Friday, August 03, 2007

Plotting our escape ...

So Craig and I went to look at two flats last night.

We saw the estate-housing outside of one and sent a message to the agent saying we were no longer interested.

We saw the outside of the other, the one suggested by a friend of a friend & the area and realised that it was perfect. Less than 5 minutes walk from the place Craig is starting at on Monday and unbelieveably close to the Tate Modern. I mean, out the front door, turn right, at the end of the street (which is ... fewer than 100 steps away) you look left and bam it's right there. A block away.

I was certain that we weren't going to get it. We looked around inside and it's tiny but it all looks new and pristine and the other flatmate is a girl called Sally who markets haircare products and brings her work home with her. She once had 70 bottles around the bathroom.
We talked and joked and asked about her and she asked about us, told us that there were 8 other people viewing it and that we would know by Friday.
We walked back down the 7 million stairs (on the 4th floor. No elevator). Outside, Craig turned to me and said "it's perfect. Yea. We're never going to get it".

You know where this is heading right?

We walked to the central line tube station at St Paul's (yes. St Paul's Cathedral is walking distance. I was in love) talking and talking about how pefect it is. How we were so never going to get it.
It's in SE1 which is ... about as close to the absolute centre of London as you can get. There is no SE0.

As we were sitting on the bus I got the call from Sally.
Craig saw me on the cellphone, peering around the legs of the man standing in the aisle between our seats and trying (failing) to sound cool & calm I eyebrow-ed him as I said to Sally "It's ours!?!"

It is more expensive than the place we're living at the moment. But not much more considering we're moving from W(est)4 to S(outh)E(ast)1.
I'm not even going to tell you the rent because you may make the mistake of converting, like I did. And my head hurt just a little. I have to remember that we're paying less than 25% of one income for rent. In New Zealand we were paying close to 45% of two. So London is cheaper to live in.

We're still living ... in the flat of horrors until the 5th of September.
As we walked home from the bus stop (across the park & field where I expect to find a body one say) we discussed how to tell the people we're living with that after only a week we're moving.
It was not made any easier by the fact that when we got to the lounge (through the wide-open front door) they were all sitting around playing cards and were genuinely nice & funny & oh gosh I almost feel guilty ... almost.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

We have a place to live! we need another. ASAP.

Everyone's so happy that we finally got a flat but I have to say that it is HELLISH and we're looking for a new place already.

8 people in a flat? too many. We moved in on Wednesday and it was nice. The people were friendly and welcoming. I noticed a funny smell in our room and the bathroom but put it down to settling in problems ...

Then Saturday night and Sunday morning came around.
I was already feeling a little wary because the girls (house music & cocaine girls) make me feel bad about myself, the room smelled stuffy & felt stiflingly hot even if the window was open as far as it would go & I'd forgotten my pashmina & had to run back up 3 flights of stairs to grab it. But I thought that was all teething problems.
Sitting around before we're meant to be going out one of the flatmates mentions that she's put a lock on her bedroom door. Apparently she has had drunk people walking into her room in the middle of the night. Drunken friends of flatmates. Not cool.
But Craig & I went out to the movies & dinner and had a mini fight on the way home (he wanted to go home and I wanted to go to a bar for a bit. We went home) but when we got there? the front door was WIDE OPEN.
And the person who (thankfully) was home? didn't even look up to see who it was wandering through the front door (not so thankfully).

We decided that the next day we would make a pro/con list to see if we wanted to look for a new place or stay here for awhile.

We were up until just after midnight but after we went to bed, and sleep, some of the flatmates came home. Drunk. With friends. We think. They ran up and down the stairs, screaming and yelling (every so often they would Ssh but then 2 minutes later ...) and even using an electric fucking drill. It was still dark so I guess at about 2am it started and they were still going just as it hit dawn. 5am.
Craig slept through most of it but I was awake & horrified. And in that too-asleep to move too-awake to sleep stage. I fell asleep at 5 and then at fucking 7 am on a SUNDAY MORNING one of the girls was screaming at one of the guys for one reason or another and it was too too much.
Craig was awake by now so I just looked over at him and said "Well, guess we don't have to make that list anymore" and thank everything, he agreed.

It may have just been that one night but their whole behaviour pattern is indicative of a lack of respect for people and property.
It may be that we're over-reacting. It may be just settling-in issues.

Sadly, they're fun, nice people.
But it's kind of like how I had 2 groups of friends, one great only for going out to bars and drinking and dancing, and one that is good for the bars and drinking and dancing but also sitting around and watching bad tv and bitching over wine. And I know which group I want to live with.

If we had done the Pro/Con list? it would have looked like this:

Pro : entire fridge (but we don't need that much space, really).

Cons : Barely any freezer space.
Worst shower EVER. Worse than we saw travelling around Asia.
2 bathrooms but even the better one is crappy.
Smelly room.
Only a tiny portion of the window in our room opens, room gets very hot.
3rd storey so if you forget anything ... lots of stairs.
Outside of house ugly, inside dark.
Not the best area, too far from tube.
Have to cross an un-mowed park of a park to get the path to cross the park to get to bus.
Flatmates are inconsiderate. Sometimes.
Danger of drunk people walking in to room.
Front door left wide open.
I don't feel like we or our property is safe there.
£50 per month (per person) for bills but they don't have internet, telephone or pay tv (well, at the moment. Apparently tv and phone are being connected soon).
Barely any plates/bowls/cutlery let alone oven trays.
Too many people. Too many people for my moody little head.

And that is just too too many cons for that one poor little pro.