There’s been a flood, a broken window and police tape; but I’m in love with my new flat and the old tenement building I live in. Living solo is a great thing to experience, even though I know lots of my friends have said that they would hate it. But as someone who loves my own space and my things, it’s a no brainer…even if it does mean that I’m permanently broke.
I was up against three sets of couples – a seventh wheeler…but the letting agent was on my side. He even said he truly hoped I would get it; did he say that to everyone? Was that a trick to make the flat seem like something I deserved? Well, I did deserve it. He opened the dull blue door into a dark close with peeling paint and graffiti embellishments. I felt like the heroine in Coyote Ugly moving into her dingy Manhattan flat – and I kind of loved it.
We climbed a spiral staircase up to the apartment which I was about to fall in love with. I’m just lucky that I can see past the bad in things, because the guy who was living there at the time was gross. But something was very, very wrong. I wasn’t in the right flat; or at least, not the flat that was advertised online. This one was much better, and bigger. I deflated at the thought of not being able to afford this high-ceilinged, wooden floored home.
It turns out they had put the wrong images online – but the price was right! And the best bit was, they wanted a single occupant. So I automatically wiped out all three couples just like that. I was on a high.
I’m amazed that I’m alive to tell the tale of the move to my new flat. Why, of all days, was nobody free to help? Me and my Dad had to lift all my furniture up several flights of winding staircase, and I could have collapsed at the end of it.
The first week
We cleaned, and cleaned. The flat was filthy and I can’t believe I was expected to move into it like that. I had to get a window replaced because it was cracked, and I turned my washing machine on to find all of the water backing up through my kitchen sink. Then, my toilet seat fell off. I’ve learned so much about DIY.
The first mouse sighting
It was going to happen eventually. The beastie was careless though, he left a trail and I knew where he was coming and going from. My ex-flatmate Erin told me to try peppermint tea. Thinking she meant tea leaves, I ripped a teabag up and scattered the peppermint beside my bath. I accidentally dropped the bag and left it there until I would clean everything up together. Horrifyingly, the next morning I noticed that the string of the teabag was edging into the hole. That little mouse was pulling it into its lair! I couldn’t bring myself to retrieve it in case it latched on and started a rodent tug of war. That would be a task for Dad.
The police tape
Week two and I was exhausted after work. I picked up a microwave meal and walked back towards my street. It was the opposite of what I wanted to find – police tape stretched from one side of the street to the other, and uniforms everywhere. No one was getting through. I had to wait two hours before an officer would escort me back to my flat. Apparently it was a drugs bust gone wrong. Just my luck.
It’s been three weeks and I finally feel like I’m living in my flat. It’s amazing what wifi and a pretty living room can do! Of course I had to have Josh round for one of our legendary wine sessions…