On Thursday August 15th we got a call from our solicitor. Our buyers solicitor had been in touch to inform her they were wanting to exchange contracts and complete their purchase on Friday August 30th. That was just 2 weeks away.

Bearing in mind they had always said there was ‘no hurry’; that we had only bumped into them in the local shop 2 weeks previously and told them we were still frantically house hunting; that it typically takes 4-6 weeks for a house purchase to go through, this request came rather out of the blue.

Needless to say, given my state of mind by this point, the idea of 2 weeks sent me into a tail-spin. Let’s just say Thursday the 15th was a bad day. It was a bad day even though the day before Peter had told me that, without telling me, he had put in an improved offer on ‘Ivy Cottage’.

I had reacted to this news in 2 ways. One was relief and excitement that it was back on the agenda, but also with fear and dread, as my emotional expenditure on the place had already cost me dear and I thought I had managed to move on at last. I didn’t want the hurt and disappointment all over again.

However, life goes on. We had already arranged to view a 1930’s bungalow, which had 2 upstairs rooms, on a corner plot in a nearby village, we really hoped it would be the one, because ‘Ivy Cottage’ was by no means certain and we were running out of time and options.

It was undoubtedly a solid, well built property that had barely been touched since it was built, save for the installation of double glazed UPVC windows. It certainly had lots of original character, but no heating and the 2 upstairs room were only accessible by a ladder! What is it about us and staircases?

The garden was nice but there was a lot of old concrete paths and structures that needed removing, basically an improvement project. Not really what I’d signed up for and certainly not ‘Ivy Cottage’. The jury was out on the 1930’s bungalow.

On returning home we had expected there to be a message about our offer on ‘Ivy Cottage’, but there wasn’t. Then first thing on Saturday morning we received a call from the agent saying that it looked like our our latest offer would be accepted, and she expected to be ringing us back confirming later that morning.

I was excited, but no call came and what was worse Peter was beginning to get cold feet. I couldn’t blame him, he’d never felt the same way as I did about it and now it was ‘stick or lift’ time, he was, quite sensibly, using his head and not his heart to make what was indeed a life-changing decision for both of us.

When we had heard nothing by the afternoon of Monday 19th we rang the agent. The lady I had spoken to on Saturday was on a weeks holiday and no-one knew what had prompted her to give me the message she had. Peter told them they had better find out. He’s on the brink of pulling out of the whole deal, and who could blame him.

I thought I’d already lived through my worst ‘Ivy Cottage’ nightmares, but here I was on the cusp of getting the home of my dreams only for it to be taken away again. We did a second viewing of the 1930’s bungalow that afternoon and on our return had a message from the agent saying they still hadn’t got to the bottom of the confusion about the cottage but would ring again the following day, Tuesday.

The stress and tension was unbearable and little did I know things were about to get a whole lot worse.