Columnists

Wed 16 Jul 2014

The Landlady: Not Funny Hah Hah!

I have also had to buy new patio furniture as the old stuff had rotted so much that it had become dangerous to sit on and I’ve purchased a new washing machine for one of my rental flats. Interestingly, over my years as a landlady, I’ve had to buy more new boilers (4) than I have washing machines (2), which should tell us something, other than the fact that I would have been much better off had the figures been the other way round.

“I shall have to be content sitting in the Brighton summer sun on my new patio furniture”


Needless to say, all this spending has not done much for my bank balance and with the painting of the exterior of my house and my 50th birthday looming I need to start saving rather than splurging.

While I was relaxing over a terribly nice cocktail in the Seychelles last month, The Small Daughter – ever a fount of financial wisdom beyond her years – suggested rather tactfully that I should perhaps stay at home in Brighton for the summer and save some money. To make the idea more palatable, The Small Daughter code-named what is effectively my incarceration, as a ‘Holiday at Home’, or HAH for short. HAH it might be, but I do not find it very funny, as I know that I’d spend most of my HAH removing the hairs of foreign students from the shower trap and plugging my ears while they scream nocturnal Skype conversations to their parents in Italy. See? NOT FUNNY!

On a more positive note, at least I’d have a final Brighton summer with my older children, who are planning to move out this year and I can reinstate my noisy BBQs and parties to annoy the neighbours. I would also be here to water the tomatoes for the first time in years. Besides, I won’t miss the check-in desk queues at Gatwick, nor the excruciating, hungover red-eyed flights back from various destinations. Better still, I’ve been invited to Whitstable, mid-Wales and Stoke-On-Trent, plus I have my eye on the sunny spare room of my friend C which overlooks the duck pond in Storrington.

Mind you, it’s only three months until September when, no doubt, I’ll be let out on probation and have my eye on the distant, gleaming towers of NYC, plus a long stint in my Turkish idyll. Until then, I shall have to be content sitting in the Brighton summer sun on my new patio furniture. It’s a hard life...