Sometimes you have days that start not so well, get worse and end badly. They are at least consistent…
We had a day like this recently when a combination of the need to exchange contracts on our purchase and sale of property, put the cat into a cattery for the weekend and get ourselves to Liverpool for a wedding converged to produce a fairly painful experience. Throw in a bit of extra fun from me being busy at work and our son reflecting back our house angst at us and “great fun” was had.
I probably didn’t prepare for this whole thing terribly well by getting stuck into the beers at a colleague’s leaving drinks the previous night and waking up with a mighty hangover.
Our first point of fun began with the news a few days earlier that the people we were buying a house from were putting the house we wanted to buy back on the market. This provoked 48 hours of frantic activity up and down our chain to try and keep the transaction together. We had put together and made a proposal that 4 of the 5 people in the chain found acceptable to move to immediate exchange.
We just needed to convince the holdouts that the proposal was viable, which involved immediate rejections, more angst, amendments and finally finding a solution that worked for everyone. However, given the wonders of conveyancing in the UK, actually exchanging contracts requires all solicitors to ring up the chain and then down again in a manner designed to cause maximum fear that one of them will have a long lunch…
In any event, by about 4pm, we had decided that exchange of contracts wasn’t going to happen as one of the solicitors was uncontactable, so decided to catch the cat, take her to the cattery, and get on the road. Except of course the cat realised there was something wrong, pin-balled off every surface in the kitchen and when I did catch her I knocked over our son who had snuck behind me and then let go of the cat and toppled over into the step into our utility room. Ow.
I probably should have called it a day there, but to liven things up we set out into the bank holiday traffic having begged our lovely neighbours to look after the cat for us (in fairness, we would have asked already but we thought we would have moved a month ago!). The traffic was terrible, the M1 was actually closed and we were diverted off into the wonders of rural Bedfordshire and Leicestershire by our Sat Nav. 2 hours in we headed to the services somewhere in Leicestershire. This prompted a look around for our son’s shoes. Nowhere to be found, so we thought we would have some more in the roofbox.
Opening it up, I suddenly realised we had one bag less than I thought we should have and began to inwardly scream and feel sick. We could have got some new clothes in Liverpool, but our son is very, very picky about shoes… A few colourful metaphors and a trip to the loos later, we were back on the road, heading back home again.
We arrived at 9:15 to discover that the coffee machine had broken in our absence and then set out again, this time up the M40 as the M1 was conclusively shut this time. This leg of the trip involved regular stops and the consumption of more caffeine-based drinks than is ultimately healthy (all by me I should add!).
At the end of all of this, we rolled into Liverpool at 3 am (in absolute terror of falling asleep at this point), arriving at the car park at 3:15. Luckily the Premier Bin we were staying in was actually very nice and had a 24 hour check-in policy. Of course my other half had to locate someone to help her check in and I spent about 20 minutes hopping from foot to foot (too much coffee) in the car park waiting for her to make it back.
Finally we made it to the room and a couple of trips back and forth later to grab everything (with a bit of friendly joshing from the security guards about whether I had packed the kitchen sink) we finally made it to baed at 4am. To hear a noise of “waah… ping”. The noise of Angry Birds being played by our son, who was wide awake after sleeping for much of the journey.
In Liverpool One Premier Bin, no one car hear you scream (it’s all the soundproofing).
Anyway, we did make it to Liverpool, visited the city, went to the wedding, had fun and visited all the great sights like the cathedrals, Chinatown, the Albert Dock, the Pier Head, the ferry (across the Mersey), the old Georgian terraces, the amazing new and refurbished centre and the decaying buildings around the edges. What was really interesting was the amount the city had changed in the 7 years since we last visited. Redevelopment continues apace – always contraversial no doubt, but some of the refurbished buildings were shells the last time we visited.
The museums were really good fun for kids and the Dazzle ship provided me with an opportunity to bore about the fact the “dazzle” pattern was based on cubist art. Oh, and the lamb bananas are amusing too.
I love visiting Liverpool – its always fun, people are friendly and the city (when it’s not raining) is beautiful. Eventually, after coming home we finally exchanged contracts too. I suspect somewhere, someone is laughing at us…
In the meantime, the D810 continues to amaze me. I genuinely can’t believe how sharp and lacking in any modicum of vibration it is. Pair it with very sharp lenses and wonder to yourself what the point of buying a Pentax 645Z would be.
Taken with my Nikon D810, Nikon 70-200mm F4, Zeiss 21mm F2.8 Zf.2, Sigma 35mm F1.4 ART, and Sigma 50mm F1.4 ART.