Thursday, 5 December 2013

#ShareAdvent Been putting this off

I put off little things all the time. If I'm left on my own, I don't bother to cook until I'm almost faint with hunger. It's laziness, I know how to make a quick, simple dinner for one, I just hate cooking for myself. The flat doesn't get cleaned or tidied as much as it should be. I procrastinate and use every excuse I can possibly think of not to do things. But there's nothing major currently that I could stop putting off for this post.

Corey and I did do something this year that we'd been putting off for a long time. This time last year we were living in a dark, dingy flat. There had been a hole in the bedroom ceiling for over a year, with no sign of it being repaired. The mould that kept appearing in the living room could not be gotten rid of even with a dehumidifier. It wasn't a great place to live in and it was making us both unhappy. Our neighbours were also rather nasty, which didn't help matters.

My argument for staying there was that it was only £400 per month, as it was small so were our bills. We could cope with the issues, save frantically and hopefully buy a place of our own in a year or two. Our bedroom ceiling was finally fixed and we could move the furniture away from the damp walls.

Three things then happened in the space of a week. A damp patch appeared on our bedroom floor, near to the shower. The ceiling started leaking again (I still have no clue what our bloody neighbours were getting up to). Finally we discovered my favourite piece of furniture was mouldy. It was the one nice piece of furniture in our living room. Our sofa was a nasty futon from Argos, our bookshelves were warped and old. But this piece is real wood, chunky and gorgeous. We justified getting it because the wall it would go by had shown no signs of damp.

Well, it turns out we had condensation issues and rising damp. Needless to say, we started looking for a new place.

Searching for flats and houses, particularly when you've been burnt a few times by bad living conditions, always seems a little Goldilocks and the Three Bears like - it takes a while to find the perfect fit. We had a checklist - less than £500, 2 bed, decent sized kitchen, separate living room, a bathroom that wasn't effectively a part of the bedroom and somewhere for Corey's bike. I was sick of that bloody thing staying in the living room.

Some had a nice kitchen, but tiny bedrooms. Others had wonderful bedrooms, but no place outside for the bike. The nicest places were miles away from my work. We went to see a 3 bed place that seemed a tad too cheap and had no photo's. I don't even know why we went to see it. I think it was mostly curiosity, really. Before we went to see it, we got a call from an estate agents whose property we'd viewed in the morning. They told us they had a property we might be interested in.

It was off the main road, but at an angle that meant you couldn't hear the noise from the traffic. With one bedroom, it wasn't quite the checklist fit, but it had a study instead of a second bedroom, a good sized bathroom and a kitchen you can actually cook properly in. We didn't agree to anything, went off for a walk and a chat before viewing the 3 bed.

Which was a wreck - a landlord wanted to convert a former student residence into a house for professionals without doing any work on it. So we went back and took the 1 bed with a study.

The shower doesn't work. I don't know that it ever will. Amusingly, the bedroom ceiling leaked (but was fixed promptly). The radiators are ancient, the boiler is an immersion boiler. It's not the perfect solution to our problems. We don't love it. Then again, we probably never will until we have a place to call our own.

But we are a lot happier. It's lighter and more functional than our previous place. I feel like I can invite people around to stay. If Corey is watching something and I want a bit of quiet, I can just shut myself away in one of the rooms. The biggest thing is that we can cook and wash up together again. I loved being in the kitchen and chatting with my mother or joking with my brothers before and after dinner while growing up. In our previous place you could barely fit one of us in the kitchen.

What I've learnt from this is that even if you have a good reason for putting something off, if it's making you unhappy, get out or change it if you can. A bit extra money each month isn't worth the expense of your happiness and quality of living.

That's not to say I'm not still guilty of putting off the little things...

1 comment:

  1. We did something similar and that is how we got our house that I have loved this past year (gas leaks and moths notwithstanding!). So glad you are happier now x

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