Get that yurt out of here

by Suw on March 3, 2006

Five properties lined up for viewing on the weekend, variously in the Hoxton/Old Street area, Highgate, Notting Hill and Kings Cross areas. We shall see what we shall see.
I have been dreading this bit. Flat hunting in the UK has never been anything other than misery for me. Horrible landlords who rip you off, get overly anal over what you can and can't do in what is supposed to be your home, or turn out to be a complete fucking psycho. (Frequently, all three.)
Housing in London and satellite towns is expensive and usually shite. I've lived in houses that have mold, slugs, damp, and scorpions. Yes, that's right… ok, so it was only a little one but it was still a bloody scorpion.
Me: Hello, is that the Natural History Museum? I'd like your etymol… entymol… er… insect department please.
Insect person: Hallo, how can I help.
Me: Er, i seem to have something in my bathroom that… well, it looks like a scorpion.
Insect person: That's because it is a scorpion, madam.
Me: Oh.
Insect person: It's ok. They don't have stings and won't get any bigger.
Me: Oh. Thank you.
Me (thinks): So long as it doesn't go and get Mummy and Daddy Scorpion and all its little scorpion siblings, I think we'll be fine.
I've lived in places where I could hear the Northern Line rumbling underneath my room (nice), places where you could smell the Thames on a hot summer's day (not so nice), and places where the upstairs neighbour was a drunken ex-junkie petty thief who'd leave his radio on 'full' all night (really not very nice at all).
But at least these days flat hunting is not as painful as it use to be. Once upon a time you used to have to rise before dawn to get down to the corner shop to buy Loot. You'd sit and pour over the classifieds, trying to figure out what the random abbreviations really meant, then you'd go to the nearest phone box and try to set up a viewing. It got depressing after a while:

Every morning I wake up and it's the same. I get up, I buy the paper, and I circle them all. And I phone them only to discover that they've been taking by a bunch of fucking psychic house hunters. And they've all been goat*-infested rat-holes.
– Daisy, Spaced, episode 1.

At least now you can just go online, find a shed-load of flats across London that look ok and get your arrangements done with a lot less fuss. And sometimes they even have pictures. I am at a loss, however, to explain why – with unlimited space on websites to describe the property – do you still see ads like “One Double Bedroom Flat Close to Transport Amenities”. Wow… does the place have nothing to commend it?
Anyway, we've taken the first step. We've got our first bunch of viewings arranged. Tomorrow, we find out about the goats.
* I'm not sure if she actually says 'goat', but it really does sound like it.

Anonymous March 3, 2006 at 8:26 pm

Would you like any help, Suw? Like, suggestions of things that might be a fit for you?

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