My last 6 months summarised…

I’ve been very lapse lately in all departments. Cycling, blogging, food management, but more importantly being a good Dad and attempting to be a good husband.

There are lots of reasons for that, none of them an excuse though.

I’ll talk about the peripheries first.


We have major issues with a piece of our kit which is causing all kinds of problems. Without going into boring details, people that should know better didn’t follow basic change management principles and shipped an untested part from a supplier to our customers. This has caused/is causing nationwide dramas in our largest customer’s mobile work force.

Guess who is having to fire fight and solve it? Yep you guessed it, the poor sap who manages the maintenance & warranty department. The fact that it was one of my engineers who originally discovered the change on a service call tells you all need to know about the magnitude of the fuck up by others. We are a small company who relies on excellent customer service and innovative engineering and IT solutions for our good name and sales. This is all my MD cares about at the moment and rightly so, what caused the fuck up (of which I know exactly what did due to my manufacturing background) is taking a back seat and I’m left holding the baby to solve. And due to us being a small company, my resource is limited and I’m desperately trying to service our other customers and deal with this deluge of issues too. Not good. Extra hours for me and my boys then, only they get paid overtime!


This is my passion as you know. On top of my existing responsibilities in the club, I’ve been given the task of setting up and running a new U19s team using our existing youth teams. Sounds easy. It isn’t. There are a myriad of personalities, agendas and politics to navigate before you even begin to start. Diplomacy isn’t something I’m good at. I’m never deliberately offensive, but I tend to say things as they are and tough if you don’t like the truth. I’m not looking forward to this at all. Add on the fact I’ve been approached to head up the forwards in the Greater Birmingham set up and carry on with the North Mids School of Rugby then you can see that I’m very busy on the rugby front.

Home, ah home, now here’s where Stress City is really happening.

Over the past few years we have been attempting to move house on and off. Obviously wifey is driving this as all blokes will tell you that they really ain’t that bothered where they live within reason, so just crack on and do it.

There are a few reasons why she wants to move, the main one is to be closer to her Mum who isn’t coping too well after the loss of Wifey’s Dad 5 years ago to illness. That’s fair enough. There are other reasons, all valid, but I’m conscious of my reader’s terminal boredom.

So just before Christmas our house went on the market again and we waited. In February we had a viewing and this family decided that they wanted it and were ready to go immediately. Good news. Luckily in Mum in Law’s location there are very few options for us so we found our house the same day and got the offer accepted and after a bit of negotiation we got a fair price for our house. Mortgage arranged, solicitors instructed. So in about 6 weeks we expected to exchange contracts and complete as our buyers were ready too.

We waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Come April I chased our buyer who told us he was ready to go immediately, then discovered that his buyer was on holiday.

We waited.

Then I discovered that his buyer had decided to change mortgage companies for a better rate.

We waited.

Then I discovered that his buyer was having “solicitor troubles” whatever that is.

We waitied.

Then I discovered that his buyer was having trouble getting the funds released from their bank due to “technical difficulties”.

We waitied.

Then it transpired that his buyer had been refused a mortgage, but that doesn’t matter as he has 2 other buyers waiting in the wings.

We waited.

By this point the people who owned the house we were buying started to threaten us with pulling out of the sale understandably. We have only one option in Mum in Law’s location, if they pull out then we’re screwed. More stress.

We waited.

During all this time our vendor’s estate agents were constantly on at us every day by phone for updates and putting severe pressure on us to get things moving. Us!!!??? What the f*** can we do??? We have no control over our buyer’s sale, as I pointed out in no uncertain terms to them and to their office manager.

We waited.

We waited.

Then our buyer said his original buyer was going for another mortgage. I suppose I’m lucky in as much wifey did 25 years in the finance industry as an Independent Financial Advisor and a mortgage consultant . (Wifey is no longer working in her industry as it nearly killed her and our family. Which means money is tight as I’m the only breadwinner, but at least if it wasn’t for the house thing I have the girl I married back).

So wifey knows the process better than most folks. She told me that his buyer will never get another mortgage in a month of Sunday’s as they have been refused once, their credit footprint was now too visible (whatever that means) and given the economic climate with the banks reluctant to issue mortgages they were knackered.

I told this to our buyer and with all due respect to him, I always suspected he didn’t understand the process and this just proved it as he said he was going to continue to sell to the buyer who had mortgage difficulties. Nothing like banging your head against brick wall then. But he wouldn’t listen to me. I didn’t doubt he was serious about buying our house, as he has moved his kids into schools by us. Which means a school run of 250 miles a week for his Mrs!

All the while this was going on, our home life was disintegrating. As I’ve said before, I can cope with external pressures, it’s wifey’s reaction to all of this that I struggle with. It’s been a terrible, terrible, truly awful 6 months for us.

Our situation as it stands now is that I have negotiated with the owners of the house we are after and they have agreed to wait a further 8 weeks for us to sell ours.

We have left our estate agents, kicked our original buyer into touch and gone with a company who sells properties to investors and their selling timescales are 6 to 7 weeks. They seem very confident they can achieve this are very relaxed about it and even said they see no reason they can’t get us a better selling price! Whatever they say this is last chance saloon. But the irony is that this has calmed family life down. Hopefully wifey will regain an even keel because of this.

Wifey has decided that if this doesn’t work we’re staying put and cracking on. I personally don’t care where we live. I like where we are now as does wifey. Living by Mum in Law wouldn’t bother me either, it’s a nice area and we get on great, I just want an end to this. Which will be the middle of August one way or another. We’ve been living out of boxes since March, our house is quite clearly prepped for moving and getting in and out of the garage where my bikes are is nigh on impossible.

So that’s been my life for the past 6 months. I haven’t stood on the scales since April or been doing my upper body stuff. Food has been iffy, but not stupid I’m quite proud to say, but my beer intake has risen.  All of this will change as of Monday when I re-start yet again and do what I’m meant to be doing.  So much for Thinking Clearly Under Pressure, doing the right thing under all circumstances and cracking on. It also makes my 3 stones loss for the year target a bit problematic, but I’ll still go for it.

To summarise the last 6 months: crap at work, crap at home, crap at rugby, my dog being put down, trying to move house, a crash on my bike, beer intake up, food management iffy and my cycle to work scheme being pulled.

But to end on a positive, I’ve still kept on with my pedalling.


6 responses to “My last 6 months summarised…

  1. Did the pedalling help control the stress? Sorry to hear about your trials and tribulations, and I hope they will be resolved asap. Cheers. By the way how long did it take you to type such a mammoth post? If I’d done it, we’d be talking several hours.

  2. Brilliant to read that you are getting back on track but very sad to read of the troubles, I hope all gets sorted for you asap. Best of luck!

  3. You have my deepest sympathy on the engineering front. I’m having an issue with a well- known German electronics company and their Mexican factory’s friday-afternoon manufacturing efforts.

    On the housing front, I’m lucky enough to have given up on the hope of owning a house. Too expensive, forever renting. At least when you move in, when you want to stick up a piccie you won’t have to ask for written permission.

    Chin up fella, it’ll all come good in the end.

  4. “To be a man is to behave with honor and dignity, to not succumb to suffering, to accept one’s duty without complaint, and most importantly, to display a maximum of self-control. ” By the sound of things, I believe Hemingway would be pleased by your efforts!

    The work problem is an opportunity for you to shine. Management understands you didn’t cause the problem and also understands that only you can fix it. That’s a good position to be in.

    Having managed or coached 20 youth baseball teams in 15 years, I can tell you that drama comes with the job. Youth sports would be simply fantastic if the parents could be removed. Sadly, they cannot, so simply focus on the positives and deal with the inevitable drama when it arrives.

    Selling a home is the biggest financial transaction most of us will ever make. That you’re dealing with incompetence with your buyer only makes it worse. I’m glad to see you and your wife are prepared to accept the results of this final attempt at selling. That should be a certain amount of calm.

    And CONGRATULATIONS on staying on your bike. Well done!

  5. Thanks gentlemen.

    @Welshie, for whatever reason and much to my surprise, writing comes fairly easily to me. This effort didn’t take too long. Maybe 20 – 30 minutes.

  6. Clive –

    I’m not at the moment trying to sell my home. The thought terrifies me for most of the reasons you noted here.

    But otherwise it’s so easy for any of us to recognize our selves bowled over by similar challenges in life and reacting to it with much less grace than you appear to be. If the tech world finally grows too weary, you’ll have a future writing as the voice of the everyman, you tell our stories well.

    I won’t re-hash Steve’s points, he’s already stated them quite clearly; he’s spot on.

    I look forward to reading the resolutions as they unfold this summer.

    Best to you and your family.


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