It has been almost 2 weeks since I moved into this new house – 20 minutes by foot to London’s main streets and in 20 minutes of walking in various directions would bring you to at least 9 different tube stations and 2 train stations. Talk about centrality.
It’s a 1 bedroom flat, somewhat furnished. We have an oven but no washing machine. Kitchen utensils along with some junk are provided. The new wooden flooring is unfinished, exposing a layer of foam sheets in the space between the wall and where the boards end. The fireplace has been removed, leaving an unplastered hole in the otherwise stark white wall; exposing the ugly concrete and brickwork beneath. We got this place for a cheap price because of things like this – the flat is currently undergoing refurbishment because the landlord, “had a little time on his hands”
Everything went well except the door lock.
The decade-old lock died on the first day we moved in, barely 2 hours after signing the short term tenancy agreement. We were locked out, us and the landlord whom we called. Eventually we gave out twisting the key and Alex prised the kitchen window open and climbed in. A stream of locksmiths came up later to have a look at the lock, but apparently it was so complex that all of them left scratching their heads in confusion.
The next day, a purported specialist came to have a look. He took the whole door apart and went off with the lock. After a week of delays and empty promises and a truly “punctual” attitude, the lock was finally fixed, in theory, but it was so stiff that the door still couldn’t actually be locked.
During that week, we couldn’t go out together; one had to stay to look after the valuables. The window in the kitchen could not be climbed in and out easily as the window blind first has to be removed; the absence of the blind would allow outsiders to see everything inside. So we took turns to go out and get all the household necessities until last Monday, when Alex discovered the toilet window which was easier to sneak out and sneak in from, hence we could then pretend to be thieves burgling our own flat. Daily.
It wasn’t until two locksmiths sub-contracted from the local housing council (who built the flats) came and “re-fixed” the lock this week before it was finally usable. Oh well, at least it’s just a short walk away from the shopping streets….