Friday, March 02, 2007

Home Number 12

We have just exchanged. Apparently the seller's seller rang at 5.20 yesterday to say he still wanted to go ahead - the myssterious 'cash buyer' obviously disappeared.

Coincidentally, I read in the Metro this morning, that young people (I'm still counting myself in this) will have an average of 16 homes in there lifetime which is an increase on an average of 5 for the previous generation.

The new place will be my 12th home. I was quite shocked by how many I've had as I don't feel as if I've moved much and I lived in the same place for the first 18 years. So as an excuse for another list, these are the places I've lived

1. Family home - a large old house by the sea, that my father also grew up in. The family catering business was in the ground floor of the building so I grew up with a bizarre extended family of chefs, waitresses and van drivers. It was not a normal childhood. My mother always hated the house for its lack of privacy, but I know that if my sisters or I ever won the lottery, we would buy the house back from the present owners, The Walton (not a joke) who are professional foster parents.

2. Fifers Lane Halls of Residences in Norwich. The Dam Busters was rumoured to have been filmed theere, our block was subsiding at a rate of 1 inch per year and had a ratio of 1 shower to every 36 students. We were the last year of students to live there before it was condemned. But it had its own bar and the community spirit was great.

3. Rented house in Norwich's 'Golden Triangle', a phrase I struggle to think of without smiling. Sharing with two girls I loved, and two I couldn't stand.

4. On Campus for third year. Living with seven other people but a much better shower ratio - 8 to 2.

5. Out of the family home and into living above a pub that my mother had decided to run in a moment of menopausal madness (according to her). It was a huge pub so the living area was massive too and I ended up with a room bigger than my old one. We had a roof terrace and my mum bought Miss Ellie, our lovely dog. But I was the world's worst barmaid and the pub locals were scum, so I 'ran away' to London.

6. Awful bedsit in West London that I took in a hurry so I could take my first job in London. It was vile, but somehow I ended up staying there six months and without a television!

7. Studio - better than the previous one but not by much, about five minutes walk from the other one. I stayed there 18 months despite its proxity to a the train track and my view of a brick wall.

8. Flat share from hell with the boyfriend of a university friend in Neasdon, opposite Ikea. My friend split up with him, he went weird (left the stove on all weekend, slept in lounge sleeping bag covered in vomit while I was away) and then didn't pay the rent. The landlord threatened to come down from Leeds and slit my throat even though I had paid my share. I moved out quickly.

9. The 'United Nations' houseshare as it was nicknamed. At various points, a Canadian, an Italian, a German, and two Irish rented a house of a dodgy Greek bloke - rent to be left in the cutlery drawer every two weeks. We had to stage a 'sit-in' to get our deposit back.

10. Loft conversion with OH. The landlords, a pair of liberal Canadians lived downstairs - he was a student (and frequently spirit drinker judging by his breathe & speech in the later period), she was a writer of historical romances. There was a lot of wood panelling and it was always too warm. The floorboards were dodgy and fell through one night. 'Did you drop something on it' said the man. 'Like what? A Truck?' said the OH. They had a 'builder' who did all of their repairs - he actually wore Cowboy boots which was an accurate reflection on his building expertise

11. The current flat - located on the street between the previous one and the UN house. Its ok - I've never loved and made the brave decision of letting the OH view it alone while I was away. The people upstairs make strange noises at random times. I'll probably still cry when we move out though.


Miss Forthright said...

I'm happy for you- even more so when I ready your motley list of old houses. Makes my house history look like Kensington.

SandDancer said...

Thank you.

The weird thing is that I really didn't think I'd had that bad a time with it until I wrote out the list. The last three places have mainly been ok.

The list of places I looked at but didn't move into would have been worse.

Anonymous said...


what a great post too (I might steal it) - I've just calculated that I've lived in 14 places already and was horrified to recall some of my more disgusting houses/flat/house-shares..some are definitely repressed memories...although I'm not sure I want to remember some of them!

SandDancer said...

NM - Thank you. Please do steal it & do your list. I love a good houseshare horror story! Of course, its much easier to laugh about these things now that they are in the past.