Basement Flat, London, SE3 7BG

Added 16th May 2015

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1. Unless there's a nuclear bomb...

By Rouge - stayed here from 1st March 2014 to 28th April 2015

If you are currently a hermit, sharing the damp, rancid gloom of your small, dark, soul sapping cave, with incontinent mice and a horde of blind frogs who, suicidal with despair at the terrible fortune that has seen them holed up in such a hideous cesspit, and haunted with dreams of breathable air, occasionally hurl themselves against the cave wall in the hope of a swift end; if, by walking from one dank, mouse infested cave room to the next, you risk certain death at the bottom of an unseen precipice filled with nobody knows what, and a growing part of you hopes desperately for the fall; if you dread going outside, because the hermit in the cave above is waiting at his window, hoping for a chance to spit or urinate on you as you dare to emerge, and clap his hairy hands at the joy of it;only if this is your life right now, might the flat at 62A Shooters Hill Road seem like your next step up the property ladder. Don't be fooled! You'll be sick with nostalgia for your wonderful cave within a week.

Here is an underground bunker of a flat which, after the novelty of the big dining room that initially convinced you to overlook this review inevitably wears off, will have you sobbing into your shepherds pie every night, huddled around a candle for heat, and taping ear muffs to your head in an effort to dampen the sound of endless frogs attempting to enter the property by force - incidentally, this is the only thing you'll need to try to dampen, everything else comes with an ample preponderance of moisture.

An insight into the negatives about this subterranean dwelling:

A) The floor is wholly unsuitable for standing or walking on. Should you be among the portion of the population weighing more than a small mouse, you will hear tell tale creaking and cracking as you move tentatively about your new home. Stay in one place for too long, and you might fall through wood as the rotten joists finally give up the ghost, and tumble deep into the foundations below.
B) The property is built on the mysterious and little known Frogs' Graveyard. During the night, an endless troupe of amphibians will be relentless in their attempts to enter the property through the bedroom windows, and find a damp, dark area to spend their final hours. You'll awake to the endless dirge of dull, wet thuds on the window pane as they try to get in. Once inside, they're of course completely spoilt for choice - everywhere looks like such a great place to die.
C) The air is thick with damp. Don't be alarmed when you discover you were lied to about there being a dishwasher - simply apply washing up liquid to your dirty plates, and wave them through the air.
D) The landlords are going to despise you.
E) They aren't going to hide it.

So that this is a balanced review, let me outline the positives:

1) The flat is very safe. As long as you weigh 3 ounces or less, thrive on mushroom spores, and feel at your most healthy when breathing water.
2) The landlords are lovely people. Lovely, racist, angry, arrogant people.
3) The structure of the property is such that, if you are the unfortunate hermit I mentioned in the first paragraph, you you will feel quite at home. You will revel in the damp and the darkness, and, if you're missing the filth filled precipice, and the comforting chance of being put out of your misery at any moment, don't despair! There is the every present chance of your falling through the floor and being discovered next Spring, rotting into the cold earth below.
4) When you mention that a 5 foot square chasm has opened up in the floor, and that you fear you or your small children will be swallowed into oblivion by the next gaping sinkhole that appears, the landlord will be more than happy to racially insult you. After that, they'll cheerfully put a couple of pieces of plywood over the hole and tell you it's totally safe. They will also be more than generous in offering you the opportunity to pay for a structural engineer to visit the property.
5) Sick of seeing a pile of bills through your letterbox each morning? Worry no more! Your landlord will happily take your post, relieving you of the daily burden of receiving mail. They'll even read it for you, without you even having to ask! Man, this is the life!
6) If you have no taste buds, you will rejoice at the never-ending supply of chocolate raisins in the corner of the dining room! What a treat!

There is so much more, but I can't sit at my desk for long periods now that I am riddled with rheumatism.

Happy flat hunting!

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