On first viewing the two-storey semi-detached on Lansing Close, Helen Rutledge dismissed outright the absurd but overpowering impression that she was not welcome here. She was a sensible young woman – all right, no longer all that young – who routinely privileged the should over the was. This should be the perfect house for her; ergo, it was. Three bedrooms, for herself, a study (perhaps in time a nursery?) and guests: tick. Not one of those decrepit Georgian headaches whose renovations were hogtied by preservation orders, the structure was at least postwar: tick. Granted, the nondescript semi of yellow brick was located in deep south London, but any property whose purchase someone in Helen’s income bracket could swing was bound to involve a hefty commute to a job in NW1. Indeed, that was the clincher: the house was a steal. Tick, tick, tick! As for whether she harboured any reservations about 21 Lansing Close having been repossessed, the answer was certainly not. A tax accountant, Helen held rules in high esteem, second only to those who followed them. She had no sympathy for people who didn’t exert control over their circumstances – who allowed their lives to go all higgledy-piggledy… Read full this story
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