A spare room in London? No thank you.

There are some wonderful advantages to living in a small box in North London and not being able to afford to upsize. The main one being that folks tend to not want to stay. This is less so when the only thing you can offer them is the living room floor and a 6am wake up call.

I have always argued that extra bedding and rooms only invites all and sundry to stay over and do so for longer. Heck, I’d get rid of all the surplus bedding if I didn’t think we’d end up with other people’s. Hang on a minute, that happened anyway. We ended up with 3 duvets and 2 sleeping bags at one point for our 2-bed flat with three of us living in it.

Not only would spare rooms encourage more overnight guests but it would possibly mean longer stays from those who already brave the living room floor. I am thinking of two particular Mum-themed guests here who we would risk camping up and claiming squatters rights in our spare room if we blinked for too long.

Alas! That spare room does not exist and the broken shed in the garden doesn’t count. And so, it is to my amazement that we have something of a non-family recurring house guest. I don’t mind so much having a guest once in a while and this one doesn’t tend to get in the way, I am just more surprised that after last time they felt our place was so comfortable a choice of bed.

First of all, you don’t get a bed. Someone (a Mum-related guest) left a blow up air bed here. A double one at that. (This may have been the point where our problems began). Then you don’t get a room. You get the living room where the curtains don’t entirely shut, the dehumidifier blows all night and the door definitely doesn’t shut because all the records are stored in the way. But most importantly, you don’t get to sleep.

You get woken up by the boy at whatever time the sun rises and from then on be warned if you have not vacated the living room. Not even the most dulling hangover can survive a good run of Cbeebies at dawn.

Our recurring guest had something of a monstrous hangover in their last stay and our morning was punctuated by their upchucking of the previous nights lesser digested fluids. So much so that the boy started copying the sounds outside the bathroom door in a loud manner. My son is loud, so very loud, so very early in the morning. He did a wonderful job of making someone’s bad hangover, worse.

And yet, they want to stay (and drink) again. Knowing full well that come the rising of the sun will see an onslaught of maracas, Sarah and Duck and glitter glue.

I resist all attempts to move to a bigger space. If this is our level of overnight guests now, imagine if we had actual space for them to have a comfortable night’s sleep and a lie-in?


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