Karma and sunshine

When we bought this house eight years ago we went through hell.   A hell that one day I will blog about but suffice to say it was almost the breaking of us.   The dream home we bought from developers soon turned out to be a nightmare.   It had not been built to the agreed plans and they had hidden from us the fact that retrospective planning had been refused.   And not only that but a demolition order had been placed on half the house.  A fact we discovered from a local councillor who saw boxes being unloaded the day we moved in and asked what the hell we were doing.

Yeah.

There were tears.   There were solictors.  Cheques written.   Lots of solicitors.   Letters.   More tears.   Phone calls.  Sleepless nights and a lot of heartache.   It took 18 months to get it resolved.  And lots of money.    Our house could literally have been torn down and we held our breath as the Inspectorate from Bristol came down to make a decision on the future of our house.   She stood in the garden with a clipboard and had the power to pretty much make us homeless through no fault of our own.

We had been let down by our conveyancing solicitor, the vendors, the local council when searches were carried out.  Every safety net had failed to catch us and shoulders were shrugged as we tried to hold down jobs, three young children, building our new life in our first home together and trying to literally keep a roof over our heads.

Much of that time I have blanked out.  I can’t think about it.   It took over our lives and the only way to move on from it once resolved is to not think about it.   We had hundreds of phone calls and emails with the developers we bought from.   They had bought from a couple who had lived here for years.  Had sold them a three bedroom property and then seen it converted to the five bedroom house we bought.   It took months to complete our purchase, the correspondence destroyed many a tree.

The developers we bought from were, and probably still are, bastards.  Seriously.    I can’t think of them without anything but contempt.  They lied to us.  Blatantly lied.  Hid the truth about planning applications and retrospective permission being refused.  About their falling out with the neighbours because their scaffolding was unsafe and masonry was falling perilously close to their small children.   Lied.  Repeatedly.    For months I wanted nothing but bad things to happen to them.

But I am also all about karma.    What goes around comes around.  Their time would come.   They were giving out misery and heartache.   One day the universe would deliver the same to them if you believe in these sorts of things.

Things came right in the end for us.  Things did get resolved.   We learnt a lot.   We carried on living in the house we love.

One of the conversations I do remember having with the developers revolved around a terracotta sunshine that sits above our garage door.   An odd insignificant thing but the conversation has niggled me.     And I can’t remember how it even came about as we paid one of our many visits to the property as the building works were completed and our sale continued.

That terracotta sunshine on the garage is an odd thing.

Oh yeah, the old owners left that.  They came back one day and asked if they could have it back and we said no.  It would have left a mark on the garage so we told them they couldn’t have it.

Really?

Yeah, they should have taken it with them when they moved.

What sort of person denies that request?

A two minute exchange that meant nothing.   About a small stone ornament.

But for eight years I have remembered that conversation.  And thought about the last family that lived here and what that ornament meant to them that they wanted it back after forgetting to take it down when they moved.  It niggled me that the bastards developers had refused to give it back to them.

Because we didn’t buy from the last people to live here, from that family, but from the bastards developers,  we had no idea where they had moved to.  So I couldn’t take it to them.  And anyway what would I say?   The bastards developers had lied to us about so much else maybe they had lied about this and I would look like a lunatic.   So it stayed on our garage and everytime I see it, I think of them.

Then last month I saw a lady post something in a local parenting group on Facebook.  She had the same unusual surname as the family who moved.   I posted and said “you are going to think I am a loon but did you live on <insert road name> in Fleet?”.    No she said but her school friend with the same surname did and how could she help.

We exchanged private messages and I explained the whole sorry saga, wondering if it was true, it could have been lies but I had a terracotta sunshine and if the story is true I really wanted to get that sunshine back to it’s rightful owner.   She took my number and said she would pass it on.

I really thought I was rambling and sounding like I had lost the plot and that it would go no further.  That my number would be binned and my story put into the “you will never believe that this woman told me”.

Yesterday I got a phone call from Janet, a member of the family that had lived here.  The lady on Facebook had relayed the story to her friend of this random woman who was talking about a house she was living in that had a stone sunshine and did it mean anything to her friend?

It did.  She knew the house.   She knew the sunshine.

It had been bought on a holiday to Italy, one of only a few foreign holidays her parents had taken and that had been a souvenir.   Her dad had died two years ago.   They had asked the bastards developers if they could have it back after they moved out and realised they had forgotten to take it with them.   The bastards developers had said no.

Janet would like to come and get it today.    Tomorrow is her mum’s 80 birthday.

Guess what I am giving her?

Karma.   Karma and sunshine

and now when I look at the mark left behind I can smile knowing it took awhile but it happened in the end

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  • Oh thats bought a lump to my throat. If karma exists, you will be blessed. If it doesn’t, you will be blessed by knowing you’ve made an old lady’s day, possibly, year.

  • What goes around comes around – great . Brought a tear to my freshly mascara(d) eye. Only wish it could have included some karma for those **** developers too x

  • Oh that’s such a fabulous story – love it. Feeling quite tearful reading it. Hope all goes well with Janet.
    We have a terracotta sunshine near our front door. It gives us a lot of pleasure too,

  • Oh that is really a lovely piece of writing and what a lovely surprise to the lady on her birthday you are a very special person well done x

  • What an utterly lovely end to a sorry saga! I am with you on karma, the universe sorts it all out in the end, although you certainly gave it a nudge in the right direction xxx

  • I’ve got a lump in my throat reading that, what a lovely thing to do. As someone who fell foul of developers, I sympathise. Luckily we found out they were lying gits early enough to walk away.

    You’ve been the better person in all of this. One day you’ll hear that the developers have gone bust and can allow yourself a smile.

  • That is such a lovely moment and so emblematic of you and what you stand for and did I mention what a lovely home you have? A very special place indeed x

  • Yeah I was already a bit wobbly today and now there are actual tears. This is so lovely (excluding all of the bastard developer and god awful life-up heaving issues you had).

    How lovely to be able to return such a treasured item to them.

    Just another reason you are literally a goddess.
    x

  • Oh that has made me cry too! Such a small and seemingly insignificant item that has so much meaning. What a wonderful way to end this. May lots of good karma come your way for this wonderful gift you have given that family. Well done for letting your instinct lead you on this!

  • That is such a lovely story there is power in doing the little things right. I think it is called integrity and is clearly something the delightful builders have never heard of

  • Oh my word, what a moving post! How wonderful of you to go out of your way to reunite the sun, something that meant very little to you, but everything to that family. You’re a wonderful lady.

  • Love that story. And I’m sure the universe is somehow going to deliver a very large shit sandwich to the bastard developers who caused so much heartache and pain.

  • I am tearing up like an eejit. That’s a great story and I’m glad they got it back in the end. Now hopefully some karma will come to roost for the developers, too. What a horrid story!! I was also stung by bad conveyancing, but nowhere near (I mean, not even on the same planet) as you guys. Glad it was all sorted out in the end. Jx

  • oh T your story gave me goose pumps. so nice of you. such a nice present for the old lady. x

  • I truly believe in Karma, it makes for strange decisions sometimes, but I know it will all come round in the end…………..What a wonderful story, though sorry to hear the heartache you went through…………..Nice one T xxx

  • Thank you for bringing some lovely sunshine into my day. Sorry that you had such a bad experience when you bought your home but now you have a lovely story associated with it and many other happy family stories too.

  • Love that this story has a happy ending. Such a shame for all the stress it caused. I too have been relying on Karma after the previous tenants sold us this house without telling us that the drains were collapsed. How it got missed in surveys I will never know- and we had asked them directly about manholes etc. It was not a nice surprise to move in with 3 young children and a childminding business to live with the overflow. Took over 2 years to sort and many headaches, stress and embarrassments. You can imagine just how I would like Karma to show itself to the previous tenants:-)

  • Loved this T. apart from the horrible bit about when you moved in, what a nightmare! I also believe in Karma, may it come back to bite those who need it on the bum. I am so pleased you finally managed to track down the family though, bet they are chuffed to bits! 🙂

  • Lovely, lovely story, Tanya.

    I have a nightmare story about moving and tenants and being scared about the future which, like you, I cannot yet bring myself to fully talk or write about.

    My mother has a saying – ‘One day they will do it to the wrong person.’ A little like your Karma and Sunshine.

    Love, HMSx

  • I LOVE this story, I love that you got the sunshine back to the rightful owner, I love that she’s going to be 80 and it happens on her birthday, sernedipity and all that.
    I agree the bastards are bastards and one day they may have to pay for their unreasonable response too

  • Oh, that’s such a lovely story. Hopefully it’ll put everything bad about the house problems to bed.

  • oh yes yes YES they were so meant to get the sunshine, you were so meant to pass on that sunshine! that is more than karma that is synchronicity x

  • Darling, this brought a lump to my throat.How can people be so very evil towards each other, and how very little it takes to bring such joy to others. Thank you for doing that. Karma is a powerful force.
    Hayley

  • You are such a good egg that a golden bejewelled eggcup should be made for you to sit in with a giant gin. YES