Change Is Good

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Sometimes all we need is one little – or big – thing to change in our life for our attitudes or general over-all outlook to change.  Hopefully for the better and not for the worst.

Well as I wrote in a previous post (click HERE to read), I’d given my notice at my dreary room in middle-of-nowhere Woolwich.  I’ve been looking on and off to move for well over six months now, but was having such a hard time finding anything I liked or could afford.

Or both.

Again, as I mentioned in the aforementioned post, I’d found a new place and I couldn’t have been happier.

And now that I’ve moved in this past weekend, my outlook regarding my housing situation is most definitely on the cheery side.  A more than welcome change from the gloominess I’d been feeling back in Woolwich.

I was so excited to move to my new place that I started moving in weekend before last, and then finished things off this past weekend after painting my bedroom, something I’ve never been able to do in the past.

Did it all go without a hitch?  Well, for the most part I’d say yes.

My original idea was to paint most of the room a light grey/platinum with a feature wall in an aqua-blue type colour, but figured that might be too dark for a bedroom.  Even if the room itself is quite spacious.

20151024_194850But unfortunately that didn’t happen.  And I ended up painting the room a colour called ‘stardust’, which looked more grey with a hint of lavender in it on the can and in the shop… But once I got it one the walls, it turned out a bit more pinkish/light lavender than grey in certain lights.

But I’m not complaining, as it allowed me to put my own stamp on a my new place, and now have clean walls to decorate in whatever way I want.  Something I’m looking forward to.

As well, I think by parcelling my move over two weekends it allowed me to organise things better and reduce some of the stress that comes from moving.  I had a different friend helping me each day with the move and painting, and was able to unpack quite easily once I get everything into the new place.

And now it’s time to settle into the new place and get to know the new flatmate.  So far over the past couple days, I think I’ve spent more time hanging out and chatting to him than I did in the last year at the last place.

It definitely makes a difference when living with someone who’s interested in having an actual flatmate around, and not just renting out the spare room.

20150924_191630I’m cooking more and actually eating at the dinner table instead of in my bedroom.  I’m not hiding out in my room watching Netflix every night.. In fact, tonight was the first time I’d turned on my laptop since I moved!

So fingers crossed this new living situation continues to succeed as much as it seems to have been over the past few days.. and not have to move again anytime soon. 🙂

Now the next big thing to look forward to is my week’s holiday in Gran Canaria in a couple weeks.. all by myself.  And I can’t wait.

An Update of Sorts

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Where do I start…

It’s been well over a month since I last posted anything to my blog, and it hasn’t been due to a lack of things to write about.  Life gets busy sometimes, and sometimes there just isn’t any time to catch up on things.

But maybe that’s just a bunch of bull.. there’s been plenty of time to write on my blog, and plenty of opportunities to log on.  But for some reason, I just haven’t done it.

It’s not like I’ve been super busy with work or an amazing social life, because I haven’t been really.  More than anything I’ve just fallen into a rut where all I seem to want to do when I get home from work is relax, watch Netflix, and sleep.

I haven’t been going out that much really.  In fact I’ve continued my regular habit of spending my weekends at home, doing pretty much nothing.

Lazy on sofaSo there’s obviously lots of time for me to write and blog, and there have been times I’ve had some great ideas for posts or stories I’d like to write.

But .. nothing.

For whatever reason I’ve just found it hard to sit down at the laptop and open up a fresh post, and put my thoughts to paper so to speak.

It’s not like I’ve stopped enjoying the writing process or the act itself, but I haven’t.  If anything I’ve found myself itching to get back to it regularly.

I suppose a big factor in everything has to be environment.. in my current flat, I just don’t feel energised to be creative, or even have the energy to get off my ass and do what I want to do.

This probably has as much to do with how I feel about where I live as well as the environment itself.  For whatever reason, my bedroom feels almost claustrophobic and dark, as if I was living in a basement instead of on the 2nd floor.

It also hasn’t helped that I’ve gotten into the habit of using my desk as a dumping point for post, dishes and whatnot, leaving hardly any room for my laptop let alone sitting at the desk and writing.

Einstein quoteBut luckily change is on the horizon… finally.

Not only have I done a massive clean up to reduce the clutter in my room (wasn’t messy per se, just needed a good clear out), but I’ve also given my notice to move.

That’s right, after almost a year living in this gloomy, dreary place, I’ve finally found a new place to live.. and will be moving by the end of October.

The sooner the better.

Not only is it closer to work (about 25 minutes by bus including a 10 minute walk to the bus stop), but it’s also more central and closer to my friends.  So hopefully this will give me more of a push to get off my ass and live life more.

But I think the main reason I’m excited to move to this new place is my new flatmate.  He seems really nice, friendly, and interested in having someone to share the flat with him, not just rent a room.

moving-in-packing-organizingAlso helps that he’s not the landlord, but just another tenant in the flat.

Oh, and he’s Italian. And gay. And yes, he’s cute.. but I won’t be looking to cross that boundary.  LOL

I suppose this impending change has just gotten me excited about things a bit more again.  And living in a flat where it doesn’t feel like I’m inconveniencing the other person.

Change is good, and I can’t wait for it to get here. 🙂

A Temporary Change of Scenery

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I’ve been a bad blogger lately.

I’ve gotten so out of the habit of writing regularly that there’s been loads of things happening that I haven’t written about.  And it’s hard to determine where to start, or even if things that have happened are even worth still writing about.

The biggest thing at the moment is that I’ve moved – temporarily for a week and a half.  I’m cat-sitting for my old flatmate (who I lived with for 3 years in Vauxhall) and staying at his place in Camberwell while he’s away at Bear Week in Provincetown.

Sure, I could have come each day to feed the cat and stay at home, but it would have been a lot of travelling back and forth.  And that would have been especially difficult in the mornings since I start work at 8am… I get up early enough as it is.

But so far it’s been 4 amazing days.

I’d forgotten how great it is to live somewhat (south) central since I moved out of Vauxhall 2 years ago. It is so much easier to go out, see people and get home afterwards, like I did on Friday night after work.

man cooking nakedBut most importantly for me, it’s nice to have an entire flat to myself.  Even if it’s only temporary.

Oh and being able to walk around, go to the kitchen or bathroom, without having to put clothes on if I don’t want to. 😉

I haven’t lived alone since my last couple years in Montreal, and it’s reminded me how much I miss living on my own (not that I can afford to do so in London).

It’s about having the option to just pop down the road to meet up with people – whether they be friends, a date, or even just a shag – without having to pre-plan things hours ahead of time due to transport… though finding shags isn’t a massive priority at the moment. lol

I obviously hate where I’m currently living, both for the location and the environment itself.  It takes me a good hour to get anyway central, and since I’m on a budget I have to find ways to avoid travelling on the tube or trains through Zone 1 (costs me extra per trip and it adds up quickly).

As for the environment itself, I’m not sure if that’s just what it is on face value or if it’s a product of my own discomfort of living where I am.  When I’m home, I’m basically stuck in my bedroom as the landlord is always in the living with the doors closed.  This makes me feel like I’d be intruding on his space or interrupting him in some way.

Or at least that’s the way it feels to me.  I could be making assumptions about it all, but he’s not that friendly when you come right down to it.  At least not in the way I’m used to when living with other people.

Or maybe it’s me that’s become unwelcoming in that environment by shutting myself off in my bedroom.  Hmmm…

Anyway, this experience of getting to live temporarily in an area I already like has given me a new perspective about what I want from a room for rent or flatshare, and where I am now isn’t it.

man in bathSo I think it’s decision time.  I think instead of vaguely looking around at flat ads and hoping to find something that will push me into action, I need to get off my ass and make a move.

I think I need to give my month’s notice so I have a deadline of when I need to move by instead of sitting around saying I’ll give my notice once I find somewhere new to live.

It’s scary to just jump off the deep end like that, and there’s no guarantee that I’ll find the ‘perfect’ place, but if I don’t do it now I’ll end up just staying put and feeling miserable about living there.

But until then, I’m going to savour every moment I’m staying at my mate’s place. 🙂

Where’d My Drive Go?

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Back when I first moved to London, I seemed to always be on the go.  Checking out new areas, looking to meet new people, and just generally enjoying getting out there and exploring what my new city had to offer.

After reading an article a mate posted on Facebook this morning, it’s made me wonder where that person went.  Where that inquisitive and adventurous person disappeared to.

When did I become so complacent in my day to day life?

Basically, I’ve settled in and become a fixture on my own sofa.  I’ve lost that innate desire to explore the city and to try new things that I had when I first moved here.  I’ve lost my drive to make my life interesting and exciting.

But is that a bad thing?  We all get into routines from time to time,and sometimes life gets so busy that you just need that quiet time recharging on the sofa.  And boy, do I love my downtime!

airplane windowOr perhaps this is my subconscious telling me I need to try somewhere new to get those adventurous juices flowing again.  Maybe I just need to take a trip (preferably abroad, and somewhere sunny) to jump-start that desire within myself while living in London.

Or maybe it’s time to think about leaving London…

As my bestie P keeps asking me what’s really keeping me in London?  It’s not like I’ve some fantastic social life here, or tons of friends to spend time with, or some fantastic lover who’s career keeps them in town.  And it’s not like I myself have some amazing job that I can’t get anywhere else…

So what is it that’s preventing me from making such a big change?

Probably more than anything it’s nerves and being scared of the unknown.. which is a lame excuse considering the HUGE change I made when I first moved to London 6 1/2 years ago. All by myself.  I really can’t excuse being scared of such a change, when it pales in comparison to that.

Is it finances?  Yeah, that’s possibly part of it as well.  It costs money to move to a new city, and if you don’t already have a job lined up then you need enough to live on until you find something.

Before I moved to London I saved my pennies for most of a year, allowing me to move here with a nice little nest-egg that afforded me a month or two without working.  Luckily I found a job and a place to live within my first month here, so it all worked out.

However based on my current financial status, I’m barely scraping by each month.  So that doesn’t leave much breathing space to start saving for some big move.

Not that I have any clue where I’d want to move to …

A couple of years ago when I was first made redundant, I did consider moving south to Brighton.  I was doing alright financially at the time, and could afford the move itself.

I was so adamant that it was going to happen that I spent a bunch of time down there looking at flats and rooms to rent, but never really found anything I truly liked.  So I stopped trying.. and ended up staying in London, living through a year of unemployment and depression.

where nextI’m under no allusions that my life would have been better if I’d gone ahead with the move south.  Or even that I’d have found a job right away, let alone an actual social life.  But it does make me wonder what could have been…

Anyway… no point looking back on that when it’s time to look to the future.

Now just to figure out where the hell that future will take place.  😉

On Borrowed Time

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A month ago, my current landlord advised me he was serving me notice as he’d decided he wants to live alone for awhile mainly due to some family issues and personal stress he’s been going through.

It sucked to hear it, but I understood.  Sometimes when you’re going through a rough patch, all you want to do is to simplify your life.

Though I’m not that sure how my living here complicated things for him, but whatever.  Not my problem..

Well, actually it is in a way.  I’m the one who needs to find a new place to live, and fast!!

Technically I was due to move out by YESTERDAY.. but because I haven’t found a new place to live as yet, he’s given me another week or two to sort things out.  I’d originally brought it up as I was viewing a place the next day where the move in date wasn’t until the middle of November.

But because of this, I now feel like I’m intruding on him and his life.  And that I’m starting to overstay my welcome..Like I’m becoming the flatmate who won’t leave.

Of course that could all just be in my head, as he said he had no issues with extending my move out date.  In fact when we talked about it last weekend, he said he’d meant to let me know there was no problem if I needed an extra week or so.

He’s been super flexible about it all.

The crap thing about it all is how few responses I’m getting to the messages I’m sending about rooms to rent.  I’ve been looking like crazy, especially over the past week or so, and have only seen a couple places – one that was absolutely lovely but way too outside my budget, and another that was ok but the landlord turned me down due to his ‘acute sense of smell’ (I’m a light smoker).

moving_4-resized-600It’s extremely stressful to be still looking to find somewhere suitable after a month’s time, and to know that I should already be moved or at least packing to move by now (I haven’t started packing yet since I have no clue where I’m going…).

The only offer I’ve had is from a friend of mine from my old softball group, who has offered to rent me a room really cheap.  She hadn’t been planning on renting it out until after the holidays, but is willing to make an exception for me.

It looks lovely from the pictures/videos she’s sent me and she’d probably be great to live with, even it was only short-term.  But the problem I’m having is that it’s even further south than I currently live.. Making getting home from a night out even harder than it is now, and the commute to work twice as long.

*Sigh*  I’m still thinking about the idea.  It would be great cause I could save a bunch of money, but is that worth it to have the extra transport issues.

Guess we’ll have to wait and see how things turn out.  I’ve got a couple more viewings tomorrow (Sunday), so maybe one of them will turn out.. or maybe I’ll just stop overthinking things and accept my friend’s offer.

Fingers crossed x

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Throwing a Wrench in the Works

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There definitely seems to be a lot to get caught up on, especially my recent visit to Edinburgh and spending the weekend hanging with my best mate, partying our way through the various BearScots parties.

But that can wait.. I’d meant to write about this last week but hadn’t gotten around to it.  Plus I still wasn’t sure how I felt about it…

I’ve been given notice to move from my landlord, meaning I have to move house by end of October.

It was completely unexpected and totally caught me off guard.  Since I moved in over a year and a bit ago, everything has been great.  To the point where he’d said I totally fitted into the house, as I’d basically made it my home alongside him.

Now I’m not going to go into massive details of the situation or talk about my landlord/housemate as I’d promised when I moved in that I wouldn’t.  And I’ve done my very best to honour his wishes in that respect.

Basically he’s decided he’d like to live alone for awhile, as he’s had a rough year (his business, so not going to write about it of course) and would like to go into the new year refreshed and regrouped.

When we discussed it, he did tell me point blank that the reasoning behind this decision (which he was almost as upset as I was about) had absolutely nothing to do with me.  There hadn’t been anything I’d done or anything he was upset with me about, just that he needed to do his own thing for while.

To say this is a pain in the ass for me is a definite understatement.  Just as I was truly settling into the new job (almost three months now) this happens to throw a wrench in the machine.  It was not something I really needed right now, especially as I’d been quite comfortable and happy living there.

So.. what now?  Now I have to look for somewhere else to live, something I absolutely hate to do.  I’ve been putting off actually looking until I got back from Edinburgh, but now is time to see what I can find.

I have been taking a quick look here and there online to see what is out there, room or flatshare-wise, and in the areas I’ve been looking I’m not sure I could afford what I’m seeing.

The rent I’m paying at my current place totally fits my budget and salary, and getting to work from here is super easy.. both of which I’m looking for in a new place.  But I also want to find something that isn’t so far out from Central London, as it’s always a chore to get into town and back again if I go to meet friends.

Admittedly if it wasn’t for where my job is (Forest Hill), I’d consider moving to North London for a change of pace.  But if I were to do that, it would take me a lot longer to get to work.  Plus I would have to travel through Central London, meaning my transport costs would be much more than they are at the moment.

Oh well.. I’ve just over 3 weeks to find some place new.  I just really hope it’s somewhere nice and affordable, and if it’s another flat/houseshare that the people are really easy to get along with.

Just sucks that finding a place of my own is out of the question, budget-wise.  😦

Moving Day Mistakes

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I can honestly say I truly detest the process of packing up all your stuff and moving it to a new one.  It’s annoying and frustrating, and takes way too much effort.Frustrated-movers-0ebd3e

Where’s a teleporter when you need one? 😉

Although I don’t officially move into the new place until September 1st, it’s been agreed I could move my stuff in early – and could move in early myself if I wanted to.  To basically have a week’s overlap between the two places so I decided to move the majority of my stuff in over the Bank Holiday weekend.

I should have expected nothing would go according to plan.  Well, what little plan there was anyway.

I’d previously sent out several calls for help on Facebook and spoken to a couple friends I know have cars to see if anyone would be able to give me a hand.  Unfortunately I didn’t get any overwhelming offers to help me move, with the only one who could help (and actually lived in town) was a fuckbuddy of mine.

Of course the lack of suppose, specifically from those friends who have cars, could have been my own fault – at no point did I outright ask any of them if they could give me a hand (mistake #1).  Instead I only got a bunch of well wishes on my move.

I definitely appreciated that mate offering to help me out, as moving from one area to another by myself didn’t sound pleasing at all.  Especially without a car, which mean trying to transport it all by bus.  Luckily there was no furniture to move.

But I believe the problem again is I wasn’t clear or specific what or when I needed the help.  And when things didn’t go as I’d hoped they would, I got upset and was fairly abrupt with him.

I’d messaged him on Saturday asking what time he was going to come by (mistake #2), to which he replied he’d come by after lunch.  I said to him I wanted to get it all done early afternoon, but of course didn’t specify what time (mistake #3).  He restated he’d come by after lunch.

I just want to get this done already..

I just want to get this done already..

Of course ‘after lunch’ could mean different things to different people.  I took it mean he’d be by around 1pm or so and didn’t clarify what time he meant by that (mistake #4).  So of course I had my own idea of when to expect him and started to plan accordingly.

Would anyone be surprised to learn none of it went as I’d expected or hoped?  Yeah, me neither after thinking back on it.

So moving day came along, and I arranged my stuff thinking he’d be by early afternoon like I’d asked him to..

But already I was starting to worry about that, so after 11am I started sending him text messages, and when I saw him logged in on Facebook I sent him a message on there as well (mistake #5 – I should have called him to begin with).

And I got no response.

So of course I started to get flustered about the whole thing and (on the advise of a mate I was chatting to) I booked a cab through Addison Lee to arrive at 2pm .. so my last message to him was that I was leaving by that time (mistake #6 – I should have booked a car to begin with but thought it be too expensive).

So all that did was get me more worked up and angry at him and the situation I’d put myself in.  All I could keep thinking was once again I’d put my trust in someone and they’d let me down as usual.  That once again I could only rely on myself to get things done when and how I wanted them to be done.

Can you tell when my head latches onto a problem it just runs with it?

About 10 minutes before the car was due to show up I finally heard from him, that he was ready to come over and help.  In my state of mind at the time it just sent me in an absolute fury .. and then he called me.angry-and-talking-on-the-phone

Needless to say I completed blasted him (mistake #7 perhaps? Or was it justified?).

I was so pissed off I kept going on about how he’d let me down and wasn’t there for me when he’d promised he would, and that I didn’t need people like that in my life anymore.  And basically told him to fuck off and leave me alone.  He kept going on about how he eats lunch late, and how maybe it’s a cultural difference.. Personally I thought that was a cop out on his part.

Obviously I should have been much more specific from the beginning and set the timeline myself and I shouldn’t have gotten so angry with him like I did .. but at the same time, he was just as unclear as to when he was coming over.  And should have asked me when I needed him there, not giving a vague idea of when he might show up.

Obviously now I’ve got to figure how to apologise to him while making sure he understands where I was coming from as well.

And the crap thing?  I’m not completed finished moving.  *Sigh*  That’ll be done this weekend as I officially move in.

Yep.. totally felt like this at the time :-(

Yep.. totally felt like this at the time 😦

The Flat: An Update

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As it was recently pointed out to me by my soon to be new flatmate James, I really haven’t given an update as to what is now happening with us regarding our living situation.  The last update I gave was in the posting ‘What now…‘, so please go back and read it if you need a refresher.

And to be honest, quite a bit has happened since that last posting.

Well to start off with, we didn’t so much lose the Victoria flat as we gave up on it.  Especially at the end of that week where the agent was just pushing way too hard for us to do something to get everything sorted.  It got to the point where, on the Friday, I literally had had enough of it all, and told the agent off.

He had called, while I was at work, to find out if my payroll manager had called to say that I was actually a permanent employee, not temporary like I’d originally put on the form.  I told him I’d emailed her first thing that morning, and hadn’t heard anything back, which is when he said that I needed to do something more than just email her and should physically go to her to see what she can do.  It wasn’t so much what he said, as how he said it, like I was some child who needed to be guided by the hand.

I literally told him that, if having my payroll manager call in for me doesn’t pay off, then we would be asking for our deposit back and going elsewhere.  We’d had enough.

After I gave him what for, he texted me saying he was sorry he was pushing too much and that he was very frustrated by the whole situation.  He was frustrated??  Did he not realize how much stress the whole situation had put on the two of us?

Anyway, while all this was going on, James had been busy checking out some other listings online and had booked a couple of viewings for us for Saturday.  Only problem was I had a birthday/going away party I had to go to in the afternoon, so wouldn’t be able to go to all the viewings.  Turned out I didn’t need to worry about that…

Originally, we were supposed to see this one place at King’s Cross that looked absolutely beautiful and was right by the station.  Unfortunately, it got snatched up the night before we were to see it.

The second one, that I wasn’t originally too keen on because of the location, was situated down the street from Caledonian Road Station.  The flat itself was alright, nothing spectacular, except it was a pretty small 2-bedroom.

The next one we say was a 2-bedroom Mews house near Oval in a gated community where a couple of James’s friends already live.  We were early so went to theirs for tea and chat while we waited for our appointment.  That place was nice, but again was fairly small (narrow), and we weren’t completely sold on it .. even though it was much cheaper than anything else we’d seen.

That same realitor had a second place to show us, and since I’d already told my friend I’d be a bit late for his party, I went along to see it.  And it’s a good thing I did .. it was absolutely gorgeous!!!

This flat is in a house broken up into 3 flats, and the flat is on the top floor .. and is a split level flat, overlooking Vauxhall Park, and is a 5 minute walk from Vauxhall Station.  There was already some furniture there so we could see where everything would fit, and we both agreed as soon as we left the place that this was ‘the one’.

imageresizeaspxAnyway, to make an already long story shorter, James called the agency and told them we were interested, and that we’d do a 1-yr lease with no break-clause (this was to try to sweeten the deal for the landlord, as there was another couple interested in the place already).  That Monday morning, we got an email from the agency with the online application, which both of us filled out right away.

The next day, the agency was already contacting our employers for references (had already prewarned my payroll manager..), which were sent back same day.  A few days later we got confirmation that our move in date would be March 16th.

That’s right, we got the flat!!

All we’re doing right now is waiting for the lease itself to show up so we can sign it, pay the remaining rent, and then start moving in.  I’ll be moving in right on the 16th, as that is when I told my current flatmates I’d be gone, and James will be moving in the following weekend.

Can’t wait to get in there already!

~M