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Saturday, August 27, 2005

Moving on down...

Well, 2 years loyalty and paying my rent on time has not paid off. Despite pleading etc with the lovely young lady in charge of my apartment, they won't give me a rolling contract. 12 months non-negotiable. They did say that they would re-advertise it for me should I move out within the 12 months, but its a gamble that I can't afford to make. And to be honest, I can't really afford the rent now.

So it's time to move. Unfortunately, the room in my mate's house has gone, so I am flat hunting again. After 3 years living on my own - I am looking for a shared house. *Shudder*. To top it all, Mum and Dad have rather inconsiderately decided to invite long-lost friends over for the bank holiday weekend so the can't help me move! In the past, Dad and I have done the humping, whilst Mum has given the old place a serious going over with the bleach to make sure I get the deposit back. For christ sake, they haven't seen these guys for 25 years - what's a few more weeks? I am looking at getting a removals guy to help - it's only slightly more expensive than hiring a van for 24h and doing it yourself. I am extemely proud of that multi-purpose computer desk, but it does weigh 30 kilos.


However, modern technology seems to make things a bit easier these days. I have signed up to an online flatsharing site. It works basically like an online dating site (I know about these things because a woman I work with likes to use them to help her have extra-marital affairs more efficiently). You put in your profile and fill in your preferences, and the computer then matches you with a range of largely unsuitable people. Buried within the crap, there are a handful of proper matches. A small admin charge of £20 has given me full access, so that I can contact the matches directly by email or phone. The website has a few bugs, but overall it's pretty good, and the linkout to Maporama is quite usefull given my apalling geography and need to be near a major bus route. One thing it does do, quite sensibly, it will allow one of your preferences to be mismatched. This is in principle a good idea, as some of the rents asked are outside my preferred range - but they actually include all bills and council tax. Thus it allows me to use my judgement. That being said, when "Sarah" has quite emphatically said that she only wants a female lesbian flatmate (yes you can specifiy!), there is little point in suggesting I negotiate with her.

So with only few days remaining until I am out on my ear, I have been traipsing around town in the pissing rain visiting flats.

Highlights so far have included an area so bad that the taxi driver said "rather you than me mate" when I told him where I was going (I had gone to an identically named street 3 miles away and was running late - doh!). I visited the house out of politeness. And to be fair it was a nice house, with seemingly pleasant tenants - but at the risk of sounding snobby, it was the sort of area where if your daughter isn't pushing three kids in a pushcair by the time she is 13, you take her to the doctors to get her eggs counted. And there is no way I woul walk around after dark.

At the other end of the scale, I was taken to an absolutely gorgeous house. Newly built, it was like a showhouse. Unfortunately, most of the rooms were too small to fit all of my stuff in, considering that I have been living on my own for 3 years. The only room large enough was just a bit too much. If I was on my usual University salary though, I'd have bitten his hand off. What a shame.

I have expressed an interest in 2 other houses. One is a 6 room house in a lovely residential area, with other young professionals. The only real downside is that the room to let is on the 3rd floor up a winding staircase. However there is a basement, and I may shove my computer desk down there temporarily. Fingers crossed, I won't be staying more than a few months so I won't need it. Unfortunately, only one tenant was there, so I will be "interviewed" tuesday by everyone else. So I have to keep searching unfortunately. I have 1 visit planned for tomorrow, but all of the other flats I have asked to seen have already gone - so take the sodding advert down you morons!

Oh well, back to the search engine...



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