An ode to the ex-flatmate

It’s funny how things turn out sometimes.

We set up the larger of our spare rooms on Airbnb at the start of 2017. Got our first guest, and then, boom – a friend of T’s needed a place to live because his flat was breaking up. So he moved in with us … just overlapping with our guest by a night.

It was a truly ridiculous shuffle, moving him first into our small spare room and then over into the bigger spare room the day after.

In terms of room size, location, general house amenities etc … our place doesn’t have a lot to offer so it was about branding on affordability and coziness rather than anything else. And combined with this mate’s financial situation, this was definitely more about helping out a friend than a money maker.

Over the year and a half he lived with us (up until shortly before Spud’s birth) I would say we’d be lucky to have broken even with the extra bills and stuff given how much money we actually received. Again – preserving the relationship more than anything.

On the plus side, which I frequently had to remind myself of!

He was home a fair bit, which was good for the dogs. He was great with them and had always been their favourite visitor. Having him around was really helpful especially over winter when they started clashing more and were a bit of a handful sometimes. (Not to mention the time the fibre installation guy didn’t close the gate properly and the dogs got out early the next morning … after T and I left for work…)

And he did help out from time to time in other ways around the house, doing a few handy things, helping with lawn mowing, providing tools, jumpstarting the car … He doesn’t cook so kitchen clashes were not an issue, and typically went to the laundromat to use the dryer there.

Sans the money thing, it was fairly ideal.

It’s hard to imagine what things might have been like in an alternate world. Would he still be our flatmate, if Spud hadn’t come along? Would he have quarantined here, part of our bubble? 

Who knows.

Have you ever had a flatmate more for the intangible benefits than the money?

2 thoughts on “An ode to the ex-flatmate

  • Reply Steveark May 27, 2020 at 11:44

    How nice of you! We are often so money focused it is warming to hear someone put making money behind helping a friend! And all that while being pregnant? That’s outstanding.

  • Reply Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life June 21, 2020 at 17:33

    We’ve never had a true housemate but for a couple years we’ve hosted a family friend very frequently (say nearly monthly for anything from a couple days to a couple weeks depending) and he was just lovely. We’d feed him meals when he was around and he was amazing with JB. They hung out a lot and it was just so nice to have a beloved Uncle who came with some regularity and could be trusted to look after JB for a while playing games or whatever while we pulled together meals without a child underfoot. We never took money for his stays, even if we used more of everything or when we ate out, because frankly the pleasure of his company and the odd bits of childminding entertainment felt to us like an even trade.
    We miss him!

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