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VOLUME ONE AND ONLY                                            SEPTEMBER 2001


    The Brands hope never to have to try to sell a house again. To have scored a record in bad luck with potential buyers may have made them local celebrities but it was not worth the decades taken off their lives.

     The delightful E family took three months of procrastination before admitting they had  lost the sale of their own property. The delightful D family whizzed through the preliminaries with merry promises of cash in hand but actually the cash was in Mrs D’s daddy’s hand and he didn’t want to buy any place that had suffered subsidence. Heart stopping days passed while father and daughter slogged it out, their lawyer telling the Brands meanwhile that there were just a few minor matters to settle, just one more document to be found, one more tiny search to be made. It was a speeded up replay of the E saga. Finally the Ds were given a deadline and admitted the sale was off.

    Norman then spent many hours working out how long before the bank foreclosed on both houses and Jean looked out two comfortable cardboard boxes for them to move into and then the estate agent produced a developer out of his hat. The man had the cash, wanted to buy, improve and sell on such a property but of course the price had to drop and drop and then at the very moment of exchanging, drop again.        Past pride and principle, needing only by then to stave off two heart attacks, the Brands agreed to exchange.