Sorry but… RANT RANT RANT; Thoughts on the etiquette of shared living.

The words “Sorry but…” should be banned from the English language. No one has ever said “Sorry but…” with a shred of remorse.

“Sorry but… RANT RANT RANT.” was the opening line of a text on a WhatsApp message from one of my new house mates with whom I have barely exchanged 30 words with since moving in last week. As far as I can tell a WhatsApp group between adults who share a house is the 2017 version of passive aggressive post it notes on milk cartons in uni halls.

You know who no one ever likes? The person who put post-its on their milk.

Unfortunately, I really thought I was past this kind of stuff. Two years ago Phil and I decided to get our own place and not to share but seeing as we want to be able to afford a mortgage before we die, we have since realised that shared accommodation while living in London actually makes a lot of sense economically.

So here’s the thing. I put stuff in the wrong bin. But in my defence, I put them in the bins as they were labelled. They were just incorrectly labelled. Also, it’s been a week, I don’t know the weird arbitrary rules a house has come to agree upon before I move in. As a first offence, I feel like the response from new house mate is quite unwarranted.

So here are my seven five rules for shared living.

Don’t be a dick

I feel like this is self-explanatory. If you are horrible to the people you live chances are home is going to feel like a pretty rotten place. The thing is this is easily avoided. Usually through the use of standard conversations through the usual social conventions.

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

This on is a difficult one for me. Sweating the small stuff is a key skill of teaching year 2, but my home is not my work place and some things are worth having a go over.

Like a single prosecco wrapper being left out. That’s not passive aggressive note thing. It’s a “oh I’ll be a good person and pop that in the <del>general waste?</del> bin for you” thing.

Here’s a list of things that I didn’t write texts about today;

-someone finished the toilet paper and didn’t replace it.

-someone put all my utensils in their cupboard.

-someone left bits of food in the sink.

-someone spilt something on the floor and didn’t clean it up properly.

I didn’t write a text about any of these things. I just fixed them and didn’t feel any kind of resentment about them. Mainly because I don’t think they warrant a scolding.

Don’t exaggerate. 

So here’s a story that is kind of ridiculous. Last Thursday my best friend came to the house to celebrate her engagement. We were excited, there was prosecco. We were passed out in bed by 11.30. Wild.

Then our landlord called Phil and said “so… I heard you had a party?”. Party? On what planet is having a friend over even remotely comparable to having a party? I understand that there was probably a lot of high pitched noises and loud laughter, but 3 people do not a party make.

Don’t abuse the WhatsApp Group.

It’s not just me who found this tirade insane. Some house mates stayed out of it, as I did myself. Some told others to take it easy. Most of those forty messages came from just two individuals.  Who in the name of a Generic Messianic Figurehead had time to bitch about bins over 40 text messages?

Top hits included

  • lambasting a non-native speaker of English for her terrible English.
  • Some strange and inappropriate public flirting between two of the house mates.
  • leading me the conclusion that Phil and I should change our names to New Tenant 1 and New Tenant 2.
  • a scolding from the landlord for not being very mature with social media.

Talk about it.

It’s funny that this is a cliche at this point and yet people still need to be reminded that communication is key. If you want to tell me something, tell me. If you think I’m only worthy of texts/notes I will respond in the most unhelpful manner I can possibly dream up.

 

Continue Reading

Farewell 7a

So yesterday Phil and I cleaned out and locked up the first flat we lived in together for the last time. The amount of dust that had accumulated in cupboards and presses was impressive.

Despite it being the smallest flat on the earth, I will miss the privacy and comfort of having our own place to live. A friend told me a few years ago “this is what you do in London, first, you live somewhere alone and then you live somewhere nicer, but you have to give something up; privacy, location, price… something has to go.”

So we have given up privacy but the new location is about the same, and the price is excellent. Also, our new place definitely has more room, but then that would not have been hard to achieve.


Once we had scrubbed, scoured, dusted, swept, mopped, packed and moved we spent a bit of time exploring our new local area. I have always for the last two years thought that this area was not that nice, however, so far we have located the local hipster bar, complete with craft beers, a gin menu, gourmet burgers and pizzas with unusual toppings.

Yesterday we found another local pub which brought on a wave of nostalgia for Sunday pub grub in McCarthy’s of Fethard, with tartan upholstery, worn pink carpet and shades of green that have never been viewed as particularly attractive. The food, however, was delicious, the service was friendly and the vibe was pleasantly local, the kind of place families take their kids when they also want to meet other adults.

I curled up with a pint and a book. All in all a well spent Sunday.

Here’s Phil, learning about beer.

Continue Reading

Summer’s here.

After a year of SATs related stress, the summer is finally here. I’ve embraced this by dying my hair lavender, buying a stack of new books and moving house.

My new house feels very London. Phil and I bring the total number of people in the house to nine, but luckily the house is enormous and we have our own living room attached to our very cute attic bedroom. We still have our own space which is considerably larger than in our previous microscopic flat in West Ealing.

Holidays back to Ireland are looming and I’m looking forward to a few weeks of Tipperary flavored chill and catching up with family and friends.

The next few days, however, are going to consist mainly of relaxing, reading and exploring while trying to find free things in London.

And yoga… once I have finished unpacking and have some actual floor space.

 

Today’s simple pleasure. Lemon and lavender cake is incredible.

Starting off my summer reading.

Continue Reading

Grey-friar Gardens, our class trip.

I’m halfway through my first week in CCCU, and it has been pretty good so far.  Lectures are more or less the same stuff I was doing last year so I’m not worried yet.  Today my class went to Grey-Friar gardens in Canterbury to bond and to partly to get everyone to loosen up and start acting a bit more child like.  So we spent two hours or so running around this place trying to imagine how children would react.
IMG_1022

 

This is possibly the best keep off the grass sign I’ve ever seen;
IMG_1021

IMG_1018

 

Inevitably we started climbing trees, because that’s what children do.IMG_1015 IMG_1013

IMG_1009

 

 

Mirrors.IMG_1008 IMG_1007 IMG_1001 IMG_1000 IMG_0999 IMG_0993

IMG_0965 IMG_0991 IMG_0990 IMG_0988IMG_0986 IMG_0987

IMG_0985 IMG_0984 IMG_0982 IMG_0981 IMG_0978 IMG_0975 IMG_0974

And I found a bumblebee…
IMG_0970 IMG_0966IMG_0964 IMG_0963 IMG_0962 IMG_0959 IMG_0958 IMG_0957 IMG_0956 IMG_0955 IMG_0953 IMG_0951 IMG_0944

Continue Reading