The word choice involves selection; making a decision between alternative options. When I leave (and it is when) I will live in a similar place, with similar problems. Perhaps it would be easier to get the hell out of here, head off for pastures new. But where? I like the city; the problem isn’t urban life, but the state of these developments.
I want to find somewhere better, and flats are all the same. For all its many faults, Dovecot Towers is pretty standard in what is the ‘affordable’ end of the market. But uniformity is stifling. Just who decreed that all urban newbuilds must be identical? Thankfully, I avoided the teeny, tiny examples that were being built four or five years ago. My requirements are realistic, and I’m no diva demanding Jacuzzis, verdant terraces or miles and miles and miles of space in my lounge. To be honest, I wouldn’t need a house; I’m happy with a flat.
Modest to a tee, I’d really like a slightly larger balcony, so I can stand outside without dodging the door. What I’d really like though is a lounge: just a small amount of separate space so I can sit without being serenaded by washing machines, both mine and those of my neighbours, but all flats have office/kitchen/dining/sitting/laundry rooms, with nowhere to pull out a mattress when friends stay. I don’t like the idea of being greedy and rattling around in a three bed house. I’ve been checking rents, and they are falling to a level where an extra room is a growing possibility.
Regular readers know that all I really want is cupboard. It has become an obsession. I am not naturally tidy, and so have discarded superfluous possessions, with Oxfam the beneficiary. And I’d like a utility room. As for my imaginary, ideal new neighbourhood, I’d like a bar, or a café, to escape to. I’d like to look across at something other than a perpetual vista of newbuild fading into newbuild.
If I go, I’ll be shuffling from one flat to the next one, hauling my diminishing possession from one side of town to the other. I feel exhausted and daunted, and I’m checking out ‘better’ flats, in neighbourhoods not routinely prone to crime. I spoke to the man at my bank (I was reporting that my replacement debit card was stolen from post box) and he said that theft was uncommon in his block, which is 50% owner occupied.
Wisdom says that I should bide my time holding out for rental prices to drop even further (and yes, doubters, they are dropping). More flats have been completed, and the available pool of tenants has reached maximum saturation.
For what I pay here I might afford a ‘luxury’ flat. It’s just that in the Alice In Wonderland World of Newbuilds, luxury for us (a bit of space, a cupboard or two, and a utility room) is what passes for average elsewhere. My dreams are not extraordinary, wide-eyed crazy fantasies. My wishes are mundane: I want a safe and comfortable place to call home.