Monday, 24 January 2011

Viewing rooms

Bronze sheep on decorative column in town centreThe rollercoaster ride continues, and I am feeling queasy and ready to get off. Luckily it is not a real rollercoaster, but despite this I am longing for a time when life is boring again. All this excitement and uncertainty makes me unsettled, tired and tetchy.

Or perhaps that is because of the requirement to travel to GNT again and deal with another load of potential landlords who do not have sufficient social skills and intelligence to a) tell the truth, b) shake my hand and look me in the eye and c) successfully answer a mobile telephone. Even when the mobile telephone is the one that rings when the number they themselves have put on their own advert is dialled. Yes, it's your mobile phone, why is it that when I ring it you do not answer, and then you phone me and make unintelligible noises that I cannot understand, or send me a text saying "Did u call me today".

Except for one, wonderful, potential landlady for whom I would willingly lay down my life. She has social skills, knows how to make and answer telephone calls, offered me coffee, has a house that is clean and not damp, and will let me know on Tuesday. She is seeing another potential tenant today, who may wish to stay longer than my three months. She did muse that having a fixed term tenant for only three months might be useful because she hasn't shared her house before and it would be a good way to find out if she likes it. I wholeheartedly supported this idea.

As we were finishing up, she said that of course, the competing tenant had another advantage. On tenterhooks, I asked what that was. "His name's Roger," she said, and as I looked baffled, continued "and that would make him Roger the Lodger." "You can call me Roger," I said.

So I have been to visit just four properties, and failed to visit two more because of landlords unable to handle the concept of a mobile telephone. The last place I saw was bought speculatively and converted to 'deluxe student rooms with shared facilities' by the owner when GNT looked like it might be awarded city status, in which case he anticipated that a university or college might be built and student digs might be needed.

It didn't happen, so there are no students there, and he told me that mostly he gets men whose marriages have broken down and who need somewhere to stay temporarily. The two residents that I saw certainly appeared to fit that description, one in his vest and saggy tracksuit bottoms and the other having the look of the gaunt, haunted alcoholic. I think that as soon as the landlord saw me he knew I wasn't going to want a room, just as I knew I didn't want one once I had seen the rooms. The whole tour and discussion took 15 minutes.

At home, Alf has arrived to turn our lives upside down (in a positive, constructive way) as he repairs the hole in the kitchen ceiling and makes our airing cupboard slightly larger and a whole lot nicer. Because I lost our visitor's parking permit by foolishly leaving it in the recent hire car when I gave it back, he is having to move his van twice in order to avoid parking fines, but at least it has prompted me to apply for a replacement permit. The only disappointment is that applying for a permit wasn't on my huge list of jobs, so I can't now cross it off.


Sarah said...

Hi. This post made me laugh! May I call you, Roger?? Came to you via Student Mum. Hope the lovely lady with excellent social skills decides to take you on! S

Lola said...

Thanks, Sarah, of course you can call me Roger. In fact, you must.