My landlord is a lovely man
My landlord is a lovely man, he really is.
Bubbly by nature and always ready to give a helping hand, he is happy to pop by at 10pm to fix the boiler, or come to bolster our defences after the odd burglar has been besieged our cardboard castle.
As a fourth year student I have had a couple of landlords throughout my university career. The first I never saw, well, maybe once or twice, but it’s now two years on and I really can’t remember. Our landlord was a presence rarely felt and never seen. Absolutely fine by me. I liked the freedom. Living in a home away from home, paid for by people from the old home, I was happy to be the Lord of the manor, or at least joint owner, a knight of the oblong coffee table or something to that effect.
Just before fourth year, right about the time the rest of the student populous were stacking packet upon packet of pasta into storage in their new crib, I was sweating. I was pretty sure at that point that I, along with my 2 other housemates, would be shacking up in some semi-detached shit hole and I was already ruing the nature of my constant disorganization.
All was not lost however, as our redeeming third housemate had driven down early to do some house hunting and had found a banger.
This, is when we met Andy.
After having moved in, he was there, giving us the grand tour of the small but cosy three bed one bath that we had been inhabiting for the past few days. A lovely local family man, had decided to adopt us, taking us in under his sweaty, stammering wing.
He is the type of person who can’t help but bring out that annoyed little smile which we all reserve for only the most irritating well-wisher.
Oh captain our captain. Like some manc admiral or cigar toting sergeant snapping crop to palm, Andy knows his duty, to guide our ragtag group of green eared rapscallions to perfect, domestic bliss.
Whether a cupboard needs new door handles, the bins need emptying, or the boiler/ building work needs checking – never fear, he is there, calling assemblies, outlining tactics and giving us a ruddy good talking to.
This continued for three months, a bi to tri weekly appearance was expected, and when he was expected, he expected a clean, sell-able house. It almost felt as if we were paying him to be his live in house sitters, ready to receive droves of giggling first year fillies at a moment’s notice.
Now of course that is the way of it, house viewings are an essential part of any landlords routine (except it’s actually kind of got to do with the estate agent), and if there’s a problem that needs fixing then sure, let’s tackle it.
It’s the key however, turning in the lock when I’m lying about in bed at 11am that worries me – he has a key, and he uses it.
He’s basically that fourth housemate who you never see because he’s always off chez his lady, or wife, if your house mate happens to be your forty something landlord.
Despite the annoyance, and my housemate Nukky telling him to stop harassing us, I made up my mind up as to my true feelings towards my landlord in one rather humanistic instance.
I had just got out of the shower, washing the aching tiredness from my brow, when I noticed Andy outside the window. He wasn’t stepping on up our drive as usual but was in fact carrying a small child, who I can only surmise was his daughter, and placing her in a car seat and strapping her in.
Everyone has a personality, some cool and sensitive, enabling them to view a situation and extricate themselves when the time calls for it, and some, like dear old Andy, are just genuine and kind, who want the best for their charges. At the end of a day there are people who are there for you and some who aren’t, some who care and some who are scarce.
We don’t remember the ones who are not there, but I’ll certainly remember Andy, and a crate of beer at Christmas was a nice touch too.