a) Be attractive
b) Have a good personality
c) Be available
And that from this list of three, only two options may be true for any individual female. I've learnt in the last couple of weeks that this rule extends pretty well to properties, with some minor adjustments to the three criteria:
a) Be of a reasonable size
b) Not be fucking miles away from every place I'm ever likely to want to go
c) Be available
Again, you may only pick two of these options.
After two or three weeks of stress, spending most of the working day looking through online listings, and burning through the credit on my mobile ringing up places to arrange viewings faster than a teenage girl who has just heard like, totally the most amazing gossip evar, I finally have somewhere to live next year. Somewhere that isn't the best out of the places we saw, but at the very least was still available to rent by the time we arranged a viewing.
So many times I rang up somewhere to view a place and it turned out that it was already in the process of going to someone else, and they just hadn't taken the listing down yet. Or someone would apparently buy it in between us seeing the listing and actually having our viewing. Or trying to buy it ourselves. I lost count of the number of places that looked awesome but were already taken, but as a rough ballpark figure, I'd say it was FUCKING LOADS OF TIMES.
The issue, I guess, was that I have no real clue how to judge houses until I've seen tons of them. We came to a fairly basic criteria of "is there enough space in the bedrooms for us to each have a desk?", and also wanted a kitchen and communal area, but so much of it is hard to judge. I feel it takes several viewings to judge what is good, and what isn't. What's worth £1100 per month, and what is worth £900. How do I value a 3 mile cycle to lectures over a 2 mile cycle? Et cetera.
I remember when my family moved house a few years ago, and we'd look round places, and my parents would generally ask for what I thought of it. I'm not sure if they were particularly valuing my opinions at the time (I was about to bugger off to university anyway) or just trying to make me feel included in the decision, but either way I never actually had any opinion whatsoever. I mean, really, a house is a house. I was a teenage boy - I couldn't give a crap about the décor, the pros and cons of the location, or most of the other features of a property. I have no grasp of those sorts of things or how much they're worth.
A slightly irritating by-product of this whole house-finding bollocks is that the cycling trip to Oxford didn't happen, but given I'll have the house from August it'll probably just happen at some point before term starts instead.
Also the internet was down in my room (and the rest of the North range in Downing) last weekend, from about midday Friday to sometime on Monday morning. I spent the entirety of Saturday out at the UK mahjong thingy, but man the rest of the weekend went slow. Like, firstly it really screwed up the whole finding a house plans for the weekend, but above all it just proved the point made a few weeks ago that life is crap without the internet.
Aside from the fact that most people seemed to be busy or just not around, which made finding people to talk to somewhat problematic, I basically had fuck-all to do but watch TV stuff I've got downloaded. And then I'd recognise actors in episodes of Castle and go to Wikipedia to look up where I recognise them from... except there's no internet. I staved off a mental breakdown, but jesus christ it was a pain in the ass.
At the risk of potential embarrassment, I'll take this opportunity to link to the blog my Dad has started.
I'll be going home from Cambridge tomorrow, meaning a crappier internet connection and slightly more temperate weather (because after pissing it down for bumps and May week, Cambridge randomly decides to be 30°C for a few days, which is way too hot for my liking). Also the Tour de France starts, which I'm massively looking forward to, because it'll give me renewed purpose for the middle of the afternoon, when most of the guys I play SC2 with are busy with real life jobs and stuff.
I'll be off to the TetrisConcept meet in Eindhoven next week (leaving Wednsday), and I really can't wait. I'm sort of travelling with Kevin, by which I mean we're getting completely separate flights and then he's waiting for me at Schiphol to get the train. Anyway, it's going to be a liek ttly awesome weekend. After that, things aren't properly set, but I'll probably be interrailing around Europe or something. Hopefully I'll have a netbook and sporadic wifi and will be able to blog from the road, but we'll see.