We move forward

We made an offer on a house today and it was accepted!!! And I’ve stopped watching BBC News πŸ™‚ We know what we need to know. The times are uncertain, it might get worse, but it might not…

Our options are therefore:

  1. To live in fear and worry and wait to buy – for how long? Do we want to maybe live in rentals forever, knowing pensions funds are uncertain?
  2. To buy a small house to repay as fast as possible to sell in 5/7 years when it is too small for us – at the risk that we cannot sell because it loses too much value or because houses don’t sell well then
  3. To buy the house we want and can (currently) afford, which gives us the space we’re looking for for another child and the possibility to stay forever if we want, at 3 or more

We are 34 and 37 this year and put like this, I find that our choice is actually almost simple… We don’t want to live in fear. We don’t want, in the event that we (manage to) have another child, to take the risk to be stuck in a too small house soon. We’ll do our best with we can do to make things work out, for ourselves and our son – maybe travel less to Europe if the pound continues to drop – and we’ll try to buy this house πŸ˜€ I feel a lot better now that the decision is taken!

Farm house, source: Loren Kerns, flickr

Brexit: I wanted to stay

I’m scared, we moved to the UK and Wales only a few months ago and I meant it to be our home, for my son to grow up here. We had started to look to buy a house, to choose a school. And now I’m telling my husband that we should wait. We don’t know how the house prices will go, we’re not even sure he’ll still have a job in 2 years. We might have to move then, and if we buy and the prices go down, we’ll be in deep sh.t.

But how long should we wait to buy? When will we know? Should we postpone having a second child too? We just don’t have the room in our current place… But I’m 34 this year and it took us four years the first time… πŸ˜₯

What will be the state of the NHS in 2 years? Should we take a health insurance?

Education is already so expensive in this country. What will it become? Will some universities close down because of the loss of EU funding? What about high schools, primary schools? Did they get (in)direct EU funding? Will my son be able to get a good education? Will he be able to go to university if he wants to?

Should we move country now, while our money is still worth something and our son hasn’t started school yet, and give him another chance at a stable life somewhere else? Should we wait, to avoid a stressful move and just in case it isn’t that bad, and see how things go – not buying and not moving forward, everything frozen for now?

I would like for my son to have a stable life, to grow up with the same people. A good school, a good house. A chance for a good education, friends, health care… We were doing what we could for that, and it feels like it might have all been thrown away without us having a say in it.

β€œThere is nothing stable in the world; uproar’s your only music.”
― John Keats

β€œA person does not grow from the ground like a vine or a tree, one is not part of a plot of land. Mankind has legs so it can wander.”
― Roman Payne, The Wanderess

Once a month

A woman cried when someone gave her a box of tampons, I read in a newspaper. Living in a refugee camp, in her own country, she didn’t have access to that luxury. A box of tampons. Sanitary napkins. It was like the whole world had gone down on her. What did she do one week per month? Use a towel to wash? Toilet paper to change every hour? She only said that it was the worst, not the lack of things, not the loss of objects and house, but the lack of dignity. Bleeding and unable to do anything about it in a camp full of men and children. Why was she ashamed of that? How could the world allowed her to be so?

Every healthy woman, from about 13 (I was 11) to 50 years old or so, has her period once a month. Belly ache. Blood loss. Hormones. Mood-swings for some of us – who could blame us? We carry babies, create life, and in exchange of that we lose blood in a waterfall once a month, for years and years past and to come. We do not talk about it. It is not a polite subject in polite company. Sometimes a joke in a non-polite one, at best we smile when we shouldn’t.

I didn’t really think of it or realize, not so much. It is there but I forget most of the time. I cannot imagine attracting dogs in a muddy camp because I cannot wash properly or do not have access to something as basic, in the modern world, as sanitary towels or tampons.

Then we moved, country and houses, to another European country with lots of pharmacies and supermarkets. But the shower doesn’t work well. No pressure, temperature above 40 degrees. The landlord doesn’t want to do anything about it, we don’t use it. We’ll move. For now, we also have a bath. It works fine. But it is old and a shower cannot be fitted to it – even if it could the tiles are not high enough to stand while washing oneself. So what? It is fine most of time. We wash in the bath, using ridiculous amounts of precious clean water. Most of the time.

Three to four days a month, I get to remember that I am a healthy woman of bearing age. Sanitary towels? Check. But wash in a bath while my own body tries to get rid of unused ovocytes, filling the bath with my own blood. Huh. No. The shower is my only solution. No pressure, high temperature, but no choice. I need to clean myself. It is a matter of dignity, of health, maybe even life and death if I want to avoid an infection. So I don’t wash my hair for three or four days. Or with a kitchen beaker – five minutes to fill with burning water, once, twice, more.

It is not so bad. Three days a month, I am reminded that I am an animal. As much as I could want to forget, it always comes back, like a tide. But I have supermarkets and hot water. It is easy, I can deal with this beginning of shame and powerlessness – why do I have greasy hair? Why do I have angry red spotches on my skin? The shower does not work well and I cannot take a bath…

Female gorilla, source: James Hopkirk, flickr