jetpack technology

Thursday, May 31, 2007

imagine you've just moved into a shared house and one of the housemates, who is there a lot of the time, acts like you don't exist... it's a bit awkward. I moved in and the girl who has been here the longest doesn't even say hello when I bump into her nor did she even show me where I could keep my things in the kitchen when I arrived. If I had a new housemate I would at least do that, not act like we're two strangers on a midnight train. It's especially awkward as she takes over the sitting room every evening, sitting in the middle of the saggy sofa so there's no room for anyone else, while watching MY telly all evening, and I end up sneaking down to get some food then back to my room like a naughty teenager. It's probably my fault for being so timid and easily intimidated, but she is kind of surly and cold. Her friends are nice and always say hello and give me a smile, whereas she just turns her head then away again. She does make conversation sometimes but it's always about her and invariably involves her lecturing about her field of expertise (she's a history teacher) or mouthing off dogmatically about her pet peeves (religion and eating meat)... ho hum. She told me about her extreme vertigo/phobia of heights and so to empathise I mentioned that I had agoraphobia for a few years and her reaction was just an incredulous "oh, that's bizarre" and I felt like a freak, an embarassed freak. I wish I was more assertive - I'm such a wuss! Oh well, she starts a new job at a different school come September so she'll have to be moved out by then - and there'll be LOADS of room too when she takes all her crap with her! She did ask me to feed her guinea pigs while she was away this week which I duly did and I thought we were developing a rapport but I don't think it came to anything... I tried to think of a nickname for here which was initially Judge Dredd then I decided on Judge Judy (her name is similar) which is more fitting. For a while it was Sue Perkins cos there is a physical similarity but my friend told me off for calling her that 'cos Sue Perkins is actually cool... My other housemate is an academic from Argentina, and he's lovely; always smiles and makes conversation so it's not all bad.

click for free food!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

still busy packing but thought I'd stop for a second to tell you that I've noticed in the last 48 hours a very large prominent vein on my left temple which pulses when I feel it... I hope it goes down again. It's like something out of Ren and Stimpy. Must be all that adrenaline

click for free food!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I collected the key for my new place this evening plus I got to meet the third housemate who I'd not met yet and she seems really nice. She gave me a copy of the contract I asked for which I'll need in order to claim housing benefit and pay the rent. Now I think I have a MAJOR problem. I paid £300 deposit and £365 rent in advance, but the contract only says that between three of us, the rent is £800 per month. It doesn't say anywhere what my exact share is, and if you divide it by three it's only £266.67. Assuming housing benefit will pay ALL of that £266 (which it probably won't - and it will probably pay nothing until I get a more detailed tenancy agreement (for which I'll be charged by the letting agency yet again no doubt)) it still leaves me a hundred pounds a month to pay, leaving me virtually nothing to live on.... If, like they told me, the rent was £365 and they had an agreement stating that everything would be fine. I guess it's my stupid fault for not asking for a tenancy agreement before paying up.... hmmm, what to do. I've got a mountain of sorting out to do and very little energy to do it with, and now I know I'm not going to sleep a wink till I'm in and it's all sorted...

What I think I'll have to do is move in anyway and see if I can get a more detailed tenancy agreement (I've already paid to live there for a month so I may as well go ahead). Hopefully I can get one which is detailed enough for the housing benefit office to actually give me the money I need. Then hopefully I should be able to claim council tax benefit which would go some way to cover the other £100 I'm liable for, leaving me enough to live on.

The other problem is that it being a joint contract (not three seperate agreements) if someone (or everyone) moves out I'm then responsible for paying their rent which could be £800 a month and obviously housing benefit is only going to pay my share. I think in that situation I'd just refuse to pay. In my opinion it's the letting agency who are responsible for finding tenants, not me....

even so, it's a complete nightmare. Maybe I'll just have to write off a months rent and look for somewhere else straight away which is definitely not with a shared tenancy agreement, but an uncomplicated affordable agreement for one person (not easy in Cambridge). Oh gawd what a mess....where's the southern comfort..... it's amazing how much you feel like blogging when things like this happen

(postscript) I just had an idea. I don't think my cheque for deposit and rent has been cashed yet. Maybe tomorrow I'll call the bank and ask about stopping it. I think it would onloy be fair seeing as I was told the rent was £365 when in fact it was (probably) only £266... oh gawd. I'm going to be awake all night thinking about this now and I need to sleeeeeep!

click for free food!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

well my folks are back from their hols and it's my last night here where I've been housesitting for them, yet again (I gotta go home and start moving house tomorrow). Maybe I've been watching too much of "Most Haunted" (which is mostly shit I know but I like to laugh at it*) but there are strange noises around this place in the small hours. Last time I was here, I went to bed one night at about 3am and before I went to sleep I heard someone moving around on the landing. I thought it was probably my mum or dad going to the bathroom but was surprised at how noisy they were being. Then I heard footsteps going down the stairs and the swish of a hand along the bannister. My dad sometimes gets up at 6am to watch the cricket but this was too early so I didn't think it was that. I was just beginning to wonder what that person was doing downstairs when I heard them come up the stairs again and then all was quiet. In the morning I asked who it was but both parents swore they didn't even wake up in the night. Then my dad jokingly said "It was probably Rhoda". I asked who she was and apparently she was the old lady that lived here for many decades before going into a home. My mum added that the lady had died. I asked when and my dad said "about two weeks ago"... and I got a shiver when he said that. Maybe she came back to look after the place. Then again last night I thought I heard someone moving around outside the bedroom door and thirty seconds later I heard the bang of the toilet seat falling down in the downstairs loo which is directly below my bedroom. This was at 2:52am. It's a very distinctive noise which I've heard a few times but not in the middle of the night when everyone is asleep.... Is that creepy or what? It probably sounds like I made this little story up, but it's true I promise!

Last time I was staying here I was reading this book - which is great; creepy and laugh-out-loud funny. Maybe I'm letting my imagination run away with me...

*if you think it's all bollocks you might enjoy - they have a whole section devoted to Most Haunted including some rather incriminating outtakes and exposés...

click for free food!