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Landlady: Southern freeze



I am on my way to a Scandinavian city to see The Cuban Boyfriend. Having grown up in Stoke on Trent, I am not a fan of any temperature below 18 degrees. This is unfortunate, as Google informs me that my destination city is currently hovering around minus 10 degrees. Fiercely optimistic, I am never prepared for an intemperate climate and therefore hastily bundled two crap, fairly ineffectual pairs of children's gloves into my handbag in the hope that they might equal one adult pair. I did however have the foresight to wear a thermal camisole which, combined with in flight champagne is giving me a very red face.

Meanwhile, my latest property venture is not going well. Again, I was a little too optimistic with my initial figures, cheerfully ignoring Capital Gains tax, Estate agents commission, stamp duty and solicitors fees. This will seriously eat into my budget for selling one flat in order to buy two smaller ones. Added to this is the fact that Buy to Let landlords have to pay extra Stamp Duty and are no longer entitled to tax relief on Mortgage interest payments, meaning that just about everyone else profits before I get my share.

On the subject of the housing crisis, if I see another 22 year old on the news bemoaning the fact that they can't afford their own home, I might have to smash something. I can't believe anyone could expect to own their own home in their early twenties. I was a very mature and careworn mother of two when I managed to purchase my first flat at the grand old age of 31, by which time I'd already run the gamut of dodgy landlords and lived under an office desk on London's All Saints road (before it was poshified).

There is a housing crisis. Maybe if, like me, people were to rent out their spare rooms at reasonable rates, the situation might ease up a bit, making it easier for people like The Big Daughter (28) and Boyfriend (30) to buy their first nest.