... Continued from here.
|In Shoreditch, even the adverts are trendy.|
And so to Wandsworth, only moments away on the Overground. While our flat-hunt originally centred on trendy Shoreditch, these days we're grateful for any viewings at all, anywhere. Our one stipulation ('not Clapham') has started to look a little shortsighted, now that we're practically in Portsmouth.
Oddly we're shown a home suited to a young family with child. We have none. But the estate agent's rather good-looking and BOF is delighted ('No we're not together, no…' he comments - indicating me - when she asks if he'd like a glass of water). Katy the good-looking estate agent says that she's had offers on the place but she's holding it in case we're interested (BOF: '… because she fancies me').
We don't want it. She knows we don't want it. We don't want to say we don't want it, because it is so great, and it has a cellar. So we chat about the area and BOF gets her number. (From me.) So convincing is our spiel, we almost make ourselves believe we can afford it.
In Oval, we wander tentatively down the Brixton Road. There seem to be hundreds of flats advertised all over the place. Confidently, we march into an estate agent's. Fourteen people sit typing without pause. Clearly processing millions of perfect flats for us.
|Brixton: Flat Mecca?|
'Hello, we're looking for a 2 bed flat, for around £300 a week in this area.'
'Er, sorry?' (We laugh, feeling a bit awkward.)
'There's no flats available at all.'
'Nowhere in London?'
'How about if we…?'
'There's nothing. Sorry.' (He turns away. The thirteen others eye us malevolently.)
'Perhaps if you took our details…?'
'Oh OK. We'll let you know if anything ever comes in.' (General laughter.)
Friday night sees us at another grafittied door. Inside it is lovely, if you ignore the odd stains by the toilet, and one of the beds. The couple living there are charming also, though not (of course) in charge of the rental process.
We rue the precious flat-hunting minutes spent on small talk but leave happily, passing two frowning middle-aged women on the steps, holding notepads.
'This place couldn't be less suited to them,' we chortle, secure in our momentary, East-London-lent chic.
Outside we debated whether to call the estate agent immediately to take it. Surely impolite, we worried. It's a Friday night. These people are not bankers, they're estate agents.
So we call early the following day. The middle-aged women have put down a deposit. They are going to live in our Shoreditch flat. The estate agent will let us know if anything changes. (But it's unlikely to.)
Homeless once more.