THE ACCOMMODATION DEBACLE

Long before I arrived I told people in London that I would be arriving – remember this was a plan a long time in the hatching.  My one friend Mnandi was extremely excited for 2 reasons – obviously the main reason was that I was coming which was exciting in itself!  And the second reason was that it was a good excuse to give her terrible housemate notice and replace her with me.  So the plan was put into action and Terrible Housemate – we’ll call her TH for short – was given notice.  However, TH was going home to Russia on holiday after that month’s notice and asked that when she arrived back could she sleep on the sofa for a month while she found another place.  Mnandi said no – TH had a full month’s notice before she went on holiday – but said she could stay for 2 weeks if absolutely necessary.

Just a note here to say that the reason I have taken so long to post the post about accommodation is that I wanted to only publish this once the saga was well and truly over.  Carry on …

Because TH was only leaving about a week after I arrived I spent my first week in Hammersmith with Cait.  Cait lives in a lovely duplex apartment on the 4th floor with her boyfriend and another guy.  Cait will forever be in my heart for many reasons but the reason that still makes my heart swell when I think about it, is that she took the day off work from a manic job, to meet me at the airport and spend my first day in the big city, with me.  I will be forever grateful and love this chick to the moon and back. More about Cait later … I feel I’m about to go on a tangent now and I need to stick to the debacle at hand.  I am however going to stick a sneaky picture in here of our first day and first pint!

Cait and the pints - mine was the big one!

Cait and the pints – mine was the big one!

So a week after arriving in London I moved into my new accommodation in Richmond.  Mnandi, Edina (from Hungary) and I live in a 3 bedroom house on the North Sheen side of Richmond.  We live about a 3 minute walk from North Sheen train station and a 15 minute walk from Richmond train/underground station.  Sainsbury’s is our closest shop but its not on the high street so invariably I go to Tesco’s on my way home from work.  The petrol station which is literally a 2 minute walk stocks booze!!  That was a welcome surprise! So I’ve been known to pop in there now and again – lets put it this way, the staff there know me by now! 😉

I have the biggest room in the house and I love it!  It’s spacious with lots of cupboard space – which is yet to be filled to capacity – but I’m getting there.  There is only one bathroom and it’s downstairs so I’ve had to stop drinking so much water in the evenings to limit my trips down the stairs in the dead of night.

My king sized bed. My duvet says Relax, Chill and Dream ;)
My king sized bed. My duvet says S

Anyway, so there we were, all happily getting used to living in each other’s space.  It was quite an adjustment for me coming into this environment.  All my adult life I’ve been the mom, in my house, with my rules and arriving here I had to suddenly learn to live with 2 other adults and their foibles.  So that was interesting and a challenge at times.  But it was normal and par for the course.  What happened when TH came back was not normal!!!

TH was meant to come back at the beginning of September and spend two weeks on the sofa.  Both Mnandi and Edina had made plans for friends to come and spend one or two nights on the sofa after those dates. Just before she was meant to arrive back she contacted Mnandi and said that she was only arriving back in the middle of September.  So Mnandi replied and said that she couldn’t stay on the sofa on a certain date as that was the date her friend was coming and this had been arranged months ago. TH responded by saying that the friend must stay in Mnandi’s room with her.  Mnandi responded by saying they were not familiar enough to spend the night in the same bed and that if TH did not find alternative accommodation for that night she would put her friend up in a hotel and take it out of TH’s deposit.  TH responded by saying that she would be staying as long as she wanted and that Mnandi had no right to kick her out and that she could take her to court for bullying her!! WHOA. That all went pear-shaped very quickly!

Anyway, the landlord got involved and is on our side (I guess I’m on a side even though its really nothing to do with me)!!  However, we all had to put locks on our doors because apparently she is a snooper.  Also, she transformed the lounge into a fortress and you can’t even see the couch because she has put all the clothes horses around it.  It’s terribly awkward, also because I am the one who is home the most, so I’m the one who has to see her.  What amazes me though is that she is fighting this.  Why fight it when you are living out of your suitcase in a lounge (front-room), with 3 people who clearly don’t want you there!  Coupled with the fact that there is so much accommodation available immediately in London.   The mind boggles!!

So with the landlord being on board this meant that the landlord was to make a surprise visit to the house to tell TH her fortune.  This meant that the long awaited garden clean-up me and Mnandi had been planning to do had to be fast-forwarded to that weekend.  It also happened to be the weekend that Mnandi’s very overdue niece decided to make an appearance – so she had to go and babysit Niece No. 1 while Niece No. 2 arrived.  Then she had to take said guest to University as was the plan and had been for some months.  Edina also had plans for the day which had also been planned well in advance.  So this left me to tackle the overgrown garden venture on her own!  Needless to say it was quite an adventure and great exercise and I’m sorry that I did not take before and after pics because I kicked that grasses ass! 😉

The icing on the cake of his whole debacle was when I walked into the kitchen one day to find her blowing her nose into the sink – without a tissue!!!  Needless to say we have been washing everything in boiling hot, anti-septic washing liquid since then.  It’s been a really trying time for us 3 gals but its definitely made our relationship stronger and we are even more grateful for each other.

Good news is that TH has started the packing process.  By the time this post is published she should be out of the house (landlord has promised to change the locks).  I will be in South Africa and when I return all will be well.

In the meantime though, what a bloody palava!

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