We were happily enjoying a cup of tea/coffee this morning, when Mirinda found a house on her favourite iPhone app and asked me what I thought. Now, this is a trap I generally do NOT fall into but she caught me at a weak moment. I said something like “Yeah, it looks good. Maybe we should go and look at it.”
Of course I meant sometime in the next 10-12 weeks but Mirinda, realising her fish was well and truly hooked, picked up the telephone and booked an appointment to see it in an hour and a half’s time. We quickly dressed, grabbed Linda and dashed away. It didn’t take long to figure out we could have left it for a good deal longer before leaving as the distance wasn’t that great.
The house is in a place called Effingham, named after the Saxon chap Aeffing, who built his house (‘ham’) there, making it ‘Aeffing-ham’ or ‘Aeffing’s house’. Like all these Saxon words, they have gradually changed over the centuries in order for the stupid among us to spell them easily.
Effingham isn’t really known for very much (Aeffing’s house having long since vanished) except for the rather expensive school there. The Howard of Effingham School is so named after the Second Lord Howard of Effingham who, under Lizzie I led the brave defeat of the Spanish Armada back in 1588. I say ‘led’…he was the Lord High Admiral of the Navy so not really a fighting man, I’m thinking. Sort of like Churchill – lead them as far as the coast then command from the back.
Anyway, old Howard was a pretty important chap during Elizabeth and James I’s reigns and so they named a school after him. And gave it a funny name. Go figure.
The other thing about Effingham, is its proximity to where we lived when we first started to settle in England (after the horrid time we had in Camberley). For just up the road and round the corner is East Horsley, the scene of many happy days…ignoring the regular trips to the laundromat with the noisy suitcase. So, suffice to say, we know the area well. Or we thought we did. It turns out we didn’t know this part at all.
Of course, all things being equal, we arrived heaps early so we slowed down long enough for Mirinda to engage in a strange conversation with a chap who did not look like a Real Estate agent and, in fact, wasn’t, before driving on towards the high street which isn’t really a high street which is why I’ve put it in lower case.
Effingham has a small row of shops with very limited parking. And what a great selection of shops they are! A butcher, a baker, a grocer and a hardware chappie. Oh, and a Post Office. All very nice and villagey. Here’s Mirinda waiting for me to join her for a coffee in Watkin’s Bakery.
While we were in Watkin’s, an older lady ordered a sliced loaf for next Wednesday. We’re not convinced she’ll get it because the guy behind the counter didn’t bother writing it down and he was immediately busy with someone else.
Back at the house we met up with the chap from earlier, this time with a tyre on a trolley, and the real real estate agent. We had a jolly good look at the house, aided by the owner, Jess and we ‘sort of’ liked it. It had it’s good points. It also had some not so good ones. The investment possibilities for one. The travellers next door may not be a problem from a social point of view but they will always keep the value of the property down while the front garden of their house continues to look like the reject pile at the Hamley’s factory and the rest of the property appears to be a car park. I’m pretty sure we’re not going to be buying it.
Mirinda meanwhile has organised to see a house in Haslemere.