Friday, 23 May 2008

Feedback Friday :: End Of An Era

bulk :: 16st 1 (pffffffft)
alcohol units imbibed :: 10ish
cigarettes smoked :: 0
joints smoked :: 6
runs run :: 0 (pffffffft)
bookcases emptied and ready to dismantle :: 6
boxes packed :: 15
hells entered :: 1 (Excel Hell)
physical ailments :: 1 (spinal mayhem)
tantrums thrown :: 2 (don’t want to talk about it)
money worries :: lots suddenly
weird girlfriends :: 1
despicable thoughts :: plenty
stress level :: high

So, my landlady, who’s kept herself pretty much to herself for the duration of my stay in her humble home, has now decided to transform herself into a rapacious hard-nosed harridan. She tells me she’s not going to give me my deposit back because Pablo has ‘destroyed’ her flat. She used the word ‘destroyed’ to describe one patch of carpet that’s been a little scratched up and the back of one armchair. And a table. And a cracked kitchen window. Pablo didn’t actually crack the kitchen window but I blamed him for that one anyway. Actually it was kind of his fault. He was in the back garden torturing a half-dead blackbird, so I rapped on the pane to distract him, but I didn’t know my own strength. Bad cat.

I said to her: ‘You’ve got over a grand of my money. You can’t possibly be suggesting that it’s going to cost over a grand to replace a couple of pieces of – let’s face it – fairly crappy furniture, and a roll of cheap, paper-thin carpet.’

She didn’t like that.

‘You’re being ridiculous,’ I added.

She liked that even less.

‘You’re just greedy.’

She glared at me. And she wouldn’t budge. So I guess there’s nothing I can do.


Many years ago I knew someone who moved into a house which the previous tenants – having had some gripe with the estate agents – wrecked by turning on all the taps before they left. That’s a pretty horrible thing to do and I felt ashamed when it not only crossed my mind, but lingered there for a moment and tempted me.

I’m taking the light bulbs though. And the toilet roll.

Meanwhile, Sally wants to create a exhibition of photographs of my face. And I can think of nothing more hideous. And she thinks it would be good for me. And I think that really, she thinks it might be good for her. And she asks me what I’m afraid of. And I tell her I’m afraid of being made into a freak show. And she shakes her head and points her camera at me. ‘No,’ I say. She sulks.

And this afternoon, surrounded by half-packed boxes and more of a mess than I could really handle, I had a bit of a tantrum. I threw lots of things on the floor. Piles of papers. Books. A cup full of pens.

Pablo ran away from me. I shouted after him, blaming him for losing me a thousand pounds.

It was then, as I found myself calling my beloved cat a ‘dirty bastard’ that I stopped, shook my head, and took a long hard look at myself. I wondered if I was having a mini-breakdown. I decided I was just stressed with the idea of moving. And worried about money, and Sally and me, and everything else. I mean, what’s it all about? Stupid life.

Anyway, I picked up all the stuff. I found Pablo and apologised. He gave me a look like he might forgive me if I gave him some catnip. So I gave him some catnip. And I had a joint. And we were both happy.

I’m going to spend the weekend moving my stuff and myself into Keith’s house in Peckham.

It’s the end of an era. And I guess, the beginning of a new one.

Wish me luck.

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Hannah said...

Good luck.

(Packet of prawns behind the radiator: no lasting damage and supremely satisfying.)

Larry Teabag said...

Hannah's got the right idea - you need to get yourself down the fishmonger's. You'll be amazed by the therapeutic effects of installing couple of crates of haddock under the floorboards.

misspiggy said...

Did you by any chance renew your rent contract after April 07? - because if you did you have legal protection for your deposit.

If not you could still get a solicitor involved and give her a hard time...

fourstar said...

Bit late for you, but I always 'accidentally' failed to pay the last month's rent once I knew I was off. By the time they realise and start to harangue you, it's negotiating the return of the deposit time. Yes, it's technically breaking the terms of the contract but so is unreasonably keeping the deposit :) Fuck em.

Anonymous said...

Moving is hideous - poor you!
Not surprised by mini-tantrum at all, I would be having them daily with all that lot going on.
Good Luck! I think you and Keith are going to have a fab time together :o)

Commonpeople said...

I like misspiggy's suggestion of speaking to a solicitor. Check out the Citizen's Advice Bureau, where you get free advice and help with legal matters like this one.

Don't let the bitch keep all your money! I'm sure you can make her pay at least some of it back (just think of the pleasure of seeing her face crumble when she realizes she won't keep all of it.)

Shimacat said...

In a Margaret Atwood novel, some soon-to-be ex-tenants paint the entire inside of their landlord's house with black gloss paint. Walls, ceilings, even the loo. I always like that image. It's the gloss that gets me. Black would be good, but black gloss - ooooo yes.

I like the prawn idea, too.

And the solicitors. In fact, I commented too late to offer any good ideas at all.

I just moved myself - from the middle of nowhere (East Midlands) to Edinburgh. The actual moving is horrible, but once you physically leave the old place, it does turn into something good and new. All the best to you and Keith. I think you'll be good together (but not in that way)

Lilith said...

Hola, B

I just moved myself last week - very stressing!

Good luck and hope that you and Keith get along very well.
At least you will not be alone ... I went from living with five other people to living alone and the first nights I felt quite a bit sad or down.

By the way, art is always therapeutic. Maybe one of the best therapies for the soul (when I say soul I mean mind, I guess).

Those photos your lovely girlfriend wants to take of you would surely help you in some 'spiritual' way. Not the photos itself but you know what I mean, the process that you go thru from the moment she first asks you to let her take some photos of you to the moment when she finally takes the photos.

At first you refuse and say NO, then you will start thinking about it. After sometime you will stop thinking negatively about it and eventually you will say: why not?. Of course, maybe you dont want those photos to be public exhibited or whatever, and you are in your right to keep them locked away or whatever you say it (sorry about my english), but you can negotiate that part with your girlfriend.

The funny thing is that once you agree about getting your photos taken you have actually accepted yourself or better said, you will have accepted what other people thinks of you or what you think they think of you.

Is always about how others see us. I guess.
Is a shit, but thats the way it is.

The photo session is just an excuse, a healing one!

And it seems to me pretty beautiful that actually a person who you love and who cares about you so much is/would be the one giving you this precious chance to make a step forward to a happier existence.

Even if you dont change your mind, just the fact that she wanted to do that shows how much she cares and how smart she is: beauty can be found in everything. You only need to be able to see it.

Cheer yourself up!

Un beso.


savannah said...

good luck, sugar! and i agree with miss piggy - talk to a lawyer (sorry, american here), my daughter is going through the same thing here in the states. she just called to tell me she'd make the call to her landlady and said, "you'll be hearing from my lawyer on tuesday!" i thin she'll be getting her deposit back!

True Lateral said...

I second Miss Piggy also, check out your rights, I am almost certain that she can't withhold the entire deposit for the amount of damage you describe. Unless the broken window is stained glass.

DJ Kirkby said...

Christ! For a minute I thought you were moving in with Sally already, which I found worrying and disturbing in equal measures. Too soon and all that. Hope you enjoy living with Keith! I am sure there will fodder for yet more intresting blog posts.

Boz said...

All moving-related activity is an utter bastard. The whole shebang - from looking for somewhere, to packing to shifting boxes, to unpacking, to discovering all the flaws in the new place you hadn't noticed. I hate it.

Er. Anyway. Stay positive!

Anonymous said...

Best wishes with the move and getting your deposit back.

La Bête said...

Thanks for all your good wishes and revenge tactics. I think threatening legal shenanigans may well be the way forward, but first I’m going to quiz her over just where in the hell she expects to buy such extortionate replacement stuff, and thanks to an email from Miss Amy, I’m going to show her where she can get a lot cheaper elsewhere. Also, thanks to an email from Mr Tann, I’m going to demand to see proof of her purchases. This is not over with yet….

Ben Turner said...

Ask for receipts - she can't spend a penny of that money without receipts.

Ask her to list the expenses that make up the "£1000" damages - she's not allowed to make estimates, only a 3rd party professional can provide that.

Plus contest each item against the "reasonable wear and tear" allowed in rental contracts, as well as using anything like inventory documents to argue items were always in such a state.

Oh yeah, and find cheaper (but reasonable) quotes to contest her over-inflated ones.

Polite but highly forceful legal letters are very effective. As well as not compromising when they start to crack - it just means they know they don't have a leg to stand on. Keep sending the letters, watch the offer get more and more reasonable.

Don't let it get you angry, play the long game, and good luck - and enjoy the rest of your wonderful life.

Kate said...

You might also want to check out the small claims court if you can't fix this any other way...

Selena said...

Sorry about your landlord, I've only had two in my life that were decent when it came to the deposit. Good luck with that one.

Congrats on the new Era! I can't wait to read about it.

La Bête said...

We actually came to an agreement in the end. After a bit of a blazing row. I should probably write it down.

Je ne regrette rien said...

oh. and thanks kindly for the link. and here's to the return of the roving cat. sounds like a malcontent to me. after all you've done for him. but that's cats for you. nervy ingrates.