The Mortgage Disappointment

As anyone who’s the wrong side of 30 knows, living in someone else’s house starts to feel like a bad idea. I don’t know why. Other countries in the world don’t think like we do. They accept that they have to rent, as housing is either unaffordable, or just a ball and chain they don’t want.

I’ve been feeling this for some years, and especially more so this year because moving on to a different house, at a much greater cost, just amplifies how much I am spending on giving it to other people, who in turn are using it to either pay for their mortgage, or profit. In effect, those who cannot afford a house are subsidising the ones who can afford a house. Nice economic logic there.

We thought we’d waste a bit of time seeing if there was potential at buying a house, or, at least, getting a mortgage. How wrong we were. Lloyds Bank hilarious said they’d lend up to £190,000. Great! Then it said underneath it needed a 50% deposit. To say I turned up the cynical snark a notch would be an understatement. The poor employee of the bank seemed to turn into a counsellor. “Don’t be despondent” she said. I laughed and had a go at the system. She then chided me for not wanting to work within a system. Stop being a rebel, in other words. Fucks sake. Well over 30 and being told to sit down, shut up and toe the line.

J took it quite badly. Even though I’d told him to be prepared to be disappointed, I don’t think he realised just how awful it would be. Being told that while you earn enough money, we think that you are such a “risk” that you need to pay for most of the house yourself. All because Computer Said No. Computer doesn’t care that I’ve been saving since I was 10 years old. Fucks sake, again.

This is the society we live in now, where computers, programmed on a human algorithm, of course, are used as the infallible determinants as to whether you can or you can’t. For those the wrong side of the line, we’re told to try again another time. By which point, the rules will have changed, and so too will the context. Every time is another roll of the dice.

We move on. We’ve agreed that thanks to this little hiccup we won’t be moving anywhere next year. Another year or more in this god awful house.

Never mind.

Four Trains A Week

It seems really weird to be on a train again, and four times in one week. These days, what with the fact J drives, and the fact that we also seem to be inseparable without him having a hissy fit, we go everywhere together. Back in the day I would look after our Northern clients by myself, getting there by hook or by crook on the train. Now we both do the jobs together. It costs our clients more, of course, but they seem to be willing to pay it.

It also means, though, that trips away are now quick turnaround jobs. We go up timed to start there, then go back almost as soon as they’re over. This can mean 400 miles in 2 days. It’s not the most enjoyable of timetables, and worse when you consider that it is worth almost nothing to us.

We’ve been coping over the last year with this somehow. Every time we go away it kills us, causes us huge amounts of stress, and 99% of the time results in us coming back to office carnage. Our office admin assistant, who looks after things when we go away, does her best… but generally all she can do is sit and take messages. It makes people feel better, but the queue when we get back can be very long indeed.

This week was no exception. But this week was worse. I sit now writing this post on a train, zooming into London. Today I have a special job with our London client. They’re OK, but rather stressful too at times. But I have already been into London this week, on Wednesday, and that was far more difficult than today. This morning the train is empty, I can sit and stretch my legs, and type thoughtful thoughts (haha). On Wednesday, I stood for the whole journey. Not my idea of fun.

It took quite some convincing to stop J being too depressed about me gallivanting off. That seems to be what he thinks I’m doing. In fact, I’m just trying to earn us more money. This month has been rubbish. We’ve barely made a profit, and for that to just come out of the blue is a little disturbing. I hope it will go away as quickly, but right now we’re left searching for an answer as to why the month has been so poor. We sit around all day getting the flak from our clients when the latest Windows Update fucks their computers over (again) – and it makes us almost zero money each time. There’s very little “good” work out there any more. Or perhaps there never was. We’ve done well for profit this year, except for this month and the last. I don’t get it. We’re not suddenly any different. The fundamentals of life – and computers breaking – don’t change day by day. We’re growing every day in reputation, not falling. So why?

I’ve given up trying to understand it. But basically, when one of our clients who pays pretty well comes out of the blue and says that they need me to come in two, and maybe even three times, in a week, with a guaranteed half a day each time, and all travel costs covered, even making a profit, we have to take it. We have to cope with the demands it causes back at the office, but we must take it.

So this week I’ve actually had some time on my own. It’s been refreshing, actually. Time away from J actually makes me realise how much I do love him, and miss him when he’s not around. It makes me less snippy. I can be snippy at times, especially if I’m in a mood. It’s not his fault that I get snippy over stupid things that happen. I am much better at managing my passive-aggressive sarcasm than I used to be, but it’s not always easy.

Primarily the benefit of being apart though is also that I get some time alone to just think about things. I rarely get that any more. Together I sit and worry about us, and our future, and money, and not being able to do anything fun with our lives. Apart I reflect it’s not all bad. We have each other, and for now we have a relatively stable life. We don’t have any friends, really, just business acquaintances and other miscellaneous hangers on. But we do have a really strong bond, that has had almost no blips at all this year. That’s pretty good for any couple.

Last time I spent so much time on trains I was travelling back up North on my own. I spent all of the journey no doubt chatting to J because he was so depressed about me being away that he made himself feel physically ill. He doesn’t seem to cope with it well at all. It worries me. But it all seems so long ago now. Back then was the final time we agreed that I would go away up North without him staying back here to look after the office. It’s not exactly been easy, but we have coped.

It’s been an interesting reminder as to how things used to be. Not quite the same, but still, an insight. We are stronger now… I think. But we have a long way to go mend each other’s insecurities.

Perhaps we never will.

A Weekend Away. Not.

Today I write live for the first time in ages. I don’t usually write live any more because it’s too difficult. Me and J are usually inseparable, mainly because we just get on so well. Most of the time. There have been some depressing incidents over the last month, but they mostly revolve around money and simply not having anywhere near enough to do fun things all the time.

Not that we should need fun things all the time of course. But you can’t spend every evening and every weekend doing nothing. There’s only so much on Netflix. And you can’t have sex every night. At least, I can’t. There’s not enough desire there, sadly…

But this weekend at least we are up at my natural home Up North. We traveled up yesterday and arrived last night. We ordered takeaway and had a fairly relaxed evening. It was a bit silly because I had to pay for everyone including my nephew who only hung around because he knew takeaway was arriving. He’s really gone off the rails…

But then it got stupid because there was no parental units here.  Without parents it can get awkward. No one to start conversations or continue them. We mostly ate in silence. Not really the atmosphere I was hoping for. They were instead out for the evening. My sister isn’t here either as she’s in university. She’s good at conversation. I did my best and at least found out my nearest aged brother has a job at last after apparently stalling in life…

But it’s all a bit depressing. We have a job to do today (Sunday) and Monday and Tuesday will be crazy as we have so much to do with our existing clients. I just hope back down at the office it isn’t crazy when we get back.

Work work work. But we need money to pay for things so we can justify some fun. Occasionally. At least there is a little bit of family hospitality from mum and dad. That’s at least something worth sabouring. For the five minutes we’re here…

Making A New House A Home

It’s been over a month since we moved into our new house. It has some significant downsides already but one thing I can say it does have is much better privacy…

I’ve always been a fairly private person. I don’t do social media, not really. I like to only share the minimum with my family. Which is stupid at times as occasionally I get annoyed when my mum says something stupid about my life through lack of knowledge…

But the best thing about the new house is just that. Now the house is not really overlooked, has great sound insulation to these neighbour, and is generally out of the way. That’s all been good in making me feel more comfortable. The old house was so exposed, and a couple of neighbours were very nosey.

That has been a good start. But making the place feel more comfortable has been a slow process. Very slow. We still haven’t finished unpacking. There are still items of furniture unbuilt. There remains purchases that are merely aspirational. Until we get the motivation to visit the dreaded IKEA of course.

So I don’t feel like this place is a home yet. It is messy and unordered. It also has other flaws that make it rather disappointing. Who would have thought that I’d pay so much attention to plumbing. But the smell, they really should have paid attention to actual building regs when installing a particular toilet…

But what’s concerning me most of all is that I don’t really feel like making this place much of a home after all. I might as well just accept that this isn’t my home and will never be. I want to be out of it some time towards the end of the tenancy agreement.

I really want me and J to own our own place soon. It just has to be the natural progression of things to make me feel like we’re making some progress in life. Then we really will start to feel settled down.

So homeliness becomes a lesser thought after all. Instead by spring next year it’s back onto Rightmove…

The New Plan

I’m not quite sure why but for some reason I haven’t yet written about a major thing coming up in life.

Earlier in the year me and J decided to move house. We were really lucky and managed to get something which looks ideal. It looks quiet, private and most of all bigger and more comfortable.

This won’t be without shocks. I’ve lived here for nearly 7 years and having to move will be traumatic in terms of all of the things I have which I’ll need to get rid of and start again. Not to mention expensive.

But I think it will be good for both of us. It will allow us to start together in a new place which we can make our own.

The major drawback is that it is just another rented property. I know we can stay for at least 12 months and hopefully longer, but it is, at last, some form of major commitment between us to take out a joint house. In this day and age anyway.

The experience of trying to find somewhere was in itself painful. There was so much crap on the market, and nothing really of the quality I thought we needed. Estate agents messed us around and let us down so many times that it started to become a joke. Very stressful indeed and not something I want to go through again for a while!

Anyway it’s now just a few days away. Exciting.

Old, Old, Old

It’s become rather difficult to ignore the ageing process. Things now appear on me that weren’t there before. Eyes look a bit rubbish. Starting to see crow’s feet and lines under my eyes. All not good. And this really annoying jowelly shape is getting more pronounced, with lines either side of my mouth. I obsess over them, but they’re only getting worse.

This used to be the traditional birthday month. It is no longer. After last year’s shenanigans, I decided that I would never celebrate my birthday in July again.

To be honest, I don’t even want to celebrate a birthday ever again anyway.

Trouble is that other people disagree. Most people know my birthday is in July and so insist on telling me I should be happy. I’m not. I do my absolute minimum to not cause offence, but I wish they’d get the message. Of course they won’t. They’re my family and love me. They don’t understand, not without me telling them, and then they’ll think I’m going a bit daft.

At least my partner understands. We know it’s stupid, but we talk about other people having got my birthday wrong. We know it’s in November.

Either way, it’s mid summer and the year is flying by. Another year of lines on the face.

Now that’s a good point to finish.

In Sickness & In Health

It is horrible being ill, but it’s probably made worse when you’re in a relationship with me.

I am the worst ill person around. I moan and complain and generally think I’m about to die. In short, it’s better to wrap me in a bubble and put up with my constant complaints regarding not coughing into your shirt or my general direction than listen to me when I’m ill.

And so it has been recently. J is not well. He’s had a cold now for 5 days, but mercifully it’s nearly over now. I have my sympathy of course, and I do what I can, including all the cooking and the washing and occasional running around. But no more. Not even a peck on the cheek will pass my lips.

It hurts me though. It happened when he was ill for several weeks back in November and it really put a strain on our relationship. It worries me that just a little illness caused me to grow so distant. I guess I’m just a needy person I suppose. I had no cuddles or loving tenderness that I drifted away for a little while. The same has kinda happened here. But it will come back.

I hope. Last night we weren’t really talking, and when I went downstairs I found him looking through what we call the memories box. He said sorry for not being fun any more. It was all a bit sad. In truth he has a point. We don’t do anything fun these days. Everything is so serious. I almost want to go back when we were just friends as we had to find more things to do with our time than just sit and snuggle watching the TV. We had to go out and do stuff or things would get very awkward and boring.

But I just need to be more patient I suppose. I’ll feel better with things as soon as we’re both in good health. Then we can try again.

I just wish he’d stop coughing. Why does such a simple thing annoy me way out of proportion to its impact?

Aren’t I a great guy…

The BobBQ

The end of May always brings an invitation to an annual event. A client of mine has been seen so often that they have become a friend in some respects.

It’s the annual birthday barbecue which is usually somewhat painful as most of the other people there are completely not the type of people I like to hang around with.

However things have changed a little. Bob is not as healthy as he once was and it is now a little sad that if he continues down his current path he will end up being dead. So every year feels like the last.

I had to introduce Bob to my other half last year. It wasn’t exactly easy as he’s not really his type either. But I couldn’t exactly ignore Bob forever now so we’ve had to both almost become friends with him. Which has been happily a lot easier than I thought it would be. SO gets on with him and his strange family combo of ancient dad and foreign estranged wife who still looks after him.

Anyway this year’s Bob BQ went well. SO driving meant we could arrive and leave at our leisure. It was also on a closed Saturday, which is our cool new invention for our bank holiday weekends. It just makes them a bit longer and more fun. A few Saturdays closed a year isn’t going to kill our business…

We don’t have much else planned for the weekend but perhaps that’s a good thing for now. We need a rest as our business is so all encompassing that it’s just killer at times. And the thought of never having s proper holiday is just too much. I try not to think about it but it’s generally not good.

Oh well. Here’s to at least the bank holidays. An even lazier Sunday than ever…