This week has been a roller coaster. A metaphor often bandied about, but used to full effect here. The ups and downs and twisty unexpected turns, sudden jolts, stops and starts have each been stressful. So much so, that the out of control week long ride resulted in bruising and torn ligaments.
We began our build Monday. An exciting day; apprehension and anticipation both in equal measure. The team motored on and in two days our patio was up, some of our garden was a large hole, and the phase one foundations were ready to pour, pending on a nod from the building inspector. And then it stopped. Funding approved by Nationwide was declined by the underwriter. In short, we would not be able to remortgage and access funds to pay for the extension.
Given. Taken away.
My husband had been calling Nationwide on his way home from a long day at work to ask why the funds were not in his account yet, when he was faced with this news, none of which made sense. And as I took his call, I felt sick to my stomach knowing the predicament we were now in, having building work already begun... where on earth would we find the accrued £10,000?
Of course, the builder was notified immediately. That had been the third call my husband had made before arriving home, pale faced, exhausted. I was at the sink when he approached. He stood still, outside looking in. I mirrored him. We were both stripped bare and for a moment he looked broken. But only for a moment. My husband is the most resilient of men. I hoped the look on my face said support and strength. Inside I felt so sad for him.
We met at the doorway and held each other. We've been through tougher than this and come through fine so we both knew we would be alright. Besides also this week, a good friend's daughter was run over by a car - fortunately she was okay, but it put perspective into our picture.
Next day we lodged a complaint and over the weekend, began to read up on things that can affect your chances of getting a mortgage. Such as moving money to get the best rate of interest. Moving money to get interest free credit. Recently taking out a new mobile phone. All of which we are guilty of. We checked our credit ratings - they were A1. We were still stomped. We passed by shock and disappointment and arrived at baffled. All we could do was wait for Nationwide to contact us.
When Simon took the call on Monday afternoon, it began with an apology. "On behalf of Nationwide I would like to apologise to you and your wife for the mismanagement of your case." How often does a company admit to fucking up? We were finally dealing with a human and not a robot. One that happened to have the power to overturn the underwriters decision. The money was transferred and for a moment it was pure elation. Although we then had the down turn of waiting to find out if we had lost our builder for he had been planning on making it safe and leaving. Another agonising pause.
Back on track, later that night (and after Esme Grace was sworn into Brownies, saying her promise so beautifully), we celebrated with a bottle of Prosecco, and bubble and squeak. And then spent, in every way, we collapsed into bed.
I was up twice settling both the girls. First time round I gave Esme a kiss and tucked her in. Second time changing Fia's wet bed. I was leaving her room when I fainted. Crashing to the floor. Of course my husband assumed I had fallen over not passed out, and pulled me up again dragging me to the bathroom. I crashed down again. He tells me the third time, I keeled off the toilet and landed in the recovery position. Handy. When I came round, white as a ghost and sweating profusely, I was able to ask him to leave me down this time. Kind of funny. Finally he understood.
That's it really, aside from being given a bag of peas and a pair of crutches, we are all fine. The doctor mentioned something about emotional stress. Anyway, the build continues and so does my LIFE AS IT IS... there's just a wee bit more arnica involved.
I will say this though... I want to utter a nation wide warning; our mortgage application had been a farce from start to finish. (We began the process in March this year). From when they lost the first application paperwork to when they sent the wrong paperwork to the underwriter. A farce. Playing with people's lives and emotions... Nationwide.