That's what I've got to do. That tottering heap of boxes in the storage unit has been costing me a vast £200 a month for the last five years. No, I don't want to 'do the math'. Some of it was in a different, slightly cheaper unit for four years before that, while I was renting a part-furnished flat in Highgate.
Yesterday, I put in an offer on a 1-bed flat in Highgate. I shall need a mortgage for it, but that mortgage will cost less than the storage unit fee and for that I will be able to walk to Hampstead Heath, use a station that is about three minutes away instead of the present three miles, and see my friends every few days rather than every few weeks - months, in some cases, owing to the amount of times I have to cancel because of my wretched stomach problems.
Now, as you all know, I am a writer and editor and I work from home. I need space for office stuff and books and stationery. I also need peace and quiet. So how on earth am I going to squeeze into a one-bedroom flat? Well, it has a cellar that will house a good few boxes. It also has a garden and where there is a garden, there is the possibility of a garden office. Of course, that will be dependent on building regulations and obtaining the permission of the other three flat owners, but if my offer is accepted, I shall make it a condition of sale that the present owner asks permission of the others and gets it in writing.
I am in love, not with the flat, but the garden. It has a pond that's teeming with frogs and sticklebacks. The owner wants to sell to a nature-lover. That's me! Oddly enough, as soon as I walked into the place it felt familiar. When the owner said she bought it from a gay guy with a small white dog, it jogged my memory and I realised I had viewed it seven years ago, too, and the gay man told me he and his partner were moving to Brighton. I didn't buy it then because the cellar floor was under three inches of water. It was a burst pipe that has now been fixed, but the present owner has taken no chances and has her stuff (a couple of cases and about five boxes rather than a whole unit full) piled upon metal tables, which is just what I shall do.
If I get it. If I can shrink my stuff... Wonder if I could start a new trend for cellar sales?
5 days ago