I seem to be a magnet for odd flatmates (any of my former flatmates who happen to be reading this, please note that you are in the minority of nice, normal ones. Probably). Someone who used communal crockery as ashtrays. A girl who deliberately flooded the bathroom. Not one but two flatmates who enjoyed keeping bedroom and bathroom doors open at times when most of us would prefer a bit of privacy. An old Italian man who neither bathed nor left the apartment, and cooked everything he ate in about 100g butter.
But I don’t know if any of them quite match up to my most recent flatmate, who expected me to confine my entire existence to my bedroom – not so much as a hook in the bathroom, though she was gracious enough to give me enough space for my cereal and tea bags in the kitchen. And that was merely the tip of an iceberg of oddness: naked photographs of herself in communal areas, compulsive lies (“I did leave the key on the table, someone must have come in and stolen it” – really?), bizarre anti-social behaviour (leaving the house mid-conversation without so much as a “See you later”), and very strict rules for my own cleanliness which did not apply to her (she provided a bin-emptying schedule for while she was on holiday, yet left a sink full of dirty dishes and a washing machine full of wet clothes. Thanks for that).
So it is with great relief that I can now say: I have my own place! I lived alone for three years in Vietnam and was exceedingly happy with it, and I feel like now I’m returning to my natural state. My mission is to avoid flatshares for the rest of my life. The new-found freedom is absolutely heavenly: I can hang things from all the hooks in the bathroom, use the kitchen without someone watching me like a hawk, wear my pyjamas at all hours without judgement. Everything is my way, just as it should be. Here are my celebratory breakfast muffins, made whilst still in my pyjamas on my first weekend in my humble new home. That’s the life!
Makes 9, from Short & Sweet by Dan Lepard
75g Weetabix (3 biscuits)
100g plain flour
100g wholemeal/rye flour
1.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1.5 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp cinnamon
100g soft light brown sugar
225g low fat plain yoghurt
50ml sunflower oil
50g golden syrup
zest of 1 orange
1. Heat the oven to 200C and line a muffin tray with paper cases.
2. Crumble the weetabix into a bowl and add the raisins.
3. Sift together the flours, bicarb, baking powder, cinnamon and sugar 2-3 times, then add this to the weetabix and raisins and toss together.
4. Beat the egg, yoghurt, milk, oil, syrup and orange zest together.
5. Stir the liquid ingredients intp the dry ones quickly.
6. Spoon the batter into the paper cases, filling them up to the top.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until well risen.
8. Cool on a wire rack. Enjoy with a brew whilst still warm.