London Rental Opportunity of the Week: A Bedroom-Fridge, in Colindale!
The fridge is in your bedroom because the kitchen is too small! In COLINDALE.
(Photo via Gumtree)
What is it? A "studio apartment" in a way, but also "there’s a fucking fridge in your bedroom, and not even a little fridge, like a big fridge, a full-sized fridge, like the one your mum is currently filling with a Big Shop in time for Christmas, a just simply enormous fridge" in another, much more enduring way;
Where is it? Triangulated between Kingsbury, Colindale and an ominous-sounding place I have very literally never heard of as being in London, which is just called "The Hyde";
What is there to do locally? Normally this is the bit where I am very snide about unglamorous areas of London I am not already deeply associated with, i.e. if it's not "brunch in Stoke Newington" I don't particularly want to know about it, but then Colindale has Bang Bang Oriental food hall, and I’ve been wanting to go there for fucking ages, so actually the Colindale/Kingsbury/"The Hyde" trifecta does have something to do locally, and that thing is: watch me, after one walk, one overground, one tube and then another walk, emerge blinking into the light and then go and eat a little tray of dumplings, fuck up ordering bubble tea somehow, then slink the 75 minute-commute all the way home;
Alright, how much are they asking? £867 p.c.m.
Always one weird lad in your university halls who had a fridge in his room. This is the nature of university halls: there are about 25 people, all the same wherever you go, interchangeably living in the same single-issue, single-serving, university-rationed room, all going through the same life changes together – "fucking up the laundry so bad your clothes have to get thrown away!"; "having a day-long PES tournament with four wordless boys called Tom!"; "calling your mum to ask how long to cook potatoes for!"; "broken condom leads to a panic attack!" – and there is always, always some weird lad with a fridge in his room.
"Yeah," he says, as it wom–woms like a space ship, glowing slightly in the corner down by his bed, "It's decent, actually. Holds three cans of Cola, or you can do one small bottle then a little fridgepak of ham or cheese." What about butter? "Won’t hold butter. Wrong shape." What about milk? "There should be some milk in there, actually." He rootles around behind one 33 percent extra-serving can of Monster Energy, a curling pack of Leerdammer and a very optimistic bag of salad and retrieves a small pint-bottle of what looks like cottage cheese. "Don’t drink that," he says. And that’s how you both end up throwing a pint of curd out of the fifth-floor window and hitting that weed dealer’s Fiat and having to hide in a cupboard full of brooms while him and all his hard mates go round banging on everyone’s doors with baseball bats.
The time of your life!
You are not about that now, though, and that is why you do not need to be living here, in a dead zone between Colindale and Kingsbury and "The Hyde", with a gargantuan white-grey fridge in your room, just pulsing there, staring at you, making fridge noises, blocking out the light. Listen: I don’t make the rules, but here are a list of acceptable kitchen items I will permit you to have in your room:
- Possibly one of those alarm clocks that makes tea
- That’s it
And here are a list of white goods and food preparation devices we have seen in London’s bedrooms over the rollercoaster journey we have thus far had with this column, and which I do not think should be in rooms at all:
- Big fridge
- Small fridge
- Whole washing machine, just a whole big one
- Hotplate, a depressing alternative to cooking on an oven at the best of times
- A microwave
Anyway, let’s go round the room in order. The bed, for a shitty rental in London, actually looks new and robust: it isn’t a boxframe, I’m pretty sure it isn’t the same IKEA frame we’ve all at least once fucked to bits until it collapsed underneath us with a dreadful clunk, and the mattress is still box fresh and wrapped in plastic.
That said: why is there a three-tier corner shelf-set next to (and taller than) the bed? Why is there one matching wardrobe (pushed directly up against the bed), then another, larger matching wardrobe (pushed up against that), and then an inexplicable third, non-matching white wardrobe that completes a connected line of wardrobing that leads from the window to the bed? Who is that chair for, at the end, there? Someone to just sit in and quietly watch you sleep? London’s landlords really and truly have a pathological approach to furnishing rooms, don’t they.
This bathroom is fine enough, I guess, but it’s also extremely claustrophobic and I’m pretty sure sitting here on the toilet for an extended period of time, knees rubbed directly up against the tiled reflective wall opposite, would lead to some sort of existential relationship with the concept of shitting within about five drop-offs:
And then here’s the kitchen: there’s an oven and a washing machine, which are both pluses, but reminder you have to go into your literal bedroom whenever you want anything perishable to cook with because, again, there’s a whole entire fridge in your bedroom because there’s no space in the kitchen. This is the trade-off you now have to contend with if you want to live in, of all places, Colindale: a washing machine in your kitchen, sure. But if you want that, Mr. Fancy, you’re going to have to stand a fridge up uneasily in your bedroom.
Seemed easier in the good old days, didn’t it? You used to wake up in your single bed, reach over to your mini fridge, chug a Coke for breakfast, go and play pool for a few hours with a big stack of 20ps, skip a lecture, go to a nightclub wearing "the same T-shirt you slept in" and "a really old frayed beanie hat" and upload all the photos to Facebook the next day. And now look at you. Commuting in from Colindale to a job you hate and paying £867 per month for some bay windows and an ominous fridge-freezer combo that silently watches you sleep. Remember when you cracked that frozen Dark Fruits out of the communal freezer and ate it like a slushie while everyone cheered? Remember when you used to have a really complicated symbiotic relationship with your fringe? Now look at you. What a disappointment you’ve become. Merry Christmas, you fridge shagger.