…My Other Housemate is a Reclusive Journalist

When I get back from work the first thing I do is make my lunch for the next day. This is usually followed by chopping carrots for my mid-morning snack, making a fancy coffee with my machine, grabbing some chocolate and sprawling out in front of the TV. Sorted.

This evening though was another story. To start with, I successfully managed to get tangled up in cling film while wrapping up my sandwiches (but this is typical of most nights, why must it be so clingy?!). Then the yoghurt wouldn’t fit my lunch box for some reason so I engaged in a battle of strength, Alice vs yoghurt, in an epic lunchbox lid closing battle. The yoghurt won.

After making another sandwich, I was cutting up my carrot with a sharp knife when it slipped. After spending an unhealthy amount of time analysing the fact that yes, I was indeed bleeding, I went and rectified the situation with a plaster. I was ready for fancy coffee. I was able to make that without fault, but then a sudden jerk movement found half my coffee across the kitchen floor. I cleaned up the mess but then (somehow) spilt more of it down my dress walking up the stairs. Everything is going wonderfully this evening so far. Based on this I thought ‘why not tackle the housemates: part two, because what else could go wrong right now?’

Dom / Dominic (it varies so much you’d think it was dependant on the weather) – AKA the Secretive Journalist


(Fourth from right, hidden behind relatives of the murdered Becky Godden-Edwards. They were handing in a petition into Number 10 in relation to Becky’s murder case which was dropped.)

Sheri calls him Dominic, Becki and Cherice call him Dom, when I mention him to my family he’s Dominic, when I talk about him to friends he’s Dom. Let’s see, there’s moisture in the air tonight, so right now I’ll call him Dom.

Job Summary – Crime reporter / journalist for the Swindon Advertiser (i.e. the local paper)

Dom moved to Swindon cracking on two years ago to undergo a journalist training programme on the Swindon Advertiser. During this time he has covered a range of criminal pieces on news stories related to crime. These vary from the scary such as rape attacks, to the interesting such as crime dropping by 10%, through to the more focused on the cute doggie than the crime and I know it’s serious, but part of me finds it amusing stories of Swindon. If you sneeze at 2am on double yellow lines you can be fairly sure Dom will be reporting on it in some shape or form. And that’s the thing, we hardly ever see him in the house. He seldom, if ever, comes in communal areas. He lives on the ground floor with a bathroom next door and always orders take away. He’s really social when you talk to him, but he never wants to come out of his room to talk to you in the first place, and because he works varied days/hours he can dash off without a moment’s notice.

As an example, Cherice and I managed to pin Dom down to go for a social drink one evening. We were there hardly any time when he looks at his phone, grabs a notepad and rushes out the door without saying a word. Cherice and I had no idea when or even if he would come back. He strolled back in 15 minutes later, “thought it was a suicide on the tracks, ended up being a false lead”, took a sip of beer and carried on with life. His blasé attitude towards crime can sometimes be concerning. You ask him for a good crime story near your house, he’ll give you one. Ask for a violent crime, he’ll give you three. You never see him, and because he hides away in his room all the time you start to wonder what he could be up to. Now I’m not the type to put labels on people, but all I’m saying is that Dom will definitely be making headlines in the upcoming years, although what sort I’m still undecided on.

Sheri – AKA Little Miss Happy All. Of. The. Time.

I do love Sheri, sometimes it feels like I have her on the brain (“Sheri?! My name is Cherice Alice!” Cherice: every other day of the week, 2014-15). Sheri is a bundle of pure delight, always smiling and always happy. You could stand on her toe while carrying a pile of bricks and she’d be cool with it.

Job Summary: Used to work for a hotel, now works in telecommunications, calling people who make online enquiries into private health insurance.

Sheri works the telephone lines for a health insurance company. If you’ve ever been on a price comparison website and seen the big ‘call-back service’ button, she’s the person that will be calling you back. Choose the decision to hit this button wisely, the other week she was telling me she was doing call-backs for requests made four months ago. She and her colleagues can have all sorts of abuse thrown at them (I don’t think the phrases bear repeating), yet she’ll always be happy when she gets back. Compared to the hotel she used to work out, she’s ecstatic about getting back no later than 9:30pm, and she doesn’t have to deal with unruly wedding parties (as a former silver-service waitress for hotel events, I can entirely understand her joy.)

A positive side effect of her cheeriness is that she’ll sing little tunes. In the right frame of mind I’ll harmonise with her, for example when her, Becki and I decided to play a board game at 10pm (I mean, who doesn’t do that?) we started singing ‘cheeeeeeeseee’ or ‘blue cheeeeessee’ etc. If had formed a pop group there and then we’d have been the ‘Trivial Pursuits’.

But then there’s only so much I can take. I’m not a morning person. Never have been, never will be. I will trudge down the stairs at 8:15, wearing an oversized hoodie, hair looking like its been dragged through a hedge, finished off with a sexy streak of mascara across my face from the night before. If you can get more than a gruff ‘hi’ out of me then you’re doing well. When I’m in this zombie state, trying to get coffee, breakfast, and lunch sorted, the last thing I need or want is someone singing ‘good morning, good morrrrning, la, la, la…’ on repeat.

Have you ever seen what happens when a morning person and an anti-morning person meet in an confined space? You want to tell them to lose the energy, but then realise that would involve saying four additional words and, at 8:20 in the morning, your brain/mouth prioritises this request as E grade – up there with Tracy’s broken blind and that one squeaky chair in customer services.

But, like I said before, I do enjoy Sheri’s company 99% of the time. There are very few people in the world who randomly give you chocolate and don’t expect your services or a dead body in return.


Those are my housemates. I feel I owe a mention to my landlord at some point as well as myself.

My boss has also discovered this blog, which thanks to the power of group emailing, means the whole department knows about it. I’m now being flooded with reasons why Swindon is the best town in the whole Universe on a daily basis. For the sake of my own sanity and personal safety I think I’m going to have to refer to some of these comments at some point. I’d love to do it now, but oh, would you look at that, I do believe my dinner is ready. Gotta dash!


Dom’s Twitter page can be found here: http://twitter.com/DominicGilbert?lang=en-gb

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