There was a point about two months after we put the flat on the market that I started to have doubts about the likelihood of these viewers, of whom we occasionally have plenty but often none, translating into buyers.

All around, hundreds of properties had “For Sale” signs cheerfully positioned outside windows and in gardens, looking shiny, bright and promising and I started to feel bitter: so many flats, so few buyers, what chance do we have?

Every time I saw a “For Sale” sign change to an “Under Offer” sign or, just sometimes, a “Sold” sign, I felt a stab of jealousy.

Why them? Why not us? What are we doing wrong?

It was the other day, as I cycled to training, that I realised my attitude had changed. I asked Paul what he thought about it as well.

“Hon, what do you think when you see a ‘sold’ sign outside a flat? Do you feel jealous?”

He paused, and I expected some sort of classically flippant remark: the kind men make so they can pretend that they don’t think about anything apart from boobies. Instead:

“…Mmmm…. No, not jealous. I just think ‘Thank christ someone‘s buying something‘”.

And that is exactly how I have come to think as well.

The “For Sale” signs that were previously so shiny and promising looking are increasingly becoming faded and dirty, as they remain on show so much longer than their owners expected; longer than they have done for years. The ever more standard “Fixed Price” stickers begin to peel and flap in the wind, unused to being so ignored, when once they were the golden ticket to a quick sale.

Now, when I see this evidence of good luck for some individual, or family, or couple, I don’t feel jealous at all, I feel happy for them that something good has happened somewhere, and that there’s hope that something good could happen to us.