I’ve moved quite a lot of stuff to Sheridan’s. I forgot just how heavy boxes of books can be. I’m not using a removals company because the big and heavy stuff (sofas, bed, table, etc) are staying here as the flat is to be let fully or partly furnished.
So I’ve been packing up the living room, notably books. Heavy things. I’m amazed how many books I’ve amassed over the 7.5 years I’ve been here. Too many actually. My whole life I’ve read. I need to read. To do so is to open up parallel worlds into which one can escape.
But I got to thinking and I’m actually disappointed that I haven’t used a library in so very long. I don’t know any one that uses libraries. Yet I know huge numbers of people who use Amazon. Sure, owning books can be a good thing. But so often you only read them once, especially if they’re fiction. So I began thinking about how much I wish I was a member of a library. Heck, I don’t even know where my local one is. It’s certainly not ‘local’ as in, walkable.
And so I’m resolving that when I’ve moved to – touch wood – the London Borough of Westminster – I will join a library. A cursory search indicates that there are quite a few in the borough so that’s good. They even offer free wi-fi, something I hadn’t realised.
When I move to rented the flat won’t be large. It’ll be a 1-bed and undoubtedly bijou, for sure. And my goal is to live quite minimally. It’s far too easy to accumulate huge amounts of junk that you never use or need. This collecting binge is as equally apparent in the kitchen as in the wardrobe or even bathroom. Vast quantities of ‘things’ that I just don’t… need. Henceforth – living life with a kind of zen minimalism will be a priority.
This coming week I should close on arranging the tenant for my flat. There have been 2 offers made. One from a professional couple, the other from 2 young guys wanting a professional flatshare (i.e. they want me to sort a bed for the small second bedroom). Of course, that room was furnished as a bedroom aeons ago when I had a lodger – an old uni friend – but that’s not been for years. And you might think that the professional couple would be the obvious choice. But it’s not quite so cut and dried. For a start, the guys are offering more money (5% less than asking vs 10% less than asking) and they don’t have any of their own stuff so want it as fully furnished as possible. This means that all my starter flat crap items, i.e. the Ikea cutlery and crockery, the old pots and pans, etc, can all be left.
I actually have enough kitchen stuff to leave the older stuff and take the newer, higher quality items I’ve bought over the years. So this isn’t a bad thing. And more importantly – my gut tells me that they will be less fussy about problems which, history dictates, are not uncommon here. I’ve had loads of problems over the years. They has ranged from noisy neighbours through to a flood from upstairs wrecking my ceiling, a flood in my own bathroom wrecking the flat below, etc. I just have this feeling that they’ll be slightly less OTT than the professional couple if/when problems do arise.
Of course, people have warned me that they may wreck the place, what with being young and male (although they are in professional jobs!). But this is a starter flat, not some high-end expensively decorated yuppy flat. Plus, their deposit amounts to 6 weeks rent and a fairy tight inventory process takes place before they move in. So I’m much less worried about that. Also, my friend the White Russian (who did all the work at the flat and who has made it look so great) will be available to fix any problems that arise, either during the tenancy or at the end.
So I actually don’t have huge concerns about my old flat. I have only one ultimate concern – my own exit strategy. Who moves into my old flat, at what price, what problems arise, etc, will be dealt with by the agency on my behalf. One of the few good things about having bought so long ago is that the anticipated rental yield amounts to almost double the monthly mortgage repayments. This means I should not, technically (and touching wood!) – have any real financial worries about the flat (unless it goes un-let for long periods of time). And hopefully the extra money coming in – that survives the taxman – should help offset the astronomic rent I’ll be paying in central London (though I’m not relying on it for this nor factoring it into my budgeting).
So we’ll see. Hoping for closure this week and so very excited about it. Change – at long last – is around the corner.