Saturday, 20 April 2019

April mid-month update!


It's been a busy two weeks around here, mostly revolving around the issue of moving house. I had made it quite clear that I wanted to move alone this time because it was time, and I wanted to be walking distance from work.

That only lasted a week when I saw my very first (and only) studio flat. It wasn't awful but it was, um, compact (compared to what we have; to be fair, I would adapt), although had a decent bathroom and separate, if very tiny, kitchen. It was clean, tidy and had double glazed windows and a new, updated electric heater in the living space. It was, in a word, fine. EXCEPT (!!!) it didn't come with a washing machine or fridge freezer. Quoi? I would have to supply my own (this is apparently how it's done when renting, but every place I've looked at since has both, so not convinced). So, on top of my deposit of £780 (expected) and the letting agency fees (£418!!!), I'd have to fork out for appliances. Even second hand, I'd have to arrange delivery so would be looking at around £150 for both (at the high end). Which makes £1,348 before I've even moved in...

I had £1255 total. I was angry and frustrated by this, so thought perhaps renting a room might be the way to go, with all bills included. I also mentioned to Roomie E that I wasn't able to go on my own which apparently threw off plans being made with others, which have since settled. I spent a few days feeling frustrated and annoyed and really off until I finally realised what the problem was - I don't want to live with ANYONE, but I can't afford not to at this point. Moving into a room in someone's house would simply mean learning new routines, new characters, new habits, etc. If I have to continue living with someone, it might as well be someone I like and whose routines I already know. Our schedules conflict somewhat, but that's just the way it is.

We are, however, trying to find somewhere in the same area and have already seen one flat in the next village over (right opposite the beach!). I don't love it, but I wouldn't be unhappy with it either if it turned out to be the best option. We have two others lined up today, though, slightly cheaper, both with garages (!) and would mean I don't have to adjust my commute to any great extent. I like one better than the other, although I can't quite explain why without having seen either...hmm!

Adding to the stress was the receipt of our latest electricity bill...£840!!! (Estimated) It's a good thing I was sitting down when Roomie E told me. I was, as the English say, gobsmacked. We managed to get a meter reading, however, and the bill fell by over £130, but that was still another £700 we had to fork out! My share took almost a quarter of the money I've managed to save for deposits, etc., leaving me quite depressed.

So it's been a bit of a rollercoaster this month in respect of finances. I've not been eating well either, which doesn't help, but I'm stuck in that cycle of not eating/exercising well so feeling tired & down, and then just feeling like toast for dinner, you know? Ugh. Unsettling. Upsets to my routine play utter havoc with my eating habits.

The same day I had seen the studio flat and realised my hopes of 'single living' had been dashed, my sister asked for a £575 loan. She was waiting for a payment from the council that hadn't come through as she'd hoped. So this added to my anger, but I couldn't NOT give her the money, but it is definitely the last time, particularly as she already still owes me money. I got just over half of it back the following week, but still...

I've been feeling a bit better the past week, but won't feel entirely back to normal until we've found a place and have moved in if I'm honest. I packed three boxes yesterday of bits and pieces in my room, and have a box of things ready to go to the charity shop (more to come, I hope), so it's a start. Packing up the 'things' that aren't necessary to living at this point will help and if we find a place close enough, making multiple trips in the car won't be too much of a trial, which will hopefully save a bit of cash on movers.

I'm cleaning for my friend three times this week, so that will go towards petrol (which has jumped almost 10p per litre in two weeks - agh!) and some groceries until payday. But the weather this weekend is glorious - up to 23C today, so that will help a little bit. We've got the flat viewings starting at 11:00 and then I have an appointment with a psychic this afternoon. I've been on the waitlist since December for this, so am really looking forward to it.

I also asked about staff reviews at work as we've been waiting since January for them. They are going ahead, the MDs were just waiting for Brexit results, but as that's now delayed - again - until end of October, they're going to arrange to get them done. Finally!

On Tuesday I had a telephone appointment with an adviser from the National Career Services (job centre). I wanted a bit of a review of my CV and she gave me some really good advice, also saying it's more or less already how it should look but can always use some tweaks. She sent me some links to job sites, so I'm going to spend some time over the next several months tweaking the CV and looking out for other job opportunities. I'm not yet ready to move on, but this feels like the best first step to shake off the apathy that can set in.

I've only read one full book in the past couple of weeks! I read and read and read for NetGalley and - I can't believe I'm saying this - I think I burned myself out! I'm struggling to find the enthusiasm to read for fun now, and still have a few to read for review. However, I know it's only a glitch and I'll soon be back at it. The last one I read was 'Murder at the Grand Raj Palace' by Vaseem Khan. This is one of my absolute favourite series, set in Mumbai and with an elephant sidekick. If you like No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, you'll love this. There's some definite character development so I suggest you start at the beginning with 'The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra'.

April rolls on - I've only JUST written up (part of) my journal for the month. May is going to be really busy. I've got a long weekend of house sitting; a visit to Wales; moving; Dogstival...phew! Plus packing and sorting in my evenings. But I'm looking forward to it.

Have a lovely long weekend!


T'Pol said...

I hope, your worries will soon go away and it will be easy for you to move. Staying with your current Roomie will lift some of the stress off your shoulders, I am sure. Onwards and upwards! Happy Easter!

Treaders said...

I think it helps to know yourself. When I first moved to Geneva in 1980 I realized quite quickly that I didn't want to flat-share, even though all the other newbies were sharing and saying what great times they were having. Now I'm divorced, 9 years later I still love living on my own. But as you say, if you can't afford it it's probably better to move in with someone you know you already get along with. Good luck. Anna

Treaders said...
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Anonymous said...

I can completely relate to not wanting to live with someone else and not being able to afford to live on your own. I'm 55 and renting a room in a house (1 owner, no other tenants) and I still struggle with it - but with housing in the UK being what it is, I try to make the best of it. I was living in Hampshire and moved North to Manchester late last year. Manchester reminds me a little of Toronto (if you've not been to it) and the job market isn't bad. Rents are cheaper than down South if you live in the Greater Manchester area (the city itself can be expensive if you want to live right downtown). And it's got a great tram system which makes getting around easier. Just thought I'd mention it - it might be worth looking to move North.

Gill - That British Woman said...

any more news on your flat hunt? I think the doctor's using Brexit as an excuse for not doing staff reviews is a bit of a cheek!!! Thank you also for telling us about the book and giving the author's name I will look for him at our library.

Northern Living Allowance said...

Hi T'Pol! Thank you, it seems to be easing a little bit as the month progresses. I'm not exceptionally excited about continuing to share, but I do realise that another year will only be helpful. I just need to focus on another move next year, that's all :D xx

Hi Treaders! Yeah, I've shared for so many years (and lived alone for a long time, too) and I really know which I prefer. It's just not quite feasible yet, that's all, so I'm gathering my patience and will just put my head down and do what needs to be done. Thank you! xx

Hi Anonymous - thank you for stopping by and commenting on my blog! I always enjoy having new people stop by. I considered a room in someone's house - have done it before - but I'd rather not go through the transition of strangers again at this point. It's a reasonable way to watch your pennies, though, and I considered it with this move as well. Housing is so expensive here, isn't it? :( I have family near Manchester and am actually from Toronto, so that's an interesting comparison! I love the North and genuinely considered a big move there - it's still not out of the question, so who knows? Thank you for your excellent suggestion. I hope you're able to find your own place soon xx

Hi Gill! We've pretty much decided on one, yes, and are now trying to negotiate a slightly extended stay (we've got it to the day of the tenant leaving, but need an extra couple of days so they can clean, etc.). MDs is actually 'managing directors', but I can see where the confusion comes from :D I do agree, though. Brexit has pretty much ruined everything, so I'm sincerely hoping that reviews are retroactive to January! I do believe you'll love the books - they're absolutely brilliant! xx

Jane said...

Awwww Annie I wish housing wasn't so expensive over there! Thank goodness you were able to work things out with your roomie. It looks like that's the only way to get into someplace that you can both afford and that gives you a bit more space plus privacy when you want it. Being the extreme introvert that I am I would really struggle if I couldn't have a place to myself so I guess I'll stay put! I think slowly packing your belongings helps make the move a reality - I wish you could find a place with a longer lease. Those letting agencies have quite the scam going on it seems to me. It makes no sense (to me) that you have to pay the middleman for something you could easily do yourself! Oh well I'm sure it will all work out - you have the knack for finding just the right place - I like the idea of walking on the beach as often as you like :) And yes, of course you'll get your reading mojo back - I can hardly imagine you without a book, or several, on the go! Can't wait to hear about the new place once you get that settled. Hang in there!

Northern Living Allowance said...

Hi Jane - thanks, me too! :P Yeah, all is well and we've actually secured a nice flat in more or less the same area. Move date is 22 June - phew! What a stressful three weeks it's been... I did have a fascinating reading from a psychic last week, too - which pointed me firmly to yet another move (next year-ish) ON MY OWN. So, I remain hopeful in that regard :D My sister is visiting this weekend and she's really good about sorting stuff, so that's what we'll be doing, along with a few other errands and bits and pieces. The new flat has a long-term lease (standard 12-months to start, then month-to-month after that. The current tenant has been there 4 years), so that's helpful to know. Reading mo-jo is back to 'mo' at least. I'm picking away at a couple, but it's slow. Anyway, lovely to hear from you and hope you & Kazi are doing well xx