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 in an effort to preserve forever the current insanity of the London housing market. Have a read of the (equally depressing) previous entries here and here.
What is it? A fucking bunk bed overlooking a sink.
Where is it? Notting Hill.
What is there to do locally? You can watch rich celebrities do a school run and then, as a special treat, once a year you can get tinnitus and food poisoning at Carnival.
Alright, how much are they asking? £810 PCM. Bills unclear.
Look at this. Look at it. Because one of the greatest joys of the London property market is seeing a space like this and working backwards, carefully and with large soft strides retracing the mental steps that led to a landlord beholding this room and going: 'Yes, this seems like an inhabitable human space.' Your feet are in the sand of whatever far-flung beach it is they've chosen to holiday on this time, echoing their flip flop-prints, as they think: 'I mean, how much space does one human being even need, anyway?' Landlords all holding their hands to their heads and going: 'I am a human being, and I have exactly two functions: I need to sleep, and I occasionally need to rinse things – either some pots or my dick – in a sink. Hmm.' Looking at a 10' x 8' room and going: 'Well, if you ram a bunkbed in there, you've got space for a chair. Can do an extra £100 a month if I give the fuckers a chair.' Insight into the beautiful, crystalline mind of the London landlord: an evil genius in a free-from-a-conference polo shirt, conjuring fantastical spaces out of the damp bones of some of the worst rooms in London.
And so to Notting Hill, where you can rent a tiny slice of paradise itself, a shitty bedsit with a shitty kitchen and a shitty bunkbed that you can lean over the side of to look directly into the kitchen. The one advantage of this room is that you – and you are drunk at this point, absolutely ruined on port or some other west London drink because you have to be drunk to blot out the bleak reality of this room – you can, in your drunken state, lean out of bed and hit the sink with a perfect red rainbow of vomit. You won't even have to clean up the vomit. You won't even have to get out of bed. That is the one and only advantage of this room.
Thing about this room is, even if it were stripped of all the furniture (and there is a lot of furniture, an attempt to trick your base mind into thinking this is a well-equipped room: a tiny table with two tiny chairs; a ceiling hook for your bicycle; a transparent stack of drawers for the tiny amount of possessions this room will allow you to store; and I mean for god's sake there is a microwave under the sink), it still sort of seems like the kind of place someone might want to live in, albeit only when they've decided they want to die in a very unfussy way without anyone really knowing. Do some people aspire to be the star of one of those "we knew there was a bad smell, but we didn't know a body had been decomposing in there for six months" stories? Because if so: £810 a month and a short commute to Notting Hill and this dream could be a reality.
"Why don't you buy a place?" your dad says, doesn't he, when you go home on occasional weekends for a big roast. "This renting. I just don't get it." Your dad "bought this house for £100 and some shillings", he says, and he doesn't understand why you can't either. Your dad once swapped a horse for a suit. "Just put some money away every month," he says. Can he help you out with the deposit? "I cannot," your dad's saying. "I've got my trains now." He collects trains now. He calls them "my trains".
He doesn't understand, is the thing, does he, because he's never lived in a world where you've seen a room ad and gone, 'This is nice. This seems nice,' and then you've gone to Notting Hill – bunked off work early, left in the rain, three-tube commute to get there but you've got there, and you are like, 'I must remember to ask about the recycling bins.' And then you walk in, and some fucker in a conference polo is like "…so this is £810 a month and no DSS". Saying: "There are four hooks to hang your coats up on, and they are all in the bathroom, the obvious place for coats." Going: "There are two boiler plates on the hob, so you can very slowly cook two things at once." Going: "Also, I need £810 deposit, because I cannot trust you not to ruin this room more than it already has been ruined."
Repeat after me: kill all landlords. Death to all landlords.
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