It took longer than expected to get into the house yesterday. We got to the estate agents at about 12.30 to pick up the keys to find out that the vendors hadn't quite finished moving out - they just had a few last bits to do. The impression was it wouldn't be very long. Not a problem we said, we'd go and have a pint and a bite to eat in the pub and wait for the agents to phone us and let us know they were out. One pint was followed by a second and it was 2.15 by the time we finished that. At that point we decided to start walking to the area of the town where the house is so that when they rang we'd be able to get there sooner. We got there at 3.00 (it's not really that far - just up and down a lot!) and still no word so I rang the agents. They checked with the vendors and told me that they had now gone.
Either the vendors hadn't bothered to call the agents or the message hadn't got to us. I don't know which it was but I wasn't happy that we'd been kept waiting unnecessarily.
Anyway, we went to the house and let ourselves in. There we were, in our own house for the very first time. We checked it out thoroughly, as much to remind ourselves of where everything was as to check that they hadn't left anything behind. They'd cleared everything out pretty well; the only things they'd missed were a feather duster in the utility cupboard and a trowel stuck through the rafters in the shed. At least they're both useful.
We started to strip the wall paper off in the master bedroom - not in any serious attempt at getting the job done but just to say that we had done something and to ensure that we can't just leave it as it is. We checked out the state of the decorating more thoroughly than we ever had when we came to see the place before we bought it (it's easy to miss something when your eyes can get distracted by furniture and things) and found that, although we'll probably change almost everything, none of it is actually in a state of bad repair so at least we can take our time over it a little. One thing I did notice was that the wallpaper in the living room is not vertical. The whole way round the room each drop leans about 10 degrees to the right. Just enough to be noticeable and once you've seen it it's hard to ignore. We were planning not to decorate the living room for a while but we may find it difficult to live with now.
After about an hour we left and went for another couple of drinks before heading back into London. The ideas for what to do with the place are starting to flow and we're beginning to make plans.
It's all very exciting.