Reynolds Space

19 March 2007

Isabella's Christening

The weather has been crazy the past few days. There was a bit of a blizzard all day on Sunday. We braved the weather, put on our Sunday best and headed down to St Peter's. We made the tail end of mass and waited around for about 10 minutes on the Masons arriving for the Christening. I then decided to look at the last text Jacqui sent me and realised that the Christening was actually at St Mary's. I probably shouldn't have used the language I did on the way out of the church... we just about made it to the right church. I felt like such an idiot. Anyway, the Christening was lovely and Isabella was an angel in her gown and didn't even make a sound when she was babtised. Here's Jacqui, Isabella, Father Scanlon with Lee (the godfather) and Sheenagh (godmother and Jacqui's sister).

I couldn't pass up a chance to get a picture with the litte princess- who's doing great, by the way, weighing over 11lbs.

London 11 -14 March

I was in London for another conference early last week. I took the opportunity to head over a bit earlier on Sunday to catch up with my friend Linda. It was a beautiful few days in London with the temperature reaching 18 c (65 f), but it felt a lot warmer in the sun. We took the opportunity to head down to the park by my hotel in Kensington.

The park was full of people- children playing, families walking about- everyone was in such a good mood. There are a few man made lakes throughout the park and beautiful swans swimming about.

We walked a good 6 miles all around Kensington, Queensway and Bayswater. I was absolutely knackered by the end of the day!
The conference went as expected, although for much of it I was making phone calls back to the Belfast office. This new job is a bit mental. I've never been in a role that is so busy all of the time. I'm struggling a bit to keep my sanity and not get totally stressed out. Anyway, on the Tuesday night there was a big gala dinner and awards ceremony. There were another 3 colleagues that attended and we met up in the windows bar atop the Hilton on Park Lane- awesome panoramic views of London. I didn't want to be too much of a tourist so I didn't get any pictures of the city. I finally broke my 3 1/2 month stint off alcohol and opted for a glass of Chablis at £9 a pop- and that was the cheapest glass of wine on the menu! The dinner went well and the awards ceremony was enjoyable. I had a few glasses of champagne and look a bit tipsy in these pictures... Here's me with Catherine, one of my colleagues from Belfast.
Catherine and I with Anna, one of the conference organisers. She was from their German office and the more champange she drank, the worse her english got. It was impossible to understand what she was saying come the end of the night.

03 March 2007

We got it!

This is just a quick post to say... we got our new house in Mount Eagles. Well, sort of. We met with the building contractors and were offered 2 sites
  1. 3 Bedroom with garage, but a really small back garden and no scope for expansion
  2. 3 Bedroom without garage, but plenty of space at the side to build one and the biggest back garden on the street

We decided on the 2nd option. There was a difference in price £22K for the garage- and I'm sure we could get a garage, or extension built for less than that. When we have a family, the back garden and opportunity to expand the house will be essential. So in the long run, we can save money now and have more later.

So, our name is down on site 466, but we haven't signed any contracts. Since we're the 2nd release this year, we have to wait for another 2-3 months to confirm the price, put the deposit down and sign our contracts- but it's as good as ours. We don't think it should rise by more than £10K in the next 3 months, but nothing is ever guaranteed. We're staying optimistic and hope to be in our new home by Christmas.

So where does that leave us with the sale of our house? Well, we no longer need to leave soon, in fact, we will probably want to hold off as long as possible. It's not as popular a time of year to sell a house. It's cold outside and the days are still dark. We should have more interest in the months coming up to the summer. We haven't had any offers on the house yet- or any viewers, but we only officially signed the papers for the estate agents to sell the house on Monday... so it's early days. It took us 4 months to complete on this house, so we're probably better waiting until the summer (say June/July) to confirm any sale with a buyer. It's still a sellers market over here and people are desperate to get on the housing ladder. So, we're really positive about our ability to get top dollar (well pound) for our house.

Although I have some of the plans for the house, we're going to do a lot of changing to the internal layout to facilitate adding on an extension either during building or in another year or two. Just to give you a taster... entrance hall, downstairs half bathroom, kitchen to the front with french doors to the open plan living/dining room to the rear and french doors to the back garden. Upstairs it's 2 spare bedrooms, family bathroom with separate shower and the master bedroom with ensuite shower room. There is a lovely juliet balcony with french doors in the master bedroom. We're so excited!!!

I'll post the pictures of the plans soon.