We’ve decided not to move after all.

Two factors contributed to this: the first is that my idea of returning to work part-time is not being welcomed by my boss. I would understand that if the team was based in London, but the extra travel brought on by the team moving to Kent means that I wouldn’t get home until around 7.30-8pm every evening. Ceej goes to bed around 8pm. I’d see her off in the mornings with her dad, and then perhaps get a glimpse of her before she goes to bed. I can’t do that.

I suggested maybe shaving two hours off my working day to account for the extra travel, but the team don’t like that either. I have my theories about why they don’t like it, but I can’t discuss them in public. So, the union advises that we lodge a formal grievance. That’s extra stress that you don’t need when you’re buying a house, believe me.

Then on top of that, the buyers decided to pull out of the deal. After they’d done a survey and everything. Well, at least we know the place is definitely worth what they were going to pay for it, and we know what’s wrong with it, so we can try to fix those things in the meantime.

With unemployment looming, Mr P and I did our sums and worked out that, while we could just about afford the new place, it needed so much work doing to it that it wouldn’t be a nice place to live for a long time. And it looks like interest rates are going up, and prices are going down, so our finances would be too precarious.

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