2015, The Last 12 Months

The Last 12 Months

It doesn’t seem like 12 months since we traveled down to Cornwall from Birmingham for a couple of days at the start of 2015. We stayed in the Premier Inn, Hayle and visited my daughter; son-in-law and grandson in St. Ives.   Although moving down to live here had been muted in the past, the discussion had never reached a serious conclusion, probably because of my commitment to the Midland Masters Athletic Club and Bernadette’s work commitments. The subject was raised yet again and was once more put on the back burner.

It all seems a bit vague but when we were traveling back to Birmingham we decided to get the house valued, just to give us some idea how feasible a move would be. For me, the main thing was that Bernadette was happy to move away from all her relatives. Thus we started the ball rolling.

The first decision would be to decide what area we preferred, this was fairly easy as my daughter lived in St. Ives, so we knew that a 5 to 10 mile radius around there would be suitable. I felt that we needed to be within walking distance of all the amenities both from a practical point of view and so that pleasant walks could be undertaken. We therefore started to concentrate on the St. Ives; Carbis Bay and Hayle areas. We searched extensively the well-known property sites on the Internet sometimes spending several hours at a time. Thus we gradually formulated our requirements and priorities, not necessarily in order…..

  • Price range
  • Parking
  • Amenities including shops, health centre
  • No work or projects needed
  • Small garden

These proved to be a useful filter but we often ended up going round in circles. This wasn’t going to be easy!!!

Bernadette’s work as a care assistant on bank hours had ebbed and flowed and she sometimes went days without work, she was not happy, so the decision to move on was easy. Her family was all supportive of any move also. My sister was terminally ill and she also blessed the move and hoped to see the new home, which sadly never came to pass.

But I also had a big decision to make. For nine years I was Secretary and Membership Secretary of the Midland Masters Athletic Club (MMAC) and had spent many hours developing the database to help organise the administrative side of the Club. After being self-taught in the use of Microsoft Access over many months I then found that the governing body of masters athletics, the British Masters Athletic Federation (BMAF) wanted to introduce a standardised system for subscription and competition entries. This made a lot of sense and MMAC became what turned out to be a guinea pig for the project. It proved to be a system under development and needed a lot of my time to make it work for us. Of course, and I admit it, that I was always too fastidious. I wanted to be very efficient and it was becoming to take its toll with personal relationships.

It was time to move on and retire properly. Once that decision was made it was easier to look forward and prepare for the move.

We put the house up for sale and organised viewings through Estate Agents in Penzance/Hayle area. This was achieved with a lot of help from my daughter, Tracy. In February 2015 we traveled to Cornwall for the first viewings. There was one new property that had stood out in our initial searches but it was over budget. We discovered that the asking price had been dropped, bringing it into our budget range and we included it into our list of viewings. Whilst in the middle of these viewings we received a phone call from our Estate Agents in Birmingham to say that we had had an offer on the house. We were now in the stronger position to be able to put in an offer ourselves on anything we liked. In all our discussions we always came back to the property in Hayle that we loved and ticked all our boxes. We therefore put in an offer which after a little bartering, was accepted.

Back in Birmingham we were able to put the wheels in motion and start the process of packing up. We were downsizing and there was a lot of ‘stuff’ that needed disposing of! Then one day we received a call from our solicitor asking to see us. It transpired the new property in Hayle didn’t have a 10 year building certificate and she refused to act for us on the new property. Whilst we were contemplating what course of action to take, we then heard the news that our sale had fell through and we needed to put it back on the market. After speaking to various friends we decided to take further advice from a solicitor that was based in Penzance on the Hayle property, which had in the meantime also been put back on the market. Within a short time we received a more definite offer on the house; we had a better feeling on this one and crossed our fingers.

More property searches ensued and we once more traveled down to Cornwall for more viewings and we also arranged for a second viewing of our original choice. Despite the other viewings we always came back to the property in Hayle and we decided to reaffirm our interest. We made an appointment with the solicitor in Penzance who reassured us that we had nothing to worry about and we decided to proceed with the two solicitors, one in Birmingham and one in Penzance. We were determined that the Hayle property would be ours.

Once more in Birmingham we then had to be patient and wait for all the legal stuff to play itself out, whilst in the meantime we continued with the packing and organising the move. The vendor in Cornwall was getting impatient and we were afraid he would pull out but we all hung in there and eventually contracts were signed and exchanged and it was all go. The move eventually took place on the 10th July.

It is surprising how much has to be arranged when moving house and I found the benefit of creating several spreadsheets to help out. Hopefully the transfer of all the MMAC duties went smoothly and I knew that concentrating on the move was the correct thing and I had to let go of other things.

We have now been living in Cornwall for nearly 6 months and have settled into Cornish life really well. We have had a most enjoyable Christmas, taking in the Christmas lights in Angarrack as well as the pantomime in Truro Dick Whittington

and the Winter Wood by the Rogue Theatre Company in Tehidy Woods, kicking off with a lovely Christmas Lunch on my birthday. New Year’s Eve afternoon saw us in St. Ives for a showing of the new Star Wars. We are trying to walk as much as we can and are discovering lovely walks all the time.

New Year Resolutions…. I never make any but I have promised myself to have a go at painting in watercolours and keeping as active as possible.


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