I'm so glad that Jill and Stan have finally sorted out their new house. They tell me the contracts have been exchanged,
so it should be plain sailing from now on. I must say, looking through the property pages of the local newspaper, that
if ever there was a right time to buy a house, then this is it. Hugh was only remarking a few weeks ago that the lull
in house prices simply can't go on for much longer, so any purchase made now should turn out to be a real investment later
Sheila and Roy, however, seem to be going through the wars. I suspect that they made the same mistake so many people
make. That is to fall in love with a house and go full steam ahead with the purchase before really checking whether
or not they can afford the outlay. Somehow, when you're buying property, there are so many extra 'hidden' expenses.
If you've forgotten to take into account estate agent's bills, solicitor's fees, removal costs and so on, then you'll soon
be in for a rude awakening.
I'm sorry that I wrong about Ed Lawton being able to extend his bank loan. Still, everything looks a lot healthier
on the market garden horizon now, despite the difficulties Ed seems to be having with John Sackville on the neighbouring farm.
If what I hear about the lettuce trampling is true, then I'd say it was time for some very straight talking. The lengths
to which some people will go in order to get what they want astounds me. Sometimes I wonder just what is happening with
Bennie is still worrying me a little. I'm not too sure it's altogether a good idea to go looking for lost parents.
I know it sounds silly, but you never do quite know what you're going to find and all too often, situations turn out to be
very sticky indeed. Thankfully, Bennie seems to have landed bang on his feet, what with the thousand pounds and the
cottage. But sometimes it doesn't always work out like that. Many a dream has been shattered when the truth was
finally revealed and many a long-lost parent has rejected an unwanted offspring almost totally out of hand. There are
times when ignorance really is bliss.
While driving through the countryside, the saddest sight of all these days must be the vanishing population of elm trees.
Dutch elm disease is the culprit, a nasty little beetle that gets into the roots and then simply cuts off the food supply.
There just isn't any cure and one by one, the mighty elms have been dropping like flies. David tells me the population
around here in fact isn't anything like as bad as further south, where in places there is hardly an English elm left standing.
I expect in the end that nature will redress the balance and David assures me there are more resistant strains being planted
right now. I still regard, though, the loss of those friendly giants as a real tragedy.