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 Opinions expressed in this article do not represent the Living Section’s views on down-and-outs and/or drunkards. The section did, after all, win Drunkest Team at the Epigram Xmas Awards Ceremony.

It’s around 9pm on a Friday night, and me and a few of my housemates are sitting in the living room, listening to the sound of our front door being christened by a very generous man’s urine. My housemate leaps to the front door and starts attacking it with her fists in an attempt to shock the perpetrator and halt the flow of urine.

I return home from university and think, “I’m pretty sure I can smell piss again." 

Half an hour later, we are lucky enough to have a rechristening! This time we weren’t so fortunate, as his holy water seeps under the gap in the door, baptising our now unwelcoming doormat. I’d love to say this was a one off, but there are certainly days when I return home from university and think, “I’m pretty sure that’s piss I can smell again.”

Perhaps this is due to the fact that the house does not look inhabited. As a former solicitors, the signage still looms above the previous office front. Equally, it might be that drunken males will literally piss anywhere. Who knows.

Earplugs are an essential for most nights of the week if I plan to go to bed before midnight.

This may sound extreme, however it is unsurprising on John Street, a popular cut-through between Corn Street and Broadmead, just seconds away from SWX and The Lanes. With just a single pane from my sash window to protect me, I sometimes feel that I may as well be outside with the singing down-and-outs, screaming about their domestic or drug abuse, or the people sitting at the pub on the end of our road, because I can literally hear it all verbatim. Thus unfortunately, earplugs are an essential for most nights of the week if I plan to go to bed before midnight.

Last Halloween I thought I’d carve a pumpkin for the first time ever. Coming from a strict Christian household, Halloween wasn’t celebrated, so I proudly made my first heart-eyed emoji pumpkin with some head-hammered nails and ketchup for gory effect.

A group of people scurried away, kindly leaving us their bag of heroin needles.

It lasted a total of 15 minutes before being kicked to smithereens by some idiot. Sometimes such misdemeanours are caught red handed. Late one night some chatting was heard right on our doorstep from the living room. As my housemate opened the door to check out what was going on, a group of people scurried away, kindly leaving us their bag of heroin needles. That was an interesting police visit.

Levities aside, it’s certainly worth considering how where you live will affect your wellbeing. Initially drawn to its amazingly cheap rent and central location, our house at John Street looked like a habitable option if the house was given a little TLC. I can say for definite that living somewhere as central as this has not been good for my mental health at all.

Even simple things like having a night in on the weekend are difficult. If you’ve chosen to have a night in - you perhaps are tired, have plans early the next morning or just don’t want to go out - then the last thing you want to hear is other people on their nights out! Aside from it making you feel like you’re boring (especially if you’ve purposely excused yourself from going out that night), you can’t have any quiet to relax, or the early night that you wanted.

Without doubt, these insights are not typical of a ‘city centre living’ experience, so don’t avoid looking at city centre accommodation based on these stories. Aside from being so unpleasant that they have comedic value, hopefully these insights will make you aware of the consequences of living just a bit too central in Bristol, and not being familiar with the surrounding area. Happy house hunting!

Have your own experience about city centre living to share? Get in touch!

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