Last weekend, my new flatmates Chris and Joe and I found our new pad - a simply glorious villa in Vogeltown (v-side) with a garden, rose bushes, places for us to grow vegetables, DVS system, dishwasher, clean clean clean bathroom, woodburner, huge benchspace in the kitchen and lovely everything else. I'm really looking forward to many evenings spent baking little treats for C and J, knitting copiously, getting Charlie nice and fat again for winter, cooking huge meals, and watching our veges grow. We had our first group outing on New Year's Eve along with Kate, special guest star.
Then today, on my way to meet Tane Aikman, one of my top five ex-flatmates, I see Tom Acland (weird, they have the same initials) who is also one of my top five ex-flatmates walking down Lambton Quay. I've had a lot of flatmates. Who are these mysterious other three top five ex-flatmates? Can I stop myself at just five?? And what makes a good flatmate anyway??
To solve this mystery, I am going to be scientific about it.
1. All my ex-flatmates from which to choose a top five:
Monique Portegys - Packe Street Chch 1992; Cutts Road Chch 1993; various dossing arrangements over the years
Tom Acland, Willie Trolove - Cutts Road Chch 1993
*Andrew Findlay - Cutts Road Chch 1993; The Terrace, Upland Road, Island Bay Wellington 1994-6
James Hollings - Owen Street, Wgtn 1996; Durham Cres, Wgtn 1996-8
James Cousins - Durham Cres 1996
Neils Dugan, Kirsten Browne (who got married and had chilluns) - Durham Cres 1996-7
*Aaron Cowan - Rodrigo Road 1997-8
Petrina Krause, Phili Munro, Wendy (flip, I can't remember her last name) - Mein Street 1999-2000
Siobhan the alcoholic who liked playing JLo at all hours of the morning, Karen, the bald guy from Bristol who had bad taste in movies, the redhead who moved out the next week, Patrick, Ilke the psycho German - Chamberlayne Road, NW London 2001
David Lombard, Matt Taylor, Natalie Marshall, Vicks Hill, Eugene - Earlsfield SW London 2001-2
Angela Rothwell, Martin O'Neill - Moir Street, Wgtn 2002-4
Denise Babington, Tane Aikman - Cecil Street, Hamilton 2005
That's 27 in total .. *indicates they were more than just a flatmate...
2. What makes a good flatmate?
You don't groan when they walk in the door at night
They cook yummy things
They don't complain about your slothfulness too much
They don't get drunk everynight and play JLo at ear-piercing levels till three am
They don't leave crumbs in the butter
They buy you McDonalds and chocolate when you break up with your boyfriend and put little pictures of things that will make you happy on the fridge
They don't care that all you want to do is watch MTV or Tiny Toons or Letterman or Lost or Home and Away
You like them as people outside of the flat, you socialise with them, even meet up with them in other countries
They obey all your petty rules and let you off when you break them yourself
They don't care that all you want to do is knit/make earrings/sew/read/sleep/have baths/wear pyjamas
They don't talk through the news
If they're cool, they give you their old World t-shirts and bottles of nail polish
They remember your birthday
If they are girls, they fold your washing
If they are boys, they steer clear of your washing
They don't have any weird facial growths, tics, right-wing political views, neo Nazi sympathies, guinea pigs, stories from the time they were in band camp, or homocidal tendencies
You have fun together.
3. Applying the "what makes a good flatmate" criteria to the list, I have decided that there are just too many top five flatmates out there
I loved the way that Phili folded my socks, said "do you want to talk about it?" like talking was the last thing in the world she wanted to do, and called everyone Sharon. She also introduced me to the "What's Fresh?" "Not my knickers!" schtick.
I loved the way Davie cut out a picture of a penguin and put it at eye-level on the fridge. You can't be sad looking at penguins.
I loved the way Willie ran through the house after Meg calling "here Kitty, fun! Fun!"
I loved the way Matt could watch football for hours at a time, about the same length of time he takes baths. I loved, and still do love, how Natalie can be counted on to watch crap telly with me.
I loved the way Kirsten slouched about Durham Cres, and the way she tells stories. She introduced me to Calvin Klein underwear and indulged my New York obsession. Durham Cres will always be the house of the white trash party, where I ate my first mussel, and where Neils and I sat on the couch one night and he played me all his favourite songs, including a blow by blow account of seeing Straitjacket Fits play "She Speeds" live. He was also quite good at telling horror hospital stories.
I loved the way Tane could be counted on for another Lost DVD.
I loved the way Martin could be counted on for another round of tea.
I love the way Tom is always the same when I see him, as if he's just been living around the corner.