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Desperately Seeking Xanadu (Paperback)
In Desperately Seeking Xanadu Jacey Winters takes the reader through the various facets of buying that longed-for country property. For her, this proved a long and arduous task with many trials and tribulations brought about by those involved in the process: estate agents, auctioneers and even the actual vendors. But the real difficulties only started after she signed the contract on her personal Xanadu, a marshman's cottage, isolated and primitive with no electricity or other comforts associated with modern living. Then began the unlikely procession of builders, sales reps, officials, engineers and electricians, to say nothing of free-ranging and highly eccentric locals. Jacey Winters has a maritime background with much hands-on experience restoring classic boats, experience she reckoned would stand her in good stead for what should have been the straightforward matter of restoring a small country house. But life on the wilder reaches of Norfolk proved her to be mistaken and tested to the utmost her resolve, determination and sardonic sense of humour. 'Worse things happen at sea' was her mantra but even this proved unhelpful as for three years she battled gales and snowstorms, rampaging cattle, angry farmers, and bemused - even hostile - ramblers and twitchers. Having survived the experience the author passes on hints which should help avoid some of the worst pitfalls that lie in wait for seekers after the rural idyll. From awkward estate agents (and the misleading language of their sales brochures and small print) she discusses negotiating a good deal and also buying at auction - an excellent way of acquiring a bargain but one with its own rarely publicised traps for the unwary. But never fear - Xanadu is within reach. Although the reader must decide if the journey is perhaps more exciting than the arrival.