When I was younger, weekend outings for the Cheesman family often involved bundling into the Volvo, going for a long drive, and checking out open-for-inspections. This was never geared towards buying a new home, more an exercise in ‘getting to know the market’ (read: having a stickybeak). So, while I’m pretty inept at cycling, feeding ducks, apple-picking and other weekend-typical activities, I’m excellent at identifying potential garden drainage hazards and appreciating high EERs and northerly-facings (God forbid my Dad even step foot in a westerly-facing dwelling…the horror!)
I kind of think my Dad would swallow a filling if he saw my room. As a postgrad, I’m not in the main college building, but a house on the High Street.
Low ceilings – I’m not ridiculously tall. I’m about an inch shorter than the height requirement to be a model (which was obviously my only limitation in following that career path) but I pretty much scrape the ceiling. Upshot: topknots are out, and I may end up with Quasimodo posture.
Noise – I’m also not one of those super-delicate people with cornucopia ear canals that pick up everything (I saw a 60 Minutes story once about a girl who went ballistic every time someone coughed or ate a Pringle within 20m of her…devastating not least because a Pringle crunch should be a joyous herald).
My first year of college in Sydney, for example, I was next to the dining hall (cue plates crashing about like a Greek wedding and footy boys roaring with hunger), upstairs from the JCR (cue pumping music and footy boys drunkenly revelling), across the way from a hospital (cue screaming ambulances carting injured footy boys) and directly above a footy boy who fancied himself as a tortured artist (cue woeful guitar strains at 3am). Point being, I’ve developed ears of steel. Yet even I am struggling to deal with the High Street traffic which bizarrely NEVER CEASES! Who knew Oxford was such a busy thoroughfare?
But don’t fret guys, there are upsides aplenty:
Location, location, location – I am just across the road from the main college building, so can indulge any deer-frolicking and punting whims within a minute (more on that later). Being on the High Street also means oodles of shops and cafes to choose from.
Housemates – I’ve only met 2 of my 9 housemates so far, but I’m looking forward to getting to know them. The girl I met seems sweet – all porcelain skin, curls and nervous laughter – kind of how I imagine a grown up Anne Geddes calendar baby to be. The guy is one of those highly-strung, beanpole skinny guys who buzzes around like a happy hamster or an electron.
Romantic fantasies – top floor with double bay windows with Oxford views makes me feel like Wendy Darling (though if a snub-nosed kid in green tights breaks in and asks me to sew his shadow on I probably won’t react well).
All in all, I think my abode bodes well!