Slept last night in the flat in borrowed bedding, so have been to collect my stuff from work and begun to make the place my own. The building is from the late 1920s, initially built as a hotel, and then converted into collective housing. Which I guess explains the huge stair landings. The landlady’s story, if I understand it correctly, is that her family owned the flat originally but were cultural intellectuals who were cleared out in the 30s to be replaced by poorer families, many living in each room. Then at some stage she and her parents were able to move back and so how she has both her own place and this one (she also seems to own some other apartments elsewhere for letting out.) Clearly an entrepreneur and a survivor; she and her husband – a chemical engineer – seem to have done all right for themselves. Like ex-council estates in London, the wider block appears to be inhabited by many different kinds of people, including a regular gathering of drunks on the stairs, who it must be said are perfectly friendly if a bit messy.