14
Oct
2009

My Househunting Hell: Part I

It was cold and I was tired. My search had, to date, proved less successful than a cling film windscreen.

My A to Z had spent so much time in my hands that I may as well have tattooed it onto my palms and my possessions seemed destined to rot in my friend’s garage, along with my optimism.

This was round two of house-hunting and I had heard it all: ‘Sorry, an old friend has decided to move in now, but we thought you were cool so I’ve added you as a friend on Facebook!’; ‘We’ve changed our mind, we want a boy…’ and ‘our landlord is selling the flat so now we’re homeless too!’

With no other option available I had ended up in a temporary sublet far from the area of London in which I planned to lay my hat (…shoe rack and stripy throw cushions). Life was fast becoming ‘my TfL nightmare’.

To muster the psychological strength needed for my next search I tried desperately to wipe from my mind the memories of the mouldy walls, the absent windows and the ‘good sized double’ that made Harry Potter’s cupboard seem like a reasonable residence. Try as I might, these memories were stuck fast and erasing them was like trying to carve rock with a dandelion.

In my disillusioned state I set about arranging a tight-knit schedule of auditions; in my experience meeting prospective housemates is not dissimilar to the nerve-wracking anticipation of auditioning for a show.You’ve got to be shrewd, quick and eager; but not too much.

First you need to get yourself seen before all the other keen homeless souls, then, you’ve got to sell yourself as a great housemate; ensuring that your attributes shine through your hopelessness, nerves and desperation. With the pressure mounting, sealing the deal starts to feel as unlikely as landing the lead in Chicago. But nothing prepared me for what happened next…

Read the second installment of Holly’s househunting hell next week on The London Word.

Image by nicksarebi courtesy of Flickr

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