Magazine article The Spectator

Real Life: Melissa Kite

Magazine article The Spectator

Real Life: Melissa Kite

Article excerpt

A gentleman on Twitter 'writes' to say I'm boring him with my house move. 'Snooze-fest', says this chap, and he posts a little yellow unhappy face or 'emoticon', which passes for articulate on Twitter.

I've never heard of this fellow, although it is likely he is some kind of pundit with followers in the blogosphere who rely on him to tell them what is boring and what is not.

I suspect I'm not alone in not knowing who he is, and that no one, including his own mother, has heard of him and that this being Twitter it is entirely likely he has not even heard of himself.

However, I am consumer orientated. I take customer satisfaction extremely seriously and the last thing I want to do is dismiss one complaint just because it's from an embittered failed author sitting in his underpants in his back bedroom (for example).

I want to address it and make recompense. As such, this week's offering -- which I'm calling The One Where I Manage To Lose £100,000 -- is for you, Mr Unsmiley Face.

My mortgage funds have gone missing because of an administrative blooper.

After last week's 'boring' column, in which I told you how my house sale and purchase had hit the buffers because the owner of my dream cottage in the country pulled out of exchange of contracts without warning three days before moving day, I had to start unravelling everything.

I cancelled my removals, restarted the gas and electric, tried to uncancel the possibly only half-cancelled Sky (which obviously failed) and opened a new Thames Water account because the Thames Water computer didn't have a button to press for 'deranged woman not moving house any more'. Incidentally, British Gas did have such a button and it worked beautifully. I cannot praise them highly enough for their ability to cope with utter madness.

Things then got a good deal worse. The next day, my solicitor rang to inform me that, as we had been hours from exchange on Thursday afternoon, with completion scheduled for the following Monday morning, he had sent for my mortgage funds, in order to be ready, and they had arrived Friday morning, hours after the seller refused to exchange.

Therefore, he had had to return them. The money should have arrived back with the Woolwich on Monday, but because the owner of my purchase property then decided on Friday afternoon that he wanted to exchange after all, on Monday, I needed the funds back almost as quickly as my solicitor returned them. …

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