Whenever I have taken a decision based on a sudden, unexpected change of circumstances, there seems inevitably to have arisen thereafter possibilities that might have had a significant impact on that decision, had I been made aware of them earlier.

So, it is with a faint, but not completely unrealistic, hope that I may circumvent that situation by informing all my associates – near and far – of my latest development requiring a prompt and somewhat drastic solution.

I have been given notice to vacate my rented accommodation with effect from the beginning of August 2019.  This is perfectly in order, legally, although it is some six months earlier than the anticipated termination date of my lease agreement.  As with all such sudden and unexpected events, it has come as something of a shock.  But with the benefit of my philosophical beliefs – and with a tinge of “physician heal thyself” irony – I can now choose to look upon the situation as a positive turn of events.  I have had more than one year of living in rented accommodation, after a lifetime of property ownership, and can weigh up the pros-and-cons of both with a fair degree of experience.  Based on that experience I can see some merit in rental rather than ownership, but this is outweighed by the disadvantages one is obliged to accept.

My immediate reaction, based on my experience, is that I should look for a smaller property reasonably proximate to where I am currently living, i.e. probably bounded by Lewisham, Orpington, Penge and West Wickham.  I have enjoyed the space provided by a large(ish) garden, three bedrooms, large kitchen, through dining room/living room, conservatory and garage (garden shed!) and off-street parking.  But all I really need are 2 bedrooms (one to serve as an office) and my must-have are a walk-in shower, a kitchen large enough to indulge my enjoyment of cooking, storage space for my books (or easy access to an outside storage facility), and off-street parking.

But there are a vast number of options and possibilities, both at home and abroad.

And . . . I welcome all or any suggestions from my many friends and associates around the world

Having, some years ago, disposed of the bulk of my worldly assets in an endeavour to avoid estate duties (consequent on my life-threatening minor stroke experience) I now find myself with insufficient savings to purchase a home in any of the over-expensive districts of London, and a reluctance to continue paying the inflated rentals being charged in those areas.  I do, however, still possess enough capital to purchase a modest home in a less expensive area.  And would also consider one or other of the schemes available in the UK (and elsewhere) for share-purchase.  In the UK (and elsewhere I believe) there is even an Older Persons Shared Ownership scheme, where a person of “a certain age” can buy up to 75% of a house or flat and pay rent on the balance, but not having to pay rent on the remaining 25% once the person owns 75% of the property.  I have already started exploring this.

My daughter Caroline tells me that, as I always have my own agenda, giving me advice is probably useless.  She may be right.  I rarely take advice.  But I do listen, I do absorb, and I certainly take advantage of advice that is given me in forming, amending, or endorsing my own agenda! 

If anyone reading this has any suggestions or proposals that may help me form an agenda for action I shall be really, really grateful.

Moving home is stressful at any time in one’s life.  In old age it is undoubtedly a stress one faces with some trepidation.  However, having published a successful book on Peace of Mind, I recall that the “father” of stress research, Hans Selye, distinguished between “eustress” and “distress”: the former being desirable and necessary to perform well in examinations  or sporting activities, for example; the latter being unhealthy and best avoided.  Accordingly, any ideas that may help me transform the negativity of having to leave my home into a positive situation of embracing an exciting new life adventure, will be doubly welcome.