Thursday 18 January 2018

Living Solo

Living Solo

When you live on your own there are certain things that you need to know, when we first moved in I fumbled my way around the house having a list of jobs to do that I had never had to do before, and I had never had to do them because I lived with my other half. 

One of the first things I had to do as soon as I moved in was sort the gas and electric, I remember being asked to give them the meter readings and suddenly realised that this was something that I had never had to do before, and the lady on the phone must have taken the silence on the line as confirmation of this, because in her next breath she was talking me through how and where to access the information she needed.

When you live on your own, jobs that are usually split (Into Pink and Blue jobs if you're talking to my other half!) all become yours, and after a slight settling in period, I eventually began to remember that bin day was every Friday, and I am pleased to report that I quickly adjusted to the demands of my new home.

I have had to get accustomed with the fuse box, heating system and become the responsible adult within the home (stranger things have happened right?), but I wouldn't be true to myself if there were not a few bumps along the road...By bumps I do mean having a major blonde moment that makes it hard for anyone to forget you...

It was 5am and I was heading to London for a press event, I ran the water for the shower so that it was nice and hot when I stepped in, but boy did I have the shock of my life when I did. The water was ice cold, not something that you want to experience at such an unholy time in the morning. I ran downstairs to check the boiler to find that nothing was working, there was no sign of life, no boiler light and definitely no hot water.

One ice shower later and I was out of the house on my way to the capital. I called up the maintenance team and they arranged to send someone out the following morning (it would have been sooner but as I was out of the house all day, nothing could be done). The following morning the young man arrives, I offer him a warm drink, which he politely declines and tells me that he won't be here long. Hi simply flipped a switch and my boiler sprung back to life. 

'It was just switched off love he said. I had to laugh or I might have fallen off the edge of the world in embarrassment, he couldn't help smiling and I imagine that he was just relieved that his first call out of the day wasn't going to give him a headache.

I was relieved really, because in my mind I had already narrowed it down to either needing a new boiler or a zilmet ultra pro heating pump, so really it simply being turned off at the wall (we are still not certain which one of us it was, it doesn't help that the on/off switch looks just like the kitchen light switch and they are right next to each other...).

My advice to anyone who is going to be moving out on their own for the first time is to always lead on the right side of common sense (if you think the boiler is broken, make sure you check that it hasn't simply been turned off...), and as long as you realise the following... You should be just fine...

- You will have to go shopping, there is no such thing as a food fairy and your fridge won't magically replenish.

- A light bulb blew... YOU will have to change it.

- You have post? I hope you like bills!

- A morning cup of coffee is one of the most expensive habits in the world, wave goodbye to your Costa and say hello to instant!

- Some months you have to decide what's more important... The new clothes that you NEED or eating.

- Some months it may come down to fuel in the car...or food in your belly.

Above all else though, you will become independent, and you surprise yourself with what you can achieve on your own. You learn how to budget your money and eventually you will be able to fuel the car and keep food in the fridge.

It's all about baby steps, just try not to call out help for your boiler when you don't really need it, because there is a call out charge!

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