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Barmy Blue's Bland Blog

Well Hello Again

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Are these titles a bit too odd for the subject matter?
This is the continuation of my list of things I wanted to tell you but never wrote about at the time. But at least it hasn't been a year. That would probably be 3-5 posts

How am I doing? (don't worry this ties into the estate agents) Annoyed. indifferent. And I still get sad but it only goes as far slightly watery eyes but I'm not sad enough to properly cry. It just takes too much effort and I have to hold onto and keep churning the sadness around to actually start crying. It's just not worth it until I'm actually at a crying level of sadness. It doesn't happen often, even before...everything. Most of the time I don't notice that he doesn't exist anymore. But sometimes a thing comes up and for a split second it's normal and I start thinking I'll have to ask/tell him about this and before I can complete the thought I remember oh, I can't. Well never mind. Either figure it out yourself or move on. I hadn't given THEM much though. Until June I think. SHE got in touch with my Mum and said we need to inform the land registry about the death. That was more complicated than we thought because we needed a number we didn't have so we have to pay to see the more advanced information regarding the house and it will be in there and then we use that to fill in the form. And then right after that she tells my Mum that she was just told that we need to get the house valued for inheritance tax. Now I'd looked this up in March. You don't have to pay inheritance tax if the deceased's estate is 325,000 or less. But since I didn't know anything about my father's financials except that he planned to leave me some money (and because I'm unemployed it's trickier to leave it to me without tax. I thought at the time what does it matter? Just let them have the tax. Since I don't work I don't pay tax and I feel bad about that. And besides I'd rather you NOT die (despite how you've hurt me and don't know it) than have tax free inheritance and I feel displeased that you're also leaving some to HER children too (even though they have their own father to leave them stuff but they don't want anything to do with him (wow you're generation really ****ed up marriage and relationships with your kids didn't you) even though it makes sense you'd leave them something even though I envy the time they had with you that should have been mine and they knew you were shacked up with their mother but I was kept in the dark about it as you can see THAT whole thing does still bother me and I think it always will)) and he owned half of the house that should go straight to my Mum with no issue as his still legal spouse AND joint owner of the house. So there was absolutely no point thinking/worrying about inheritance tax until I had more information. Neither of us is the executor. SHE is. So we had to wait for HER to tell us what to do.
So the house had to be valued because half of it is part of my father's estate. Guess what a rough guestimate of the house is just based on location and rough size.
660,000. HALF OF THE HOUSE IS BASICALLY THE THRESHOLD!!!!!!!
AND it's not his only property. SHE told my mum what we need 2 estate agent valuations and SHE'D been looking around for ones to do them for free (most of them are free, well the bigger companies at least). So we can assume that if SHE needed a valuation too then the bastard either owned or had joint ownership. By the way. This all drives up the overall value of the deceased's estate which means you have to pay MORE. Currently it's 40% of the estate you have to pay. WHY DIDN'T YOU LEAGALLY SEPERATE 20 ****ING YEARS AGO YOU LAZY BASTARD? He did once mention divorce when he was telling mum about him getting his affairs in order and she said why would we get divorced? THIS is why. But I've looked deeper and been able to calm myself but learning that it's the executor's job to pay the tax. Good luck with that "Sharon". Though we will have to pay our percentage to her so she can pay it I'm sure because we shouldn't be petty. But still it's a thought that gives me a twisted pleasure even though it will come back to bite me later. Despite the valuation my Mum SHOULD still get his half of the house tax free but still. It was a lot of bother. Also you have to start paying the tax 6 months after the death even if the estate isn't fully valued. You have a year to have the estate fully valued. So my internet research tells me.
But we still needed a valuation. Which meant strangers had to come and poke around EVERY room in the house so there's no safe place to hide stuff. We had to clean the house. Bearing in mind the the house being embarrassingly untidy is why we stopped letting people come round and that was in my youth. Things have gotten much worse since then and we had a month maybe to get this all done because the 6 months was looming. There was only one option. Shove EVERYTHING that I could in the loft. It's completely wasted space. My father kept his trains up there. I used to play up there on weekends with him. It's a place that had happy memories with him that is UNTAINTED buy "the big ****ing secret conspiracy ****". Putting the first bags up there was oddly painful. But it's not like it was. It's been abandoned for years. It had leaks. A squirrel nested up there, well somewhere in the roof anyway. He moved out all of the stuff he actually wanted and he later on got rid of/traded in those trains and things because they stopped doing that gauge and he moved to a better one (treated his precious trains like he treated his family) so it's not the same as it was when I was little. When my dad told me how to climb a ladder safely and went down before me to protect me if I slipped and I was small enough to crawl under the.....not table...surface? he kind of built legs/supports into the floor all blocky to have the track on top. But still. I was small enough to crawl under. For context I couldn't even SLIDE under it now even if both myself and all surfaces were greased. He had to step over and when I got to big too crawl under I had to put in considerable effort to climb over. Now it was just a minor inconvenience because I was going over with boxes and suitcases and I wondered how I ever fitted under there. It was painful because this is the place I associate most with him and I'll never see him again and that's sad AND because I'd be filling this precious place with bags of crap we don't have time to sort through and throw out. After the first bag it wasn't a problem though and it kind of became a twisted pleasure to fill the space with crap (and VERY precious things I'll never willingly throw away even though I forgot they existed for a decade or so). I'd raised the subject of using the loft for storage once or twice when he was alive and he was adamant it not happen. Fine. It didn't. Until you were dead and couldn't object anymore. It shouldn't be a problem. Normal people store things in their loft. Usually Christmas decorations and precious things like baby stuff for example. That's what normal people do.
I found a bunch of what I call "treasure" it's things I consider precious, some of it actually should be thrown away but it has a memory or a time and I refuse to throw it out. Several times I nearly cried but didn't have the time. There's a bag of toys. I remember them. I haven't seen them for so long (they were buried in the spare room) but they were mine and I played with them and loved them and they were so special to me. It was almost like finding myself, the me I'd forgotten and only vaguely remember, the happy little girl who didn't understand anything, that which I kind of wish to be again (but to do so would probably be the result of a horrific brain injury or something. As much as I idolize and miss my childhood, to actually and realistically go back to it is next to impossible, the closest I can imagine is that a horrific brain injury locks me into a child like mental state and that's not something to wish for). Anyway. It was really hot in the loft. Coming out of it was like stepping into a cool bath. Well not quite that dramatic but the difference was noticeable.
I knew we'd never get it presentable for strangers. If you'd seen it before you'd go wow it's a lot tidier but if you're only just coming to it you'll go wow, these people really need to tidy up/throw stuff out. So yeah. It was never going to be "I'm not embarrassed to show people this" and certainly not in a month. My only aim was for access to all rooms. Particularly the spare room (We haven't been able to actually get into the room for years). I achieved that, just about. I kind of did the kitchen. I found actual rubbish to get rid of AND treasure (most notable was 3 exercise books belonging to my grandmother. 2 had sugar packets she'd collected on her travels (because some of the European ones were very pretty, ours were kind of boring) and odd thing for a diabetic to collect (I don't think she had it at the time) and one very special one she wrote poems in that was a super special find. We have her handwriting, about things that she felt worthy to be written about. You can't say that's not special). Actually the first thing I did was "fix" the bookshelf. It was full of folders that I was told was my dad's old accounts and could be thrown away. But you never know when you'll need a document so is it wise to throw away? so we never did (and it was his stuff, so it was his responsibility to deal with and he never did). They were too big so the top shelf had been taken out. I've studied this bookshelf for years and figured out the missing shelf is just placed on the shelf below, under all the stuff, so all I'd have to do is put that stuff somewhere else and then I can put the shelf back and we can use it for books (I've collected many in recent years and read less than half. We put them in front of the shelf). I've had this plan for maybe a decade or two with varying degrees of planning. In the end I decided to get a box, put the stuff in it and put it somewhere else. I got the box. Didn't use it. Then used it for excess food at Christmas (Yes I know how privileged that sounds and it is) and then I put a pigeon in it last year (do you remember Little Nik?). I cleaned it and then left it because I didn't want to put food in a box that could still have wild bird germs (the internet says to be wary of that). So I got it out, wiped it down with disinfectant again and did what I always planned to. I found some odd things and treasure. I found a bible, with gilded edges claiming to be bound with silk that had been presented to my granddad from the scouts when he was 11 or 12 I think, something like that (It is now in the shelf with the exercise books, both grandparents together). It was a heavy box. I slid it to the spare room. I cleaned the shelf and put it back. I put some books in it but it's quite a bit deeper than the books so I went looking for ornaments. My mum had some in a bucket in her room I recalled so I went looking but didn't look far because I found treasure. Some pictures, cards celebrating my mother's birth that her mother had kept and blank postcards from Israel (I asked and mum doesn't think they went to Israel so I guess someone else gave them to them). I considered my painted fish Yuki broke with her cone a while ago. I glued them back together at last but I didn't think they'd work out. So I raided the mantlepiece. Some of my mum's ornaments got buried behind others. I cleaned them off, put them on the shelf and it looks really good. It somehow looks like they've always been there and it's always looked that way. I'm really proud of it for some reason.

Later on I dug my collection of dragons out from under my bed (which later made space to really pack other stuff under there so that kind of looked neater too. I had books at the front hiding the insanity behind and hopefully making me look at least a little more intelligent) and put them on display (two, Quin and Triad were too big to put anywhere But I thought of a really good spot and the others had been on my windowsill but I worried about them sun fading so put them under my bed with the big boys) It was a shame not to display them. So now they live on a cabinet in a corner with some princesses and a unicorn my mum had over there. Oddly they look like they've always been there too. It's odd but nice.
Mum mostly dealt with her room (the first messy room) My room and the living room were barely touched though. I just reached a stopping point with the whole thing.

When we felt it was acceptable enough we looked for estate agents, eventually found 2 and they came round. I'd already planned things. I figured we should warn them before they came in of 2 things. 1 we have a dog (even though she's not a problem but some people have issues or are allergic) and 2 we're hoarders. Say hoarders rather than the house is in a state or something else ambiguous. Hoarders sets a precedent and if we meet it then they were warned and if we fall short of what they pictured then they'll be relieved. Both parties assured us it wasn't a problem and they'd seen worse. They were nice, professional and friendly. I've never met an estate agent in my life. Well knowingly at least. I assumed they might need to measure the house, hence clearing floor space. I looked up what do estate agents ask? It came up with things like gas/electric, original features, when was it last decorated and size is also needed but they might oversell (in this case round up measurements to make it seem bigger for a bigger sale/commission) and that greatly disturbed me. I have it in my head that it's best if they give us a low valuation because we are not selling willingly (unless perhaps we HAVE to to pay the inheritance tax and I'll die before I let something like that move me out) so I spent a day measuring the walls and drawing out a very rough floor plan for each room and stuck them on the doors with notes I thought might be useful like when it was last decorated, things that had been repaired/replaced etc. The first ones took pictures. The second one didn't need to because he'd done a property down the road and they're all basically done to the same floor plan.
They did value the house at less than 660,000 but still above 600,000 (I'd gotten that figure from an online property checker)
Now. For a valuation the internet said that a chartered surveyor was better (but way more expensive) because they'll actually assess the building as it is rather that it's potential sale value. Estate agents was just quicker.

We sent HER the valuations on a Tuesday or Wednesday I think. She didn't reply until the Sunday and we haven't heard anything since. And after that we did the land registry too.

So that's everything I can think of that you've missed. It's not in as much detail as it would have been if I'd written at the time but now you know at least.

Ok. I planted a raspberry plant last year. It never flowered (because it had to establish) but it did this year. So I harvested it but it was small so I padded it out by harvesting the blackberries that have run rampant in our garden for years, decades at this point. I used to pick them when I was younger but I stopped, it wasn't worth it to get scratched. Then I was leaving them for the birds. They barely eat them so they just rot. So this year I harvest them. Eat some and then they rot. So I made jam. It's really nice and the freshest jam I'll ever eat.

Updated 08-03-2022 at 12:05 AM by Bluebiird

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Comments

  1. Logos's Avatar
    oh Blue more surprise revelations about your dad! it's so unfair.
    I hope you don't have to move ?
    How is Yuki doing today ?
    It was fun to read in a previous blog all the gardening you've been doing, wow! I have NO talent for gardening, I hope you're enjoying some veggies.