London Rental Opportunity of the Week: A Toilet-Shower in Stoke Newington
Ever sit and have a shit and think: 'You know what'd be good, right now? If I was in a shower?' Well—
What is it? Toilet-shower, the toilet with a shower in it;
Where is it? Stoke Newington, essentially a farmer's market that got a bit out of hand;
What is there to do locally? The hot new thing the kids are doing in Stoke Newington these days is [looks at hand] queuing up for two hours for brunch at The Good Egg or [squints] going to Stoke Newington Tea House to try 100 different types of tea. Christ. We really have killed this city with our youth, haven't we?
Alright, how much are they asking? £900 pcm, not including bills
Behold the toilet-shower, a toilet with a shower in it. Or turn the laptop and look at it from another angle: is it actually, in fact, a shower with a toilet in it? I suppose this conundrum is our generation's version of the chicken and the egg: which came first in the north London flatshare, the toilet or the shower? What's more important to you: pissing, or washing your junk? Come on, I've got a gun to your head. I'm not messing about. See the wildness in my eyes. I'm a Bond villain, I've got your family. What's more important to you? Answer the question. Pissing? Or washing your junk? Answer the question! Answer the question!
To Rectory Road today, a small bit of Stoke Newington that is not really Stoke Newington – it's Rectory Road, isn't it, it's a few flats and a quite good coffee shop and a train station – but still clings like a limpet to the allure of Stoke Newington, Stoke Newington with its high gloss homeware shops and its pubs that sell tea and its Franco Manca and its slow creeping from a Turkish baklava-and-barbers enclave into an area of buggies and high gentrification and avo on toast, a most hateful part of London, and of course the place where I personally live. Stoke Newington is what moneyed young people would turn London into if they had the chance – if all the oligarchs died in simultaneous cocaine-and-sixway heart attacks and the no-kids, no-mortgage 30-something media elite rose up and took control, and we took all the garden bridge money and made some sort of Westfield-sized Breakfast Club, and did nothing, really, about homelessness and low income housing, but we would create a high cathedral of a pub that did £16 roast dinners on Sunday and didn't show the football, we would do that. Stoke Newington, essentially, so twee now that it is a pro-oligarch argument. Imagine. Imagine that. Imagine it.
Well for £900 per calendar month, bills not included, you don't need to imagine it: you can live in a very small fragment of it, and piss in your own shower, or shower amongst your own piss fumes. Truly drench yourself in the photographs of the studio flat above. Ask yourself the questions that need to be asked. Example: why does it have so many sofas in it? This flat has the seating for nine separate people in it. How is that necessary? Would you really invite nine people over to your house – for a Eurovision party, for instance, or an orgy – and have them all wee and poo in your little shower room? Your sink is in your shower. Your shower curtain has to be folded up during the day so you can piss. Is this a life? Is this any way to live? Is this any way to shit?
I suppose this flat in Rectory Road is a little glimpse of the future of London housing, where rooms have to function Transformer-like as two things at once, as both a radio and a killer robot, as a car and a best friend, as a toilet and a shower. Remember in Futurama, when Bender lived in a cupboard, because he was a robot and he didn't need space? That's London in five years, that is. We'll all occupy a narrow little corridor of space in Stoke Newington – a single bed behind a toilet behind a shower tray, and nine sofas in a row – and we will crawl from one to the other every morning, get up from under our vacuum-packed plastic-wrap duvets and then doing our morning ablutions into a toilet and then showering in water so hot we can boil an egg in it, and then we will eat our egg out of a sink that is also a plate, and we'll pay £900 for the privilege of it, and we'll be happy for our lot. We'll be happy for our lot.
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