Charmed life

Moving house is an emotional time. I know this now. Mood swings just seem to gather momentum.

It goes something like this: 1) view prospective flat - love vendor for showing you somewhere you actually want to live. 2) exchange of contracts. Speak to your lawyer 15 times a day - hate vendor. 3) completion! It's yours - love vendor, all is forgiven. 4) move in - really hate vendor now.

I am currently at stage 4 - the high level loathing plateau. Once in my new abode I realised that I had purchased it from a couple who were into a rather kinky practice, namely blindfold DIY. Either that, or they only felt the urge for a bit of painting and decorating when they were completely plastered themselves. It's a scream - endless laughs for the first hour or so, until it dawned on me that I would have to unbotch this little lot. Soon I began to recognise a recurring theme throughout the flat. So much so, that I am fully expecting Clint Eastwood to come striding in and hang up his gun. No - I do not have saloon-style doors, but the words "bunch of cowboys" have been uttered by every tradesman I have been forced to call out in the last 24 hours.

Big whiff of gas in the kitchen at midnight - think I am going to be found asphyxiated on the floor before I have even unpacked my pots and pans. Call gasman - lots of head-shaking and tut-tutting . He slaps a great big "Unsafe! Illegal! Do not use!" sticker on my cooker. "It's rubber pipes, innit love. Bleedin' illegal. Been done by a bunch of cowboys, innit?"

This band of gun-slinging roughnecks have obviously called round here often. I imagine them, riding into town to the theme music from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, turning menacingly into my street, before strutting into my flat to variously cock up the cooker, the plumbing, the TV aerial and the burglar alarm.

I phone hated vendor, but she, now safely installed in suburbia, denies all knowledge of having created what can only be described as the Ponderosa Ranch of East London. The day before we moved I, as a nice friendly gesture (still in stage 3 joy) brought them round a bottle of bubbly. What well- wishing token did they leave me? About 10 large pieces of broken glass, two broken lamps, one broken fire, one old mattress and a shoulder pad. Last, but not least, 10 years of dust. So, voila, stage 4.

Meanwhile I've just got to get on with unbotching - there's a man coming to give me an estimate next week. If he's wearing cowboy boots and sucking a cigarillo, then he's got five minutes to get outa town.

News
Pro-Russia rebels guard a train containing the bodies of victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 crash in Torez, Ukraine
i100
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Property
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Arts and Entertainment
Struggling actors who scrape a living working in repertory theatres should get paid a 'living wage', Sir Ian McKellen has claimed
theatre
News
Skye McCole Bartusiak's mother said she didn't use drink or drugs
peopleActress was known for role in Mel Gibson film The Patriot
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Damon Albarn is starting work on a new West End musical
artsStar's 'leftfield experimental opera' is turning mainstream
Life and Style
Paul and his father
artsPaul Carter wants to play his own father in the film of his memoirs
Sport
Ben Stokes trudges off after his latest batting failure for England as Ishant Sharma celebrates one of his seven wickets
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
Members of the public are invited to submit their 'sexcapades' to Russell T Davies' new series Tofu
tv
News
Sky's Colin Brazier rummages through an MH17 victim's belongings live on air
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game
arts + ents'The Imitation Game' stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley
Extras
indybest
News
i100... and no one notices
Arts and Entertainment
Friends reunited: Julian Ovenden, Richard Cant and Matt Bardock in rehearsals for the Donmar revival of 'My Night
with Reg'
theatrePoignancy of Kevin Elyot's play being revived just after his death
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Year 5/6 Teacher

    £100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: The successful applicant w...

    Year 5/6 Teacher

    £21000 - £35000 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: The JobThe successful ...

    Business Analyst (Systems/ Incident Analyst)

    £40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Business Analyst r...

    SAP GRC Architect / Consultant

    competitive: Progressive Recruitment: I am currently looking for a PERMANENT S...

    Day In a Page

    Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

    Fireballs in space

    Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
    A Bible for billionaires

    A Bible for billionaires

    Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
    Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

    Paranoid parenting is on the rise

    And our children are suffering because of it
    For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

    Magna Carta Island goes on sale

    Yours for a cool £4m
    Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
    Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

    Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

    Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
    Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

    Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

    They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
    The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

    20 best days out for the summer holidays

    From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
    Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

    All the wood’s a stage

    Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
    Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

    Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

    Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
    Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

    Self-preservation society

    Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
    Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

    Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

    We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor