My new flat – a glimpse so long

There has been a great build-up to this moment. In fact, I don’t think a single one of my blog posts this year has not made reference to the fact that I will be moving into my own flat – alone – for the first time ever.

Well, the big day finally arrived on Saturday and with loads of lugging, unpacking, cleaning and organising help from my family, I was quite happily settled by yesterday evening.

So, it is with great pleasure that I present to you a few little glimpses of my new little nest.

There is still quite a lot to be done, like getting a couch and plush Persian carpet (a girl’s gotta dream, right?) for the sitting room area, installing a towel railing and mirror in the bathroom and getting the last few kitchen necessities… but so far I’m quite cosy, comfy and loving it.

Sitting room sans Persian carpet and couch... watch this space! Nadia Krige

Sitting room sans Persian carpet and couch... watch this space!

My bedroom section. Just small enough not to get messy.

My bedroom section. Just small enough not to get messy.

How cool is this kitchen? 1950s diner vibe! Nadia Krige

How cool is this kitchen? 1950s diner vibe!

Look at this pretty screen Jana's lending me for a while. She made it herself.

Look at this pretty screen Jana's lending me for a while. She made it herself.

The Ellie family and the garden.

The Ellie family and the garden.

Good old typewriter and pretty sunflowers from my mommy.

Good old typewriter and pretty sunflowers from my mommy.

Finally somewhere I can ride my bike. Now just to squeeze it into the minuscule lift or get it down 3 flights of stairs.

Finally somewhere I can ride my bike. Now just to squeeze it into the minuscule lift or get it down 3 flights of stairs.

I bought this owl the other day. Do you think it's mean to put him in this pretty plant cage?

I bought this owl the other day. Do you think it's mean to put him in this pretty plant cage?

Finally - the view. I can see Robben Island from my bed. Also a lot of buildings, but hey!

Finally - the view. I can see Robben Island from my bed. Also a lot of buildings, but hey! The dark think here in the foreground is a palm tree. It's actually quite pretty and green ūüôā

Travel Tuesday: That time I moved to the hippy commune

Hippy combi

Okay, okay, despite what the photo may suggest, that never happened… unless ‘that time’ is now, and ‘hippy commune’ is an umbrella code term for a 6 square meter storage space and Imar and Tamara’s flat (which, btw, is very much NOT a hippy commune). Yes, people, I am exactly where I was a year ago. Flatless and hunting once more.¬†

Basically the short and long of it is that flatmate, Marieke, managed to bag herself an impressive job in the corporate world, and also a much cheaper flat in the northern suburb of Durbanville – just round the corner from her new office. Apart from that, our flat’s rent ¬†has also sky-rocketed to such an extent that we would have been more broke than ever if we had stayed on.

And what with my flat searches being somewhat fruitless up until now, I find myself a homeless person once more.

Anyway, this whole moving thing has become something of a yearly drill to me. You see, in the 8 years I have been out of school, there have only been two consecutive years that I lived in one place. All the other 6 saw me acting nomadic, rooting and uprooting myself, making homes, and tearing them down again. (Oh dear, this makes me sound like a rather unpleasant person to live with, but I’m not! At least I don’t think I am… oh, wait, there was that one time with the diabolically hungry bunny and Adri’s plants…).

But, whereas I used to find this gypsy lifestyle kind of exhilarating, I have to say this year it has almost succeeded in getting me down. I can finally see why people always say moving is such a traumatic experience.

So traumatic, in fact, that a good portion of early Sunday morning (the big moving day) was spent sitting on my suitcase of freshly packed clothes, staring at the heap of garments still waiting to be stuffed in somewhere, with tears of anger, frustration, irritation, self pity streaming down my face. During all this time Morne, my dad and Imar would just calmly walk in and out, lugging bags and boxes as they went and my mom would comfort, council and cajole me.

So, I now find myself at a point where I am torn between the idea of just abandoning all my burdens and becoming a restless wanderer (like that’s going to happen!)… and actually finding a place to really call my own. For a while. A good long while. Maybe even three years (gasp!). Or even until such a time as I acquire a husband, some kids, and a few dogs. And if I don’t acquire those, I guess I could just acquire more cats… and keep living there.

What I have in mind is a little place I can settle in. A place for all my books and my cat and my random little¬†ornaments. A place where I can cultivate some kind of garden, even if I have to hang it from the ceiling. A sanctuary I can return to after awesome trips or horribly blue Mondays. A place that won’t break the bank, but also won’t crumble on top of me when I sleep.

A place that thus far doesn’t seem to exist in Cape Town, but maybe, like a naughty kitten, it will pounce on me when I least expect. Here’s to hoping!

But, in the mean time, thank you to my family and Morne for putting up with me and cheering me up and helping me lug boxes and meeting me at the creepy storage space so I don’t have to go alone and feel like I’m in a horror movie and invading their space and and and… too many things really.

xx

 

Flat hunting is…

and let’s just be honest here… a complete nightmare!

Will I?!?!?!?! Photo: yourenglishlessons.wordpress.com

I’ve been at it for close on 3 months now and have gone from finding a lovely place, paying a deposit, and getting excited about living by myself for the first time ever… to being flatless and living in Imar and Tamara’s spare room.

How did this happen? Well, let’s just say that down and out tenants who don’t have jobs, can’t pay the rent and refuse to move out have far more rights than landlords or aspiring tenants do. Leaving said future tenant – no matter how honest and hardworking they may be – to hang about in a painfully awkward in-between position and finally give up hope. (Note: this last bit only happens once the deposit has found its way safely back into no-longer-future tenant’s bank account.)

Not cool, but oh well. Things happen for a reason, right?

Anyway, so here I am back at square one  searching high and low Рokay mostly high, as I feel like I am now a 25-year-old working woman who should be rising above those student day lows Рto find a cosy, comfortable, sunny, wooden-floored, airy flat with a big balcony/stoep, a patch of garden and a space for a kittie.

The kittie I love

And, as many of you may know, this is no mean feat when searching in Cape Town’s vibey CBD. You are normally faced with one of two options: crusty and marginally cheap or awesome and breaking the bank.

It’s not all bad, though, as I have been both well entertained and occasionally charmed by the varying offerings Gumtree has brought to the table over the past couple of months.

Kind of what Gumtree would look like in real life. Photo: http://london.blog.qype.com

For instance that beautifully maintained 1 bedroom flat with it’s shiny wooden floors, immaculate kitchen and reasonable(ish) price most unfortunately located inside a building rife with signs reading: “No prostitution, drug dealing (insert all kinds of other dodgy activities) will be tolerated” (or something along those lines). It only took me a while to realise that warnings find their origins in actual problems.

Kind of almost like this sign. Photo: http://commons.wikimedia.org/

Or the dark and dusty flat in a conveniently located… ahem… established block that only has an OUTSIDE SHOWER AND TOILET. i.e. If you have to wee in the middle of the night, you will not only have to leave your bed, but also your flat, after which you will have to brave the creepy courtyard and scuttle over to your personal potty… TWO DOORS DOWN! No thanks!

Then you find those places you fall head over heels in love with at first sight. Your dream abode where you picture yourself sipping after-work glasses of wine on the balcony, sleeping in on Saturday mornings, hosting dinner parties and befriending the neighbours. The type of places that are always just slightly too expensive, slightly impractical or slightly out of the way.

Oh, wouldn't we all love dear Carrie's NYC apartment? *sigh* Photo: sensationcolor.com

Despite the frequent lows and short-lived highs¬† I have been pushing forward in faith and feel that my big break is coming soon, very, very soon! Let’s hope this week brings some good news!

xx