Monday, July 2, 2007

The Dizzy Heights

My birthday card from my sister, Amy, which she insisted I open in advance.
I don't know where she gets such a terrible impression of my behaviour, but it made me think sadly about the forthcoming teaching on abstinence from alcohol and from sexual misconduct this weekend (the teaching is this weekend, I mean, I think the abstinence is meant to be a longer commitment).
I almost feel like a bride-to-be, as though I need to cram in my last hurrah of drunken sexual misconduct this weekend, before the chance disappears forever into a calm of mindfulness.

The eve of my official anniversary of existence on Earth, more commonly known to other mortals as my birthday. I spend the day working on a survey project for a not-for-profit in London. For something that falls into the category 'work' this is a surprisingly fulfilling endeavour, and made me start thinking again about the need to build more freelancing work in the future. Time for a leap......?

The Heights received their first visit from representatives of our new letting agents (as of July 1st), Garner Wood, today. We gathered in the foyer to receive them with our departing landlady. I think they were rather uncertain what to make of us all. Until they have received all the details about how the building is currently managed, including what rents we pay (that will prove heart-stopping enough to the sturdiest of property developers' minds in itself as we all pay way, way WAY below the market value), they cannot implement any changes, so we have, at least, a temporary reprieve.

"The main priority for us," said The LandMan (names changed to protect the morally immune), gulping slightly as he glanced around at our unsmiling faces, "Is, er, the smooth transition for you residents and the, er, best income for our clients."

"And the main priority for US," retorted one of the residents, "Is the protection of the family unit we've grown here! We've all been here years!"

There was a short silence.

"Quite," said LandMan, "Of course. Er, are there any questions?"

"Actually," said a voice from the back of the assembled crowd, "What about maintenance and emergencies? Will there be 24 hour cover?"

"Er, not usually, no," said LandMan, looking confident at last, "I don't suppose you have that now!"

"Yes we do!" everyone chimed in unison, and our landlady continued, "Yes, they can ring me any time and I send someone round, usually straight away."

"I see," slumped LandMan, "Well, I'll discuss that with my client and get back to you."

There was a group 'Tsk.'

"Ah, I have a question, actually" said Landman, "Do you all have your tenancy agreements available?"

To his confusion we all start to laugh. The Landlady smiled at him with gentle pity, in the way that only elderly ladies can do perfectly enough to make you feel silly when you're actually making a valid point.

"They don't have tenancy agreements, dear. And they didn't pay deposits, or rent in advance, either, before you ask."

The Landman paused and then reached down to scoop up his jaw as the Landlady continued, "We've always run the place on trust, you see. It's never failed. Most of my tenants have been with me for a dozen years."

"I've been here for 21 years," pipes a voice from the back, triumphantly.

I think the Landman has had a very bad day.

1 comment:

Lou said...

Hey lady, where are you today, hung-over by any chance?! We're having a 4th July feast here, get here now!! xx