Every week or so there will be an advert for a London property that plumbs new terrible depths of bad bastardry. We have decided to catalogue all of these.
What is it? A one-bed flat with a kitchen so bleak that it makes people question the point of continuing to prepare and eat food at all.
Where is it? Stratford.
What is there to do locally? Go to that big Westfield they have and scream until you throw up blood at how slowly people are walking there, or you can go to where the Olympics were and think about the Olympics.
Alright, how much are they asking? £1,000 PCM, bills not included.
When my dad got kicked out by my mum – we all had a fun year during our tender adolescence where our dads get kicked out by our mums, didn't we? – he went to go and live in a nearby council-subsidised motel, which I would say is one of the bleakest places I've ever been to. Features of Big Papa Golby's Break-up Motel: 1 x extremely small kettle; 1 x extremely shitty TV that only seemed to be able to get Channel 4, so we watched a lot of Countdown; 2 x individually packaged Tetley teabags per day, no extras; 4 x packet condensed UHT milk, no extras; 1 x bathroom that had carpet in it, and I shit you not the carpet was the colour of dark cold blood, swirled through with a pattern of fresh blood; 1 x of those little hob heater things, on which you could, over the course of 20 minutes, heat up a single tin of beans; 1 x overwhelming, choking sense of dread. The dread was palpable, the dread could move. The dread had edges and a weight to it. The dread was so corporeal it could probably set up its own Facebook page.
Point is, eating my beans from the 1 x bowl the room came equipped with, Dad eating out of the pan he bought himself, us both failing to get the Countdown conundrum that day – thing is, I figured I'd seen the bleakest possible kitchen arrangement in human history. I thought I had stared into the nadir and eaten beans off it. Reader, I was wrong. The worst kitchen in human history is currently available to rent in a one-bed, £1,000 PCM bills-not-included flat in London's trendy (?) Stratford.
Let's pull that kitchen back down here so we can deconstruct it. This is not a well-designed kitchen. Dismiss, for a moment, the fact that the sideboard looks like someone found it in a skip and went, "Well, I don't currently have a kitchen… maybe if I glue this into an alcove it will pass for one?" Ignore that. Look instead at the fact that opening the microwave door sends the mini hob into the sink. Look at how structural the fridge is. Look at that tin of paint, just sitting there. Not to overanalyse, but consider the paint:
i. The person taking the photo could not even be bothered to move the tin of paint out of shot to try to take a flattering shot of this piss-poor excuse for a kitchen. Not to speculate, but whoever is letting this must have an exceptionally poor selfie game. All taking photos from under their chin. Taking photos of themselves with a shit in a toilet accidentally in the background. Taking photos of themselves doing a thumbs up at a tin of paint.
ii. Magnolia paint, as a metaphor, is exactly the opposite of what hope is. Magnolia paint is death. Magnolia paint is giving up. Magnolia paint is like painting a sigh on your wall.
Thing is, if this were – say – £8 a month to rent, I wouldn't have any qualms with it. This is a very decent kitchen for £8 a month. But it isn't: it is a grand, per month, sans bills. For one person. To live in Stratford. Carefully reheating Pot Noodles on a hotplate and microwaving a little bag of carrots for dipping. In Stratford. I'm pretty sure it's just someone's attic with some grey carpet put down in it. In Stratford. Have you ever been to Stratford? It's like someone decided to build a city, and started with an Olympic Stadium and a monolithic shopping centre, and then just gave up or died. It's like someone had some spare roundabouts in the fridge and some tarmac that was going out of date the very next day and decided to just plop them down as far away from decent civilisation as they could.
Imagine paying £1,000 a month – just you – to live in that place, just you and your hotplate and your half a big tin of Magnolia paint, looking at the exposed piping of your sink and wondering when it's going to start leaking rusty water onto the floor, sleeping in your sheetless bed before getting up in the morning and crashing both shins into your wardrobe, wondering why they tiled that little hallway bit by the door, wondering where it all went wrong. That could be you, for the low, low price of £1,000 per calendar month.
Jesus fucking Christ, London. Get a grip.
Previously on London Rental Opportunity of the Week: