Calling all experts…

…I am of course referring to all those who profess to be authorities on any number of varied subjects. This week has seen a plethora of opinions being voiced, from the big, pointy, embroidered hat gang (I admit that I am para-phrasing one of my comedic heroes, Dave Allen), who ‘lead’ the Church of England, postulating and hand-wringing about the state of the nation and how the world would be a better place if we all tick the red box on 7 May ( when it comes to being inspired and following a leader, I wouldn’t follow that lot out of a burning building), to the doyen of the Dog and Duck who offers his knowledge and judgement-at no cost to the recipient-without having even been asked (generous soul that he is).
We completed on a sale on Friday, with the vendors having dropped the keys off at the office the previous evening. We received the release call and our happy purchasers went to their new home only for them to ring us 20 minutes later to tell us that the house was still full of the previous owners’ chattels. Having tracked the sellers down to the local hostelry (ironic it has to be acknowledged), we asked them why they had not emptied the house prior to completion. We were told that after they had finished their round (at 10 o’clock in the morning-I think that they had adopted the Jimmy Buffet line of “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere”), they would mosey on down to collect their belongings and anyway, their mate had said that, “There’s nothing the buyer can do anyway”. Really? How about how on legal completion the buyer keeps all the contents of the house that he has bought, which, unless specifically stipulated in the contract are now technically, legally, you can do £&@! all about it, his?
Similar misguided and misplaced prowess was also in evidence when I visited a property that we had recently sold to a couple who were first time buyers. In the course of facilitating their purchase they had asked me what sort of upgrading it required and at at what cost. Interior design is wholly a matter of personal taste (yes, I have seen leopard print velour outside of an establishment where they charge by the hour), but the precept is that if one is spending £100 a metre on ceramic wall tiles for the bathroom, then it is advisable to spend £50 on the tiles and £50 on the tradesman to fit them. Furthermore, the old adage that, “If you can pee, you can paint” is limited in its scope. Yes, we can all paint, but very few of us can paint well. Spending a month’s wages on Farrow and Ball paint to do it yourself invariably results in a blatantly amateur attempt, as opposed to a professional decorator making a great job with the home decor store’s own brand. Back to our FTBs’ abode: I had had detailed reports of the chosen Italian bathroom tiles, (hand carved by Sicilian virgins etc.), only to enter the bathroom to utter OMFG/FFS/WTF (get me with my SMS speak). It appeared that Stevie Wonder had been moonlighting as a trainee tile fitter. When asked who was responsible for the work, I was informed that Uncle Dave had offered his skills. And what does Uncle Dave do for a living? He delivers parcels. Well I hope that he can drive better than he tiles. Apparently the exchange for his labour was “buy him a drink”. I predict that this may be a very expensive round.