Z’s inner toddler

I’ve duly done the first two painting assignments and posted the results on the group facebook page, because I don’t mind in the least that I’m truly inept. I’m not trying to be good, whatever that means. What I want to do is harness my inner toddler, if you like. Fresh piece of paper, make marks on it. See what happens. Spread it with my fingers or a brush or anything else to hand. Don’t think about planning a result. I’ve no idea if I’ll take to this, but it doesn’t matter if not.

I had plans for a few useful jobs, but not much got done. It had all been all right, though I was melancholy because it’s my 49th wedding anniversary and I try very hard to blank feelings as much as I can, but there are times when they break through. But, just after 1.30, I had an email from my solicitors with various queries from the buyers’ solicitors, most of which I’d already answered. That was okay, one just harnesses one’s inner leech gatherer (Wordsworth, darlings) and repeats it all. But then they said they’d been told I’d got Probate. I only told them yesterday that I have not got Probate and I have no idea how long it will take. Yesterday. And they were pressuring me and I rather lost it and shouted at my poor sister (not *at* her, just ranted and made quite sure she knew I wasn’t aiming at her) and she was kind and patient. Then I had an email from my letting agents wanting the gas safety certificates for the flats, which i can’t lay my hands on – definitely done, I’m all legal – and then something else I can’t remember at present and then a stream of WhatsApps from my downstairs tenant, who is a lovely woman but a bit needy and there’s a language barrier. I didn’t feel up to reading it and still haven’t. I will in a few minutes. Instant tinnitus (I always know when my blood pressure has gone up) and I really wanted to cry.

But luckily, yesterday Wink and I talked about dates when we both were going to be away – each, I should say – and when I found a weekend to be in Reading will fit in nicely, so I’m going to book a van to clear the rest of the stuff I’m bringing here from Tim’s. It so happens that his sister-in-law and husband will be there at the same time, so they can take what else they want. Once probate is through and the contract is signed, I’ll get the house clearance people in. I’ve also found a few days when I can go to Pembrokeshire again, because I’d like to get the caravan completely ready before I’m there with Ro and co. So that was about as much as I could deal with today. I had a long soak in the bath, ate some Twiglets and am wondering what to have for dinner. I think I’ll have to raid the freezer, which is a nuisance as all my painting stuff is on top of it. If I carry on with this, I’ll have to decide where to do it. The porch is good because it doesn’t matter if I’m a bit messy and I’d like to be messy. I don’t let myself be, on the whole, though I encouraged my children in the mud and paint direction and never minded how chaotic food preparation got with them. I remember toddler Al cracking an egg and it sort of exploded upwards and landed on his head, or maybe on his sister’s head. How we laughed… But anyway, the porch also has the freezer for a big, flat surface, but it’ll be too hot in the summer (north light really doesn’t matter, this isn’t Art) and everywhere else has carpet or a good floor. The big dining table, perhaps. Or the workshop. I could really make a mess in there.

I’m feeling very unhappy tonight and I still want to cry. But that won’t buy the baby a new frock, as Kenny used to say. So, thinking about messy…

Tim would have said, if pressed, that I was untidier than him (in some respects, but we never criticised each other about that sort of triviality). But not at the table. A tablecloth lasted weeks with me and about two days with him, because he splashed food everywhere. It was hilarious. Anything with a tomato sauce or a nice rich gravy, or even a bottle of red wine – why does one never drop the pale stuff, unless it’s really greasy? I didn’t care, of course, and he laughed at himself. When we ate out, I carefully picked up any crumb I’d dropped and wiped the least spillage, because I couldn’t bear to leave a mess for the wait staff (look, I’ve adopted American speech, innit) and the area around his plate was a riot. Russell must have been tidy because I can’t remember noticing. I’ll think of them both with a smile, because there’s nothing else to do but remember warmly. It’s all about self control, you see, which is why I think that painting without boundaries might be good for me.

8 comments on “Z’s inner toddler

  1. Blue Witch

    I am glad that the painting hasn’t immediately felt too much, and you sound like you might be planning a future for it. So much rubbish happening here that I just haven’t been able to join in.

    Probate is a nightmare, isn’t it, not least becasue there is absolutley no way of knowing, or seemingly finding out, where things are up to. “Allow 15 working days after putting in the IHT paperwork before submitting your probate form, we will write to you,” they say. 28 days on we still haven’t had the letter, but we have submitted probate, we have a buyer anxious to proceed and absolutely no way of knowing anything. If you can track a letter or parcel, why oh why can you not track a probate application? Our solicitor says that (despite their supposed timescales), probate is taking 8-10 weeks currently, once you have submitted the probate form online, unless there are any queries… but how one is meant to find out about them I have no idea. And if the civil servants go on strike as is being threatened… Honestly, I join you in feeling constantly on the brink of tears.

    1. Z Post author

      My solicitor told me 8-20 weeks! If 8, it’ll be about the 9th June if it’s 8. The buyers would like to complete on the 26th, so I can only suggest that all the paperwork is ready to go. I guess they’ll have to have a final survey done by their building society, though. It’s just all so miserable, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to cope with moving from here. I’m sorry your situation is as anxious as mine is.

  2. Blue Witch

    Have you had a letter yet about the first (IHT) part of the process being accetable? Thinking though, is a solicitor handling your probate applcation? If so, your process may be a bit quicker as they are assumed to know what they are doing so less is checked and it takes less time.

    If your buyers haven’t even had their mortgage survey done yet, I doubt there is any way they would be able to complete on 26th anyway. Something buyers seem to fail to appreciate is that if it is a probate sale, they are much less likely to lose the house than if it in a chain with upward sales/delays. I think estate agents should be more pro-active in pointing these things out to them.

    It’s taken us 26 months to even get Coven Sud nearly empty. How you have coped doing it alone (although with some help from friends and family as you have said) I have no idea. ‘Officialdom’ really could not make it harder if they tried. Between Mr BW and his sister, they have found just one helpful person in all those they have spoken to, and many who have given them incorrect or out-of-date information.

    1. Z Post author

      The solicitor is handling it and the first part has been accepted, so the application has gone in. I know the buyers’ mortgage application has been accepted and the searches are being done, if they haven’t been completed already. I’m not actually sure about the survey, I assumed they’d wait but perhaps not.

      I got a clearance firm in to sort out the garage, workshop and office and the attic. Paul and, I hope, Alex will come to load up what I’m keeping and I’ll get the clearance people back again for the rest. I think widows are treated a bit more kindly than other people, on the whole, it’s been okay, but very complicated.

  3. Scarlet

    I think the paintings without boundaries will be good for you too. Crikey – it’d be good for me – but I’m an uptight prissy calligrapher!

  4. dinahmow

    I’m with Scarlet on letting it go and bugger boundaries! And I’m really (no, I really would have liked to go to a blog party) sorry I shan’t be able to give you a congratulatory hug. I don’t suppose a virtual one is quite the same…
    But bawl into a tea towel if you need to. The sun does keep coming up and we all manage to totter along.
    Hugs and, if it helps, a few tears. xx

  5. Z Post author

    The course is about feeling joy. That ain’t going to happen. I’m unhappy of course, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t be cheerful or positive. I can sometimes choose how I feel.


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