Over the years, my experience of flat-share ads has shown them to need extensive interpretation. Either deliberately deceptive, or in code, they disguise the neurotic, slap-inducing tendencies of your prospective co-tenants, so pay attention.
Beware the word ‘executive’ in all its guises. Only a complete arse would describe their home (or themselves) this way, and consider it a positive. ‘Executive’ means they have done the Alpha course, and will try and winch you in. They own the flat, and regard you, their lowly sub-tenant, as a loser for not racing up the property ladder from the age of fifteen. While their room is ensuite, they will continue to vindictively use your bathroom. They return home late, bitter, tense, coke- up and spiteful. They will go home to Wigan for long breaks, claiming to have been in Chicago. On ‘executive’ business.
‘Gay friendly’ can be a minefield. It might simply mean that gay people live there, and are preferred. A frightening alternative is that residents will assume the same frantic, and altogether terrifying mental state of the characters in ‘Gimme Gimme Gimme,’ compulsively re-enacting key scenes, screeching with mirth. For a friend of mine, it meant a lovelorn lesbian housemate who looked like Wee Jimmie Krankie.
‘Friendly, lively house’? The devil in disguise; it’s all back to mine, gone mad: baked beans everywhere, lager cans in the sink, no cleaning at all, ever, and friends on the sofa, in the hall, and in your bed if you get home a minute after midnight. After weeks spent ankle deep in take away cartons, and the same track will boom and thump courtesy of the bedroom DJ in the next room, until your eyes swivel in time to the music, and the pores on your forearms bleed spontaneously.
‘Communal House’ Hmm… with the rest of house populated by skunk loving anarcho vegan hippy eco warriors who don’t believe in mousetraps, and threaten regular weekly and accusatory house meetings/denunciation sessions, you will emit a whining sound. Then you’ll go mad, but find redemptive sanctuary in a pond.
‘Creative’. That means cacophonous, gurning, experimental musicians rehearsing in your kitchen. Arty types, such as fashion students will cast a critical eye over the design values of your knickers on the line, and decode the aesthetics of your shoes. In a flashback from my student days, I still view sculptors as violent thugs, because they were, leaving a trail of giblets, blood, ears etc after nutting and gouging each other on the dance floor. I don’t know why; they just did.
‘Quiet.’ Another loaded phrase. ‘Quiet’ means a passive-aggressive, forlorn shadow who will hiss “shush!!!” you if you watch anything other than the Antique’s Roadshow, and judge you as a harlot for having overnight guests. You will live your life under a solemn ticking clock (a prize possession) every beat of which marks the passing seconds of your life.
Until you run screaming from the house.
And the whole, hideous cycle starts again.