House-hunting for a friend. Can Doris help?

Not everything in Itchy Ankle has weathered the hard winter

Dear Doris,

I am hoping you may be able to share some insights from the Appleton Marsh real estate market with a friend of mine recently retired from an executive position in London. She worked for the BBC and all that “nation speaking peace onto nation” and educating, informing and entertaining has taken it out of her. Reithian values are all very well, but for non-Presbyterians, they can be taxing. Anyhow, the long and the short of it is that she aspires to something a little quieter and I feel Appleton Marsh would be ideal.

Might you perhaps recommend an estate agent who could help her find something where vicars cycle by, where people are always popping round with scrumpy or clotted cream, and where the beer in the pub is reliably warm? I think she’d really appreciate it.

I would suggest she buys a summer home in Itchy Ankle but, as you can see, the snow has taken its toll on many of our finest properties and besides, she’s fonder of clotted cream and a nice cup of tea than she is of crabs and cold Miller Lite, the staple refreshment in these parts.

I think you’d like her. She loves shopping and has a keen eye both for a bargain and high fashion. Perhaps she could be the first to sign up for a DBLW credit card? She’s also a talented writer so a fashion review in the Cheriton Bishop Courier might not be out of the question.

Talk of fashion brings me to the seasonal subject of Easter Bonnets and a rather excellent photo album another friend from the UK introduced me to this morning on a Facebook fan page for Rocks, Frocks and Cocktails  I assume you have cornered the millinery market in Appleton Marsh and so, at this time of year, it really has to make sense to have both an online and a shop window display showing off your stock.  Select those with wide enough brims and Flo could be your  internet model—no need to see her face.

I bought a rather jaunty chequered fedora while in Puerto Rico but it seems absurdly out of place back here in Itchy Ankle. Sadly, my days in the sunshine are but a fast receding memory. Last night the mercury plummeted below freezing and, as the central heating was still on the blink, I needed a woolly night cap rather more than a sunhat. A burly man came to fix things this morning. Always a pleasure. It was a burned out fan apparently. Well at least something in Itchy Ankle has been living life at full tilt…

 Anyhow, it’s all better now and for less than $300–about 200 of your British pounds.

Stay warm, write soon and have a Happy Easter, Blabs

About Liz Barron

US Peace Corps Volunteer in Armenia. Permanent address in Washington DC. Deep roots in Northern Ireland and persistent Belfast accent. Blogger,cook, mother, grandma, Scrabble-player and enthusiastic world traveler.
This entry was posted in Crone as fashion icon, Crone as Pen Pal, itchy ankle and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to House-hunting for a friend. Can Doris help?

  1. Doris says:

    Dear Blabs,

    I am fit to burst with excitement at the prospect of your friend buying a retirement home in Appleton Marsh. And how exciting to have a celebrity from the Beeb in our midst. We do love our BBC Radio Devon down here and I am especially fond of Tony Beard aka “the Wag from Widecombe” who presents Dartmoor Diary on Saturday lunchtime.

    Estate agents call the area between Tedburn St Mary, Morehampstead and Doddiscombsleigh, “The Golden Triangle” on account of their desirability and short supply. Appleton Marsh is actually outside the Golden Triangle, meaning property in the town is quite affordable yet it is still reasonably desirable and if there were such a thing as a Golden Tetrahedron, we would surely be in it.

    I am by nature a glass three quarters full person and I am sometimes accused of seeing Appleton Marsh through rose tinted spectacles but there is much to commend our little corner of Devon. Warm beer, clotted cream and fudge is only the start of it. We have an active Women’s Institute, a Choral Society (or Choral Soc as we call it), a theatre group (the Appleton Marsh Players) in need of new members and a crown green bowling club. A small circle of friends, myself and Flo included, enjoy infrequent whist drives and Scrabble nights and then there’s the Rialto, the town’s cinema. By and large ours is an aging population; as your friend has only retired it will be nice to have an injection of youth. She should think ahead though, we do have an excellent health centre here in the town and there are generous disabled parking facilities on the High Street.

    You kindly gave a namecheck to DBLW. So many derive comfort from the thought that they don’t have to travel into Exeter to find that special outfit. Tell your friend that DBLW doesn’t have a credit card but we have just introduced a 3% discount and loyalty card. And if she wants to put her writing talents to good use I do need help re-drafting my DBLW Internship advertisement. We tend not to sell hats, they are such a personal thing and, in my experience, people love to try them on but rarely buy.

    Anyhow, back to your friend and the question of a property. I suggest she spends a few weekends in Devon getting a feel for the area before she begins house-hunting in earnest. And when she’s ready, there are several good estate agents I can recommend but, in all honesty, I would begin with the obituaries in the West Country Times; get in before they come to the market is my advice.

    I am so pleased that your central heating is fixed. It has been warmer here of late and, as I type, I am down to one bar on the fire.

    Have a lovely Easter and I shall think you when I’m frenziedly removing all of that unnecessary packaging around my Easter eggs to get at the chocolate.

    With kind thoughts,

    Doris.

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