In which the old adage about glittering stuff and gold is back in fashion

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So I moved to Hounslow. Which of itself was an adventure that I would much rather not repeat. I’d talk about it here but the last few days have been really trying for the concave that is my head. I don’t think repeating everything that happened here will help much. Let’s talk about my new house instead (I don’t see myself giving it “home” status. It’s more of a somewhere-to-stay-until-I-start-being-paid-decently case.) The building itself is lovely and my new room spacious and with big windows (always a good thing). Unfortunately it came with some MAJOR turn-offs that I’ll have to grin and bear for a year. What are these griefs I face you ask? Well, for one the walls are pretty thin, which I’ve noticed seems to be the norm in England. Personally I detest them. They do next to nothing to keep the sound from other rooms out which means that working without headphones will be impossible, unless, by some happy coincidence, I’m home alone. Also, for the record, dear whoever is playing music in the living room right now, if you need to raise your voice to be heard over the song, then perhaps you should turn the volume down. Since we’re practically at Heathrow’s doorstep, you’d think soundproofing would be the first thing on the list…

The next thing is more of a personal preference thing. One of the first things you notice when entering my room is this lovely, inviting, double bed. If you are anything like me, your first instinct would be to throw yourself on the mattress and enjoy an impromptu cat nap. If you did this in this bed you’d end up with bruises. I’m not kidding! Let me make an honest-to-Chuck comparison: on one particular family holiday we ended up having more people than beds in the house, so us kids ended up in the living room with a carpet and a couple of folded blankets between us and the floor. That was more comfortable than what I currently have to sleep in. I’m not exaggerating at all. The mattress feels like lying on the floor. I know some people prefer to sleep on a firm surface (apparently it’s good for your back?) but there is a difference, I think, between firm and unyielding. And this bed is categorically on the latter part of the spectrum.

The kitchen! Oh how do I weep for that kitchen! I cook when I’m happy. I cook when I’m stressed. I cook when I’m angry. Basically, cooking is one of my coping mechanisms. One of the things I was most looking forward to while moving out of student accommodation was a functional kitchen. This is not the case. Partially that is because I haven’t had time to get used to it. But a very, very large part is due to the lack of space. Not only are the counters covered in stuff (that needs washing or -I suspect- has nowhere else to be) from what I understand each tenant is assigned one cupboard. To put this in perspective, I came here with two boxes worth of kitchen stuff, from crockery, to cutlery, to spices or foodstuff that was still good and I didn’t want to throw out. I’m used to limited storage space but this is ridiculous! Half my stuff is still in the cardboard boxes and it will need to remain there because I’ve filled the cupboard as much as I safely can. You want a constant source of stress? Try having to work from storage boxes. It will drive you crazy, I promise.

But by far the biggest problem in this scenario (and the one from which quite a few others will stem, I just know) is that my landlord (live-in at that) speaks really bad English and on top of that he talks really fast. That means that out of every ten words that come out of his mouth  I’m lucky if I can make sense of four. Mercifully one of the other tenants can act as a translator (and I’m kinda hoping she comes home soon today because there’s some financial matters I need to discuss with him and that is not a subject I’m willing to talk about in a pray-we-understand-each-other level). I was hoping I’d have a chance to allow my anxiety to recede a bit now that I’m out of uni. Doesn’t look like it, judging by the knot that my stomach has turned to…

You’re probably wondering why I chose to move in in a house that is clearly problematic. The answer is simple: I was in a time-crunch and with an incredibly limited budget. I hoped I was making the best out of a bad situation. Maybe that will be the case in a few weeks. Then again, I can’t even ask that guy whether the post has come yet so I’m not holding out. Heh! Remember when we were kids and thought that having our own house would be as easy as acing a spelling test? And for the record, the next person above the age of 30 that tells me starting out in life is easy and I panic over nothing will be treated to the kind of tongue-lashing I’d give someone my age. Colourful language included. Telling me to keep calm with do nothing for my anxiety-induced headaches, the insomnia, the lack of appetite or the fact that I am officially at the stage where a ten minute discussion is enough to reduce me to the kind of exhaustion not even allnighters can achieve, And I would know…

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