Saturday, 19 September 2015

The (ever changing) View from Bag End

Settle down, if you will, for a little story.

By the time Management and I moved into our rented house in November 2007, thanks to Rightmove we were well acquainted with the details and specification of nearly all the properties for sale in a 20 mile radius.   Six weeks later we had viewed every house that might have had the potential to become our new home - and rejected all of them for one reason or another.

On a wet and grey Sunday morning I had made an appointment to visit the house we now know as Bag End even though we had absolutely no intention of buying it.  The house was too large, the garden too big (and there were all those Leylandii) and the asking price was silly.  It had been on the market for over a year partly because of the silly asking price and partly because Mrs Previous Owner made it abundantly plain that she really did not want to move*. However, after looking at the Rightmove details so many times I was itching to be damn nosy and have a look inside.

We walked up those horrible 'posh' steps (which are now no more) and waited on the then doorstep.  It was damp, the cloud was low and I think it was fairly cold. Through the leafless huge cherry trees we could see the river, and the base of the fells from Grisedale Pike to Grasmoor, but not a lot more.

Management stuck his hands in his pockets, turned 180 degrees and looked at what little of the view could be seen.  He denies it, but this is a little bit of body language I recognise and interpret fairly accurately.  It always puts me in mind of the late Jack Warner saying "Good evening, all" at the beginning of 'Dixon of Dock Green'.  As I watched him take in the the huge expanse of sky I knew there and then we were buying this house regardless of what we found inside.  A few years and a lot of tree surgery later I still shake my head in amazement and wonder every day when I look out and see the constantly changing landscape unfold in front of us.

None of these photos have been edited, they are "SOOC" - straight out of camera.

18th August, 8.30pm

24th August, 8.00am

1st September, 8.00pm

3rd September, 8.00pm

17th September, 7.00am

* What we didn't know during the first visit was that Mrs PO HAD to move.  
What she didn't know was that you never want to sit the opposite Management during a negotiation if you have the remotest hope of coming out on top and when he says "take it or leave it" he is not bluffing.


  1. Management knew exactly what he was doing - you live in a home with a wonderful view :)

    1. Thanks Dani, it took us a while to make up our minds but I think the die was cast at that moment!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Sue, I'm glad you and Martyn had the chance to see the view for yourselves.

  3. You absolutely have the best views! Very interesting story about how you got the place. I take it you didn't pay that silly price! It's amazing how once folks decide the "worth" of something they'll stick to it even when it makes no sense. It's like they'd rather starve to death than get what they can to feed themselves for the up and coming year.

    1. Hi Leigh, you are quite right. She was asking a silly price, we made a 'silly offer'. She refused it. Her estate agent told her to take it or find another agent because she wasn't going to get another offer in the near future. She took it, but then caused us problems upon problems.

      I get the last laugh - opening the curtains every morning to that amazing view :-)

    2. We had a similar situation with a car we bought. It was a private sale and Dan made a ridiculously low offer, assuming we'd get a counter-offer. After a big pause, the offer was accepted. But the guy (who was supposed to be a friend) was mad at Dan from that day onward. I always wondered why he didn't dicker a bit, until we were both happy.

      Sounds like the PO's real estate agent should have let her barter just a bit. I'm sure there would have been a gap in the end anyway, but maybe she would have taken it more like a grown-up after realizing she wasn't going to get anywhere.

    3. Thanks Leigh. Without going into details, this lady was never going to behave like a grown-up . . .

  4. Replies
    1. Cheers Jill, I was thinking of you when I sorted through these pictures.


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