Be thankful, cautious reader, because my original (and preferred title) was Fuckity Fuck Fuckity Fucking Fuckingly FUCK fuckers but I thought that it might have come across as slightly too self-pitying and maybe - just maybe - a tad aggressive.
It's been a helluva few days since my last post. Dean's mother died at 5:40am on Friday morning and he was there with her during her final hours and last breath. She was already a tiny little bag of bones when I'd visited her two days earlier and Dean noted that after death, her body was even smaller and her face almost unrecognisable when life was gone from it.
We spent most of the day with his family planning her funeral. Hugs, sniffles and awkward attempts at jokes, unhealthy snacks and dodgy instant coffee were the mainstays of the day and I tried to keep my migraine at bay by drugging up, inhaling any caffeine headed in my direction and by being unnaturally unchatty. It had the added bonus of making me seem mature, steady, a 'rock' and I foolishly offered to read the eulogy if no-one else was up to it. Dammit, no-one was.
By 8:30pm that same evening, Love Chunks and I were winging our way to Melbourne; my folks already at our place spending the weekend looking after Sapphire (or vice versa really, seeing as they didn't know which of our three remote controls switched on the tv, how much food the chooks, rabbit and dog needed or where Sapph's tennis session was) and we were reading through my patchy, hand-scrawled notes (done in the wee hours when LC was with his Mum) on properties we thought we worth seeing.
It may seem a bit cold-hearted to be heading interstate on the day of a parent's passing, but it was planned - very reluctantly - a few days earlier, thinking that it was best to go sooner rather than a later weekend when his mother would be even less well and more at risk of 'going' when LC couldn't be there. Oh. Ah well, the funeral arrangements were sorted; my parents had the extremely rare free couple of days to babysit and we'd just accepted an offer on our house with a settlement date of 12th January. It was time to look forward - finding our new home in our new city.
Saturday morning saw us huddled and shivering under a tree in order to stop the golden retriever left on the porch of the house we wanted to inspect from barking incessantly. We also didn't want the family living there to notice us as they dashed outside and into their car. The rain poured down, and a kindly lady from across the road gestured over at me: "Come inside! You'll get wet, come in!" I explained to her that we were waiting for the land agent to show us inside the house and that while LC was moving the hire car to the now-vacated spot in front of the house, we didn't want to get the neighbours off-side by annoying the dog.
"Ah yes," she nodded vigorously, a petite little Vietnamese lady with a kindly face. "He barks alla time. So you could be my neighbour, eh? That's good, that's good."
"Hmmmm" I shook my wet head, pretending to hesitate, "The bad news is that we have a dog too."
"No worries, so do I", she said.
"What sort do you have?" I asked, looking behind her for a glimpse of a small, fluffy thing, perhaps lurking behind the lacy curtains.
Said house was a OHS nightmare lacking at least a quarter of its weatherboards, cracks surrounding the fireplaces that conveniently provided a half decent view from the living room into the main boudoir and a bathroom's 'floor' of some wood veneer-patterned contact stuck haphazardly - bubbles and all - over the rotting floorboards and bordered with silver gaffer tape.
Defeated, we sat in the Flemington Maccas, drinking coffee and pondering the other houses on my list and those in Domain. Ascot Vale had an auction at 12:30pm and was the property above all others that appealed to us the most via the many viewings we'd had on the internet. "But that's two hours away. What about this little joint in Bignell Street? It's up for auction at 11am, but why don't we check it out?"
The Welcome To Melbourne weather continued as we ran to the car, me struggling with the $5 umbrella we'd just purchased from the handyman shop that already decided to blow itself inside out and having my mouth fill up with hailstones before I could complain about getting what I paid for.
Five minutes later, and we two Locketts felt that familiar feeling. That peculiar sense that, after only two minutes since walking through the front door, this house was soon going to be our house. And so it came to pass. Bought at auction by the Locketts. No cooling down period, no drive way or car park, but slap-bang in the middle of Phlegm(ington) with Smegma(European) appliances, a great primary school literally around the corner, a good dog walking park and a clear view of the big yellow cheesestick on City Link from our front doorstep.
My brother Rob and wife Wah Chin were taken to see it. The owners had gone out, so we snuck around the back and got them to scrunch their noses up against the glass doors and gained the comment we soooo wanted to hear from people who live in, love and know Melbourne better than we do: "This is GREAT. You've done well."
Fast forward to Monday, back in Adelaide, and Love Chunks was in fever - sweating one minute, shivering the next. Some whimpering echoed in the bathroom and a limp back to bed indicated that maybe there was also a bladder infection to add to the mix and the funeral of his mother the following day.
Tuesday morning at 10am found the three of us at Centennial Park, Sapphire and I waiting outside as LC was the one required to view the body before the service. I somehow got through reading the eulogy and found myself more emotional than I thought I would be, yet also realising that it wasn't a workshop, or a seminar or an occasion where I had to be confident or all-knowing; I was merely the voice for LC and his sibling's words.
We got home a few hours later to find Ann, our real estate agent, on our doorstep with a bunch of flowers in her hands. "I've got some bad news. Your buyers have cooled off."
Fuckity Fuck Fuckity Fucking Fuckingly FUCK fuckers! Just as Ann was explaining that the 'buyers' (the term is now used very loosely and very optimistically) hadn't managed to arrange a building inspection before the cool off date which was midnight that night. Try and picture the scene - Love Chunks, Sapphire and myself, standing anxiously in our own home, still dressed in our sombre funeral clothes as the real estate agent sat on a bar stool and a bloke arrived to tap our skirting boards, flash his torch up the hallway's man hole and check out the drip watering system.
Several minutes later and another white minivan arrived with the Murray's Pest Control chap there to check our place for termites. He'd already been to do just that for us back in July but the 'buyers' needed more assurance. Then the SA Water bloke was encouraged, rather passionately and energetically, shall we say, by an irate Love Chunks to ring Mrs 'Buyer' in Melbourne and explain in non-Anal and non-Cardigan terms just what their encumbrance was and why it was considered utterly bureaucratic and pointless by two plumbers, the entire staff at Tank World and the watering installers at Akers Lawn and why it endangered no-one living or visiting our home or using any of our water supply.
Mrs 'Buyer' managed to inform our agent that, in between the responsibility of doing several crown installations and root canal operations on her patients, she'd be able to review the reports and make a decision on whether to heat up again by putting together another contract of sale by lunch time today. Love Chunks went to the doctor and found that yes, he had a bladder infection, along with a too-fast heartbeat and some fibroids on his lungs from the bronchitis he had in September that can't be re-x-rayed until he's over his fever and infection. To be asked, "So, have you ever worked with asbestos?" by the doctor but not being able to get another photo of your lungs for a fortnight is about as much as enduring a cooling off period on a *&^&%ing housesale multiplied by oh, I don't know, sixtyeleventyseventieth.