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Saturday, September 03, 2005

Guess who's back? Back again...

Alternate titles for this post include:

Coming full circle

£250 wasted but I don't give a fuck.

Home sweet Home

God Bless Mum and Dad.

Two hours ago, Dad and I finally emptied the last box into my... original flat.

Yup. I have moved back in to my original flat.

Picking up from the last post, the last few days have gone something like this.

Wednesday morning. After 3 hours sleep I finally sort out somewhere to move. Can finally give 100% to my packing and cleaning.

Thursday morning. Have enjoyed a luxurious 90 minutes sleep, and I am awaiting the removals man. He turns up late, his first question is "How much is there, I still have a 3 piece suite in the back". His second question is "Do you have a trolley, I've left mine at home". Funnily enough, no I fucking don't. One box at a time it is then. It is at this point that I realise that I have more stuff than I thought. A lot more. Somewhere between me moving out of my single student room and me spending 3 years in a self-contained flat, I have accumulated lots and lots of stuff. After 2 hours (would have been quicker but it's difficult for him to carry things when he is yapping on his GODDAMN mobile phone constantly), my stuff is neatly piled on the roadside by the van.

"There's more than I thought mate, you're going to have to pay another £15"or I fuck off and leave all of your stuff on the road he didn't quite say - but the implication was clear.

So we are finally off. I give him directions and he whistles through his teeth slightly and looks symapthetic. I still have my keys, as I am coming straight back to clean up. We arrive at the house and I am greeted by the lady that showed me around again. "Sorry, I am dreadfully hungover" she mumbles returning to the sofa. As I climb the stairs (thankful that I didn't get the house I really wanted, that had 3 flights about half the width) I realise that in the stress and confusion of the last two weeks, I have exagerated the size of the room in my mind. Badly. Two more hours and the room is full. Seriously full. The boxes are piled 4 high on every centimetre of floor space, the double bed is half taken up by my suitcases. I'll have to get Mum and Dad up with a van on saturday I decide "it'll be fine...".

I spend the next few hours chatting to my new flatmates, they seem really nice - in a kind of hazy, profoundly hung-over kind of way. Finally, I decide that I have to get another 90 minutes sleep before I can contemplate going back to the old place and cleaning. To get to the bed, I have to move stuff out of the way. The duvet has what appears to be candle wax melted into it. I am so tired I don't bother removing the suitcase and TV stand off the bed and just peg out fully clothed.

Ninety minutes later, it is getting dark. I have noticed that there is no lock on the door and the window has vertical blinds instead of curtains. In the breeze, they swing back and forth clanking loudly. I've been awoken by the sounds of neighbourly arguing, dogs barking, revving engines and loud music. I decide to try and put some stuff in the closet. The problem is that the closet is jammed shut by boxes. I need to temporarily shift some stuff on to the landing, to give me room to maneouvre. I clamber off the bed, removing the bags in front of the bedroom door and placing them back where they belong, on the spot on the bed that I have just vacated. My stomach is rumbling loudly by this point, and I decide soddit, there's a chippy on the way into town, I'll go down there then walk into town and catch a bus back to the old place, clean it , then come back and unpack tomorrow. As I come downstairs, I realise that the music is coming from our lounge - and it is seriously loud. Rattling windows loud. I poke my head and around the lounge door and there is a strange man, naked except for cowboy boots and jeans, sprawled asleep on the sofa - strangley, he is sucking his thumb.

The front door is wide open, so I walk out into the night. By now, I'm concerned somewhat about the safety of my stuff, but there's nothing I can do. There appear to be no street lamps in this area, and as I walk down the road toward town, I notice there are gangs of kids and young men in their 20s standing aimlessly around. As I walk past, conversation stops and I am stared at until I have passed. I eventually reach town about 30 minutes later, having fobbed off requests for money from 2 men, and an aggressive drunk wanting to know where the "fucking chippy is". Still, the chips were nice.

I get on the bus, and sit down beside an aimiable drunk who teases me about the 2 really naff nylon carry bags that I have brought with me to fill with the cleaning equipment etc when I have finished. I tell him I have just moved. When I tell him where, he says "fucking hell, I come from Liverpool and I still wouldn't move to that shit hole". When I get off the bus back at the apartment, I suddenly realise that my throat is constricted and my eyes are burning. I sprint past security and into my empty flat, before completely breaking down. I can't believe it! I know full well that it is simply the inevitable result of months of stress on many fronts and too much caffeine and virtually no sleep for 72 hours. But coming back to my old apartment, where I have never felt so secure, with it's 5 lever mortice locks, electronic key fobs, 24 hour security and CCTV - it's the final straw. I'm sobbing like a 7 year old girl at a Westlife/Bros/Take That/Busted concert.

Despite being overwrought I realise that even after a good nights sleep I am not going to change my mind. The area is a fucking shitehole. My new flatmates are two lovely people, but our lifestyles are incompatible. They enjoy their chaotic, party-all-hours, leave-the-door wide-open lifestyle, and I'm not going to ask them to change. I ring my parents and pour it all out to them and they are brilliant. Dad reckons it is a family emergancy and offers to cancel all his meetings on friday to drive me and my stuff back to their home. But that wouldn't solve anything in the long term.

The solution is obvious. My apartment hasn't been put on the advertising board yet. Between us, we work out a deal. I will sign a new 6 month contract for my current place or at least one of the other apartments in the complex, and if I find a new job and move out I will simply ask the landlords to readvertise for me. Mum and Dad will help pay the rent and will cover me if the apartment isn't taken quickly. Meanwhile I will turn the experience into an opportunity. I will clean the flat in a way that is simply impossible when it is full of furniture (at the very least that will safeguard my deposit, should I have to move into another unit). I will then go back to the new place, give the landlady £100 (one week rent rounded up to cover her inconvenience - she can't really refuse, she was so hungover she couldn't face organising the contract the day I moved in, so I hold all the cards). And I will ruthlessly decide which boxes go back with my Dad saturday morning for storage in their garage, and which go back into my old apartment.

So - I am writing this, sitting up in my old bed. The flat is a lot more spartan and will be more so in a couple of weeks when I stick yet more boxes in the boot of Mum and Dad's car, but it has given me bit of a kick up the arse after 10 years accumulating more and more crap, requiring increasingly large removal vans as I go from place to place. It is not that I am attached to this apartment per se. It's not some old family home full of memories of childhood christmasses. If I find a job on the moon next week, I'm out like a shot, no regrets. It's what it represents. As my Dad said, I worked very hard and sacrificed a lot over the years to get a place that was "my own" (even if it was rented), and to have to take several steps backward over what should only be a temporary set back (I've only been unemployed for a month!) is a lot to ask and they are in a position to help me. All he asks is that I at least tour the old people's home and make sure it is clean before I pack them off in a few years ;-)

Mum and Dad don't know about this blog - but nevertheless, I want to publically thank the best parents anyone could ask for. Cheers guys, I love you.

Now, I just have to sort out the guest list for next weekend's house re-warming party! WooHoo!



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