Thursday, May 29, 2008

Patroclus and Mr BC Discuss...Stress

INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

PATROCLUS and MR BC are waiting for the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall programme to come on. A voiceover announces a forthcoming instalment* of 'Location Location Location'.

VOICEOVER: Buying a house is one of the most stressful things you can imagine.

MR BC: No it isn't.

ME: It's supposed to be. We must have done it wrong.

MR BC: I don't remember getting in any way stressed about it at any point.

ME: You were quite stressed about it the other day.

MR BC: Well, all these estate agents and solicitors kept ringing up to say 'Congratulations! You've exchanged!' When I was trying to eat my lunch!

ME: You aren't like other people, are you?

MR BC: No.


* Is this how you spell 'instalment'? Or is it 'installment'? I am having a minor crisis about it.

18 comments:

Boz said...

Surely it's two L's? But it's still early in the day and I'm only on my first coffee so who knows.

Jolly well done. I'm sure people spend far too much time blithering about how difficult these things are, when really they must be quite straightforward...

(...he says, knowing full well that pigs will fly before a bank puts him within clutching distance of any kind fo mortgage)

patroclus said...

I've never really understood that whole thing about buying a house being one of life's big stresses. I've bought four over the past 11 years, and I don't remember any of them causing any kind of stress whatsoever. Perhaps I've just been phenomenally lucky. Or perhaps I just find stress in different places from other people.

Also: god, how I miss coffee.

Simes said...

I always thought that it was moving house that was supposed to be the stressful part.

patroclus said...

Simes: Yes, and also the part where you have to deal with BT. I've been putting that one off; the memories of last time are still too raw.

GreatSheElephant said...

It's not doing much for my disposition.

Tim Footman said...

Buying a house is relatively straightforward if you're not selling at the same time. It's chains that create the stress - the constant worry that someone three transactions down the line will suddenly decide to wait to move until the runes are more propitious and bring the whole thing crashing down like a row of spinning plates laden with explosive jelly in Szichuan during the earthquake season. I tried to get Frank Spencer into that convoluted and somewhat tasteless analogy, but you get my gist.

patroclus said...

GSE: I reckon you're doing it the right way, though - by selling the flat first and then renting for a bit while looking for something to buy.

Tim: This is a very good point, and the moral is: never get into a chain. Especially not one that has Frank Spencer in it.

rach said...

install, instalment

So says the trusty Guardian style guide... Although it appears that if you're American, two ls are what's required (which is odd, as usually they like fewer letters rather than more? see color etc).

Decaf's not that bad?

Boz said...

See! I am always wrong about spelling. That's an inner city sec ed for you (which is no kind of excuse). 'Instalment' still doesn't look right somehow, but Rach sounds like the kind of lady who knows what she's talking about.

Hey though - we all know what kind of chain we do want to get into though, right?

patroclus said...

Thanks Rach - 'instalment' looked wrong, but 'installment' looked even wronger. Strangely, I would't have thought twice about writing 'fulfilment', and surely they must operate on the same principle.

Decaf is OK, but essentially it's an impostor drink that just *tastes* like coffee. I miss that whole 'woo, the world is brilliant and I can do anything!' feeling that I get after a nice extra-shot latte.

Boz: Quite right. We must all get behind the Mug Chain (TM), for it will make us RICH beyond our WILDEST DREAMS.

Oli said...

Clearly you didn't hire the same surveyor as us. No good do nothing bastard that he was.

patroclus said...

Oli - I don't think any surveyors actually *do* anything. Our report came back saying 'This house is quite old and is made of stone'. Yes, I can see that, thanks. And that was for the 'premium economy' package as well, when they're at least supposed to shine a torch up the chimney.

Valerie said...

In the U.S., it's "installment." But we also put punctuation inside of the quotation marks, so who knows?

We also had a fairly stress-free experience when we purchased our house, but I do think Tim's right that it's the Evil Chain that amps the stress. Then again it might have been our lovely agent, who walked us through everything and explained all the legalese. Or maybe it was the immense quantity of self-congratulatory chocolate we ate that month..

Fat Roland said...

Valerie - is that Evil Chain attached to a mug, perchance?

patroclus said...

Valerie: Most people seem to think that all estate agents are the scum of the earth, but there are some lovely ones. Ours has been particularly great - but then he also plays the trumpet and is therefore clearly a cut above his counterparts.

FR: Hoo yes, that can be the tagline: Mug Chain (TM) - the Evil Chain that Amps the Stress! It's like the very opposite of a stressball.

Dave said...

Indeed, estate agents could also be part of your marketing area. they could give mug chains to clients as a kind of ironic freebie.

I'm starting to look for a new house today. I will try not to allow it to stress me.

Boz said...

....thing is. What if I don't have a radiator nearby for my mug chain?

patroclus said...

Dave: Best of luck!

Boz: I suggest you move your desk, or commandeer someone else's while they're on holiday/off sick/in the toilet. I don't recommend acting on Tim's suggestion of chaining the mug to a ceiling fan, though.