Tag Archives: flatmate


Every bedroom in my flat has a full-length mirror. My little sister and I have great swathes of mirror attached to our walls- although I think hers is less flattering than mine, so always pop in and double-check a new outfit in her room before I leave. Our flatmate’s mirror is leant precariously against his chest of drawers, because none of us have any real idea about how to attach it to the wall.

‘Can I look in your mirror for a second?’ my flatmate asked yesterday. ‘Of course,’ I replied. Having a full-length mirror, and by full-length I mean properly full-length; and situated so that you can see your entire self, even in shoes and a hat, say before a wedding, or Ascot, or another fancy event I am 100% prepared for but just awaiting my invitation to, is one of the great signifiers of my recently acquired adulthood.

Having a flatmate who regularly pops in to look in it is not.

This mirror issue is not unique to my flat. ‘I don’t have a full-length mirror,’ my friend complained to me a few days ago. ‘That sucks,’ I replied distractedly, trying to work out if I had already seen this particular episode of ‘Parenthood’.

‘Parenthood’, a TV series based on the 1989 movie starring Steve Martin, is called ‘that sad one with all the people’ by my flatmate. It’s not an inaccurate description of the show. Obviously, I love it. My friend was still talking. ‘So it’s really hard for me, sexting-wise,’ she continued. ‘What?’ I asked, now fully-engaged. ‘What are you talking about?’ ‘Sexting,’ my friend continued comfortably. ‘When you don’t have a full-length mirror. I had to borrow my flatmate’s. Which was fine, although explaining what I wanted to borrow it for was slightly awkward.’ ‘Maybe I’m more grown-up than I realized,’ I thought to myself. ‘Although I don’t actually know what my flatmate is using my full-length mirror for.’  

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Please let me stay

I had a dream last night that I was asked to justify my position in the house. Only the house wasn’t the Big Brother house, or even the Playboy Mansion. No, my vivid and over-active imagination (so important in a writer) had recreated, to the minutest detail, my actual, real-life flat.

I was sat, in my actual, real-life living room, in front of my 2 housemates. One of whom had a pad of paper, the other of whom (my little sister) had forgotten to bring one. ‘So,’ My housemate began. ‘Tell us why we should let you stay.’ Luckily, dream-Lucy was eloquent and witty, self-effacing and poignant*. She was allowed to stay.

I woke up this morning still thinking about this. Here are some of the reasons I am the world’s best housemate**

1. I will always tell you that you look fat.

Not just randomly, when you are dashing out of the door for a job interview or something, but if you ask me, I will always answer honestly. I will not say, ‘I don’t love those jeans’, which will leave you confused and belittle my own impeccable fashion sense. I will say, ‘Those jeans make you look fat, which you are not, so please change.’

2. I have perfected the seamless ‘knock and open’ door move, so you will not have to waste any time telling me to ‘come in’.

3. I do not condition or blow-dry my hair, so our water and electricity bills will be nice and low.

4. Often for dinner I simply make a vast cauldron of popcorn.

I am more than happy to make an extra portion for you. (I do not wish to share, so please do not stick your grubby hand into my popcorn).

5. I have hundreds of book recommendations.

If I particularly like a book I have just read, I will deliver it to you in your room. I will then watch you closely until you read it. If you do not seem keen to read it (say, because you are off to work, or in the middle of reading another book), I will helpfully follow you around the flat, reading choice excerpts from the book.

*Look, it was my dream, OK?

**Entirely and fully self-awarded, with absolutely no regard or recourse to fact or the opinions of anyone else.

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No-one can tell me off

‘You know,’ I said thoughtfully to my next-door neighbours, aged 7 years old and 9 years old respectively. ‘The best thing about being a grown-up is that no-one tells you off any more.’ They nodded sagely. We had met outside our houses, because I was going to my friend’s leaving dinner, and they were showing me how if you take a thorn off a rose and put it on your nose, it looks like a rhinoceros.

Their Mum came outside at precisely the moment my flatmate arrived home from work. ‘What are you doing?’ Both women asked  simultaneously. We tried to explain about the rhinoceros discovery, but they didn’t seem particularly interested. ‘I’m very sorry,’ I said to the girls before I left for my dinner. ‘I can’t come over tomorrow-I’m temping for my Mother’s law firm. But I’ll come over on Thursday and show you how to do somersaults on the trampoline.’

I could tell from her expression that their Mother was as thrilled as the girls were at this prospect.

I am equally excited. There is nothing better than the adulation of small children. (Except possibly when they can’t finish their chips, and they let you eat them). I have been surreptitiously practicing headstands and forward rolls on my bed, in a hastily-devised training programme. I had to hastily dismount yesterday when my flatmate came into my bedroom.

‘You know you’re going to bounce those kids right off the trampoline?’ She asked me. ‘As in, if you bounce with them on it, they’re unlikely to survive.’

‘Nonsense,’ I replied robustly. ‘Just wait til I show them how to use a skateboard while they bounce.’ My flatmate sighed and left my bedroom. ‘Just remember you’re the grown-up,’ She told me. ‘I know!’ I replied delightedly. ‘And so their mum won’t tell me off!’

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