London Rental Opportunity of the Week

London Rental Opportunity of the Week: Streatham's #1 Public Shower!

Can I watch you shower? No? I'll… just… turn and look at this wall then?
a kitchen with a shower
(All photos via Rightmove)

What is it? Traditionally I would describe a small room with a shower in it as a "bathroom", but you're meant to live in this, so in answer to your question: "not a bathroom";
Where is it? Streatham, one of those impossible-to-get-to south-west London districts that all those friends of yours who actually wanted to move to Balham ended up in instead;
What is there to do locally? I just searched the word "Streatham" on Twitter because I'm sure I knew someone who lived there, but basically all people ever tweet about there is i. the local swimming pool is filled w/ filth; ii. violence outside Nando’s; iii. A Tree Has Collapsed On The Road And Now This Bus Can’t Go Past; and iv. shops closing on a dying high street, so I suppose the answer is "swallow some wet plasters and get chinned outside of Nando's" and nothing much else;
Alright, how much are they asking? £625 p.c.m.


A recurring theme in this column of late has been the dressing up in stockings and nice knickers of a converted room in a share-sized flat, which has been recast by estate agents as a "studio flat" (Exhibit A., B., C., D. and E.). That is not what is happening here: this is a bedsit flat, one rung up from a mattress beneath a dry enough bridge, and it is honest about that. In a way, I admire the straightforwardness of this description: have you ever in your life read sales copy with less energy than this? I feel like my iron levels dipped just reading it:



But also, we do have to address the fact that this is un hole du shit. We’ll start with the shower, because you can’t stop looking at the shower. I mean:


One: I firmly believe the side of a shower should never, ever come into solid contact with a kitchen work surface, like it is here, but there we go. (Can you imagine chopping a tomato here while someone next to you washes their balls? No). Two: we have to consider the idea of showering in this bedsit flat while literally any other person in the world is there. Have you ever, in your life, been to a fancy open-plan hotel room thing, where they have a sort of steam-doored shower in full view of the rest of the room? Kind of place you book for a "naughty weekend" with someone you’re boning, that sort of thing? The shower is there, visible, coquettish almost. It is filled with small, sleek, black matte bottles of expensive lotion. "Come wash in me," the hotel shower says. "I am horny." This is not a horny shower. This shower says, "Come wash your crevices in Radox while blinking away the crust of the alarm clock." This shower says, "More people have peed in me than you can ever imagine." This is not a horny shower.


Quickly, then we’ll get to the main bit: there’s no bed in this flat. The flat is advertised as "fully furnished" but there's no visible bed. I think this is a trend, too: that property agents, fully acknowledging that any photo of a bed crammed into this flat is going to actively discourage potential renters, move the furniture out of the room temporarily to make it look bigger. There is nowhere you can possibly cram a bed in this (maybe against the back wall? But then you can’t open the drawers in that chest they left by the window. Maybe in the exact centre of the room? But then you’ll clatter the shower door on the bed every time you get out of it. Steam inside your duvet. Pillows rotting from the inside-out. There is no good place for a bed to go). A bed must come with the flat. But where would it go? There is no answer to this riddle. It was asked by a wolf as you were trying to cross a bridge.

Final one before we leave Streatham forever and strike a match onto the petrol trail we left on the ground behind it: look at these photos again—


Tell me, friend: where you pissing? In this flat. Where's the piss bit. Where them shits go. Where you do toilet. I don’t need a bathroom all the time, but I like to go maybe six, seven times a day. Where am I… what am I doing, here? Do I have to go down the road and hit the McDonald’s bathroom? Do I need to use my gym member's card to piss and shit? Is there a shared bathroom outside my weird shower-bedroom that I can go in? Who else is in there? Do they live in a miserable little shower room too? Do we meet each other in the hallway, eyes joyless, crossing path, me tagging out of my shit and them tagging in for the piss? Who buys the toilet paper for that place? Am I bringing my own? Do I have to trail a personal toilet paper roll around with me at all times? Just to piss and shit? For £625 p.c.m.? In Streatham? No thanks! No thank you!