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Online Dating Blog 67: champers, condoms, drain cleaner...and a new life ahead in a new flat

On a sunny Saturday morning we went to view a flat in Hyndland.

I felt like a fraud as the letting agent walked us through the property: high white ceilings neatly  trimmed with cornicing; wide, sparkling windows looking out onto treetops; gleaming wooden floors and smooth creamy walls.

Everything was flawless. I have no business being here, in this elegant old flat. I earn a call centre wage. I am poor. I haven't been abroad for six years.

Nonetheless, my imagination kept shoving me into this possible new life and I wandered through the rooms thinking how I'd love to live here. This is a flat where I've never cried. I could be a new person: one who isn't heavy and slow with depression and panic and the nagging burden of wasted years. I could have a fresh start here.

The agent showed us into the second bedroom and I was snapped back into real life. We don't need a second bedroom. What an extravagance!

This is silly. Who do you think you are, you idiot, to be gallivanting round the  west end, looking at fancy flats, when last month you had to take £20 from your Gran? Two bedrooms! Nonsense.

'Two bedrooms. Perfect,' said The Proclaimer.

Why does he want two? Surely, he can't be planning for the patter of tiny Proclaimers. What then? Does he need it to store his bikes? He has five different bikes, so maybe that's it. What a shame, though, to spatter this elegant room with muddy mountain bikes.

The letting agent slipped away and we were left alone in the white and echoing second bedroom.

'Right,' said The Proclaimer. 'This room will be yours.'


He nodded. 'It'll be your study.'

I just gawped at him. 'Mystudy?'

'You need a place to write. You're on the mend now so you can start to get serious about your writing.'

I couldn't accept this! A room of one's own.

He put his hands on both sides of my head to make me look at him. 'Your desk can go under the window.'

Walking across the room he patted the bare wall. 'And we can easily fit three or four bookcases along here.' He nodded. 'Yes, this is where you'll be.'

'Where will you be?'

'Playing with Lego in the living room or something,' he laughed. 'Never mind about me. I'll just be happy knowing you're better and you're writing. And that I'm helping make it happen.'

Oh God, I wish he'd stop being so good to me! I felt tears starting to prickle in my eyes so I turned nasty and hard so he wouldn't see I was about to cry.

'Well, don't be daft,' I snapped. 'We can't afford some posh two-bedroom flat! We're not in a Cluedo game so we can't have a study.'

'Yes we can,' he said. 'And you're going to write loads of books over at that window. So be quiet, woman. We're taking the flat.'

We sign the lease two days later.

It'll be nice to live with someone again. I remember how it was always soothing to be lying in bed, about to dwindle into sleep, hearing vague sounds from the hall or the living room - a creaking floorboard maybe, or the mumbling of the TV, or the fridge being pulled open -  and just be quietly reassured that you're not on your own.

Without someone else, the flat can be cold and silent as stone. There are no comforting sounds and everything is always exactly where I left it. Small chores, like changing a lightbulb, get magnified into epic endeavours as I have to borrow ladders from a neighbour to climb up and reach and then there's the fear of making sure the switch is pointing the right way and then it turns out I bought a clip one, not a screw one, and if I fall how soon will it be till someone thinks to check up on me?

My only hope of being found quickly is if my neighbours decide they need their ladders back urgently, but what are the chances of that…?

Well, I needn't worry. Feminism's all well and good, but I gladly hand over responsibility for anything involving ladders to The Proclaimer. He may be a geek and a bit posh, but that still means he can fix things, right?

So, a new life in Hyndland awaits.The only thing that's worrying me is something I found in his pocket. It was our last weekend in my old Mount Florida flat so he said we'd celebrate. He'd bring home luxuries, he said, and we'd have a brilliant meal and wallow in decadence, with champagne and strawberry cream chocolate.

When he came home that night, I pounced on him at the door. Oh, what did you buy? Oh let me see in the bag? What have you got?

But he was stern: no peeking. It's all a surprise. Let me go and get changed and then I'll show you what I've bought, he said.

I stamped my foot with impatience as he pulled off his tie, doing it slowly just to annoy me. As he threw his jacket across the bed I saw a receipt flutter from the pocket. Brilliant! All the goodies will be listed there. All the decadent luxury…

He went into the bathroom to have a shower and when I heard the door click shut, I grabbed for the receipt. Let's see what he bought for our decadent last Saturday at home.

I peeled open the crumpled receipt:



Drain cleaner

This man knows decadence!

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