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Rental Opportunity of the Week: Big 'Haunted By a Victorian Child' Vibes Here

For only £900 a month!

by Joel Golby
04 September 2019, 1:25pm

Photos via Gumtree

What is it? A one-bedroom flat in Enfield. You know what? Sometimes you don't need to start with a joke. Sometimes you need to just cut to the facts
Where is it? This ludicrous obsession with jokes, honestly. Why can’t we ju— they get in the way, is the thing. "Oh, jokes jokes jokes jokes jokes" – you people need to grow up. Sometimes what we need isn't fun, or whatever you call it. Tone. Interest. A sprinkling of something to elevate a piece of writing from function to entertainment. None of that shit: sometimes you just need all the facts, neatly formatted and arranged in a list. That's what the people want! Give it to them! It's in Enfield!
What is there to do locally? Time Out says "A duck pond in Enfield could become London's next wild swimming spot", so I suppose that's the next bonafide indicator of gentrification, isn't it. Now, officially, if you have a flat pool of muddy water that people who make their own yoghurt swim in, then there you go" order up a Franco Manca and an independent wool shop, and congratulations, You Are The New Hackney;
Alright, how much are they asking? £900 p.c.m.

For me, personally, the fridge is the most magnificent, most beautiful of all the white goods, of all the home features. The fridge: a humming metal box that keeps the cold in. The fridge: the fridge collects a combined mist and evaporative liquid of its own making, and funnels it down to the base of it, for you to sop up every few weeks with a wad of paper towels, the liquid always somewhere between yellow and green, phlegm-like streaks of brown in it, and you behold the fridge and ask it: why did you make this thing.

The fridge: you do not consider the fridge until it does not work. The fridge is there to hold your delicates in, your peppers and your cream cheese and your jars of jams and mayo, until the light snaps out and it becomes, simply, a grey, humid box. The fridge: we are always taught to fear the fridge as children, that magnetic vacuum-sealing around the edges of it. Do not hide in a fridge if you ever play hide-and-seek on a garbage heap, for some reason we are always taught. Your tiny child-like body does not have the strength to kick yourself out of the door. We never wonder why the fridge has to have such monstrous, terrible strength.

What secrets is the fridge hiding? Why does the fridge ever have to be so strong? What happens, in the fridge, at night, that it might need it? What is trying to fight its way out? The fridge: you have put your blue bag of three cans in there, in the bottom of it, not taking the cans out of the bag, because this is a party, and your particular blue bag (bottom shelf, furthermost left) demarcates your three cans of Zywiec from everyone else's three cans of Zywiec, because it's 11PM now and the shop round the corner closes at midnight, and you know, from there, as the party intensity increases, the contextual price of lager increases with it, and you know that this can of Zywiec (£1 exactly) will be worth at least a full line of something (price point: £5 – £8) in about three hours' time when everyone is chewing their own jaws off and talking joylessly about Kanye ("A genius, obviously. But do I want a full album about him wanting to shag God?") and then, then, some lad in a too-small leather jacket who has been smoking indiscreetly out of a window despite the no smoking rules will desperately, almost medically, need a lager, and you and the fridge can provide that to him, for a price, a price of something in a currency that cannot be traded, exactly, can only been funnelled through a fiver up into your nose.

The fridge: in your career as a renter you have had at least one argument revolving around the fridge; either someone has tried to enforce a one-shelf per-person policy (an idiot policy, for morons) and is kicking off about the placement of a head of broccoli, or else there is some intra-house unease about the rate at which a non-communal block of cheddar is being consumed ("Well, I know you had pasta last night, so—"), or else there is some strange smell coming out of the fridge – a single glass shelf of the fridge is frosted with a sinister white liquid stain, and the wilted spring onions in the salad crisper are brown and are producing their own wetness – and for some reason the person who discovered the smell (by opening the fridge and going: that stinks) has decided that, due to their Columbo-like powers of deduction re: the stank, they cannot possibly be responsible for the smell, but it’s someone’s problem to sort out, so you may as well pause the PS4 now ("I know you’re playing online and the pause function doesn’t work like that! I don’t care!") and clean the fridge out, please, even though the house is unequipped with any fridge-cleaning supplies or substances, which is why you find yourself spending a rainy Tuesday night cleaning the fridge out (seven pots of mustard decanted to the sideboard while you rinse the shelves separately in the sink) (simply why does your house need this much mustard) with two wads of toilet tissue and a spray bottle of lemon juice.

Anyway: we all agree we love fridges and the fridge. Which is why, I assume, this flat in Enfield has fucking decided to put one next to the flat's only full-length mirror, so you can enjoy every possible angle, crevice and curve of the fridge, from the front right to the back:

flat to rent enfield

Is this flat good if you ignore the fact that both the oven and the fridge have been addendumed onto the kitchen as an afterthought and the washing machine isn't even pushed all the way in? Friends, no. The flat is split into a two-level arrangement with a bleak one bed, one fold-out pouffe for some reason arrangement at the top of the stairs (your bedroom does not have four walls and a door, like any normal bedroom: it is a mezzanine level at the top of some stairs).

flat to rent enfield
flat to rent enfield

Then below those stairs you have… well, more stairs, because the spiral staircase that takes you from the glamorous fridge admiration room to the bedroom above it is so clunky and wooden and huge that it takes up any available leisure space that might sit below it, so instead of, say, a living room or a dining room, you have a small low crevice with an incredibly tiny cupboard in it, that is soaked in the sort of haunted energy you get from, say, a flat built in the 1800s where a small Victorian boy was sent to squat, with his hands on his head, as punishment for being naughty, and they forgot about him and he died there, locked in a squat, and now when you sleep on the mezzanine floor above the spot where his skeleton calcified you get these bouts of frightening sleep paralysis, the light blue and black around you, the moon huge, your eyes open and your body unmoving, and you hear that creaking tap up the stairs, screek–scronk screek–scronk, and then he appears, The Victorian Boy, still locked in an infinite squat, blue and white and screaming, his eyes sunken, his mouth dark and without teeth, fingernails grown out and daggered into the soft flesh of his own cheeks, little Peaky Blinders cap on him, knees up near his shoulders, ARGGGGGGGHHHH, he screams, and you realise the shout is coming out of your mouth, EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Plus, it's in Enfield, and who really wants to pay £900 a month to live in Enfield.

So on the whole, I'm going to give this flat: a pass. Do not rent there.

@joelgolby