As the move south is just one month away, it was about time I found somewhere to live. This was not, I might add, like flat hunting in Edinburgh, which is jam-packed full of the blasted things. No, St Ives, it transpires, is a baron wasteland of habitable rental properties.
There were times when living in a caravan was looking like an extremely appealing option.
Choosing a house – sorry, flat, sorry, box – to rent is not fun, not at all.
I do not care if the bathroom suite is avocado, but I do care if damp covers an entire wall. 'I’ve never seen it like this before' insisted the estate agent. And I will not be seeing it again – period.
It is genuinely not considered good etiquette to comment on the cleanliness in front of the people who live there. 'I don’t think this house has ever been cleaned,' I muttered under my breath at the sight of a number of dead insects on the kitchen lino.
‘Don’t mind the wife - she’s just in bed with the norovirus – go on in,’ said an enthusiastic tenant. I breathed in and popped my head round the door. Then made a mad dash to the exit and bathed in antibacterial hand-wash.
The final straw was viewing a flat in a converted attic. The owners couldn't find the keys to the door, so I had to go up through the entrance in their home. As I entered the flat the owner laughed, 'Don’t worry, once you live here that door will be always be locked.'
I was about to move into a Bronte novel.
So one thing is certain, when you finally find somewhere that is mould free, does not have a carpeted bathroom or things growing on the lino, you will not remember anything about it – like how big the lounge is, or whether you can fit a table in the kitchen. You will simply be glad that you will not be living in Mr Rochester’s attic.