Brave New World

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I have been caught up in the chaos of the English property market for nigh on a year now, and in that time have lived a very basic existence centered on marketing and selling my home and finding and buying a new one, whilst going through the motions of standard day to day existence.

It has astounded me how such a vital and money making business, in one of the world’s more powerful, established and developed countries, could be so bloody badly regulated and stress inducing.

Although I’ve been one of the lucky ones with a cash buyer and no chain, I still had my initial buyer drop out at the nth hour and only managed to not lose the property I wanted to purchase, through a huge amount of work, pleading and general luck.

I sold my flat to clear debt built up many years ago, when I still had a credit card. I opted to pay back the money, rather than sell up and go bankrupt.

So for seven years I struggled. It is only in retrospect I can see how much of my time and focus was spent worrying about money and budgeting. Searching for the best deals, selling books and clothes and jewellery, walking everywhere and growing my own vegetables so that I could eat.

I was grateful, so grateful, for friends and acquaintances gifts of old clothes and left over makeup that would make me presentable for work. Having guests to stay or visit was a major issue as I rarely had enough food in the house for myself let alone others.

Meeting people for a coffee and perhaps a film was a very carefully budgeted for expense, and the possibility of my resident felines becoming ill would cause huge anxiety.

I struggled on and paid back a most of the money owed but decided that I was tired of living like this. It was time to let go of the house and move on.

Okay I haven’t come out of this transaction wealthy but I am not in debt. I can eat well; even catch a bus instead of walking home.

I no longer need to let myself be exploited at work because I am so desperate financially, and I have much more time as I am not so focused on a surviving on a pittance.

I’m feeling liberated in some respects, and enlightened to the difference the house sale has the potential to make on my life.

In the last month whilst I’ve been between homes, I also haven’t had access to my art equipment (and writing held no interest as my mind wasn’t clear enough to produce anything beyond a surrealist psycho-babble) which created yet another realisation.

My life’s main focus and joy is centered on my creative process. My social life has long been an extension of this but the last few weeks I’ve experienced a more mundane lifestyle, oriented around work, relaxed and sociable gatherings and days off that involved other people rather than me my glue, bones, gas mask and music. A wonderful change but not one I would like to make permanent as these activities simply don’t give me the same joy and passionate purpose as my obsessive pursuit of my art does.

So. All these revelations in my process of change lead me back to my original question.

Why does a country as ‘civilised and ‘advanced’ as England, have such a stressful, messed up and chaotic property market?

Could it be to discourage change? To make the property market and any potential lucre involved within it, only for those experienced with ‘the game’?

Whatever the reasons I’m nearly finished the process and looking forward to a future without debt, without the vulnerability that lack of money creates, and with my focus once more on my great and necessary passion: ART.

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About charlottejane2002

Author of 'P is for Prostitution', 'The Bloody Sacrifice' and co-editor of 'A Contemporary Western Book of the Dead' which are all published by Mandrake of Oxford. Italian publisher Roberto Migliussi has recently released 'The Sky is a Gateway, Not a Ceiling', a book of Charlotte's collected essays printed alongside images of his own art work. Charlotte is also an artist who creates spiritually directed art works from road kill and found objects. She has had her written work printed in anthologies and various magazines and on line publications and has given presentations at many events and institutions including Edinburgh University and Brooklyn's 'Museum of Morbid Anatomy'. Her art work has been exhibited widely including at London's Chelsea Gallery and The Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute, and is soon to be shown in New York.
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3 Responses to Brave New World

  1. Hiya Charlotte ! really pleased to hear your news. Parallels in my own financial survival here in NZ.
    I still teach to manage a somewhat small cashflow, and flip flopping on when to sell and where to go …….?? Much love to you xxx 😀

  2. Russell CJ Duffy says:

    At least some good has come out of the horrors of home finding and moving – back to art. I don’t think the English system is there, bad as it is, to prevent anyone buying property. It is the one thing that successive governments since Margaret Thatcher have encouraged people to do – buy/own a home. It is now the building block of the nations economy. I think it is just the way the English are…if it costs then leave it alone for no one moans loudly enough about it and even if they do no one makes big enough noise

  3. True enough Russell, I’m always willing to look under a rock for a conspiracy theory rather than believe that something that doesn’t work properly, is ignored rather than fixed. Anyway, I’m almost finished this life experience, with all its strange delvings into previously unexplored business-like realms, and now I’ve had my whinge about it, I can start creating again!

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