Community Magazine

An Ode to the Ex-flatmate

By Eemusings @eemusings

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?

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