Thursday, 11 September 2014

House Hunting and Murder

A corner of our garden.
This morning, our house was photographed and measured by the estate agent in preparation for putting it on the market.  He said again that the garden is a major selling feature, partly due to its size but also because of the dense planting and the maturity of many of the trees and shrubs.  He also said that the house structure is fine, that the newish kitchen and bathroom are both fine, and that everything else is just cosmetic.
Previously I asked if we should redecorate and was advised, (by three seperate estate agents), not to bother as one person's idea of good  taste is the next person's idea of Yuck Made Manifest.  I pointed out that all the - interminable, which is one reason why we don't own one - TV shows depict the vendors frantically painting everything white or a variation of beige and installing new, equally colourless carpets.  The estate agents said that's mostly a waste of time and money, and often doesn't add enough value to the house to balance what you'd spend.

There is a bit of paperwork to complete which will be mailed to me this coming week , and the 'For Sale' sign should be installed tomorrow or Monday.

On Sunday, we went to view a house which looked pleasant at first glance.  Bakelite light switches do not feature on my list of desirable features, however.  The staircase was extremely steep.  The ladder which could be lowered into the tiny bathroom in order to access the converted loft space meant half-sitting in the sink in order to climb them.  But the modern kitchen/diner was gorgeous and the little garden was attractive - apart from the expanse of past-its-best decking, decking being one of my pet hates anyway, (ref. earlier comment about Yuck Made Manifest).  Of much greater concern was the small tree growing out of the roof tiles.

Choices, choices....

Choices and their consequences feature heavily in the plot of Torn, a YA novel by Cat Clarke, which was published by Quercus in 2011.  Main character Alice and best friend Cass take part in a school holiday to Scotland, where they're made to share a cabin with the darling of the in-crowd plus a goth-emo girl who is in the lowest rank of their merciless social pecking order.  Tempers flare and a vengeful 'joke' backfires when one girl dies.  Can Alice live with her guilty secret?

The novel portrays the tunnel-visioned and intense teenage world of school and who is and isn't popular.  While it's a fun read, it would also serve as a good basis for a teen discussion on bullying and social exclusion, conformity and individualism.

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