This One-Bed Would Not Survive a Shag

What is life like in London? Hell. Here’s proof that renting in London is a nightmare.

What is it? I’m tired, I’m tired, I’m tired, I’m tired, I’m tired, tired, tired, tired.

Where is it? Located almost exactly between two of my old houses, which gives the whole charade a thin bitter taste. It’s been a while since I’ve read Rainbow of gravity but this isn’t the first time I’ve hypothetically been able to see any of these properties from one of my previous windows, and you have to wonder what the logic behind the bombs falling on the card.

Is the city the curse or is it me? Does leaving an area lead to it being ruined, or was it already ruined when I moved there? Should I spend the next few decades in this city slowly degrading it? Or worse, am I meant to live on the cold common walls of these places without knowing they are there? Every day I wake up with a DM, a tweet, an email and say: “Look at this.” The scab spreads: Every week I wake up with a DM, a tweet, an email and say : I know you usually only do London, but. At some point you have to look at the central point of putrefaction and ask yourself if it is the heart or if it has been devoured –

What is there to do on site? So, like I said, I’m tired –

What is there to do on site? I’m tired of them happening again and again and that they keep getting worse –

What is there to do on site? I’m tired of having to see them all –

What is there to do: I’m tired of looking at them and saying, it’s not the worst thing I’ve seen this week, so there’s a free pass to the property just because the kitchen didn’t have a terrible shower –

What is there to: I’m tired of the fact that they don’t seem like a great framework for society to hold them back …

What is there: Isn’t that why we have a society? Isn’t that society … to the? To stop… This?

What is: Feels naive to have such a hope, doesn’t it? Seems stupid. As a teenager you scold the system – “Why don’t you just make the apartments more beautiful! Shit! “- and adults tell you in a calming voice: No, you don’t know anything, they can’t because it’s not realistic. But I’m 34 now and it still doesn’t make sense, I’m just more tired of it. So get you, I suppose. Never tired! Never give up!

What is there to do on site Palm 2, Biddle Brothers, Dom’s Place, then Blondies, in that order.

Okay how much do you charge? A thousand, a hundred pounds. A month. (£ 1,100 PCM). A month.

I struggle with this. I fight because: how can I, an idiot, how can I be the only source of logic here? I’m not the only person involved in this apartment. Someone owns it and someone rents it out through a property management company. People saw this apartment. Someone took pictures of this apartment and uploaded them to a website which I think needs to be checked at least superficially. It’s not a dark, dirty secret. It exists. And yet I seem to be the only link in the chain: hold on guys. I’m not sure whether the side of the floating bed box is insulated. And yet-

The bathroom next to a kitchen in a studio rental in Hackney
The bathroom in a studio apartment for rent in Hackney

So you know that we obviously have a studio, and I have to point out that this studio is glued, absolutely worn out. It’s weird that I can say this of inanimate objects, but look at the pictures and you can see that it’s true: have you ever seen a wooden floor that looks so damned? did? Have you ever seen whitewashed walls with wires visible that look like they are? sigh? Have you ever seen green landlord-issued curtains look so limp and overhead? One of the most important pieces of furniture in this apartment is, for heaven’s sake, a wooden CD tower. This apartment has been waiting for a pleasant, pleasant trip to Switzerland since 2001. She is tired! Let it die!

Of course, we can rattle through the smaller functions for a moment before turning around and looking at the shiny, foil-skinned elephant in the room, but it’s negligent not to pay the necessary attention to the details. So for example: the bathroom is next to the kitchen, which is bad. The kitchen – I don’t know, the word “kitchen” feels a little great for what it is, the way you can’t label certain cheap drinks as “orange juice” because they legally don’t contain orange. In essence, this is a kitchen in a spiritual, not a legal sense, so we call it the “kitchen demarcated area” (ADABFK-TU).

In any case, the ADABFK-TU seems to have been made from cleaned parts in the stig-of-the-dump style, i.e. a washing machine and an old, dilapidated chest of drawers with two wooden struts on it, which someone has balanced on a kind of work surface. Your kitchen equipment is one of those combi ovens with the hobs on top that make it impossible to realistically cook beans on toast without having a mental incident. As already mentioned, there are a CD tower.

A view of the floating insulated bed in a studio apartment for rent in Hackney

But it’s obviously the bedroom that deserves your attention. The bedroom is a floating box to which a ladder leads. It’s made of wood and I don’t really know what it’s wearing, and I honestly don’t trust it to keep it from collapsing in the middle of the night. Although this apartment looks so shabby, it doesn’t really look like it lived in, and I’m actually assuming someone recently turned this storage room into a studio apartment with things fished out of buckets, so the bed box was never actually tested at human weight. (This is my theory, but if you or anyone you know has ever slept in that plywood box, please let me know.)

There’s a radiator visible in this apartment, but I have to assume it’s not working or the bed is nailed to an outside wall because it’s so damn freezing there that someone felt moved to put a single sheet of insulation on the outside of it. I mean, it doesn’t scream “cozy”. I can’t imagine coming home from a long day at work, going back to my long, strange, tired-looking apartment and climbing a short ladder to curl up in my bed box like a hibernating bird.

And even if I have to bring about the human condition: I can’t imagine the floating coffin in which you sleep could survive a bump without collapsing chaotically onto the wooden floor below. “How was the hinge date?” “Yes, good, good date. Bibble Bros, then Dom’s Place, then Blondies, of course. A bit of a problem with the rumbling part: my bed collapsed and we both hit the floor inelegantly and they think the splinter she got could lead to sepsis … ”

It’s 2021 and I’ve been writing this column for a few years. I started approaching Fridays with fear. “Sure,” I keep thinking, “this city will definitely run out of these bastards soon, right?” I can’t go on robbing a livelihood, can I? Certainly not. Certainly one day there will be no more floating bed boxes to conquer. But no, no. You never stop. They keep getting smaller and worse and it’s getting more and more inhospitable. Cant wait to see what London landlords are cooking for me in five, ten, fifteen. Until the sun devours the earth.

@joelgolby

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