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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Next door to the Keig-ShevlinsGive it a couple of months and this could be my new living room. It didn't actually look anything like this when we viewed it yesterday of course - since taking the photo, the vendors had decided to go for more of a 'bare rubble-strewn carpet and broken window' look - but I'm assured it's the same property. And it has a lot of potential. Which is estate agent speak for "I'd rip out that yellow and blue striped wall-cladding in the bedroom immediately if I were you".

But of the seven (yes, seven) flats I toured yesterday with my brother, his wallet, my sister-in-law, and everyone's Lisa, this was definitely one of the leading contenders. It's conveniently situated on Hove seafront, close to Chris Eubank's house, and just around around the corner from The Sussex pub, regular haunt of Nicky Keig-Shevlin, the Southern FM breakfast DJ with whom I'm regularly forced to wake up against my will. In addition it features partial sea views, period features, and a brown stain on the ceiling.

Tunnel of LoveIt's also a lot bigger than the first flat we saw - a studio apartment in this exclusive row of houses on Brighton seafront, which despite coming complete with locked gardens and a private underground tunnel to the beach, lacked enough room to comfortably swing a cat. Which is quite important, as my little hairball Chloe will be moving with me.

Amongst those to cross off the list was the one-bedroom flat in Palmeira Square, which despite being handy for the shops, featured a bedroom the same size as a double bed, a cooker ignition switch which was permanently trying to light, and a strong smell of gas throughout. Frankly we were lucky to make it out of there alive.

THE Place for RugbyBut the other leading contender, at least amongst the three members of the party who have no say in the matter, was this one-bedroom effort in Rugby Place. I've never liked rugby, but it has its place, and that happens to be less than half a mile from Lisa's flat, which is handy. Although my enthusiasm waned slightly when she said it's probably not safe to walk between the two after 9pm. I need another of those private tunnels.

It did however have its own roof garden (well, you could walk on the neighbour's extension), and a loft which, according to the estate agent, might actually come with the flat.

So first thing Monday morning my brother will put in an offer, it'll be accepted, the paperwork will be rushed through, and I'll be in by Christmas. Not this Christmas, obviously, but maybe by the time I'm 35.