Priced out of life

I see house prices have risen again.

Good news for those that own them but for those of us who don’t, nothing could be further from making us happy.

When you already live in a hugely expensive area you see what little, if anything you might afford, vanish in a puff of smoke.

Then you look around and find areas that were once affordable start to drift out if budget as well and you begin to despair.

Affordable housing is all well and good but it’s not affordable and the combination or mortgage and rent puts it outside the budgets of many. Add in all sorts of restrictions about who can buy one, (buy being a generous word), what you can and cannot earn, if you can or cannot have owned a house either together or separately before and you start to feel unwell even before you’ve worked out whether you actually want one.

Perhaps it’s a generational issue.

When you’re older and don’t earn much then the world seems against you. You don’t have 25 years for a mortgage and don’t earn the type of money to afford that house you want.

So what are you left with?.


Just…hoping that something will come your way and that when it comes up you’ll stand the slightest chance of getting it…only to have that hope dashed by landlords and property developers who get in first, often before the property has actually had a sign up.

I look back at 32 years of working and realise, sadly, that I’m priced out of life, priced out of my dreams and ambitions, priced out of feeling that I’ve made something of my life by having a home of my own.


Yeah, it sucks.

Black Dog

Black dog of depression,

The court is in session,

The charge is you’re dragging me down,

There’s not been a smile,

On my face for a while,

Now the smiles been replaced with a frown.

I get that you’re bitter,

(You’ve said so on Twitter)

You’re fed up, frustrated and sad,

You’re worn out, you’re tired,

In a deep bog you’re mired,

And everything’s driving you mad!.

You’ve lost your ambition,

Got no clear sight, no mission,

No hope and the future looks bleak,

Your life on the wane,

There’s no sun, only rain,

It’s the same thing now, week upon week.

But you’re still standing,

Every footsteps still landing,

So you carry on marching along,

Propelled by sheer will,

This is real, it’s no drill,

So you hurl yourself back into the throng,

You’ll struggle on by,

With tears in your eyes,

You’ll battle, you’ll fight and you’ll holler,

You won’t let it win,

So you’ll rein it all in,

And you’ll grasp that black dog by the collar,

And bring it to heel,

And then you will feel,

Some sense that your life is your own,

And the black dog will shrink,

And you won’t need to think,

About giving your black dog it’s bone.

Weevil under the sun

Can I go back please?

Strange as it might seem, I’m not a sun worshipper. My mother was and my father wasn’t immune to it’s charms when it came to lazy days upon Cornish beaches and my sister enjoyed it before her accident meant that even an English summer made her uncomfortable.

But give me a foreign sun, give me something to see beneath a sun that blazes far hotter than its English counterpart, and I’ll stand about and fry gently for several hours.

I have grown to equate an English heat with overcrowded Cornish beaches, that mad dash to the coast the moment the temperature climbs to the giddy heights of fifteen, the endless succession of caravans clogging up the roads and the fact that I can’t breathe in my local town due to the sheer number of invaders….I mean tourists.

In short, hell.

A foreign heat brings the rich and exotic, the temples and palaces and forts, the smells and sights of the strange and different. Huge rivers that wend their way through diverse landscapes where the locals walk, talk, sleep and work. Temples glimpsed above leafy canopies, shining brightly in the sun and vast statues that look down upon us as we sail past.

Landscapes of waving palm trees, beautiful lush valleys filled with tea plantations, a myriad of blooms and vibrant green paddy fields.

There must be someone called Paddy Field, surely?
Better to be there…

We all look at one another when the temperature hits 20 here in the UK and exclaim it’s too hot and yet when I’m distracted and the temperature is in it’s 40s, as it has been in Egypt, then it’s barely noticeable. Foreign heat seems so much more…enjoyable, than our own.

One of the great tragedies of this pandemic, albeit one that pales by comparison to human loss, is that we have been prevented from exploring our planet. To those of us who live to travel, who get inspired by doing so and who yearn, almost to the point of heartbreak, to fly once more, lockdown has seemed almost doubly cruel. Words cannot adequately express how much I am conscious of time passing and what I am missing out on.

I miss the sun.

I miss rising early and that first blast of heat upon my skin even if it is early morning and the temperature is restrained. I miss knowing that it’s an exotic heat beating down on me and that with exotic heat comes exotic sights and experiences, the delights of something new or even familiar to witness and partake in. I miss being chilled….in the heat.

I’m hopeful, and I’m sure many are, that one day this will be behind us and I’ll feel that sun, that special sun, upon my skin once more.

But until then, under an English sun, I’ll close my eyes and allow myself to dream, of lands both old and new and pray I’ve still got time to see, feel and experience the wealth of all they have to offer.

Under their sun.