It’s the End of October 2014, things are on changing on Natascha’s side. The flat she has lived in for over 8 years has been sold to a new owner. For these past years she rented directly from the previous owner and were on good terms. The flat was old and a bit grubby, still, it was a London oasis! Most of her friends were living near by. And it is affordable – let’s not forget this is after London 2012, East London was experiencing mass gentrification, a new term was used for it too: social cleansing.
On a rainy October evening, at around 9.30pm to be precise, the ‘translator’ of the new owner rang the door bell and told Natascha that the rent will go up from £800 to £1200 per month, without doing any sort refurbishment. This is too much of a rent hike at once and is legally not sound, so she said she won’t pay this much and stick to the £800. Although it was to be expected that a situation like this could happen, after all the flat is close to hipster central, as we call Broadway Market in Hackney, being confronted with this situation wasn’t an easy one. This won’t be the end of it, for sure.
Anyway, back to boating, we had to head by train to Broxbourne, this time with the cat in tow. Poor kitty, firstly wasn’t used to travel by train, let alone by boat. The weather was terrible, it rained heavily, the boat felt cold and humid. We stayed over night, for Natascha it was the first time and wasn’t exactly thrilled, not least because she had a feeling that soon this will be her way of living. Barely 20m2 for two people and a cat.
The next morning we got ready, the engine was rumbling, the cat terrified. We cruised towards Cheshunt. It was a misty morning, the rain stopped but the air was full of humidity. Natascha was preoccupied with her thoughts and to figure out together with Adnan how to work the locks. Is this going to be her future job?