The upshot of all this bath!drama, however, is this:
We've pretty much decided to start house-hunting after Christmas. (There was a conversation leading to this, honest! It wasn't that spur-of-the-moment...) I mean, we need to properly look at finances/incomings/outgoings and stuff, but we can get a three-bedroom house for only a little more than what we pay now for our one-bedroom, falling-apart flat. And if we can convince lovely housemate Lisa to move in with us, that would be even better. We like living with Lisa, so it would be nice if she could come, too. :)
But yeah. Trying to move before Christmas is a bad idea, so we'll probably wait until post-January paycheques to have another look at what's available. The bonus of house-hunting in winter is (a) you can see what the heating's like and (b) it gets dark earlier so you can see what the area's like at night. My proposal is to do house-viewings after work to scout out public transport / area / distance issues, and also to bring a 'grown-up' along like either of our respective mums, David, Darren and/or Andrea, etc, as people who have been through this several times have a better house radar, as it were. (Our scope of areas-in-which-we-would-want-to-live is somewhat limited to "the bits of Birmingham which aren't shit", incidentally, so that narrows the search somewhat! And obviously our lack of being able to drive is a bit constraining.)
Me personally, my preference is on "good light". I'm really weird about natural light; if a house looks dingy and foreboding from the outside I will not even consider it, and I think massive walls with tiny windows are a waste of good space. So yeah, if it were up to me we'd end up in a greenhouse. :P
So yeah! The negativity of "Fuck you, stupid flat!" has turned into a positive move for the future. We did say we'd only be here five years at most and it's been four, so... not far off.
Given my pronpensity to jinx things by being too excited, I shall not mention this again until such time as Things Happen. But I would appreciate positive vibes from everyone just the same...