And so it came to pass that over Christmas I decided to move out of the wonderful little house which has been my home since my arrival in London. For five weeks the Accidental housemates and I trudged the city streets in search of the perfect Accidental home, and I am sad to be off in search of pastures, well, split-level flats, new. I leave behind my light double bedroom with two lovely big windows onto the peaceful cobbled street below. I bid adieu to a modern, yet utterly miniscule, kitchen. No longer will I slump on the sofa in the stunning high-ceilinged (if freezing) sitting room. Estate agenteze aside however what I really leave behind me are the remnents of my old studenty self, and two housemates whom I will miss terribly.
When us three old university friends moved in together we presented a somewhat silly, and deeply girly, household. We were drunk on city life, and usually champagne, thanks to one of the Accidental housemates who worked for a well-known luxury goods brand. Never again will I live in a house which frequently runs out of milk but NEVER Moet or Veuve. (We also had an fittingly grand receptacle should one of us fall ill after too much fizz; no ancient washing up bowls or buckets here, instead a trusty old orange Le Creuset casserole dish would be summoned to the Accidental sickbed.) A friend christened our little unit with a nickname, drawn circuitously from the adult entertainment industry, which over time became corrupted and reinvented, but we ultimately became "The Flouffes"; a proud band of girlies who always tipped out for a party, or would throw one at a moment's notice.
The Flouffes off to an Underground fancy dress party, as "Green Park"
Gradually over our two years together we made our little house a proper home. We decorated, built flat-pack furniture, laughed when it collapsed, and cleaned and tidied endlessly. Within the house we assumed, and swapped, roles - the cook, the user of power tools, the shower scrubber, the one who fixed the internet connection, the chief cocktail mixer, and the master baker of cupcakes. We drove neighbours mad with occasional raucous parties. We lay on the sofa all day after said parties, whingeing away our hangovers in front of girly films with lots of tea and bacon sandwiches. Cooking together in our tiny kitchen would be an effort of contortion and spatial awareness, culinary expertise, and belting out power ballads at the tops of our voices.
Alighting in this huge city some time ago now, we three fresh graduates had each other as a safety net to prevent any disastrous falls. We learnt how to live in London together, yet each one of us marked out our own version of the city, through places we individually loved and frequented, people we met, and paths we trod.
Bridget Jones declared friends the new nuclear family, and in our little corner of South West London we have had a strange little family for the last two years. In the absence of flesh and blood relatives, our household was our familial support system, and together we cried and consoled over break-ups and sad news, and cried also from laughing too hard at silly deeds and endless jokes. One week to go until the proud Flouffes are disbanded, but hopefully not forever. Like every great rock band which splits citing artistic differences, the reunion tour always looms on the horizon. We already have dates in the diary for dinner and watching terrible TV with a bottle of wine. No longer may we dwell under the same roof but our fearless band will divide and conquer - long live the Flouffes!