Levi Meir Clancy

I’m still waiting …

Time felt slower when we do nothing but wait.

Toba Beta

I have spent the week waiting. Waiting for those in the legal profession. A profession that works to its timetable. And as one might expect from a longstanding trade, it’s a slow timetable.

The first from that profession on which I wait is related to purchasing my new home. It’s a simple transaction. The requisite monies currently reside with my solicitor. The searches are complete, with nothing untoward found. And answers were received for all queries (none came from me). The property I am purchasing is vacant. I know my solicitor is there to protect my interests, and yet ….

What adds to my impatience is that in ‘lodging’ with Sarah, I can see how quickly she is making her new house her home. Every time I enter the front door of her place, I notice another slight change she has made as she settles in. The latest is the fitting of a cat flap to make the cats feel at home. The two have behaved since the move from Wiltshire (as well as two cats that don’t get on can behave). Only in the past few days have they indicated their desire to venture out of doors. They have done so tentatively. Part of Sarah’s decision to buy the house was that she felt it was a ‘cat-friendly’ area. From what I’ve seen, it’s a very cat prolific area. Our two are bound to have to assert their authority over their territory.

It’s nice that Sarah is receiving many ‘welcome to your new home’ cards, but again, it reinforces that this is her new home, not mine. In the future, I hope to receive such a card or two. However, I suspect not in the profusion that Sarah has received.

And minor signs of the upcoming Christmas celebrations also appear around her home. I confess that festival is not on my mind. However, the spirit may descend in a couple of weeks when I hope to be in my new home. Meanwhile, I live my transitory life watching from the touchline as Sarah brings her home to life.

Sarah and I have also waited for the Divorce Court to confirm our legal separation. We started the process in the early summer, and as with my house purchase, granting the separation appeared straightforward. Our parting is amicable (in legal terminology, ‘No fault’). Sarah and I also quickly agreed on a financial arrangement; thus, the two of us naively assumed that making a joint application would promptly move us to a conclusion.

The ease of making our application indeed indicated that. We downloaded the requisite form from the Court website. And completing it took little time. Off we then sent it with the marriage certificate and requisite cheque. Finding the chequebook was the most onerous part of the process.

A week later, our application returned, along with the uncashed cheque. The reason was that we needed to copy some information exactly as written on the marriage certificate. So, that issue resolved off we sent the application again.

A month or so later, we each received in the post a copy of our application with a covering note asking, “are you both sure?”. If we were, then we needed to confirm this separately by email. We both did, by return.

Then we waited. And we waited. After another month, we decided to check where things might stand.

Unlike most other Government departments, the divorce service has a webchat facility. It was through that we discovered that Sarah’s email affirmation of the separation had been ‘lost in the ether’. So, we duly sent it again.

And we waited.

Earlier this week, I was back on the webchat.

The outcome was that Timothy, the person eager to help at the other end of the chat, couldn’t help. He could tell us that the Court in Bury St Edmunds was reviewing the case. Sadly, that Court did not make use of webchat. Nor did it have a telephone helpline, and to quote Timothy, they do not respond to emails. Instead, he advised that the best way of finding out where things stood was to send a letter by recorded delivery. At least that was one up from a request written on vellum in gothic script with a quill.

Is it me, or are all Government departments slowly slipping into the pre-electronic age? Indeed, my recent correspondence with HMRC has been by good old-fashioned letter as other means weren’t bearing fruit.

So, I wait, and as any regular reader knows, I hate waiting. As long as, unlike Godot, my house purchase and the separation agreement eventually turn up…

……. breaking news …. the contract is in the post …. ummmm when does the postal strike end ….

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