, for I had to ring them on the Monday to confirm and then they told me I couldn’t go that day, for me to have to stay my ground and point out I did actually have an appointment, it was just the time that was being debated.

Anyway the Ooh Flat was visited my the rents (who in a moment of beautiful timing happened to be passing by) and I and everything was measured and declared ok.  We then looked at figures and the next day I put in an offer!

I then waited three days to hear about my offer (so much waiting around) until on the Friday they go back with me with a ‘the vendor is prepared to meet you half way.’  Cue more looking at figures, contacting solictors for quotes and generally having to do everything all at once and feeling totally disorganised.  However, it was agreed with the condition it was taken off the market.  Hurrah.

Then came the saga of the mortgage, I got my paperwork off as soon as possible and yet there was more waiting as figures kept changing and goalposts kept moving.  Then everything went very quiet and a Bank Holiday got in the way.  However, last night (just under two weeks later) my application was sent off and I am now rather poorer.  Fingers crossed it all goes through.

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In which Bert starts on her home owning journey but mostly rants

Dear pals, let me take you back just three weeks to the start of my *proper* home-owning journey.  What you are about to hear may leave you renting for years.

Having signed up with a couple of Estate Agents before Easter (seriously the most scary thing ever)  Saturday 26th April saw me viewing my first property at an open house.  It was not for me but I did enjoy fuelling the ‘just where is the boiler’ hunt and wondering what the odd noise coming from the kitchen was…

Monday 28th April saw me awaiting a booked phone appointment with a mortgage advisor.  No one rang.  Having rang the Estate Agents to ask what had happened much hmming and umming was to be heard.  Later the mortgage advisor rang herself with many apologies, none of which she should have made.  Nothing was heard from the Estate Agent at fault.

It appears Estate Agents ring you back to ask you what you think of a property. Sadly they cannot cope with ringing you back on the number you have provided for that day/time of day.

I then went see Flat With Potential No. 1.  This must now count as my first viewing disappointment.  Clearly some weird planning regulations were actually followed as nothing else can account for the small/lack of windows and the darkness, which given it faced south was pretty impressive.

Cue my next encounter with Estate Agents.  I’m not sure how ‘I will email you with details of the ground rent/lease’ became ‘I will only tell you this over the phone’ but it did.  Please refer to the earlier comment about using the wrong number *sigh*

Then the Ooh Flat aka Flat with Potential No. 2.  appeared.  This did at least banish all remaining ‘oh but’ worries about Flat With Potential No. 1.  On Tuesday evening I came home and rang two lots of Estate Agents, then had to ring my papa to recover.  As a result I ended up also booked to view a house on Friday, which if I am lucky may go done as my worst property *fingers crossed* seriously does anyone pay attention to your wish list/budget?

So today I went to see the Ooh flat which was mostly Ooh but needs a tape measure to make sure.  Sadly my request for a second viewing which started as ‘I’ll check my diary and ring you back later’ became ‘Someone else will ring you to confirm a time you didn’t actually state.  Erm No and really quite No.

Still as my papa says Estate Agents live in a different world and only we are sane (or happily quite mad, same difference.)

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