Exeter, Devon UK • Jul 18, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home Comment House of Horrors

House of Horrors

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At first I was afraid, I was petrified. “The house is nice”, my housemates reassured me. I believed them. After all, I had to, for it would be my home for the next year. It was Arrivals Weekend, and I was moving in for the final time here in EX4, to a house I’d never visited before- perhaps that was my first mistake. But after the horror of an excess of twenty house viewings the previous year, I trusted the judgement of my housemates. If it had a roof and a working plug socket to charge my phone, it would do.

My low standards injected me with optimism between the bursts of panic that day, since there were perks to the location of this house. I was no longer living on Victoria Street, home to loud Hockey Girls, even louder Rugby boys, and a seagull infestation problem- not an ideal final year location considering this would be the year of condensing three years worth of missed lectures into a passable dissertation.

Having located the blue door amongst the ‘copy and paste’-esque style houses on my street, I remember pausing to both catch my breath and curse Exeter’s geography.

My first problem? Locating the house- I walked up the first bit of hill at the start of my road, then proceeded to continue walking up the hill. Having located the blue door amongst the ‘copy and paste’-esque style houses on my street, I remember pausing to both catch my breath and curse Exeter’s geography. Great, it looked like leg day would be everyday.

Next problem? The lock didn’t work. I’d always noticed that my friends each have three keys on their respective lanyards and key rings- two for the front door, one for the back. Yet despite having a two step safety process to complete prior to getting into their house, I was the one who struggled. Even now, there are days when I can’t get into the house, so rather than wait outside in the cold, I walk back to campus- it’s the only time I ever visit the library. But it’s not only me- my housemate, who’s arms are the size of my head, he can’t open the door either.

Back to the flashback! Once inside, I was immediately greeted by cream carpets. Cream carpets in a student house? It looked like we would only be consuming clear liquids so as not to lose our deposits- I guess it was ok, I couldn’t afford to drink red wine regardless.

Good thing that I listened to my mother, for our quick exercise continued to reveal further problems with the house. Iron Board? Check! Iron? No.

Before unloading my stuff, my mother encouraged me to conduct a brief itinerary of the property’s various bits and bobs. Good thing that I listened to my mother, for our quick exercise continued to reveal further problems with the house. Iron Board? Check! Iron? No. Odd. Perhaps the Iron Board was a alternative to a table? It couldn’t be, the house already had a six person table for our little three bed house. Upstairs, there was no mirror- no way to check how awful I looked. Guess I could just look awful all year, I thought to myself. I wasn’t like I had any plans of leaving the house now that I was a certified grannie in my final year.

The biggest problem however? The kitchen. No microwave. No kettle. No toaster. Alive on a diet of leftovers, instant noodles and toasties, this was problematic. I therefore had to spend much of my moving in day at the big Tesco with my parents, trying to coordinate the decisions of a black toaster vs a grey toaster with my housemates using poor signal and limited 4G.

Upon my return following the aversion of all of the minor and major disasters thus far, I began to finally unpack at six in the evening, despite having arrived early that morning. As a horder unable to let go of material possessions, assigning sentimental meaning to objects so as not to let go, in addition to having travelled three hours in a fully pack car, I thought I had a lot of stuff. But I soon came to realise that while I had a lot of stuff, the house had too much storage, and unfortunately, not enough floor. My solution? To place cabinets of drawers inside cupboards, packing storage units into larger storage units like Russian Dolls.

Remember the plug sockets I wanted? There are plenty in our new home, albeit located poorly inside the built in wardrobes since almost every section of wall happens to function as storage. Last year, I did ask for more storage and plug sockets, but evidently, be careful what you wish for!

But for the amount that I complain around every little thing, particularly the fact that none of my quirky decoration matches the urine yellow walls of my room, my room, and the house as a whole feels like home- and honestly, I love it.

I started my story with the first line of Gloria Gaynor’s 1978 classic, so it seems only fitting that I end it with the final words of the same song. My current house is a student house that not only houses ugly walls and ugly furniture, but will undoubtedly also be home to some of my favourite memories of final year, so regardless of it’s initial status as a “House of Horrors”- I will survive.

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