Tuesday 21 November 2017

#319 The three mile radius

The past few times I'd searched for rooms, I'd had The Tudors playing in the corner. I found it entertaining but not so gripping that it distracted me. Hetal had suggested it and Hetal hardly ever watched TV shows, so I figured when she made a recommendation, it was worth a look.

I had to pause the show when I needed to concentrate. To respond to a message or to personalise one. Then I'd resume it again. Like a spoonful of sugar, its accompaniment to the chore of browsing through adverts made the process a smidge more bearable. Plus I was learning some history. At least, the Netflix version of it.

The viewings themselves were a chance to work on my diplomacy. When I wasn't interested in a place, I found that I could usually give a polite explanation. The landlords were never in want of potential tenants, so there was no risk of upsetting them, providing I was courteous.

I'd already been to several parts of South London that I'd never seen before. Tulse Hill. Crofton Park. Brockley. In my running days, I used to occasionally discover new areas but most of the time I'd stuck to laps of the park. I once ran around Peckham Rye nine times in a row. It took me three hours. There were so many other places I could have visited.

When I was in a new area, I tried to buy food there, or at least walk the length of the high street to get to know it better. Sometimes I'd learn that one place bordered another, so I'd walk between the two instead of catching the train right away, to help build up a picture of where I was.

In the grand scheme of things, the benefits gained from these excursions into other territories were negligible. I'd probably never need to visit Tulse Hill again or Nunhead or West Dulwich but the observable differences and connections between these nowhere-places probably helped to maintain my sanity and were enough to bring a small feeling of exploration to my search.

No comments