After the trauma of my last houseshare interview, I was obviously in danger of accepting an offer from any strangers who smiled at me and liked Chinese food. Luckily, in my vulnerable state, no bad decisions were made.
Forty-five minutes late, I ran to the next house interview and met Damian and Andrea from New Zealand, their six year old boy, Neo, and Richard, an Englishman who works as a pirate at Madame Tussauds.
They had put up their ad on Gumtree only that morning and I was the sixth person to visit that day. They seemed easy-going, and sympathetically expressed horror at the idea of anyone banning garlic and onion in the house. Other goodness: they laughed at my jokes and have every season of House on DVD.
‘You know I like cooking,’ I said. ‘The other thing is that I really like is dancing.’
Andrea perked up. ‘What kind of dancing?’
‘My favourite is swing dancing.’
‘What kind of swing dancing?’
‘Well, do you know lindy hop?’
Andrea clapped excitedly. ‘I do lindy hop too!’
At that point, I thought, ‘In the bag!’
We talked for a bit longer, then it was time to go. Damian said, ‘You’re the last one we were waiting for before we made a decision. We’ll all have a chat between us now and I’ll call you to let you know what we decide.’
I left the house, thoughtful and tired. It was an eight minute walk to the tube station, then maybe another twenty-five minutes before I could get back to my temporary apartment to make dinner. Then my mobile phone rang.
‘Joan? It’s Damian. Have you ever seen X-Factor? Well, it was like that. We took a vote and you’re in. Are you interested?’
‘That’s great! Definitely. I’m really pleased.’
‘Can you come back during the week some time to pick up the keys? I guess you’ll move in on the weekend…’
‘Actually, I’m still near your house. You guys were just too quick on the voting. I can come back now if that’s convenient.’
Five minutes later, I was back at my new home. They gave me the key and I stayed to celebrate with a glass of wine and a home-cooked dinner, which definitely involved garlic!
I’ve been here for two weeks now and have finally gotten my room mostly organised. Here are the first photos. I will eventually rejig things so that the desk isn’t in such an awkward position.
I bought the desk online and waited all last Saturday for the company to deliver it. When they didn’t come, I was pretty peeved. The desk arrived on Monday. Luckily, Damian was as sick as a dog that day so was home to pick it up. I spent Monday night, happily wearing my engineer’s hat, screwing things together and twirling my allen key. Now that I have a desk, I am more inclined to be on the internet. Hopefully I will blog more regularly now.
The curtains are quite flimsy and there is a street light outside my window. Orange light filters through, making it tricky to get to sleep. Damjan has given me one of those eye-cover things you got on aeroplanes (what are they called?) and that’s worked well — easier than buying new curtains!
I needed more shelf space but don’t have much room for it. Along with my desk, I ordered a set of seagrass baskets and have stacked them to make a reconfigurable shelf space. I’m really pleased at how they’ve turned out.