I’m still not properly living with Andrew yet.
The plan was that when I started my new job, which is near Andrew’s place, I’d move in with him. I was planning to start out just taking a week’s worth of clothes on Sunday nights, and go back to mine at weekends.
Then, around March time, I was planning to move in properly, with removal vans and everything. I need to rent out my flat, and need to finish decorating and sorting out my mortgage, and it’s too much to deal with while changing jobs. I thought I’d take the pressure off and give myself the goal of being properly moved in with him by March.
I have had a couple of estate agents round, to discuss renting my flat out with them.
The first time, when I called them to arrange for them to come around, at the end of the phone call, I said, “Hang on, where will we meet? I guess on the street outside?”
I was thinking of all my previous interactions with estate agents. When I’d been to look at flats I might move in to, I had always met the estate agent outside the building.
The estate agent on the phone said, “well, I mean… if you’re inside the flat, we can just ring the bell and then you can let us in?”
I realised they were about to check if they needed to explain the concept of doorbells to me.
“Oh, right! Yes. I’ve never already lived there in this situation!”
Anyway, I have been at my new job for two weeks, but I still haven’t moved into Andrew’s flat.
Instead, he has been staying at mine every night.
This is because there has been no running water at his flat since BEFORE CHRISTMAS.
The weekend before Christmas, the day before he was due to go and stay with his family, he found his boiler was leaking. There was a huge pool of water underneath the boiler.
He phoned me and I got my Dad to phone him, as my Dad used to be an engineer and knows to how to fix things.
Unfortunately, the diagnosis from my Dad was that Andrew needed to get a plumber out.
Andrew’s building was newly built two years ago, and it seems like they did an absolutely shit job. Everything is absolutely crap. He and his neighbours are in a long and drawn out process of complaining to the building company because all of their flats are so cold, it seems like they haven’t been insulated properly. Their flats are above the car park, and even when the heating has been on for 7 hours, it’s still below 19 decrees C, and they can feel draughts coming from electricity sockets.
He also found some of the tiles in his bathroom had cracked, and it turned out to be because the wall behind the tiles hadn’t been built properly.
And now, this pretty new boiler is leaking.
The plumber came and said the valves in the boiler needed replacing, and he would have to order new ones, which wouldn’t come until after Christmas. However, as Andrew was going to be away for Christmas, they agreed he would drain the boiler and turn the water off completely, so he didn’t have to worry about it leaking any more.
So, Andrew and I agreed that when he got back from visiting his family for Christmas, he would stay at mine instead of going to his own home, until the plumber got the valves they needed to fix the boiler.
We were expecting that to happen and for us move across to Andrew’s the first week of January.
Andrew could have been a bit more proactive with chasing up the plumber to see what was happening, as soon as he got back to London, but then something major happened at work and the first few weeks of January, he was at work almost all the time.
When he finally called the plumber, it turned out they didn’t seem to have ordered the valves yet!
And now, it’s nearly the end of January and they valves STILL haven’t arrived.
I think the plumber would have found it easier to fix the boiler if they’d been trying to order rare first editions of early Beatles’ records or signed copies of Jane Austen novels, rather than tracking down very standard valves for a very modern boiler.
But, Andrew has basically been living here, instead.
The journey to my new job is quite long from here, and the train is quite expensive each day, but it’s not terrible.
And in some ways, I’m relieved I get a bit more time here.
I love my flat, and it will be such a wrench to leave it. It’s just objectively much nicer and better than Andrew’s.
It just makes sense for me to move into his because his is so much nearer my new work, and whereas I can rent out my flat, he can’t rent his out, because of the shared ownership scheme with which he bought his.
He is excited about me moving in with him.
There was some wallpaper with trees on which I was going to put up in my hallway, but he has said we can put it up in his living room instead, so I feel more at home.
The other night, he said, “we’ll get whatever you want at my place, so you feel happy there.”
So far, we’ve spent every night together since 2nd Jan.
Previously, the longest we spent together was about four nights in a row, so this 25 nights is quite different.
In some ways, it feels so natural, it doesn’t feel like much has changed. It’s so nice knowing we will go to bed together every night (especially during those weeks when he was working until 11pm each night). I love waking up with him every morning.
We have probably had more moments of speaking in slightly terser tones to each other than before.
I already knew he wasn’t great at putting things away when he’d finished using them (including things from the fridge! He will make himself a cheese sandwich and leave the cheese on the side in the kitchen for hours. Infuriating!)
I’ve had to give him some feedback on his washing up skills.
I’m trying not to be too bossy and he’s trying to put things away more.
However, we’re doing OK at communicating about these things.
Although I will be sad to move out of my flat, it is exciting to take the next step forward in our relationship.