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Top five London neuroses

By Gail Tolley

1. Everyone has more money than you

You have your suspicions about Alice. Like you, she's meant to have a pays-barely-enough-to-afford-food-this-month-but-is-occasionally-quite-fun job, but over the last year you've noticed that her Instagram feed tells another story: daily green shakes, regular burritos and, wait for it... tickets to fucking Secret Cinema. It looks like Alice is getting a bit of parental help. That's cheating, Alice. CHEATING!

2. Your commute is killing you

You never used to worry about your black snot or the persistent itchy feeling in the back of your throat. But then you read that article on air pollution in the Guardian, followed by a 10,000-word feature in the Ecologist and then three different research papers from the Journal of Humans Destroying the Planet and you've come to the only logical conclusion possible: you've got about six weeks left to live.


3. Your boss hates you

Back in 2011, you shared a short lift ride with the big boss. She was unusually cheerful - even tried to start up a conversation. You were so hungover you thought it best to keep your mouth clamped shut for fear the smell of last night's mai tais would fill the enclosed space. Suffice to say that eager newcomer and eternally chatty Christina recently got promoted to the position that was without a bloody doubt destined for you. And you know exactly the reason why.

4. Your flatmate wants you out

Three times this week your flatmate Mike has decided to do the washing up at 7.45am, right in the middle of your morning shower. Just as you're beginning to feel less like Frankenstein's monster and more like a functioning member of the human race, the water pressure drops and you're left standing in a trickle of freezing misery. It's obvious - he wants you out, so he can move in that halfwit, WoW-loving pal of his, Neil. Over my freezing body, Mike.


5. The neighbours are up to something

Strange things are happening next door. People coming and going at all hours; numerous parcels arriving (each with a distinct whiff of the dark web about them); an unearthly glow emanating from the attic skylight. Neighbourhood Watch or no Neighbourhood Watch, you're staying on good terms with them. Come Christmas they'll be having one hell of a party and you want an invite.

By Gail Tolley, who thinks her editor will probably hate this.

Take a look at the top five nightmare London housemates.

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