It's been a while since I have written anything on here. There is no real reason for that other than being really busy with settling into new job/new city and spending most of the time in between that shuttling back and forth from Brighton on the trains to see Will. I'm not going to lie, I've found it pretty tough being away from my husband, particularly when you are both going through major transitions and are sort of homeless (for those of you who have ever had the experience of living in theatre digs, you know what a total joy it is). We have been keeping our heads down for the last few weeks whilst we handle it all. But with only 6 weeks to go until the end of Will's epic job, it's down to business and finding somewhere new to live.
Last week I stumbled across this article. According to the charity Shelter, a family need to make £52,000 a year to make renting a 2-bed in affordable in London. We work in theatre and if you make that choice and you can't live in Toronto at the moment, then London is pretty much unavoidable. I had accepted a long time ago that I would probably never own my own house. I'm actually fine about that and don't spend my energy worrying about it. You accept, you move on and if something changes and someone gives you a house or you get rich quick, well then that's bloody brilliant. However, not being able to afford to rent one makes me pretty furious and yet scarily, it's not too far from the truth. The article itself is not particularly helpful and does its very best to plant the seed of fear into twenty-somethings like myself. Of course I know plenty of people (all our friends in fact) who are living happily in London on significantly less than that. Although the article doesn't go into detail about what their definition of affordable is, I would assume they are talking about not living hand to mouth and having something resembling savings at the end of each month.
I read the article last week. I laughed at it. I thought it was totally overblown and ridiculous and then I did some maths. Whilst I do not in any way think we need to be earning £52,000 to move back to London town, what we, as 26 year old theatre makers, can afford is pretty terrifying. So we are just having to let it go and do some pretty creative thinking about smart renting choices instead.
Coming back to the Uk has undoubtedly been frustratingly difficult. We feel massively displaced and a little like we left a great deal of ourselves across the Atlantic. If anything, it has made us more determined to beat the visa system but one thing is for certain, our three-year uphill struggle to live in Toronto is far from over. We have had to regroup, rethink and reach a point of acceptance that it is going to take some time and that we are back in England for now. Not easy at all. I hate the term foreseeable future. Best laid plans will aways change and if you want to do big, brave things, you need to be fearless but also have the patient of saint and live with calm acceptance that it won't all happen at once. I have a husband who is a master at this. Sadly for him, he married the most impatient girl on the planet who cannot live in one place for more than a handful of months. I'll let you know how it fathoms itself out. One thing is for sure, it's probably not going to be a 2-bed in Tower Hamlets.
*Photo source thanks to Andrew Morrell Photography