Poor NaNoWriMo has been left a little by the wayside in the past few days: I’ve had other priorities. Namely, moving from the somewhat mouldy mice-filled slug-infested terrace into a beautiful, clean, shiny flat. I’ll get back to the writing in the next few days – come on, I’ve made up more ground than this before. Right now, this flat is the most important thing.
“Christ on a bicycle, they’ve made it to the sofa!”
A couple of months ago, I stood in my living room and shrieked semi-coherently at the silvery slug-trails on my sofa.
While they’d kept to the floor and the floor alone, it had been just about bearable. I hadn’t gone barefoot in my own house for a good year, but hey – who needs chilly feet?
Then in the same week as the slugs gained new ground downstairs, my husband spotted a mouse sneaking down the side of the wardrobe in our bedroom. A somewhat screechy panic-buy of traps and bait later, we realised that enough was enough. We had to move.
You’d think we’d have realised that a bit sooner – the walls were so damp, we had multi-toned wallpaper. But the rent was cheap (as in, ridiculously cheap), and our landlord paid our council tax. We managed to kid ourselves for over three years that the place was OK, that we’d deal with the problems eventually.
We didn’t. And finally, a couple of months back we gave in to the inevitable and started looking for a new place.
Don’t get me started on house-hunting. Horrible experience. You need the killer instinct, the one that me and Kev are sadly lacking.
Finally, after being shafted at least once and shown around some absolute mouldy dives, we found our beautiful, shiny new flat. It’s only ten minutes from the old place, but it could be in a different city: there are trees! Green spaces! Nobody seems to have an old mattress in their garden!
The flat itself is in a modern block of ten, only about ten years old. It’s very secure – fob-gated parking, coded doors, video intercoms, the works. Our flat has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a kitchen-diner with a balcony (a proper balcony with a table and chairs, not just a little Juliet-balcony).
When we first saw it, the previous tenants were still in; a youngish couple with a toddler. The place was a bit of a mess, a bit cluttered, but I could see the potential.
Now we’re in there, and all our stuff has been put in and attacked with dusters and hoovers, it’s gorgeous.
Of course, the previous tenants had to leave their mark (and not just in the form of the giant fluffy toy husky who now has pride of place in our living room). They managed to break the oven and one of the toilets, and reduce the other toilet to a lottery as to whether it would fill without growling and shaking the building. They overfilled the expensive washing machine to the point where the drum has come loose and makes a terrific noise whenever it’s switched on.
But our new landlady is fabulous. It’s all been fixed already, except for the washing machine which will be done soon (it works; it’s just noisy). Our brand new oven is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Coming from the 70s-style oven with no window and a wonky gas supply, and only one properly-working ring on the hob, I barely know what to do with myself. I can cook again! My cakes will no longer be diagonal!
I’ve got all these marvellous ideas about batch-cooking and freezing and baking, immense domesticity that will probably never come to fruition, but hey, I’m going to try.
And don’t get me started on the sofa. Or the bed. Both of them came with the flat, and I’m in heaven. A king-sized bed with a beautiful wooden headboard and footboard. A leather L-shaped sofa that can seat six. Oh, I’m in heaven. Whenever I sit on that sofa, I never want to get up again.
It’s been so hard to get up and go to work for the past two days: I never want to leave the beautiful flat. I want to spend my days on my lovely sofa, snuggled into the quilt my mum made, working my way through the newly-unpacked shelves full of books.
Sadly, real life is calling…