|on our road trip a couple of weeks before filming|
wow... i really didn't realize how long it would take me to write about this! i think this is the penultimate installment...
so where was i? i'm sure i mentioned before that i was obsessed with looking for properties. i was online searching the estate agents websites several times daily as if they were actually listing properties hourly ( which they don't). as soon as they told us we would be on the show, i was told that i was not supposed to look for properties anymore. i was to stay away from estate agents windows, local papers, looking online, etc... this was an absolute killer for me. as much as i had faith in them having a strong idea of what we wanted, i was also scared that they might miss something. i stuck to my word and avoided looking, so i had absolutely no idea what was around or what they might be showing us.
when i opened the door, there were a lot more people than i had expected. 2 researchers, who were really lovely, a director, producer, cameraman, sound man, phil, his driver, and a few more.
they told us they had 5 houses for us to look at and we would do 3 that day and 2 the following day. the days were going to be long. i can't recall if it was a 4 or 5 day shoot, starting at 8am and finishing between 4-5pm with a break in the middle for lunch. after meeting and greeting everyone, they had a look around to figure out where they wanted to talk to us etc... and then we pretty much started straight away.
we were introduced to phil. he was very nice. i couldn't help but feel he had a sort of a presence. i didn't feel nervous around him because he was a "celebrity", but i was aware of his celebrity if that makes any bit of sense. growing up in LA it's the norm to see celebs/stars a lot and i've served quite a few in my time...when i was waiting tables at a coffee house in marina del rey, we used to have regulars like jane fonda, lee curreri, courtney cox, one of the "corey's", linda hamilton, adam ant and loads of one-off visits, so i was unfazed by phil in that way, yet very happy to meet him. on the other hand, a lot of our neighbors had noticed that something was going on and were peeking out their windows. some started to come out into the street to watch the filming and as soon as they saw phil they started to circle for autographs, which he was happy to give.
one thing that scott and i had talked about a lot before this day had come was how so many people on the show tend to use property jargon cliches, especially the "wow factor". we hoped that we wouldn't succumb to that and as we pulled up to the first property, i instantly saw i didn't need to worry. from the outside, it was not at all what i had my heart set on. i had to remind myself that this happened quite a lot on the show. that they would often show the people houses that were nothing like what they wanted, but still pull a winner or two out of the bag. yet i was worried that with the budget we had, they might all pretty much be places like this one. it made me question how realistic my dream house was.
|the outside of property #1|
|property #1 kitchen|
we moved on to house number 2 (which they don't show on the programme or the "location" website). it was a few houses up from a major road, which was one location we agreed we wouldn't want, on/near a main road. although from the outside it looked really nice. it was edwardian and had lovely windows. at first glance inside, it looked impressive, but after that initial moment, it became apparent there was a lot of space doing nothing. there was a grand hallway and beautiful cornice, but the rooms were all pretty small. there was one bedroom that might have been just about 3 feet wide. and there was only one bathroom which was so small we couldn't both stand in it comfortably at the same time, especially with my belly. we did a few "comical" shots of this at the directors request, but thank god they didn't get used!
so we were 2 down, 3 to go and i was getting a little twitchy. we took a break for lunch. they bought us a gorgeous lunch everyday. we went over to the old town and ate at lathams which at the time was one of our favorite restaurants. all i remember from that lunch was that i don't know why i had it in my head that phil's driver was his dad. for the whole lunch, everything he said i tried to relate to phil. a few things phil said to him seemed strange to say to his dad, but i still didn't realize my mistake until like 2 days later.
after lunch, we headed to the last place for the day, property 3. it was actually right around the corner from where we were living at that time. and here, i have to come clean and say, i was already aware of this property. a friend had seen it for sale and knew of our desperate quest and told us about it. i was so worried that it could be "the one", that i went against my promise and after asking scott what i should do, but ignoring him anyway, i walked over there to see what it looked like. i had hoped that it would be one of the properties they showed us and was relieved when they did take us there.
|property number 3 outside|
|property 3 kitchen|
|property 3 lounge|
|property 3 bedroom|