I’m Getting Too Old For This

Published by Rick on Tagged Uncategorized

               I know, most people my age have a secure home that they’ve lived in for a while, and will probably stay in until they meet their maker, or Elvis, or whoever you (want to) meet when you pass on. My only experience with owning property was in two of my three marriages, where the spouse owned the home and I was helping with mortgage payments. It was easy enough in both cases to toss me out when things went south, and toss me they did. Other than that, I’ve always rented, and will probably continue to do so unless some guardian angel or lottery ticket emerges. 

                 Clear back last summer, I believed my days in Dagenham were over, as my landlady decided that once and for all, she’s going to sell the place and really wanted it to be vacant before she could put it on the market. Never mind that this is one of the worst times in the last decade to try to sell property, that’s not my concern. Since she’s also a friend and it was her only experience ever being a landlady, I wasn’t going to quibble. She gave me until end of January to leave, then extended it thru February, and just as she was about to extend it thru March (and probably April & May would have been negotiable), I found an affordable place where me and my 30,000 vinyl buddies could all live in the same indoor structure.

                   I am now about 75% moved in, and it’s in Dagenham! (Maybe we don’t need that exclamation point.) Let’s just say it was better for me than anything else I looked at. I’m only about a block away from a tube station, I’m paying the same monthly rent, while the distribution of space is infinitely better. Plus the bathroom is upstairs, so if I have to use the loo in the middle of the night, I don’t have to concern myself about how physically taxed (and probably wide awake!) I’ll be by the time I get back into bed.

                     I’m kind of sugar coating it, because the place is a potential shithole, but we’ll see what promises (if any) the landlord comes through on. When I met with him at the place a few days ago, he noticed the rubbish bin was gone, and I’d have to call the local council to request a new one. Today I noticed a car pull up at my driveway, and the driver said he was the owner’s brother, asking if he was there. I couldn’t chat with him because I was on the phone with the estate agent, making my daily complaint about the many things that haven’t been attended to yet. When I went outside later, the rubbish bin was there! Which meant the brother had borrowed and returned it, raising a big WTF?

                   The place has gone from filthy to almost liveable in the three days I’ve been there, but only through efforts on my part. From little things like no shower curtain and burners on the stove that need a match to ignite, to big things like pipes from the heating system that sound like a cement mixer is parking in your living room, these become the standard of rented property, and you devleop a sense of adventure wondering which of those things will be neglected longest, and at what emotional cost.

                 It does have a fairly good heating system, but only in the rooms that have a radiator. Otherwise, you only really want to hang out in the kitchen when you’re cooking, especially with London’s current spell of freezing weather. You won’t spend too much time in the front entrance area either, for the keyhole on its own provides enough ventilation for some of the Tundra breezes to seep through. 

                   Hopefully, all that’s wrong with the place will be taken care of, and/or I’ll adapt. I’m really hoping that it works out, only because this is the third time I’ve moved in as many years, and moving 30,000 vinyl records, plus finding (and affording!) a place big enough for them, is a pain in virtually any body part. The easy solution would be to sell off the whole lot, and maybe get a fair amount of money for them, but we collectors stubbornly hold to the notion, “Yeah, I could do that, but then I wouldn’t HAVE them anymore.” So unless I get desperate, the vinyl and me will cohabit for the imminent future. If it means I have to live in a shithole, at least it will be MY shithole, perhaps even a HAPPY one!   


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