Basic Instincts – just because you can’t see the ice pick, doesn’t mean they’re not a psycho.

Choosing to house-share via a website is a bizarre leap of faith. I mean, you email back and forth, arrange to meet and then if all goes well, move in a few days later. What on earth can you figure out about a person you’ve just met online that makes you decide you can co-habit? It’s speed dating on crack.

Of course, there’s the obvious things to look for; do you like the house and your room, is it conveniently located to where you work, does the neighbourhood possess all the amenities you’d be needing like a supermarket, bakery, brothel, I mean church? But does this person have an ice pick under their bed? Not so easy to check.

In one more week I shall be an unemployed bum yet again. Most people would be upset by this, but I’m quietly hoping I didn’t get that job I went for last week because a dose of unemployment will give me time to write. Plus without any money, maybe I’ll lose a couple of the kilos I’ve put on after four months being stuck to a chair for eight hours a day.

The job is at a university, helping manage flat rentals for students. They’re at the stage where they’ve lived with each other for a couple of months and personality clashes are beginning to show. Of course, all this has done is make me ponder my own disastrous colourful history of flat-sharing.

I’ve been through this process many times now. My decisions are usually based on nothing more concrete that a feeling, an instinct and, surprisingly often when I think back on it, alcohol. The first time I opted to live with strangers I was 26. The ad said they were looking for someone over 28 but I chose to ignore this. It was 11am when we met and within a few minutes they were serving me champagne. Three hours and many glasses later, I left with a new home.

Instinct paid off here and I lived happily there for three years, until one of the three housemates started a relationship with a manipulative psycho bitch and the house dismantled. Two housemates left and instinct failed me abysmally with the choice of replacement.

It’s probably my fault. I was, not for the first or last time, led astray by aesthetics. The best candidate of a bad bunch was also the prettiest. And at first he seemed fantastic, but it soon became evident that he was a habitual liar and, we came to suspect, a gay male escort. Continue reading

The World’s Busiest Unemployed Bum

Well, busy I may be, but efficient I am not. It’s now been four months since I quit my job and although I have plenty to do to fill my time, I’m not exactly rolling in job prospects. All my fault of course, “working” from home is a mine field of distractions and now that winter has arrived, dark and cold mornings make it harder to fight the urge to stay in bed  “just a biiiiiit longer”. Luckily I have a kitten to make sure sleeping in past 8am is impossible.

So what have I actually done in these four months? Let’s see if I can justify myself.

I have had two photography jobs, one I’ve spoken about and was for a team at work. The second was a baptism, but since this was for a girl who used to work with me, again I’m not really reeling in the customers am I? It was a good practise though, and even though I was pretty much winging it, I think some of the shots came out well, thank bloody god.

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Then I twisted the arm of another guy from work and hijacked his little girl for an hour. Again it was good practise. I have no kids around me and am not what you would call good with them, so it gave me an insight into what photographing kids would entail. The poor thing was pretty scared of me and the big black contraption strapped to my neck for the first half hour, so her expression illustrates that fear nicely. Continue reading