It’s seven years today that I moved to where I currently live. That’s the longest I’ve stayed in one place since I moved out of the house I grew up in.
As I’ve said before, I never expected to stay here this long – it was a location of convenience, a house that came up at the right time, in the right place, and was affordable.
As it turned out, it was more that it was a convenient location, a place to stay that’s easy to get away from, easy to go anywhere else. For the moment it’s still that.
It’s not ideal. It’s a tiny house, which suited my needs then and now – there’s no spare bedroom for friends to stay over or anything, but that’s part of the price I pay, and it just means I go to them instead. At the same time though, I can’t deny I’d like a bit more space, so I could take my books out of their boxes, that kind of thing.
I’ve been looking at other places and so on, but there’s nothing (yet) that’s grabbed me, that’s made me think I want to be there rather than here.
There’s six months on my current tenancy (the first one was a six-month-only one, just in case I turned out to be a nightmare tenant etc., and since then they’ve been annual renewals) and I’m going to take that time to assess things, see if there’s anywhere else that would work better for me.
I might still be here in a year’s time. I might not. We’ll see.
Milton Keynes has quite a population of homeless people – a population that’s grown noticeably over the last couple of years – and now we have a number of homeless people who camp in the underpasses and subways around the town centre.
It’s interesting though – as Winter comes in, and the temperature has dropped over the last couple of weeks, the number of people sleeping on the streets has also dropped significantly.
I really noticed it today, seeing empty spaces on the pavements and so on where there’s usually been people sleeping.
I don’t know the reasons – although I kind of feel like I should, same as I feel like I should know where they’re getting all their gear, the tents and so on that now appear to be standard fare. It seems like even the homeless are far better prepared/equipped for being homeless. But I may be being cynical. I just don’t know.
But all the same, it’s odd, seeing how the streets have emptied out in the last couple of weeks.
Three years ago, when I was looking at moving (and ended up where I still am now) there were a couple of other places in the running – they fitted my plans, location and cost wise, if nothing else.
I go past one of them regularly on commutes, visits to parents and the like – so I see it come back on the rental market every six months or so (which is, not coincidentally, the usual period for a first short-term tenancy)
It’s pretty grotty, and right on a busy main road, so I’m not surprised it’s regularly in need of new tenants – and it looks like this, so it’s hardly appealing…That’s the only photo of it. There’s nothing of the inside at all – which always triggers my alarm bells, and is why I didn’t even visit it, so I’ve no idea what it looks like inside. I can’t imagine it’s much good though.
Even the sales description doesn’t do it any favours.
A One bedroom cottage situated on the outskirts of [village]. The property benefits from a parking area to the side and views of the countryside to the rear. Offered Unfurnished and Available Early July.
Entrance to Rear, Kitchen, Lounge, Bathroom, Double Bedroom, Shared Courtyard Garden, Double Glazed Windows, Electric Heating.
What fascinates me is that people choose it at all. OK, it’s dirt-cheap – although actually still a bit more expensive than the place I ended up with – but that doesn’t make it an appealing proposition. I’d imagine it’s even less of one after you’ve visited, seen the location and heard the road noise.
So I do wonder what type of person chooses it, and why. And (of course) where they go next, once their six months there is done…
As has been pointed out before, I am emphatically Not very practical. I can do some stuff, but I’m not good at it, and more likely to fuck it up than not. And usually I’m OK with that – I accept my limitations on that score, and just pay someone to do it who knows what they’re doing, and is infinitely more likely to not fuck it up.
But I’m always happy to have a go, so long as there’s a back-up plan.
This week though, I didn’t have that Plan B, but the simple job worked out OK.
Basically, one of the brackets on the toilet seat gave out, and snapped. That seat’s been there a *long* time, so it’s not a massive surprise. But obviously it’s something that requires replacing sooner rather than later.
And that’s what happened – I got the new seat, and also some pliers because I had a feeling it was going to be a twat to undo the remaining fittings and screws. It had been there a while, remember. And it’s rusted and nasty. So – pliers.
I got home, used the pliers, got the old seat off, put the new one in the right place, and did it all up. And it’s all gone together fine, first time.
It’s a small thing (story of my life) and I’d fully expect to be told “Jesus, anyone can replace that kind of thing” – and it’s true, they can. But for me, it’s still a nice feeling, knowing it just got handled and replaced with no hassles and hindrances.
Back on Tuesday, I had a (pre-arranged) visit from the Landlord, needing to do the annual gas safety checks and so on.
Compared to a lot of people I see on Facebook et al., I’m pretty lucky with my landlord. We get on OK, and he always calls (or sends a text, anyway) to let me know it’s happening, and that he’ll be there to keep an eye on the person doing the checks. He doesn’t organise unannounced random visits, take the piss, or generally do a lot of the stuff I hear about, but have never experienced from a landlord. (And that’s probably a different post entirely)
Getting the checks done is always fine with me, and if nothing else it’s good to know that everything is tested and safe.
This time though, it was a bit different. Everything passed and was all OK, but when I got home I found that they’d managed to close the cats upstairs for the best part of the day. With no food or water. Or litter tray. So yeah, that was fun – and necessitated use of the washing machine. We’ll leave it at that.
There were a couple of other niggles as well – nothing major, just stuff that’d been moved to get to the boiler etc., and hadn’t been returned to their original places and so on – and a broken shower-head bracket, meaning the shower wasn’t working properly.
He came round again yesterday to fix the shower head, and we had a bit of a chat about the other stuff. It’s nothing major – indeed, you feel pretty petty mentioning it – but it’s my place, and it annoyed. (I know, rented etc., but still – my place in all but mortgage)
I’m pretty sure it’ll all be fine again now, but it just annoyed for a while this week. Such is life.
Where I’m working in London this week, I’m in an office opposite an apartment block. (Which used to be known as a ‘block of flats’, but that’s not cool or trendy enough for people now) Personally I’d hate it, but that’s OK, I don’t live there.
What I don’t get about the building though is that certain windows have bars outside – I assume to look like they’ve got balconies. But all they are is the bars, there’s no outside space to them, they’re just a ‘feature’. But why? I don’t get the reasoning behind it. OK, you’ve a door you can open (into the flat/apartment) so I suppose it’s for ‘safety’ in case someone walked out of that door and fell to the street. But why have the door? It’s not even a sliding one, just a normal hinged doorway to fuck-all.
You might as well have done away with the ‘balcony’ and door completely, and just replaced it with a decent window. Same amount of ventilation, low-to-no risk of falling out (depending on the window style/opening) and no faffing about with the door protruding into the living space, and not having to look through a semi-barred window.
City-living is bloody strange on occasion.