LONDON, LANDLORDS & THE FUNERAL OF MY YOUTH.
Updated: Feb 13
Oh the long distant memory of feeling securely wrapped in my parents bank account blanket. We were never rich but we were also never short of a holiday. As a child, money worries are non existent, you go about your easy day. To school and back, quick trip to the park and back and anything that comes with a price is never a worry, well at least that's how I remember my childhood. I remember the filled food cupboards, the clothes we wore, the shopping trips. Mum’s black leather Marks and Spencer’s purse would come out and was miraculously filled with a crisp £10 note or a piece of plastic we never really felt the need to yearn for as a youth, as what was Mum’s.. was ours. Thank god when we were young the likes of electricity, water and Heat were all free……..
Now here I am, 20 years later with a few of my own empty plastic cards battered and bruised and no children to blame. And no… electricity, water and heat are not fucking free! “ It’s okay you got this ” I’ve said to myself many of times over a crisp glass of white to quieten the ‘ you’re fucked ‘ demon in my head. I’m only getting older and the need to own my own house is only growing stronger by the day. But how in the hell can I make this work when my expenses are rapidly growing and London is one big fat rip off. So I ask; Is it time to give up this expensive London life and settle down in a more financially achievable city?
Letting London go is like putting the nail in my youth’s coffin. London is the place to be, the city that never sleeps, the big smoke, “you can never get bored, living in London” No you can never get bored, but I tell you what you can get? SKINT. With extortionate rent increases for shittier flats that the big bad wolf could blow down and when I refer to the big bad wolf, who I mean is the non-existent Landlord's. They’re happy to take a high percentage of your monthly earnings but don’t want to fix a lightbulb or replace the five year old bed thats giving you an early onset hunch. How are you ever suppose to keep up this London life and save for a future, a mortgage, dare I say it.. kids?
I have been toying with the idea of moving out of London for the past couple of years now. Edging closer and closer to the thirty age range, all of a sudden having babies and buying a bigger house are slipping into most conversations which scares the living daylights out of me. But if I’m not speaking about it now, i'll be settling down, paying the big bad wolf himself with nothing to show but my hunch back in the city that never sleeps. The city might not sleep, but I do… I’m very much in bed for 8pm and thats exactly how I like it.
It’s a vicious ring of fire, after living here for over five years, I have become part of a work, pay bills cycle with nothing left to put aside for ‘proper’ adult life. I’m proud to say I’ve climbed the salary ladder over the years of being a Londoner but the thing is, it's never enough. I’ve lived a fun lifestyle in London, the partying, the dinners, the shopping trips and everything else that I've been lucky enough to have on my doorstep but it’s come to my realisation that my home is where my heart is. With my guy cooking, reading, chilling out after a hectic day's work. Does it make me sound old and boring? Yes, I can safely say it does and I may as well start to look into retirement homes whilst I’m at it but I can no longer see the point of being based in an expensive city that I no longer take advantage of.
Maybe it is time to hand my Oyster card back in and re-claim my £5 and make space for a fresh, budding pre-grey hairs and patience like a saint twenty something to naively hand over their monthly earnings and be able to hear the neighbours loudly doing it and night buses slugging through it. Who doesn’t mind after a long days work on the commute home standing on their two feet after an entitled verging on OAP makes them begrudgingly give up their seat. Where Oxford street is all fun and games but to get there on the central line you’ll burst into flames which is no good anymore for an old gal like me, I can’t even make it halfway there without needing a wee.
London, it's a love/hate relationship, I am finding it extremely hard to keep up. I'm slowly winding down, bringing the commuting rollercoaster to a halt and announcing my departure. Rural, homely, boring life I am on my way. Just give me a year to hammer the nails securely into my youth's coffin.
Images: Darius Lele