Stay in one place, forever

Is it any wonder they say that moving house is one of the most stressful experiences known to us poor humans? (and cats, they don’t like it much either.)

My existence since the age of eighteen has been nomadic to say the least. Abandoning the provincial life in Scotland for the grime-smeared lights of London was without doubt the best move I ever made, but since I got here I can’t seem to stick to one borough for more than a calendar year. Add to the mix a solid year of living out of a suitcase, during which my flatmate moved my house twice and you have some appreciation of how au fait I am with the complex maze of the lettings market.

That said, I’m abandoning familiar ground in the next month or so, heading to Brighton for an academic year while Mrs Lola adds yet more letters after her name. Our grand seaside adventure (and indeed the official start of our living together as a genuine engaged couple) cannot begin however until we crack the letting agents code and get permission to actually rent a place in which we can live.

Easier said than done. The ads are vague at best and deceptive at worst. The available dates are hazy and not even talking with a perky letting agent can clarify with any certainty.

Here’s the kind of thing we’re trying to work around:

  • plumbing for washing machine i.e. gaping hole in the kitchen wall with protruding rubber hoses. Bring your own washing machine for a 6 month let. They’re just so portable.
  • modern décor – walls are cream, floors are beige. You’re not allowed to decorate, so leave your personality at the door.
  • close to Brighton station if you have a helicopter
  • sea views – and the smell of salt water soaked effluence washing up on the grubbiest bit of shoreline is right outside your window
  • part-furnished a few broken bits of furniture the landlord couldn’t find another home for
  • must be seen so you won’t call up in tears when you realise what a shithole it actually is.

My head is, as they say, bursting. I’m sure that in six weeks or so I’ll be laughing about it all over a gallon glass of Shiraz, but in the meantime I’m checking the weather websites and exploring the feasibility of a 2 man tent on the beach. It doesn’t get that cold in January, does it?

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