The minute I got off the tube and turned right down Uxbridge Road, I knew. I knew that I could call this place my new home away from home. Maybe it was the eclectic array if shops along the road with the equally eclectic locals milling about on a balmy Sunday evening, or maybe it was the fact that it took me less than 10 minutes to get here from Alayne’s flat in Notting Hill, but I just knew. I knew it in my gut, that this would be it. Even before I saw the place, or met my future flat mates. I was certain of it.
Ten minutes down the road there was a sign for Willow Vale. A small opening nestled between two shops led me into a quaint residential development. I scanned the numbers on the doors as I slowly walked deeper into the street; 8, 12, 15, 17, 25. I was looking for door #82. When I found it, it was green. I knocked. The door opened.
Two days earlier I had made my way out to North East London. I had responded to two ads and made appointments to view each of them. One for a flat near Caledonian Road and the other a few stops further north on the Piccadily line. The first, had a large single room. However, the flat did not have a common room and the area was more residential with few shops and in a very quiet area. I also did not meet any of my possible future flatmates. The next, was in a better area, with shops, and pubs, and a nice large park nearby. The flatmates were sweet, and funny, and I could really see myself having a good time living with them. But…they smoked. And even though I believed them when they told me that they didn’t smoke inside, the air inside the apartment was still laced with the stench of stale cigarette smoke. By the time I left their flat I had a piercing headache. Not really an ideal situation, even though the rent was cheap.
I didn’t look around much before I expressed my interest in the flat. Yes, the room was built for a hobbit, but it was relatively clean, with a cute common area, and a decent sized kitchen, and the people were absolutely fantastic (even though two of the three were heading back to Australia), plus, who am I kidding? I’m basically hobbit size, I even have the big feet.
And my guts said YES(!). And that’s really all I needed to run to an ATM and put in my deposit.
So come August 14th, I will be calling Shepherds Bush my new home, or rather, ‘SheBu’, as the locals call it.