Before my then-boyfriend and I moved to our flat near Liverpool Street Station, we lived in an older, run-down house that someone my boyfriend's family knew let us live in free as a favor. At the time, I thought it was a good idea because I was still looking for a job and money was tight, and my boyfriend's income wasn't enough for us to find another place. How bad could it be, I asked myself? We could tidy it up a bit if necessary. That is, until we actually moved in and I got a really good look at the place. To say that it was in need of some major TLC was an understatement, as it could have doubled as the set for "The Munsters". There was electricity, but no hot water, as the immersion heater was broken. . The bathroom at the rear of the house, which must have been separate at one time, was jerry-rigged to the back of the kitchen. Worse were the spiders that had taken up residence there, the size of which could have had starred in "Arachnophobia". They creeped me out big time, and I was always terrified they'd leap out at me since they had a particular penchant for lurking around the toilet. No way was I hanging around (excuse the pun) a moment longer than necessary, so I started showering at the place where my boyfriend worked. No matter where you walked the floorboards felt like they would give out at any moment, and in the front lounge, there were actually loose boards we had to avoid. The entire house creaked, from the floors to the doors. My boyfriend was able to get some furniture, a fridge, etc., but for a few months we lived like the pioneers. Of course, using electric heaters to keep warm ate away any savings from not paying rent. We brought in another couple to rent one of the other bedrooms and offset the cost. That arrangement soon ended when they started slacking off on rent, not to mention when I found out that the girlfriend had used one of my cooking pots to wash her underwear in! . The final straw? When my parents came to visit from the US. The look on their faces was priceless when they saw the house. I don't know if they wanted to laugh, cry, or drag me away screaming from the house or horrors. They must have felt sorry for me because they gave me some money to find somewhere else to live. Fortunately, by then I'd found a job and the flat near Liverpool Street Station was almost ready, so we were able to move shortly after.