A tiring day.
Making an early start we drove down to Yeovil: a charming town although clogged with traffic. This resulted in eight candidate houses from the town's collection of estate agents. We dutifully drove through miles of single-tracked country roads in order to eliminate the lot of them.
What was wrong?
- Appearance: the bungalows in our brochure collection reminded me of WW2 nissen huts and actually looking at them redeems them not at all.
- Location: this is the real killer. Many of the houses were OK in themselves, but the estate agent had carefully cut out of shot the derelict house/garage/high-density estate abutting the property. It takes a trip to discover the truth.
- General environment. One or two properties might have been OK if they had not been surrounded by the monotonous sodden fields of the Somerset levels. I know some people like this: we're more hills kind of people.
We did find one picture-postcard village, revealingly called Montacute but the house in question was some way away next to the main road.
Then it was off to Taunton where we arrived into dense traffic at 2 p.m. almost fainting from starvation. Nothing for it but to embrace a Burger King. The things one does!
Then we did the rounds of the local estate agents again - our spiel is now practised and terse - but only two properties survived a brochure review back in the car and they didn't survive the drive-by. Home by 6 p.m. and 210 miles covered.
Lesson learned - properties in a ten miles radius of major regional conurbations are not what we really want. Clare now has a mission to look more in the depths of the country in Dorset and Devon and we shall be off again pretty soon.