I am going to back track just a little here because it just occurred to me that I learned some significant lessons while living in peoples’ homes.
Lesson 1 – The insecurity of renting a bedroom that used to be occupied by the home owners child. To go into that situation is precarious because, if the child decides to return home, you know who has to move out and there will not be much notice given.
Lesson 2 – Be very careful who you trust in a safety conscious situation. When living with my first family, the power receptacle in my bedroom was not working, and I needed to plug in a heater. I asked the “landlady” to turn off the power so that I could open it up and see if it was simply a disconnected wire. When I was starting to check that the wires were secured properly, there was a flash and I was thrown onto my bed which was just behind me. The shaft of the screwdriver was melted in two spots! (Note for non-UK readers, the power supply there is 220/240V)
The “landlady” insisted that she had turned it off so I asked her to show me where the main switch was. It was under the stairs alongside the gas shut off lever. She had turned off the gas!
Lesson 3 – Do not move in with a family with an “eligible” daughter! This home was occupied by a woman (husband had passed away) and her 18 year old daughter, and they were simply renting out a bedroom to help with the finances. The daughter was in a steady relationship with a local fireman and I got to know both of them however, for some unknown reason, I was asked to find somewhere else to live. I could never get a clear answer as to why but it had something to do with the daughter. Speculation is all I have. The Fireman was uncomfortable with me living there?
Lesson 4 – Be wary of multiple tenants in the same house, and listen to what they say! I moved into a house that already had 3 men renting rooms. I thought nothing of it as it was a large house and the woman who owned it, and lived alone, had to be in her 80’s! On my first day there, one of the men made a joke about me leaving right away because the woman was “nuts”.
It turned out that the woman lived and slept in the living room. All her bedrooms were rented out! It came to light that she had been jilted by some man way back in her past, and she was still carrying a grudge against him. This translated into loud and obscene rants at all hours of the night, accompanied by slamming of doors, cupboards and apparently anything else that got in her way. This all took place in her living room, which was on the other side of my bedroom wall!
This last house was my incentive to find a more independent living arrangement!