Alana is currently uprooting both dog and the new corner sofa to a new abode.
Ever since she moved from the confines of Lisa’s sofa, this appears to be an annual event, so why in the name of cardboard boxes does it not get any easier? Speaking of cardboard boxes – WHERE CAN YOU FIND THEM and why are there never any rigid corners on them? One of Lisa’s best mates just moved into a flat recently and rejected all forms of packaging in favour of the “just chuck bundles of clothes in the back of the boot” method. That was a long night.
After many “I really should chuck this” mutterings, then dumping things in a bag, you realise your things are never going to fit in the “street van” you’ve hired and an awkward bus journey with your dirty laundry basket ensues. You start well, cleaning everything before it goes in the new cupboards, then five hours in you’re stuffing things in at random proclaiming loudly that organising that cupboard is “for a rainy day”.
The next stress comes at Ikea. All you really want is meatballs, but you scribble down guesstimate measurements and march in with the best intentions. You get distracted by the kids’ toy section and end up leaving with flower shaped ice cube holders, a scouring brush with a doll’s head handle and no furniture. The following week, and a second trip fuelled by a hot dog and some Swedish crisps, and a wardrobe is now purchased and hanging out the rear end of your car. You assemble it every evening over the course of a week and end up with a swaying Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Plus, you haven’t got your deposit back from the last flat, because your landlord found crumbs and is calling in industrial cleaners (yes, that actually happened), so the cupboards are like Mother Hubbard’s. All “new” things in the flat are the pound shop’s finest and you’re too embarrassed to meet neighbours as you can’t afford good wine as a “I may have parties, please forgive me” peace offering. HOWEVER, you are in, snuggled in your emergency sleeping bag, sheets on the windows and nothing unpacked but the kettle and you’re happy. Happy to have a roof over your head, to smell fresh paint and to know your corner sofa has a home – for another year.
Lisa has been shacked up in her crib for four years. The windows are draughty, the parquet floor jumps out to join the sole of your trainer, the temperature is level with Siberia and the gas bill is the same as Holyrood Palace, BUT the flatmates are BANG ON.
The criteria for finding people you want to live with is complex. Chatty but not intrusive, clean but not Kim and Aggie, not night owl nor morning singer, no turbulent relationships, no indoor smokers and NO REPTILES. Years of friendship, stringent character references, or police checks cannot uncover how someone will behave when you live with them. Childhood chums have been torn apart by cleaning rotas, Uni besties at war over vanishing food and relationships slashed over toilet bickering.
Lisa’s found the perfect balance: NO flat conversations via text message, shared laundry, a kitty for cleaning products, house outings, a calendar outlining guests to stay and two-litre bottles of Irn Bru and cookies.
Her housemates are old friends from home, her London family, her confidantes, her pillows when her bed is cold, her spare key holders, her pizza delivery coin givers, her uplifters, her relationship gurus, her phone charger suppliers and her sisters.
Enough gushing, the dishes are NEVER done, and her “one square” loo roll rule has been forever rudely ignored.