Thursday, 10 September 2009

An eventful evening followed by a boring commute

Following our recent move our two pusses* have a balcony all to themselves. A cat flap was already installed and, although we're on the first floor, it has a concrete surround and the cats love being out there.

Last night we experimented with letting them sit out there at night if they wanted to. After all, the previous occupants had no problems....

At 2am Mr Weenie was awoken by a neighbouring flat. They were moving elephants around and making a hell of a racket. While up to see what was going on he noticed the distinct lack of grey cat. Mr Handsome was missing. He woke me and we looked everywhere before resorting to the failsafe, we shook the biscuit bag.

A distant 'Maow!' was our reward. Fearing the worst I threw some clothes on, dashed downstairs and went round to the back of the block. Visions of a mangled mess, broken bones and death scenes filled my head as I prepared to root through the undergrowth. Then Mr Weenie whispered from the balcony 'He's on the fire escape.' Sure enough, far from being hurt, Mr Handsome had climbed up the next block's fire escape and was looking at our flat's balcony as if attempting to work out how to get back to it.

I swept him into my arms and buried my nose in his fur, cooing 'My baby!'. He struggled to get away and was most put out at being returned to the flat.

Mr Weenie and I blocked the flap and went back to bed.

At 6.40am we were woken again, this time by someone in our flat. Naked, Mr Weenie went onto the landing and demanded to know what on earth he was doing (I should mention his personal area was hidden by the top of the bannister). The man retorted that we shouldn't be there and what were we doing? I lay in bed, quilt clasped to my bosom waiting for the argument to end. It did, with the man (a gas inspector) agreeing to return once we had clothes on.

Turns out the postal strike has delayed our tenancy paperwork and the company still has the flat listed as vacant so had willingly given the gasman the keys.

He checked all the gas appliances, deemed them safe and left.

At 8.45am I left for work on Reg on one of the busiest roads in London.

At 9.15am I arrived at work.


* I shall give them pseudonyms to protect their anonymity given that they have not given consent to be mentioned: Mr Handsome and The Fat One.


  1. Hold on, how had the gas man got into your flat? I'd be fitting a dead bolt if I were you!

    What a night :-)

  2. The company that owns the flat gave him a key. I think we'll be putting the chain on in future.

    At least it was fab blog fodder.

  3. The agency gave him a key? Have they never heard of the Landlord and Tenant act? Good grief! ftr, the landlord/agent(s) of the landlord must give you notice before they wish to enter the property - your contract should specify the notice period but it's normally 24 or 48 hours. Otherwise they're breeching your right to "quiet, peaceful enjoyment" (I am not, however, a lawyer. I just am an ex- law librarian who worked in real estate firms. Also, I've had an agency who did likewise to me before and regretted that in a hurry!)

    Any way! I wanted to say, I really enjoy your blog - I'm slowly getting the nerve up to cycle to work, so it's lovely to read about how easy it is! Really helps make it seem less terrifying! Esp. as we seem to be in the same end of London, so clearly it can not be as scary as my hindbrain thinks it is!

  4. Hello Meg. I go from Hanwell to Hammersmith on the Uxbridge Road. For me, the commute's as dangerous and scary as you make it for yourself and I just don't do scary things!

  5. Hello! Yeah, I'm pretty sure my route is not that bad (it will be Olympia to Oxford street) but it's been a long while since I cycled anywhere other than the countryside, so it's just a case of sitting on the lizard brain until it gives up going 'we're all going to dieeeee' and accepts that I am perfectly safe and well trained.

    Fingers crossed, my maiden voyage will be in the next month.

  6. Hmmmmmmm I highly recommend the routes through the parks after Kensington. I quite often go through Kensington to Oxford Street by bike and there are some hugely nifty cycle routes.

  7. Am such a nerd! This was the route I used lat time I went to Oxford Street!