So, last Saturday, we had a house viewing. It was the couple who booked to view about four weeks ago and failed to turn up. They also failed to tell the estate agent so they couldn't tell us so we sat in the house twiddling our thumbs.
They were 20 minutes late for this appointment - 'Took us a while to get through town. Traffic was bad,' they said.
'Traffic? In town? On a Saturday?? Who'd have thought it???' I was very inclined to mutter but didn't because, well, they might not know the area. Instead, I said, 'Did you travel very far?'
No, it turned out. A small village about twenty minutes drive away. Where they had lived for 11 years. I was already not liking these people, and especially the woman of the pair because a) her mobile phone kept going off and b) she appeared to be wearing some kind of dead rabbit fur boots.
And Pandora didn't like them either (the people, not the boots), which is unusual because Pandora is a bit of a tart when it comes to visitors. But she shot off as soon as she clapped eyes on them, and I wished I could do the same.
Anyway, we showed them around and listened to a variety of stupid comments about boilers punctuated with her answering her mobile phone and having shouty conversations with someone who was apparently her son.
And then we listened to her going on about how they were putting their own house on the market on Monday; that they didn't want to start selling their house too soon because it was 'in such a popular area' and therefore would sell 'very quickly' and they wanted to find somewhere to move to before their 'very popular' type of house sold 'very quickly,' and by now I was thinking, I hope your feffing house sits on the market for years and years and you end up selling it for £3.50. Now get out of my home, and take your tatty rabbit fur boots with you. And get off your stupid mobile phone, you social incompetent.
Which wasn't very charitable, and went immediately against my New Year Resolution to be more patient and kind with irritating people, but there you go - I am human and these people enraged me to the point or irrationality.
I had already made up my mind that I didn't want these people to have our house, and if they wanted it that badly they would have to pay handsomely for it i.e at least half a million of our fine English pounds. And if they did pay that, it would just confirm their idiocy, but Andy and I would be laughing all the way to a smallholding in the countryside.
But they didn't want the house. They liked the house, but it wasn't in the right area and the garden was too small, circumstances both beyond our control. And I can't say I was disappointed, because I wasn't.
Anyway, three days later, I noticed Pandora was behaving rather strangely. More strangely than usual. She'd be sitting on my lap, or on the back of the sofa, or in the windowsill, and then she would suddenly jump, and shoot off like a crazy thing...
'...like she's been bitten by something,' I said, when reporting the Pandora strangeness to Andy, because he is the vet and knows about peculiar animals.
Well, Andy did exactly the same. He jumped up from his man-chair, in which he had been reclining, shot off into the kitchen, and then returned, stood in the doorway, hands on hips, and announced in a flamboyant and dramatic way...
'Fleas! We have got fleas in the house!'
'What??' said I. 'How?'
'I've just checked Phoebe, and she's got flea-dirt on her,' said Andy. 'I expect she picked them up when I took her in for her operation.'
Well, I don't believe this for one moment. For one, Phoebe had her operation a month ago and nothing flea-ish had been noted before. And for two, she'd been in for two other operations last year and ne'er a flea in sight. And for three, I was thinking, 'Rabbit fur boots.' In fact, I said. 'Rabbit fur boots. It was those bl**dy boots that bl**dy woman was wearing.' And for four...well. nothing...but it sounded funny as I was writing it.
Andy conceded the boots could have been a flea carrier. 'I'll bring home some treatment for the cats and the carpets tomorrow,' he said, and then he sighed a bit because I was in full fuming rant about people not arriving for viewings, then arriving late for viewings, then getting all hoity-toity and pretentious about selling their house quickly and then spreading fleas around via the media of manky rabbit fur boots.
Yesterday, the cats were flea-treated, which meant Tybalt and Pandora didn't speak to me for at least three hours afterwards as I had to pin them down while Andy did the deed. And before we went to bed, Andy sprayed all the carpets with some insecticide stuff which I thought smelled okay, but when I got up for a loo visit in the wee small hours (note to self - STOP DRINKING A PINT OF ICED WATER HALF AN HOUR BEFORE BEDTIME, YOU IDIOT) decided it smelled bloomin' awful and gave me a sore throat.
And the moral of this story - 'Big visitors in rabbit fur boots may leave you with little visitors too tiny to shoot.'