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I suggest that the three of us meet up and go to the pub, for what I privately refer to as a 'safety drink'; a logical extra step between meeting strangers for the first time and the signing of legal paperwork that moves them in.

Housemate changes are always tricky, but more so if you're someone who prides themselves on attempting to know everything about a situation before commiting to it, because in London's rental scene, no one's got the time or energy to do too many extra checks. 

I mean yes, you absolutely could sit there considering the pros and cons, writing lists, researching, interviewing, reading all the books and articles on how to pick the right housemate, but if you do, any sane person will likely get bored of your faff and choose to live somewhere else. So: enter the 'safety drink'. Because all you can really do is go with your gut feelings about places and people; that, and wait for any weird opinions or behaviour to creep out after a couple of pints. 

On Thursday night the rain smashed down outside the pub, but inside there were no red flags, no off-key smells, no racist jokes - just three people round a table, sharing hand sanitiser and having an easy chat. So in the next couple of weeks, I'll have two new people moving in with me, which in London terms is an entirely normal, standard thing that happens all the time, but also when you zoom out of your own life and look at it from a distance, which I do for a buzz every now and then, is actually a relatively big life change.  

For this week and next I'm in this weird middle ground: knowing that some aspect of life is going to be different soon, but not exactly how. Waiting for change is always a bit disconcerting. It's not like surprise change, you can't just get on with it and schedule a later panic in. Creeping change gives you far too much time to imagine the scenarios the end result might bring, and whether you made the right decision, and to rake over that time in the past where something similar happened and it all went wrong, as if you can ever guard against things that are impossible to control or predict anyway - in this case, other human beings.

So in the meantime, belongings continue to disappear from the bedroom next to mine. It's quiet; only two of us for now in a three person flat.

Everyone is waiting: to complete on houses, to sign contracts, to vacate friends' sofas, to pack up already-empty shared houses, to move, to start, for something to begin. 

Read more thoughts from London here.


Three things I think you might like.

1. Read: I mean let's be honest, it could be a lot worse.

2. Listen: Look, I hate being blanket recommended an entire podcast as much as the next person, but specific good episodes? Fill thy boots. I'm into it. This was the most pleasing 51.03 minutes of radio I've listened to in ages. 
3. Go to Sainsbury's for toilet roll, apparently. All the cool kids are doing it. Failing that, head to where other people aren't

More things you'll actually want to do in London.


To add more change to the mix, I'm also moving offices next week, to Old Street. This means my commute will be shorter but, according to Citymapper, will also somehow take exactly the same amount of time as it does now. This city: I do not understand. 

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