Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Transitional Phase

It was my 25th birthday exactly one week ago today. Unfortunately, instead of spending the week indulging in the heights of Bacchanalian excess (well, except for lunch at the Gay Hussar and that hazy Saturday night in Shoreditch), I've spent much of the past seven days investigating the less appealing side of reaching my quarter-century: responsibility.

After two (mostly) happy years in Clerkenwell, it seems my days in EC1 might be drawing to a close. Not by choice, I hasten to add, but through a woefully ill-timed decision by my landlady to sell the flat and cast us out into the unknown. While the other flatmates are pursuing rental options, I've decided to see if I can go about buying something, to avoid being put in this position again.

In doing so I have officially become The Most Boring Person In The World (TMBPITW), who perks up when adverts for Abbey or Nationwide pop up on TV, regularly trawls the Foxtons website and, worst of all, has developed a complete inability to talk about anything other than bloody flats and how to buy them. Is this what adulthood is meant to be like? Bloody hell, I hope not. As TMBPITW, I've even started to bore myself.

Anyway, I'll spare you all the gory details, but suffice it to say this is the reason behind my not having posted for awhile. I am, to borrow a phrase from my daily analysis lingo, in a transitional phase. Will try to stick to the once-a-week-minimum rule from now on, though.

In the meantime, I've been pondering. About a couple of things, since you asked.

  1. London. What in god's name is the point? Don't get me wrong, I still love the place, but if you're not loaded with cash or already the owner of a property, can you ever really make your entire life here? Assuming you've arrived from another country, that is. For the price of a crummy one-room ex-council flat here, you could get nice clean HOUSES with SEVERAL rooms in many other countries.
  2. Luuuurve. Is it possible in a place like this? My experience of London is fairly limited, but it tends to include people who (a) have moved here from other countries, or at least other parts of the UK, and (b) make their living in the media industry. Say two of those people meet and start to date, and everything's peachy. But then, bam! The nature of your job could dictate that you almost never see your partner except when pissed, one or both of you could be turfed out of your flat, redundancy or horrific job conditions could see you out of work, boredom or post-work boozing could lead to infidelity, the stress of living in a box in central London could make you want to permanently head for the hills... Oh yes, and family in two different locations outside London doesn't help matters either. So I'm just wondering, given all that can go wrong, is it possible for anyone working in the media in London to have a romance that lasts?

Teenage angst was nothing compared to this. Actually yes it was, it was fucking horrible. Still, though. Aaaaargh!


At December 23, 2005 11:58 am, Blogger PooterGeek said...

Unless you or your parents are so rich they can afford to put a match to forty thousand pounds and watch it burn slowly over a period of years, please, please don't buy a tiny flat in London now. You'd be making a terrible, terrible mistake.

Remember: you would not be buying anything; you would be borrowing a huge sum of money with a view to paying it back---with interest---over the rest of your working life. Provided you continued to meet the repayments, your lenders would very kindly let you live in their property.

But you do have my sympathy about being turfed out by your landlady. Life is an utter bitch. I hope things work out for you.

At December 23, 2005 2:07 pm, Blogger Lady M said...

I dunno, I think the whole housing market crash thing has been really overhyped. Ok, there very likely will be a dip in the market for a year or possibly two, and houses will lose value, but by and large these things tend to correct themselves over time and follow a lazy upward curve.

I put in an offer on a place yesterday that is actually pretty nice, and in quite a nice small building (as opposed to the faceless Stalinist blocks that I was afraid of having to move into), so we'll see how it works out. I know I'll never fully own it (assuming I manage to move in in the first place, that is), but the plan is really to stay there a few years and then make a big fat pile of cash by selling when the value goes higher. :) That way I can eventually afford to buy somewhere bigger and nicer somewhere else that isn't London. One day.

Thanks for the link, though, always useful to have. And thanks for the kind wishes! I have to say I am absolutely terrified about the whole thing.

At December 27, 2005 6:51 pm, Anonymous Neville said...

Lady M, I think it would be better for you to leave London, or preferably, the UK entirely, and return to Canada. You'd be better off.

At December 28, 2005 12:04 pm, Blogger Lady M said...

But, but.... I like it here.

At December 29, 2005 8:49 am, Blogger coolbuddha said...

Welcome to the homeowning democracy! It's great having your own place - I just can't afford any furniture...

At December 29, 2005 1:40 pm, Blogger Lady M said...

Yes, I have a feeling that if I am successful in this venture, it will be all bean-bags and yoga mats from now on! Or at least until the next time I get a payrise, which will be many moons from now.


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