London Rental Opportunity of the Week: Just Far Too Many Sinks in Thornton Heath

This flat is BYOB (bring your own bed).

19 November 2018, 1:49pm

All photos, as per the watermark, via "MovingInn"

What is it? Two sinks, zero bed and half a chance of a toilet in: Thornton Heath;
Where is it? Thorny H, literally just said that;
What is there to do locally? [near-frantic sound of me googling "Thornton Heath?????????", worrying slightly how many times the words "Thornton" and "Heath" have already cropped up in this article, the word count out of control on this one at a record early stage] Thornton Heath is just Croydon for people who are too shy to say they live in Croydon. You live in Croydon, grow up;
Alright, how much are they asking? Hate to caveat this with the information that "this is actually quite a reasonable amount, in the grand scheme of this column", because I know whenever I type that everyone north of Watford puts down their dull grey meat paste baps in a single unified bumpf and says in an unholy voice not of this world, "ME MORTGAGE COSTS LESS THAN THAT AND I’VE GOT A GARDEN", but: £604.80 p.c.m.

Q. How far away would you space a sink if you were going to install another sink in the near vicinity of an existing sink? A lot of the times when I ask a question like this it is deliberately to unbalance you, and no more so is that than now. I’ll rephrase: you have a room. It has a sink in it (a kitchen sink, which you – a sink connoisseur – already recognise is different to a bathroom sink) (kitchen sinks are most often metallic and deep and have a built in draining board – bathroom sinks have a supportive shaft and are made of ceramic, and have little grooves and indentations for a soap sliver) (if you have a posh mum or you grew up anywhere near a farmhouse your kitchen sink will also be made of ceramic and will be the approximate size and depth of a metal skip: you are to be ignored in this sink-defining binary). You understand the two kinds of sink. I need you to install a bathroom sink to augment the existing kitchen sink. Where you putting the bathroom sink? (10 marks)

Possible answers:

a. I would put the bathroom sink in the bathroom, a separate room for shitting, pissing and showering in, and &c.
b. I’d put the bathroom sink in the same room as the kitchen sink, but far away, so the sinks don’t impinge on one another’s sink space or render each other totally useless: I would give each sink room to stand on its own as a sink, and feel a sense of triumph from its being.
c. Nah, I'd just fucking put two sinks next to each other like this:


Sorry, but that is an absolutely deranged configuration of sinks. It is like a cathedral to the Xzibit "yo dawg" meme: yo dawg, I heard you like sinks, so we put a sink in your sink so you can sink while you sink.

Which sink was the first sink? The first sink was the kitchen sink, because it is attached to a small but well-planned kitchen counter and unit combo. So why is there a second bathroom sink? Because the bathroom (which we will get to) cannot accommodate its own sink. Then why is the sink there? Every time I see an insane design decision in one of London's flats, I always think of the sheer number of adults involved in making it, e.g. a bathroom sink ending up next to a kitchen sink. These things do not happen in isolation. A single person did not lock themselves in this room and renovate it quietly without telling anyone. Someone came in, hands on hips, and said: "We need a bathroom sink." And they chalked up where it should go (next to the kitchen sink), asked someone who was good with pipes to plumb it in, and paid them. At no point in the entire process did anyone say: are you sure this is where you want your sink? We sure we don’t want to rethink this sink?

It’s important for us to move on from the sinks (no, one final one: the last time I saw a free-standing unattached bathroom sink just randomly in a room like this, it was at halls of residence in university, a hundred-thousand decades ago, when the decaying concrete tower block we all lived in as a relic from the 70s offered a number of rooms that were neither en suite or off, so they just had a single sink in them, ostensibly to brush your teeth in, but every time you went into one of the rooms with the sinks for some reason there was a rugby boy living in there, exactly one poster on his wall, no more no less, a pathological number of posters, and he would point to the sink and say, frankly and solemnly: I piss in that. I say this with certainty: This Sink Has Been Pissed In.), and zoom out to the rest of the room. Not a studio flat, is it?

Firstly: for some reason every single component of living is assembled in a line backed against a single wall, like nervous boys at a school dance. Second: the shower room is behind a repurposed front door that has been mounted so it touches neither the top nor the bottom of the frame it is built onto. Is there a visible toilet? There is not a visible toilet, nor does the advertising copy advise that there is a toilet here, but I am guessing that in the slender cupboard behind this door a single lone toilet sits in darkness.


Where is the bed? Got a lot of people asking about the bed. There is not a bed. If there were a bed in this room, it would be simply impossible to navigate around it, and the corridor of carpeting between your bed, your kitchen area and your double-sink would be about six to seven inches wide. How often are you clonking your head on the angled roof? The number is impossible to count because you have softened the part of your brain that does counting from repeatedly banging it into a window frame. How much fire safety equipment is there on hand? An: alarming amount. An actually quite disturbing amount. What is your view? A collapsed shed and some tennis courts, chapeau.

This is clearly the top room of someone's house that has somehow been refurbished and stuffed with spare sinks to accommodate someone just about living there, and I find that quite cynical, on the whole.

Again, back to the adults: "Our house is nice, isn’t it? In Thornton Heath." "I like it here, yeah." "Do you think someone would pay to live in our attic like a deformed twin in a horror story?" "Reckon so, yeah." "What do you think we should charge them for the pleasure?" "£302.40 per sink." "The deal is done." "Good." "Shall we drink a goblet of human blood to toast our genius?" "We shall." "To The Thornton." "To The Eternal Heath."

No. Don't live here.