Sep 22, 2008

"What about a Toaster?"

I met with four people on Saturday to talk about starting a new vegetarian home. Many things come up when 5 folks who've never met sit down to talk about living together. We talked about geography, money, kitchen space, growing things, and the calendar. It was such an incredible relief to meet these folks, who I instantly liked and wanted to know.

When I tentatively said, "Think we could get a garden ... and grow stuff?" I heard enthusiasm and encouragement. Last Friday I met with folks in a house with a great garden. When I asked if I could grow some vegetables, the master tenant actually said, "We don't really have the climate for that in England." Those girls were also vegetarian, but I'd prefer that the vegetarians that I live with not assume that produce magically appears in supermarkets. And the new veg house kids don't.

I hope it works out with these guys. As the broke ass student of the bunch, I have the lowest budget. I also don't give a shit where we live or how big my room is, given that I have a place to rest my head and my trusty wheels. In my meager week in London, I think I like South London (the Californian in me so longs to call it SoLo) better than North London (NoLo). But I'd rather live with loveable humans than trip over geography of which I know so little.

Given my lack o' budget, I mentioned that I don't buy new stuff to the new veg house kids. I wanted to be clear that if some sort of furnishing became involved in the move process, that I would not chip in on new items. It was hilarious! "What about a Toaster?" was quickly followed by "What about a kettle?". I admitted that I've never had a new toaster and that my only kettle was a gift (and not the kinda kettle they mean anyway). I think that toast and tea might be deemed Compact health items in England. They're both way more important here than in the US.

I personally think the toaster that Blake and I scored used and free about 7 years ago is as good as any I've seen. And I can't imagine needing a new kettle since it seems that every housing ad I've read says, "includes all mod cons: wash machine, kettle, etc". But I could see a scarcity on the used market for goods like kettles and toasters here. Dunno, guess I'll hope we find a furnished flat.

For now I'm crashing for free. My English friend, Max, is really the best. She's made this transition so do-able. I've been in one place for a week and leave tomorrow for another where I'm good for at least 3 weeks. Hopefully the housing will have come through by then! (That said, if you're reading this and you know some radical vegetarian kids who need a roommate in their cheap rent spot, do pass my info along!... in case the new veg house falls apart).

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hi there

I'm really looking forward to hearing about your adventures in London. You can grow veg in the UK. I live in Essex (that's a bit north of London) and I have a thriving allotment and stuff in grow bags in my garden. check out your local council - allotments are about £10 a year to rent. you can often get seeds, spades and so on from Freecycle.