As a mummy in her 4th decade of life, yes I know I’m not defined as “young” anymore, in fact, right now I am beyond exhausted with raising a nine month old bundle of exuberance and a five year old whirlwind, whilst working full time. But I suspect much of that feeling of “being knackered” stems from the daily stress flowing from being stuck in renta-land in a crap house for which we pay a fortune in rent…each and every penny in the landlord’s pocket is one less penny in our saving jar for a deposit to purchase a house. Plotting a way out of this housing crisis seems something even Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible would struggle to achieve.
Some of the ongoing stress comes from cooking meals – which is quite frankly a grinding ongoing nightmare! It’d be just fab if we could pop along to the local bespoke kitchen centre and design our own functional kitchen. But alas, we can’t, we are stuck with a broken relic from the 1980s. Last night during my daily meltdown whilst trying to cook a proper nutritious meal for 2 adults and 2 small kids, I told my DP that it was far easier to prepare, cook and serve food in the caravan awning whilst we were homeless. Of course that statement is nonsense. But the fact is, all the kitchen cupboards are broken, we have nowhere to store food, we only have a small pissy fridge, we do not have a freezer, the oven is from the early 1980s and is unsafe to use, the bare floorboards are broken in parts, we purchased a halogen oven to compensate for the landlord’s refusal to fix the oven and well…what can I say, the halogen oven excels at branding one’s arms when lifting in or out trays of food! The bottom line is that property law in the UK is pretty damn useless when one is a tenant. We could complain to the landlord about the state of the house, but past experience tells us that he will simply start what is called a retaliatory eviction…by issuing a Section 21 Notice.
My darling five year old knows we have a “shit” kitchen and indeed a “shit” house. He is not stupid. He can analyse and he can compare. He also remembers our last 3 rental homes…the ones were we received Section 21 Notices in retaliatory fashion by bullish, unscrupulous landlords. A few nights ago, a mother at the school gate invited us over so our kids could have a play date. It was one of those ‘let’s get to know one another coffee things’ for the grown ups in the uber-modern kitchen whilst the kids run wild and cause havoc in the stylish front room. The Mum is indeed lovely and so too her son. It was good to chat over proper coffee with hazelnut milk…it went down a treat with the hot cross buns we gifted. They are also renting…they are paying top bucks for a wondrous detached cottage surrounded by rolling fields. They rent due to relocation for work, but are also well and truly up the property ownership ladder and are currently landlords themselves leasing out their property to tenants. After we bid our farewells and stepped into the chilly northern climes, my five year old baba announced in his squeaky little voice that he loved their home and then he compared it to ours. I in turn, experienced one of those “I’m a shit mother” moments…a prolonged moment, in fact, I am still feeling it now 2 days later! Why? Well, it isn’t a great feeling when one’s child is also unhappy being stuck in the rented sector and understands the positives of being a property owner.