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So long Dragons

May 29, 2007

So, 14 months after it went on the market our London apartment has finally sold.

The deal was done at midday today and this afternoon our solicitors transferred enough money to the bank account for us to pay off the mortgage. Since this wasn’t something that we’ve done too often we called the bank, First Direct, to find out the process. They were as efficient as always and assured us that they had things in hand and there was nothing to be done. Sure enough half an hour later the mortgage balances had been reduced to zero – a truly strange moment.

Even though we’ve been out of there for almost a year we’ll miss the place, particularly the dragons.

Dragons

The apartment was converted from an 1860s orphanage for the children of merchant seaman. As such there were a whole series of sea-themed architectural features including, in our apartment, a matched pair of stone dragons. Each of the dragons is eating the end of a twisted rope motif which circled around what was the dining hall. We think that they were there to scare the children into behaving – such was the compassion of Victorian Britain!

Tonight we’re celebrating, and toasting the dragons, with a nice bottle of champagne – none of our usual £1.25 French supermarket tonight! About a month before we finished work Mandy’s GS team came over for dinner. Food was devoured, wine was drunk and fantastic evening was had by all and a few sore heads were felt the next day. The team were kind enough to bring a bottle of Pol Roger that was put to one side.

We decided it would get opened the day the apartment sold, expecting it to be before we left London. When Buyers #1 pulled out that obviously wasn’t going to happen so the bottle was stashed in the car for the drive to Cyprus. When we arrived and rented a house the bottle was put to one side, for when we sold. Buyer #2 came, and then went, and then came back again before asking for a £35k reduction in the price, before going for good. Whilst we had a wobble or two with Buyers #3 we have finally reached an agreement and so this is being typed with the help of a small glass of champagne.

Dragons, we’ll miss you. Providers of the champagne, many thanks and we hope things are good with you :-)

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