Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Sun, sea and very good news

I can't believe what an eventful holiday this is. The big news now is that contracts have been exchanged on the Cottage - that was yesterday afternoon - with completion on 6 September! Wow, that all happened damned quickly: the buyers clearly wanted the place badly. Well, they're getting a fine property at a knock-down price, and buying when the market is low. Eventually they'll make a good profit on resale. They're probably very glad to get their cash into bricks and mortar, the way the stock markets are just now!

As for myself, I'm very, very relieved that after four years of trying, the Cottage is sold, and will be off my hands. I won't make much from the sale - after costs and the loan repayment I may walk away with just £1,500. Which means that I've lost a small fortune forever - £200,000, which I actually had in the bank in 2007. Imagine what I could have accomplished with that money in the years ahead. But it's just another indirect cost of transition. If you add this huge loss to my more conventional transition costs (see 'Counting the Transition Costs' on 17 June 2011), and lump in the net cost of Fiona (which some will say represented the ultimate tranny accessory), my transition outlay approaches £280,000. Phew.

Well, you can't say I have come out of it smelling of roses. Not from a financial standpoint. And remember too that I lost my partner, both parents, and a slew of other people in the process. In all a devastating experience, and enough to make me cry if I think on it too much. But I try not to. I'm still here and functioning, and life has to go on. And life can be so enjoyable if you embrace it. So I'm counting my blessings and putting these disasters behind me.

By the way, I've been to Kentisbeare (my annual pilgrimage to Dad's boyhood village), Lydford Gorge (a deep gash on the west side of Dartmoor with a famous waterfall), Bude (sunshine and surf), and actually made it down to Blackchurch Rock (in the sunset).

Bude was yesterday. A perfect day. The wide beaches were packed with families enjoying the sun, as was the shoreline. I paddled up to my knees as the gentle waves rolled in. I felt so happy. I saw the children fishing and frolicking, and almost for the first time in my life felt truly carefree. It must have shown on my face: more than one person smiled at me and one chap, there with his entire family, shared a conversation with me.

I floated back into town, and had tea and cake in the Ocean View Cafe at Wroes, Bude's department store (it's no John Lewis, but it's a proper modern store, with a sophisticated feel, and a rather strange thing to find in a remote Atlantic resort). That's where I got the news about the Cottage. I felt strange and dazed and tearful as the news sunk in. I bought an aqua-coloured fleece-lined rain jacket as a momento of the occasion. I really didn't want to leave Wroes, this house of good luck. But eventually I went back to where I'd parked Fiona, told her the fantastic news (well, I speak to my car! Don't you?), and drove to Marhamchurch, and had a celebratory double gin and tonic, with a steak, at the Buller's Arms Hotel.

The evening light was good. Good enough to top everything with a strenuous walk down to Blackchurch Rock. I drove to Brownham, put on my boots, and set forth as the sunset developed. More on this, with pictures of the extraordinary Rock, once I'm home again.

What a day.

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