It’s true. I did move again. It was bound to happen, especially since when I selected – and I use that word loosely – my first flat here in Bristol I knew nothing about the city, was probably hungover, wanted to not look for flats and spend my last few weeks in London enjoying the city. That and there’s a feral aspect to renting an apartment in this city that I hadn’t counted on. I had, at first, imagined I might swan up, all London cool (which I’m not, nor have I ever been, but I thought I might be able to appear so to estate agents out here), and that I’d find an estate agent who would show me a bunch of apartments and then I’d just pick one. I have no idea what led me to this false conclusion, but there you are.
On my third last-minute trip out here (including £30 on a taxi because the tube broke that day and £70 on a last minute return train ticket) I just went with the flat I saw. It was fine. Nothing obviously wrong with it, though it did have a funny smell. I was so enamoured with the idea of living on my own again that I didn’t really care. And it was a six-month let.
So all month I’ve been frantically looking for a new place to live after giving notice on the old place. I had thought that things might be easier now as I wasn’t competing with wealthy international students able to just throw money at the problem. Turns out they weren’t the only people preventing me from finding a decent, not mouldy place to live. There are just simply not enough rental properties to go around here.
My work people were hastily patching together ways to ensure I was not left homeless, but I found a nice place overlooking the river Avon. It’s very swish.
Which was great. But having found a new flat, a more pressing and daunting problem reared its ugly head: a new flat would mean having to pack my stuff and schlepp it over to the new place. Immediately my thoughts went to Crazy D’s moving style: throw everything off the balcony and whatever fits in the car you take. Everything else is a Free Gift.
The Mom, when I appraised her of this flawless plan, was not impressed. Dutifully, I packed up my things and wondered how much the guy with a van who brought my futon to the old flat would charge to move me and my randomly packed, half-assed shit across town.
But, I didn’t even need to phone him up, as one of my work people, ItalianLady, offered to help me move most of my shit.
I informed The Mom and her first reply was: “Does this woman have any idea what she’s dealing with?”
“She’s seen my desk at work.”
“Does she know that’s how you pack?”
“What’s to know? I stuff everything in a bag or box, it goes in the car, nobody has to know the forks are with the socks.”
“You have forks? I thought the flat was furnished.”
“Oh yeah, furnished is a relative term here apparently. ItalianLady will also take me to IKEA.”
I do believe that comment made The Mom fall off her chair with laughter.
“SOMEONE OFFERED TO TAKE YOU TO IKEA?”
“Has this woman got a death wish?”
“Not that I’m aware of.”
“And yet, you, Ikea, Saturday afternoon?”
“I said about the hand flapping.”
Ikea is not one of my better moments, but this trip was okay. It was sunny and everyone else was out driving in cars or eating ice cream. We nearly had the place to ourselves.
With most of my stuff moved, and plates, etc. purchased, the only thing left was to shift the futon and my rice cooker. Which happened this past weekend.
Another of my work people volunteered – VOLUNTEERED – to help me with that. She boasted a station wagon capable of carting around a family of five and musical instruments. Whatever my shit show was, I reasoned, this woman had been there, done that, and would be unmoved and unphased by my level of chaos and randomness.
She arrived and together we shoved my futon – that I had just that morning manoeuvred back in its original plastic carrying case/sheeting – into the back. The trunk door didn’t close. I shoved the futon in a bit further and gave the door a good, hard shove. Success!
So now I write to you all from the fifth floor of my lovely flat that does not come with free mould, rising damp or anything else suspicious.
Sadly, I must report that I do still have magic brick heating. But I also have a double height wall of south-west facing windows, so I’m thinking I’ll never have to turn the heating on.