When I was younger I was known as the Cricklewood Monkey Boy. I was known for acting like a monkey, and I lived in Cricklewood.
I have lived in Cricklewood on and off all my life, with the odd year or so every now often spent in another part of London, but I keep coming back.
This time around it was to do with cheap rents and familiarity - having to move out at short notice didn't give me a lot of time to plan, so when I had no luck finding a place in my preferred areas I lumped for what I knew. I knew what the area was like, where everything was and all the transport routes, so given the choice of living in an unfamiliar area without the potential for saving any money, I came home.
The new flat is good, much better than flat minus one in that it is structurally sound - doors, walls and lights work, and extravagances such as the washing machine also function. Nice. Plus the advantage over the last flat is that I am in the top floor, and thus have no neighbours waking me up at three in the morning playing Guitar Hero. This is a very good thing and has manifested in a remarkable improvement in my sanity, no longer do I curse obscenities to the ceiling and wish unpleasant death on strangers.
I knew when I saw the place for the first time that there was no TV aerial, but I knew I could live without it. I rarely watch TV so the slightly wonky picture of an indoor aerial suits me fine.
What I didn't realise is that despite the fact there was a phone socket in the flat, this didn't mean I could assume that I could get a phone line. After dozens of phone calls to a number of landline suppliers, I found that my flat did not exist on their computer systems, and that meant that I could not have a line installed without first getting my flat to pop up in their drop-down boxes. It turns out that this will involve getting everyone in the building to fill in forms for the council and pay fees for the privilege of dwelling acknowledgment before I can even start the phone companies on installation and all the charges involved.
I gave up and decided to get mobile broadband, which also was nothing like straightforward after spending nearly two hours trying to set up an account with a phone company, only for my bank to block the 50p transactions that the phone company used to verify my address.
Still, a month on and it's all behind me now, I have a USB dongle which feeds me internet at frustratingly slow speeds, but at least I have access. And I've worked out how to re-save photos to a file size that the dongle will actually let me upload, so finally I present to you my new flat, the day after I moved in about five weeks ago:
This is the front room.
This is the kitchen.
FRONT ROOM IS KITCHEN!
Thankfully, I have a separate bedroom.
And the view from the front room. The building looming over the houses opposite is my old Primary school.