Archive for April, 2007


April 29, 2007

-Oh I think I heard about you. You don’t like mice, said the girl I’ve just been introduced to.

And that’s me: I’m the girl that doesn’t like mice. Shocking!

Once I was a guest at this really posh wedding and someone I never met or knew came up to me with a smile on her face saying she heard about me and the mice.

I’m now going to tell you about the worst day ever since I moved to England. 7th of July 2005. I day I will always remember for two reasons: the bombs and my unwanted flatmates.

Our kitchen is very small so we use our bottom drawer as a pantry. One morning I took out my bread and the bag was torn in one of the corners. I thought it had got stuck in-between the two drawers which would explain why a piece of the bread was also missing.

This kept on happening every now and then. One morning I brought the bread over to my boyfriend. I sort of realised what was happening with my bread. He confirmed and I went absolutely hysterical. I was screaming to my boyfriend to call his parents and ask them what to do.

As we don’t do flat share with mice in Sweden this was a situation I never had to deal with so I didn’t know what to do. My mind was blank and I couldn’t talk. I was so worked up.

Since I have a deaf boyfriend he use a minicom* to make phone calls. He rarely uses this phone and I normally make the phone calls to his parents.

At 7 in the morning the minicom rang in my boyfriend’s parents house and they got quite nervous knowing it was him. His mum was sure something bad had happened (and she was right) when my boyfriend started his conversation with “this is the situation” and by then his mum knew something really bad had happened. And when they realised that the problem was “only” mice they relaxed.

I had a proper hysterical fit. Poor boyfriend who didn’t really know how to comfort me. The truth is that nothing could have helped me then. The only thing that would have help was if Anticimex (pest control company) came flying from Sweden and took over. In Swedish style they would have evacuated and decontaminated not only our flat, but the whole building.

In Sweden most buildings (incl. the one I used to live in) have contracts with Anticimex to make sure that no pest enters the building. The word here is: Preventing. You see in Sweden mice is a health and safety issue and that is why we prevent them to come in to our homes.

Then 1 hour later the bombs blow off. And it sort out gives you a bit of perspective.

My boyfriend’s brother called his mum to let her know he was all right.
-Hi have you heard about what has happened in London?
-Oh yes I heard about the mice, said his mum not knowing yet what was going on in London at that time.

We called the council. They came around and I think they expected hundreds of mice running around. The pest control lady was probably a bit disappointed that there were no mice for her to catch. She said that we didn’t have any problem with mice and to go and buy some mice poison.

I got hysterical again. How can people be so bloody relaxed about mice?

I called Rentokil and them too told us that we didn’t have a problem with mice that it might be a few mice but it wasn’t a problem. A few mice is a few too many for me. They put down some traps, little white boxes with some blue paste for them to eat.

We moved out, of course. I’m not sharing my home with no mice! We stayed with friends and I even took in to a hotel. Since the hotel standard is so bad here I took a quick look around the hotel I was thinking to myself, if I have mice in my clean, pristine house this hotel definitely has them too. I asked for my money back and went back to stay with my boyfriend’s brother. What I didn’t know at that time was that he too had mice in his house. See, its standard!

When I talked to people about the mice everyone shared their own mice stories with me. No one was surprised or disgusted. I felt ashamed and dirty. I felt like I was living in a dump, which is far from the truth, which made it even harder for my Swedish brain to understand why we had mice.

Later Rentokil explained since we live in a very old building there would always be mice and there was nothing they could do about it. They could prevent them to come in where we live by blocking cracks and gaps with wire wool.

We had a new bathroom put in at the time, and so did our upstairs neighbours, and the neighbours at the top was having the whole flat renovated so Rentokil said we were disturbing the mice which was the reason for them all of a sudden to start moving around.

Everyone I was talking to in Sweden reacted just like me and felt very sorry for me. My mum called me and told me I had to move back home now and couldn’t carry on living in England under such a circumstances.

My Swedish friend Yael was trying to comfort me and said the sweetest thing:
-Carrie from Sex and the city had a mouse.


Foxtons III (will it ever end?)

April 29, 2007

-Hi Lisa how are you?
-How’s your property search going?
-Not very well since there are no properties on the market.
-Oh I see. So what are you going to do with your flat when you move?
-Sell it or rent it out.
-I can see here that we haven’t valued your property for you. Can I arrange for someone to come and do that?
-No thank you we already have an estate agent that will sell/rent out this flat when we want to.
-So are you home tomorrow?
-Eh.. yes. Was he going to ask me on a date?
-So can someone come and value your flat tomorrow.

Stop calling me please!

Foxtons II

April 11, 2007

The person I speak to the most on the phone these days is not my mum or any of my friends but an Estate Agent from Foxtons. How very sad! The person at Foxtons whose job it is to call me all the time called me again today.

Foxtons: So what about the property I e-mailed you about.
Me: I don’t like the exterior, repeating what I already said in my e-mail.
Foxtons: It’s going to be painted, repeting what he had already said in his e-mail. Maybe he thinks I can’t read.
Me: it doesn’t matter we don’t like the property.
Foxtons: Why?
Me: We don’t want to live in a tower block.
Foxtons with an angry voice: Lisa, you don’t live outside the house you live inside the house! What type of property are you REALLY looking for?
Me: A 2-bed something, flat or hou..
Foxtons: Yes I know you want two bedrooms. What about newly builds?
Me: Fine.
Foxtons: Then I want to book you in on Sunday between 1-2 for a 10min private viewing. It’s a property in Cobham.

Are they trained to talk like they are selling mobile networks and not houses?! Do they really think it’s possible to persuade people to buy properties they don’t want?
I will never move in to a tower block it doesn’t matter if its painted or not, its still a tower block. END OF DISCUSSION!

I live in a Grade II listed* Victorian Mansion Block! I’m moving up the ladder not down.



April 10, 2007

Foxtons: Hi Lisa, just calling to let you know we don’t have any properties to sell to you but we will call you as soon as we get something.
Me: Thanks.

Foxtons: Hi Lisa we have a great flat for you. It’s got a garden, a garage one bedroom and a fantastic..
Me: one bedroom? We are looking for two bedrooms (which they already knew of course).
Foxtons: are you sure you want two bedrooms and not one?
Me: Yes. Bye.

Foxtons: Hi Lisa we have just got a new property on the market. It’s a 2-bed, garden, garage, open plan kitchen, newly refurbished. When can I book you for a viewing?
Me: Sounds great. We will need to see some photos before we know if we want to view the property or not as it is a bit of a travel for us to get there.
Foxtons: no problem. I will email some photos to you now. When can I book you for a viewing?
Me: we are not home at the moment. I’ll let you know after I’ve seen the photos, if we would like to view it or not.
Foxtons: great, a viewing in the beginning of next week then.

I checked my email:

To: Lisa
Subject: Foxtons Properties

From: Lisa
Subject: RE: Foxtons PropertiesI’ve seen this flat on your website before and its not the type of property we are after It’s the exterior we are not too keen on.

To: Lisa
Subject: RE: Foxtons Properties

It is due to be refurbished this year. I hope that we can arrange a viewing.

No offence to the people living in the building but is someone planning to bomb it and then build a new building on the site? If that is the case I would probably be interested in a viewing, but not before.

FYI: £250 000 = 3,5 miljoner kronor