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London Rental Opportunity of the Week

London Rental Opportunity of the Week: A £750 Camp Bed in Penge!

It costs £750 a month to sleep on. Seven hundred. And fifty. Pounds.
cramped bedroom with a small camp bed
(Photo via Gumtree)

What is it? If I were to say "a camp bed in a corridor" I would not exactly be wrong, but I wouldn’t technically be right either;
Where is it? Beckenham, which it says here is near to the thriving heart of Penge, the only area of London that sounds like three words for genitals all at once;
What is there to do locally? Penge isn't real, and nothing you can say will change my mind. Nobody I know has ever been to Penge. Nobody you know has ever been to Penge. Who do you know who lives in Penge? Nobody lives in Penge. I have been on night buses whose final destination in Penge, and stayed on them, drunk and juddering, for upwards of two hours, and still never arrived in Penge. Penge isn't real, it's a myth, it is made up, it is a blank space on the map, it is a tax break, it is fraud, Penge is fraud—
Alright, how much are they asking? £750 pcm.!


Quick quiz; a quick fun quiz. What is the most depressing aspect of this flat? Is it:


(Photos via Gumtree)

  • This camp bed that is so depressing it literally made me say the word "Oh," sadly, out loud when I saw it on Gumtree, a bed that seems to structurally contort around the TV stand that looms over it, a bed that seems warped and bent as if it is already, the camp bed, broken down the middle; the bed a simply pathetic amount of height from the ground, the camp bed too narrow to even qualify as a single bed. This bed is some half-measure of bed, a ¾ portion, and I know I say this a lot but: can you even imagine convincing a single person on earth to have sex with you on this bed?


2. Is it the fact that this flat is custom-built into what appears to be – and I have been looking at it closely, and this is the only conclusion I can come to – appears to be someone's garage split horizontally in two, apportioning one half-garage into the round long shape of a studio flat, sort of, a toilet plumbed into it, the two tiny little garage-style windows on the side of it illuminating things, just barely, and I think there is some sheer cynicism built into the very bones of this place: that someone in a house in Beckenham decided one day that they could subdivide their garage with some drywall – not even the whole garage, a half garage – and almost undoubtedly find some cunt to rent it off them, for £750 a month, because that’s just the level of crisis we’re at with the property market now—


3. Is it this door which, unless perspective is playing tricks on me, is absolutely not a regulation width door, this is a door built for ants


4. Is it the hotplate instead of a hob, which for me is one of the biggest "the landlord is a bastard" red flags there are going, because there has never been a good place to live in history that had a hotplate instead of the hob, the hotplate is a fundamentally depressing kitchen gadget—?


5. The toilet crammed in next to a sink; I mean can you imagine how tight and narrow you have to sit on this whenever you want to do shit? How close is that toilet to the ground?


6. No, you're right, I think it's this: it's this chest of drawers, which, to fit into the long, thin little flat, has had its legs sawn off and is balanced half on the sideboard and half on just a random off-cut of wood, the only possible way these drawers could fit into this shitty little half-flat is for them to be amputated, and so every time you go to pull your socks out in the morning you are flirting with losing the entire drawer system because it is balanced on a bit of chipboard and nothing much else, and you end up tipping the whole drawers over and all the drawers fall out, but you’re late to work already because you have to leave an hour-and-a-half for your commute because you live in Penge, so you just sort of rush out of the flat and leave the drawers there, collapsed and crammed at an angle, you do not have the time for this in your life, and then when you come home (your commute took near to two hours on the way back, and it is almost dark, and it is Monday night and you have had a long day and all you are looking forward to is your beans on toast, the tin of beans heated up on the hotplate, the toast just fried dry in a pan, you do not have a toaster and you keep forgetting to buy one, and also there is no sofa or kitchen table so you are going to eat the beans and sort of toast in bed, cross-legged, watching Newsnight so close to your face your eyes start to hurt), but you have forgotten about the drawers, so when you come in the front door (the ant-door) you just see it wedged there, in the grey-dark, and you just let out a hollow, massive sigh – all of the air in your body exiting you at once, until you are empty and you have to creak it back upright again and sort all the things that have fallen out – your socks, your pants, a drawer full of tees, bathroom supplies you bought on offer but don’t have enough space to store in your bathroom, and also a drawer full of notes, old birthday cards and memories and tickets and stubs from events you used to go to, with your ex, the one you lived with before you moved to half a garage in Penge, and now you sit on the edge of your camp bed, fingering through them, the lights still off, remembering all those things, all those good times, and how it went sour, how it went bad, how you didn’t really realise it was happening and then it was there – the feeling of dread, the escape of oxygen from the room of your relationship – how you sweetly thought things were good until they weren’t, it just snuck up on you all of a sudden, light suddenly turning to dark, and then the catastrophe of collapse, you gathering up all your things, you moving around on friends' sofas until you got it together to find this place, all those times you stood together in the same room in perfect silence, all the times she passed you a book and said "that's yours", the hard silence, a silence you can’t escape, nothing left to say now, over with a big O, over with a full-stop, and you’re not exactly weeping now but the breathing doesn’t come easy, a single tear rolling down your face and dropping onto an old ticket from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, that was a good day wasn’t it, you went to dinner and you wore a suit, and now look, look how your life has turned out, forget the beans and go to bed, sob yourself to sleep you worm—

7. All of the above?

The answer was 7. It's all the things. It was a trick quiz, sorry. @joelgolby