Housemaids and Housemates

The day finally arrived – my lodger has moved in.

This is quite a big house, and I have a good sized attic – it isn’t a loft conversion, it’s an actual attic, with proper stairs. It was originally used by Blanche, the housemaid who worked for the first owner of the house, back in 1911.

It’s up in the eaves, so the rooms are a really interesting shape (but a bugger to decorate). I don’t know what it was like in Blanche’s day, but now it’s a double bedroom, a sitting room with a little kitchenette in one corner, and a shower room. I’m guessing Blanche didn’t have a shower room… It isn’t self-contained, but it’s private, if that makes sense.

I’ve been looking for a lodger for a while now. There have been a few people interested

  • The Spanish lesbians who nearly came to stay for a week but didn’t in the end because of illness
  • The man who wanted a room for his wife because she was about to be evicted, then tried to tell me I was charging too much. Don’t go there…
  • The man who was all set to move in, and then told me four days beforehand that he’d bought a house. Just – odd.

Anyway. Here we are.

It’s going to be a bit strange sharing the house with someone. But also quite nice to have someone around. It’s odd that at the moment he’s a complete stranger, but soon won’t be. Well, not a complete stranger – we exchanged emails/phone calls, then we met for coffee (he paid!), then he came to look at the accommodation. In the meantime I’ve checked him out on Facebook and so on. He appears to be… normal. Which is really all I want from a lodger.

Some people have queried the sanity of having a male lodger, rather than a female one. When I first decided to go down the lodger route, I did think about saying I only wanted a woman (you can do that) – but generally more men than women need lodgings and it seemed daft to limit my market. I decided that what I really wanted was a civilised human being, regardless of gender.

Since making that decision, I’ve done more research – and it’s generally agreed that having a male lodger is preferable. And here’s why: you can do references on your lodger, check them out and decide whether you want them in your home. But you can’t do references on any girlfriend/boyfriend that they may have. You’re more likely to get hassle from a woman’s boyfriend than you are from a man’s girlfriend.

We can discuss at length why that might be, but in the meantime I’m content to have a male lodger.

I hope he likes it. Lodgers normally just get a bedroom, and share the rest of the house. Mine’s got the whole attic but I’ve made it clear to him that he’s welcome to use the living room, dining room and kitchen – he doesn’t have to stay up in the attic in splendid isolation if he doesn’t want to. Basically, he’s got a floor, I’ve got a floor, and we share a floor!!

And – the most important thing – he’s paying rent. This will help the finances considerably.

He arrived at 12 noon prompt, as agreed. He brought his stuff in, we did the last of the paperwork, we sat in the garden with a cup of tea, and life is good.

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. gosforthgirl says:

    Well done on your new lodger!

    I’ve been a’ landlady’ for about 5 years and have met some stunning people. Some not so nice…but that help develop sixth sense in weeding them out at the starting blocks.

    Just a thought…if your house is old, you might like to get a copy of the Census 1911 which shows you who was living there. I had a headmistress (43) + housekeeper (65) !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, there are some strange people out there!!
    I hunted out the 1911 census when I first moved in – it’s how I know they had a housemaid called Blanche. A widow and her two grown-up children lived here – her son was a lawyer. I’d love to know how they used the house – for example, we know that the kitchen used to be in the basement, which begs the question – What did they do in the room that’s now the kitchen??


  3. gosforthgirl says:

    I realized after I posted you already knew the housemaid`s name…!

    Maybe that was the ` morning room`? I was brought up in the North East and we had a room next to the kitchen which was called that. I am guessing that the kitchen and that room now would have been knocked into for more space.

    We even had one of those vintage bell indicators which was funny as a they was no help and b it was a 1930`s semi.! Hey ho!

    If you have similar houses near you maybe ask them what the room was used for if there are any clues. I found evidence of gas light marks on the walls when the room was decorated. Is there a local history society which could help?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s fascinating, isn’t it – part DIY SOS, part Time Team…
      Because this is an end terrace, the house next door (mid-terrace) is smaller – but they still have their kitchen in the basement, complete with the original range. I feel a blog post about the history of the house is in order, as I’ve done a bit of research, and traced where the original family came from (we know the house was built in about 1908, so guessing the people who were here in 1911 were the first residents).

      Liked by 1 person

  4. anglosvizzera says:

    Your lodger sounds like he’ll fit in. My son is finally moving out of his dad’s place at the age of nearly 29 and rather than move into a houseful of his contemporaries, he’s going to be a lodger with a lady in her 60s. I think that’ll suit him better as he had a brief flat-share experience as a student (lasted one term before he dropped out – hated it!) His fellow flatmates had no idea about hygiene or cleanliness whereas my son was quite well trained…but he’s a peacemaker at heart so didn’t want to complain to them. Funnily enough, the advert that his landlady put on the internet said females preferred, but males can still apply. It seems that it took a while for her to find someone suitable, so maybe she’s come to the conclusion that a lovely young man like my son is preferable!!

    I’ll be interested to read how you get on so that I can pass on any tips to my son on keeping relations sweet with his own landlady 😉 He may move in with his girlfriend eventually, but for now it gets him out of his dad’s hair and gives him some independence.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That sounds like a nice compromise if your son and his girlfriend aren’t quite ready to move in together.
    I’m interested myself to see how we get along together!!

    Liked by 1 person

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