This blog has been a long time coming. I’ve been meaning to start one, to write, to share photos, to waste time, to vent but ironically never seemed to find the time to waste. But now I have decided to utilise all my free time in productive ways. Step one- start writing again.
Brief introductions, since I hope anything worth knowing about me will be gradually revealed in good time. I recently graduated from University of Edinburgh and made the big move down to London to start an internship with a conservation and development NGO.
Having lived at my friends parent’s for two weeks I spent my evenings after work trawling through every houseshare/flatshare/hovelshare website I could find, trying to find someone who would take me under their wing or at least let me sleep under their sink. In a city with a population of 7.5 million (wow) you would have thought there would have been a plethora of people with sparerooms. And this was something I was led to believe was indeed true before I moved down.
“Ah you’ll find somewhere in no time once you’re down there.”
“There’s hundreds of people desperate for housemates.”
“Come and stay in my house. I have a bunkbed”.
Maybe not the last one. But basically I was told London flatshares were easy to get. Brilliant. So I stopped looking.
Before I moved, exams finished, I got my results, I jetted off around the Middle East for a month (one day I’ll get round to writing something about that and sorting my thousands of photos) then fleetingly came home then back up to Edinburgh for graduation. Ten days later I found myself in Kings Cross. At rush hour.
Sweating my ass off, cheeks flushed after an ill-timed trip on the tube during Friday rushhour, carrying my life on my back and in various other bags that hung off my limbs, straps straining.
Welcome to London.
Househunting- or rather London househunting- is a whole different kettle of fish compared to Edinburgh flats where you spend an afternoon looking up out flats online then go to a viewing. Perhaps with the added exhiliration (if you’re lucky) of the race to the estate agent’s to book the flat. I guessed this time it was always going to be different. They already have the house, I’m just trying to persuade them to let me live in it… Kind of a strange situation- who is meant to be interviewing who?
If anything, my househunting let me see a lot of the city. Good and bad. Crouch End nice. Homerton bad. I got to see a cross section of London’s inhabitants ranging from bearded Kiwi’s to Aussies wearing lime green tartan shorts to Spaniards wearing nothing but their boyfriend’s shirt. And limited underwear.
Putting your email on the GumTree always comes with an inherent risk. While the vegan commune that contacted me was tempting, my personal favourite was:
“We are a young attractive Brazilian couple looking for young woman to live rent free at our beautiful home. We are very flexible”.
Flexible as to a move in date? Or were they expecting a more literal or physical interpretation…. Intrigued as I was, I declined their kind offer, forcing myself to believe that 2 weeks in London was not long enough to begin to use my body for rent payments. 3 weeks maybe. But thankfully, the last place I looked at turned out to be the best. Archway, five guys, double room. Perfect. They liked me, I liked them and the next weekend I was moved in.
So far so good, I’m making (a few) friends around the place from work, rekindling friendships with old travelling buddies with whom my relationship, prior to my move, was based on sporadic meetups and generic emails and generally making the most out of doing it alone and trying to sort my life out post-uni.
Last year was a great year, despite the obvious stresses and hysterics of final year university and the subsequent existential crisis when four years of your life comes to an end and the people who have shaped your life for all that time all disseminate back to various corners of the world and you’re forced, once again, to become an individual being.
(I sometimes have a predeliction to the melodramatic.)
I will write more. I will photograph more. I will get out more.