The Coronavirus Diaries, 2nd September 2020

For a few happily ignorant hours, I thought I had found a wonderful way to keep my London flat yet live elsewhere. I could let it for a fabulous sum quoted to me by the estate agent. Then I looked at the prices of rentals in Wivenhoe and was swiftly disabused. There was just one house which looked lovely and would be within budget but it said NO PETS.

So I am back to Moving – The Board Game. Throw a six to start. I don’t know know if I shall emerge a winner. I suspect not. It seems a case of two squares forward, one square back. Tomorrow I am back to Essex to see if Wivenhoe holds its charms on a grey day. Even if it does, do I want to live there, ore rather do I want to live there enough to risk selling my home in London and then realising I can never move back? Inertia seems very attractive right now. I have bought a lottery ticket for the weekend, but as my friend Chris kindly (?) pointed out, it’d need to be a fairly big win.

I have lived in London so long it is like a second skin. My work is not only in London but depends on London. It is London. Hence some of the trepidation about leaving. I am torn. I am starting to envy people who have the means to own two homes, who do not have to face these choices but who see it as entirely normal and natural to have a home in the capital and another beyond it. Who do not have to choose between either/or. I think the word I am groping for is entitlement. I see a fair amount of it, and much comes down to dubiously inherited wealth, trust funds, exploitative earnings. Which may make me feel morally reassured, but still financially stuffed. My accountant reckons letting and renting would be a good move, but where? He also reckons Covid 19 has passed through London and the capital is fairly safe now. He also seems to be relying on the fact that he smokes, though not much, to save him from the pandemic. tThere are too many other things for which smoking puts him at risk.

On which note, goodnight.

Stay safe. Keep well. Be kind.

8 thoughts on “The Coronavirus Diaries, 2nd September 2020

  1. Your thoughts are sound. If you can find a way to leave London but not leave it, go ahead. Speaking bluntly, your capital asset is in London. If your heart is really in Essex, give it up and go. If you are done with London, you are done with Life, someone said. Your Essex is my Liverpool. I treasure the moment when the time is right.

  2. I have been thinking a lot about entitlement. Sometimes angry and resentful towards those who have inherited money/trusts or earned it through exploitation – but also how my entitlement from being white and a U.S. citizen is acted out each and every day. We inherited very little and worked hard, saved instead of spending, but we also profited from being who we were, where we were, when we were. I always end up at, “Life isn’t fair and I wish it were.”
    I feel your stuckness and fear of giving up what you have for an unknown – that can’t be reversed if you decide it was the wrong move. The only good options seems to be to let your home and use that money to let something outside of London. If you move away would you commute or stop working? But your soul is in London – London is in your DNA. I think you better buy another lottery ticket.

  3. Letting your flat and then let the proceeds pay for your own rental in the countryside (plus whatever taxes and upkeep would be required on your flat)? Interesting transition possibility worth investigating for the finances. But as Billy mentions as long as your life is centered around London you should live in London. When your life no longer includes a regular commute to the City, then is the time to move to the sticks. Our own situation is also moving at a pace we didn’t expect so I relate to the dancing back and forth on the decision fence.

    • Letting would be ideal. I hope I might manage it. I am not sure my work is going to come back in London, but the ties to the city are strong. It’s like a second skin.

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