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Comments on Monday 10 April 2006:
So, it looks like Raven Street will be my home for the next six months. Seems to be a nice quiet street; standing there for half an hour at 10am, one SUV went past, one car left, and two old people (the neighbours on one side) arrived on foot. There is a primary school just across the road, so it might be a bit louder at horrible morning time and sensible afternoon time, but it's a fairly small school, the house is all double-glazed and one of the bedrooms is in the back half of the house, so that shouldn't be too bad. For extra bonus points, a couple of ravens (or unusually deep-voiced crows) flew over, cawing, when the guy arrived to let me in. Downside, I had misremembered the price, it was 425 rather than 400 a month, so it wasn't the cheapest one, nor was it the closest to town.

So what was wrong with the cheapest one that was closest to town? I walked past it on the way to Raven Street, and it looked quite uninviting. Worst aspect was a huge single-pane window right next to the street, clearly inviting drunk passers-by to accidentally trip and fall through it, showing a tiny pokey little living room on the other side. The Raven Street house also has a street-level window direct to the living room, but it's a 9- or 12-pane window and the living room is a sensible pleasant enough size (albeit still pokey by international standards). And, as mentioned, it looks like nobody will walk past anyway.

And what was wrong with the detached one? I couldn't view it 'til tomorrow - didn't want to risk the quite pleasant Raven Street one being taken - and its suburb, Ilkeston, has this horrible website, and pieces of news about yobs burning public buildings and buses being cancelled. And also it was more expensive and might have had people wanting to traipse through to see if they want to buy it, which would have been annoying.

Top tip - if you're ever going to move internationally without someone prepared to receive you on arrival, you will need to have a huge wodge of spare money. Credit checking ensues even for renting, and the only way to beat a credit check when you're in a new country or returning to an old one after more than 5 years, and thus have a totally blank credit record, is to throw money at it screaming "I WILL GIVE YOU THE MONEYS NOW SO IT DOES NOT MATTER THAT I HAVE NO CREDIT" and shaking the rental agent until he or she submits. The next night, put a horse head in their bed to seal the deal. [11:03]
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