Category: Life

My top 10 tips for renting in London

Renting in the capital is a nightmare. Firstly, it’s horrendously overpriced which means most people in their twenties have a lot of restrictions on what they can actually afford. Secondly, estate agents have a terrible reputation and from my experience I would say that reputation is more than well deserved. Those two things combined can make the whole situation way more stressful than it really should be.

As I’ve rented in London for around 7 years now, I’ve definitely learned some tips and tricks to ease the pain, slightly. I’m moving again in a few weeks so I thought I’m probably able to give some fairly decent advice for anyone thinking of moving house in the capital. Also I’d say I’m quite good at this house stuff, maybe because I’m a pro internet stalker… ha.

Here are some things I’ve learned for anybody thinking of renting in London:

1. The internet is your best friend

Don’t bother going into physical estate agents. It will be a waste of time. If you know some agencies in the area you wish to live in, send them an email and ask to be put on a waiting list for any new properties that fit your criteria. Sometimes they will email you properties before they go up on their website or in their office.

The sites I would recommend for flat hunting are: Zoopla, Gumtree, Nestoria, Rightmove, Moveflat. Be prepared to spend half your life on them, if you see properties as soon as they go live, you’ve got a better chance. You can now set up alerts on Rightmove too, which is probably the most depressing thing ever.

2. Location – the more you know, the more chance you’ve got

Know the postcodes, streets or areas you would like to live in. The more you know about an area, the easier it is to search for. You will get more relevant properties if you do this rather than just searching the borough eg. Hackney, Islington etc. Searching  E9 5EN for example, you’d have properties near that street, it just narrows down your search which is time saving.

Also research the area and check if there are any specific housing estates that rent too. A lot of the time they do not advertise, it’s a matter of finding out if they exist and then contacting them. That’s how we found our new place.

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German Shepherd puppies!

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Over the bank holiday I visited my family in York. My parents breed pedigree German Shepherd dogs and Poppy has just had a litter two weeks ago. They are so so cute, hopefully you’ll agree! Over the 4 days I was there, they had already grown a lot. I’ll be going back to see them again in 3 weeks and they’ll be around this size! So exciting. Get ready for some puppy spam… (exit now if you don’t love dogs!)
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My tips for getting into exercise (especially if you hate it!)

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One hour is 4% of your day

Up until about 8 months ago I did no exercise. I used to ride my bike for 2 hours a day when I lived further away from work but that was only for a year. When I moved into Zone 1 that cycling got cut down to around 20 mins a day max, which is definitely not enough!

I’ve been told to exercise by doctors loads of times for my mental probz, but every time I tried, or joined a gym (and wasted £100’s) I ended up having a huge panic attack and leaving. The adrenaline was too similar a feeling to anxiety for me so I just gave up.

Even though I have a healthy BMI and am totally normal weight wise, last year I started to feel like I’d put on weight/lost muscle tone? Which felt uncomfortable. Sitting in front of a computer all day for 40+ hours a week for over 3 years will do that to you. Yes, it’s true that your metabolism will go to shit the more sedentary your life becomes. #fail

Both of those things combined, I suppose I felt motivated to give it another go. However, with a previous hatred of gyms in my not-so-far-away past I decided to try something else…

There is a rather ‘cool looking’ (sorry – wait while I cringe at myself..) dance/fitness studio near my flat called Frame which has a lot of fun sounding classes. From boxing, dancing, trampolining (or re-bounding as the exercise people call it) to weird stretching circuit type stuff, I made the scary decision to give a couple of them a go. I liked the idea of classes and I thought it looked less intimidating than a gym in there: see second photo above.

Anyway! Without giving you a full life story of the past 8 months, I actually started to like exercise. Like some sort of Christmas miracle.

It started as once a week (yep, I was dying for at least a month – so unfit), then twice weekly, then three times a week. Which then meant joining a gym was more economical, and also made me an Official Exercise Person…

These are my tips & things I’ve learned:

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A little rainy French trip to Dieppe & Rouen

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This weekend me and Henry went on a trip to Dieppe and Rouen, both in France. We took an overnight ferry with his parents from Newhaven. The sea was REALLY rough – nobody was sick but oh god it was an experience trying to sleep in a weird cabin being chucked around your little bed! The ferry arrived to Dieppe around 8am, luckily we didn’t sink or hit an iceberg… So it was on our way to the hotel! (Which FYI had Christmas decorations still up?!). 1 hour of napping later we drove to Rouen…
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