Saturday, 5 January 2013
Day 5 - Flat 8
Flat 8. I do so love it here.
After I finished uni in 2010 I lived at home for awhile, and when I started working at Apple in Westfield I commuted. I hated it with a passion. Around 2 hours each way was a nightmare, I'd leave work and remember just how much longer it was until I got home. My Dad has been doing a similar, longer, commute for I'm not sure how long. Could be 40 years. How nuts is that?! Medway to Hammersmith every day for 40 years, so that my Mum could stay teaching at the school she loved, near her family, and we could all be taught at that school. How amazing is THAT?! My Dad absolutely rocks the world and I couldn't be luckier to have him. You'll undoubtedly see a picture of him at some point, he's a scientist, and he looks it. He's been described as Doctor Who with grey hair, which is so perfect I think he should be cast as such if ever such a plot line were written. I digress.
After a couple of months I was fed up with commuting, and started looking for a place in London. At first this was so demoralising, I'd spend hours trawling websites looking for rooms available, and only actually saw a handful of rooms. A couple were nice and too expensive, some were terrifying and gross. I walked back to Shepherd's Bush in dejection on a few occasions.
Then, one day, I happened upon a flat on Gumtree. It looked nice enough, and I responded to the ad. Little did I know, that was the first email I would send my wife. Nich was on the other end of that ad. From a first "Can I come and see your flat?" "Sure, when?" conversation, we started sending emails during the day, just chatting. We confirmed that I liked tea and would respond positively when offered one when I arrived. We chatted about why Nich was moving out and, after I had visited the flat, how sad we were that we wouldn't be living together. How mental, I had met the girl once! I don't believe in soulmates, but if there was ever a case for one, here it is.
In due course I moved into the flat, helping Nich move out at the same time. I found myself with two wonderful flatmates, Claire and Lynsey, whom I had met briefly on my visit. It felt like I slotted right into place, and soon found myself enjoying cup after cup of tea with Claire discussing How I Met Your Mother in depth. I had no idea that by moving up to London and in with these utter randoms that I would meet some of my best friends.
After not quite a year, Claire decided to move back to Northern Ireland. At the same time Nich decided to come back from travelling. This seemed like ideal timing as Nich could move back in, but I still would have loved Claire to have stayed and found a 4 bed flat. Alas, this was not the way. It did, however, pave the way for visits to Belfast, yay! I miss Claire immensely, and have often thought about the various forms of instant transportation (apparating, orbing, Star Trek Transporter-ing) with longing. One day Claire, one day.
I was finally living with Nich, and what a lovely few months it was. At the time I was working from home once a week, and this often coincided with Nich working from home. I lived for those days. So much tea. So much HIMYM. So much laughter. One time when Nich and I were left alone in the flat (not often a good idea) we spent a good hour, maybe more, lying on the sofas making fart noises and seeing if we could get the flags hung from the ceiling to sway. It wasn't on company time, don't worry. It was highly amusing is what it was. Lynsey came in and looked at us in pitying disbelief. It's an interesting look, you should try it.
THEN. My oh my. Nich moved out. To PARIS of all places. I mean, come on! It was horrendous, I didn't want to think about how much I'd miss her. I still don't. She looked for another housemate to replace her, as I had done, and found Samantha.
Samantha is lovely. And what is weird about Samantha is that she is also from Medway. This doesn't mean she has 3 legs, though entirely possible. We are the same age and went to school around the corner from each other. Every morning I waited for my friends at the train station she walked through. We have friends in common. It's bizarre. Every so often we'll be talking about Medway, or school, and say something that makes the other go, "Oh my god, you *insert Medway or school thing here* no way!". I find it incredible that we didn't know each other, and a bit sad at that, because I think we would have got on exceedingly well when we were younger. What gives me this hint is that a main source of our amusement at the moment is to stare at each other from odd angles in the hope it will make each other jump.
All in all, I've been exceedingly lucky with the people I happened to start living with. I love all of them to pieces, and can't wait to see the missing ones again soon. I'd say the only thing I can complain about is the fact that Lynsey never finishes her tea (sacrilege) but I'm starting to come to terms with that. Flat 8 is a wonderful place to live, and I don't want it to leave the family for quite some time yet. And not just because it has free parking. But that totally helps.