It's Sunday morning and we're standing at the the midway point between our rooms.
Recently I've noticed this is how my two housemates and I socialise; either perched somewhere, or standing up.
Because it's rare, these days, for us all be in. At some point in the six months the inevitable shift happened - lazy nights in front of the TV got replaced by boyfriends and classes at the gym - so here we are, three of us hovering in the hallway; straighteners heating up behind us, phones buzzing in rooms.
"I'm glad I've got you both here, actually" says one housemate, "I've got some news."
And you know it's probably not going to be good news, because when you're renting in a houseshare with people you like and you're all in your 30s, anything that comes after "I've got news" rarely is.
Because this isn't the news of your 20s; it won't involve an expensive plane ticket to the other side of the world, or a story about a bloke from a bar last night which is, by some miracle, actually resulting in a proper date.
No, these are your 30s. When someone says "I've got news", there's only a few things it could possibly be. And although all of them could ostensibly be considered good life choices, they also tend to come with a downside, a sort of deep-down disappointment the Germans will have a word for, where someone else's good news has a minor adverse effect on you.
So in the hallway on Sunday morning the news dice rolls and clatters on the floor. It's the big one, the 30-something news du jour: my flatmate has had an offer accepted on a house. For the non-renters among you let me explain: this also means she's moving out.
And I say congratulations, because it is Good News. Plus she’s nice, and I like her, and we get on well. As far as having a complete stranger move into your flatshare goes, this time there's been no weed smoked in en-suite bathrooms, no dubious smells lingering about. So the three of us talk, and ask the new house-related questions like "is it nearby" and "does it need paint" - and then the time is up. She goes out, and the door buzzer goes - a boyfriend’s arrived, so the other one goes out.
When it's quiet I go into my room and as I tidy it (because it's Sunday, and therefore a mess), I start to think:
About the advert, and responses and profiles and enquiries, and the waiting on the sofa for the doorbell to ring. The greeting and smiling. The gently probing questions, the offers, the requisite casual 'safety drink'. The rejecting and accepting, the emails, and the contracts, and the bills, a new Whatsapp group.
The energy it all takes, the lack of an alternative choice, how people moving on is just a bit of London life you have to accept. And how it won't be long until the well-meaning suggestions and questions come, as they tend to do when you're in your 30s and still renting, like 'have you ever thought about buying a house?'.
Read more thoughts from London here.