Moving out. Not all it’s cracked up to be is it? Listening to my 18 year old chatter about how great it will be when he moves out makes me think back *cough* 20 years ago to the times when I thought i was young and free. Yeah….
The first place I shared with a friend was an absolute dive. Oh dear lord it was horrific. Think of that place in your town or city that no-one wants to live in. That really horrible arsehole end of town that people make a face at when you mention it. People grip their handbags for dear life when even just walking around the outskirts of it. That’s where we lived.
The day we moved in (myself and another girl) we had already had a right day of it. Picture it. We’d gone to a local property management bloke who had been recommended because he didn’t ask for thousands up front and as we both had jobs but didn’t earn a mint it sounded ideal to us young, naive girls. Not sure what he was recommended for as he had no more knowledge of being a professional landlord than I have of astro physics. He told us he had the perfect property for us. Oh how excited we were. Two 18 year olds moving their suitcases of, well… basically shoes, into a new place of our own. It was gorgeous, spacious and clean with a fantastic view. We’d only just started putting our clobber away when in through the door comes a couple. “What the f**k are you doing in our flat?” they spit at us. “Um, Mr X rented it to us” “well he can bloody well unrent it then it’s ours we’ve signed for it, get him on the phone”. This was back in the day when mobiles had only just come out. I picked up my brick to ring him. “I’m ever so sorry I’ve made a mistake” he says. “I’ll come and pick you up, I have just the place for you”. Shoes get bunged back into suitcases and off we go in the back of his Mcdonald’s wrappered car. He took us through the door and the wonder awaited us.
Just the place. JUST THE PLACE?
The excited giggles didn’t last long. They soon turned to shock. Then horror. The bright blue carpet in the front room had hundreds of pine needles stuck in it – I would later find myself on hands and knees with a pair of tweezers attempting to remove them. Hours of my life wasted. Half the floorboards were pulled up. Mr X told us this was because the electrics were being looked at. Speculation later from other friends was that there had been a drugs bust and we were living in some kind of Heroin hidey hole. Gawd. Although there was a handyman type guy who came around and disappeared down under the floor several times a day and once stood on a ladder to ‘fix the boiler’, I heard a spark and I kid you not he flew halfway across the room. Up he gets and starts jumping up and down on the spot stammering “I’m fine”.
Mr X told us the place was fully furnished. Bit economical with the truth there. It was to a degree but on looking at the bedrooms we realised they were full of stuff. Not just furniture but piles and piles of crap. We were told we couldn’t throw anything away as they belonged to the homeowner and as we were both about to go to work we felt we had no choice but to sign or find ourselves homeless. Pride stopped us from running back home after making such a big deal about leaving. When I got to work someone asked me if I was ok and I burst out crying. They thought someone had died. I put them right of course and told them that I’d just moved into the biggest sh*thole of a house known to man.
After work we got home and had a really good look around. On the plus side (the only one really) it had a gorgeous bathroom huge and really tidy. There was an attic type hatch in there, I never did find out where it led as the only time I put my hand in to feel around I pulled out a pile of dirty magazines, hastily shoved them back in and closed it forever. I would later be found on the loo, pants round my ankles in a cider induced slumber in that bathroom. Good job there were no camera phones then I can tell you. Got a lot of ribbing for that one from the group of friends stood in the doorway to laugh at my misfortune. The sods.
There were 3 bedrooms. 1 of which had a random red lightbulb. It was from then on known as ‘the red room’. It was one of those rooms that gave you the heebie jeebies. It was floor to ceiling full of ‘things’ I say things because I actually have no real idea what was in there as I scarpered a bit quick. That room just wasn’t right. We ended up sharing a bed in the main bedroom because we didn’t want to move all the stuff off the middle bed. Lord only knows what you might find in there. People, dogs, whole family of rabbits. Who knows?
Mr X also turned out to be a right weirdo who entered the house whenever he felt like it especially if the rent was more than 3 minutes late. Once I caught him coming through the door having leapt out of bed and down the stairs and he said in a leary fashion “oh that nightie is really see through” (it wasn’t) and that was actually an occasion where I told him to “knob off out of my house.”
I eventually moved from there to a much tidier flat in a nice part of town and life was much different. Maybe doing it the way I did was a learning curve, did me good. Or maybe I should have just admitted to my Mum the place was a dive and gone home. C’est La Vie.
Did you move out into a sensible place or did you too live in a craphole?