We've finally exchanged contracts on our house today. Bearing in mind we first had our offer accepted late in October of last year, this has been an unusually long process. We could have pulled out months ago and relooked for a place to buy, but to be honest we weren't in a terrific hurry to move and as we had found our ideal (for now) house, we were willing to wait. But last week we decided enough was enough and that we definitely had to move in before my maternity leave began. We gave all concerned a deadline for completion, after which we said we would pull out. And the threat seems to have worked. The solicitors have said we can collect the keys next Friday. Hurrah!
Unfortunately, M is in the States for two weeks thereafter but this gives me time to arrange for a removals company and for a cleaning company to come into the new house and give it a good scrub and other necessary things. All I care about, to be honest, is having those keys in my hands.