Unprocessed film and news from my recent consultation

The fact that there was still an unprocessed film from my week in Cornwall at the end of June is testament to the amount of pleasure I am getting out of my photography at the moment. I am hoping that a forthcoming visit to France and Istanbul will get the creative juices flowing again.

However, given a very rainy Bank Holiday Monday, I finally got round to processing the film. Not very successful, I have to say – the processing was fine, it’s what I found when I’d done it that was a bit of a disappointment. I managed to scrape together a couple of shots from the roll, so I thought that I might as well put them on here.

The first shot is of Mevagissey. I am pretty sure that there’s a colour one from there on posts from June, but this is obviously a black and white version. The colour is better, since it’s a colourful place, but never mind that.

Mevagissey

The second is from Port Isaac on a day which probably gave us the worst weather of the holiday. Either heavy rain or horribly overcast. But, beggars can’t be choosers and it’s too far just to pop down to take advantage of good weather.

Port-Isaac

Since my last post, I have been to see my consultant for a regular 4 monthly check-up. 

He has slightly changed his story with regards to what he could see on the CT scan from last year, but it doesn’t materially change anything particularly. He does want to do another scan in December and will send me an appointment nearer the time. He is proposing to do further scans “over the next few years” and then stop doing them until he thinks it necessary again. These series of scans will be used to act as benchmarks against which future, but not so frequent, scans will be assessed.

This is a good thing for a few reasons, but mostly because he obviously expects me to still be alive in a few years after he has done the series of annual scans.

I asked him about “remission” (or “partial remission” in my case) and when that would normally be measured from. This is from the end of the chemotherapy that has caused the disease to shrink. It ignores the maintenance, because that is intended to just increase the remission period. That said, he suggested that there is some evidence to say that the Rituximab maintenance can also continue to shrink the disease during that period. So that’s also good news.

What this means is that I have now been in “partial remission” for four years and with no sign of the disease returning at the moment, this is another successful visit over and done with.

Steady as she goes, once again. Keep on watching – and waiting…

Thoughts on putting the house on the market …

So, after umming and ahing for probably years, we have finally done it. The house is on the market as of this week. It has been tidied within an inch of its life, the photos have been taken by the agent and the details are on his website, as well as RightMove, Zoopla and PrimeLocation. Anyone who knows where I live can see the details for yourselves, if you fancy having a look into my utility room…

Having made this step, it’s an interesting and slightly un-nerving position to be in. I’d forgotten what it’s like, as it’s over 21 years since we moved into this house. Last time, of course, there was no internet, so anyone wanting to buy a house had a much more difficult task obtaining details. Nowadays, the on-line details are more comprehensive than the printed ones as well as easier to get.

The prompt for finally biting the bullet was the sale of a very similar house next door. The owner had told us that he wasn’t in any particular hurry to move and would hold out for his asking price. Although I don’t know what he actually got for it, I can only assume that he was doing just that. Our house, which is arguably a better layout than theirs should therefore be worth at least a similar amount of money. But there is a snag – Stamp Duty.

The threshold for the change from 1% Stamp Duty to 3% is £250,000. No one in their right mind pays £251,000 for a house, or even £255,000. The Stamp Duty would be 3x on the whole sale (it’s not only charged on the marginal amount). This means that if there is a gentle rise in the housing market, properties stop rising at £249,999. There is a large gap between there and when it is actually worth pricing above the £250,000 threshold (about £280,000 seems to be it). Consequently, there is no option for benefiting from rising prices (if there ever is one) until the inflation has been long enough to add that extra £30,000. That could easily be a year or two in this part of the country.

Ours is on the market at £249,950 and for that you get quite a lot for your money.

So, where to move to?

We seem to have settled on two options. Firstly, an area of South Lancashire around the village of Croston, which is a few miles west of the M6 Junction 27. This is a nice part of the county that is very quiet and not on any major through routes etc. and about 32 miles from the office.

Secondly, Cheshire, south of the M56 Junction 10/11. This is closer at around 26 miles, and a nice area, provided you steer clear of the salt mines and the chemical works on the Weaver. The advantage of this location is that we would not need to sacrifice one of our salaries.

In both locations we can find what look like decent, two bed cottages for substantially less than our house might fetch and the idea of downsizing, getting closer to the office and reducing the mortgage all at the same time could be realised. Let’s get ours sold first and then we can see what’s available at that time. Will give it 6 months and then think about whether to carry on.

The question has to be asked as to how I feel about selling this house.

Having spent about 40% of my entire life in this house, it will be odd not living here any more. We like the village, despite the weekend crowds eating their ice cream and it was very handy for working in Liverpool. But now the children have both been gone for years. It’s been 12 years since I started working in Manchester and I have done getting on for half a million miles in the car in that time. Previous posts have worked out how much I might save in just cash terms if I were to move 20 miles closer to the office (which both of the above options do). And last night, I took a short detour off at J10 to drive past one of the candidates, and as I got back on the motorway for that last half hour drive to home, that is when it struck me that there would be benefits in other ways too.

I am sure it will be an emotional day if we do manage to move, but this does make a lot of sense in so many ways that I am sure this is the right thing to do.

And Wednesday brings another four-monthly check up at The Christies. I don’t think anything has changed since April, but let’s see what the man says and see if he still wants to do another CT at Christmas.