IT has been a miracle of self-control that I haven’t spent the last few weeks permanently waving my arms around in the air in a wild panic while going “arrrrgh”. Because that is how I have felt.
On October 24, we received a letter from our letting agents informing us that we had two months to get out of our home. “Sorry for the disruption,” it said.
Well there are many words that could be used to describe being kicked out of your house at Christmas, but they are all somewhat stronger than “disruptive”.
And why are we being turfed out? Because we rent privately, and landlords are legally entitled to give their tenants their marching orders whenever they fancy.
If we were richer, we could buy a house that would be ours for ever and ever.
If we were poorer, we could get a council house that would be ours for ever and ever.
But instead, we are stuck pouring thousands of pounds away each year with the threat of eviction always hanging over us.
Many of you will have experience of panic buying – and may well be reacquainting yourself with the concept this December 24.
But it is one thing to be desperately searching the shelves of Winch and Blatch on Christmas Eve, trying to find something suitable for your Auntie Doreen who you forgot to buy for, and quite another to have the clock ticking as you try to find somewhere, anywhere, to live.
It would be nice to buy, but average house prices in Babergh are around nine times the average wage. Given that boyfriend and I both earn little over half the average wage, any mortgage we could get would fall woefully short of any asking price.
An alternative solution, which I would be just as happy with, would be for increased security and rights for tenants. But I suspect this is an even less likely scenario.
SUDBURY’S Christmas tree festival is now in full swing in St Peter’s on Market Hill, and I can heartily recommend a visit.
The theme for this year’s Free Press tree is Your History, and it has been festooned with photos from our archives, so come and see if you can spot yourself or your relatives in that nativity play or Christmas party from years gone by.
Flicking through the old papers proved that Christmas has always been commercial.
I was particularly tickled by a 1914 advertisement for a toy fair in North Street: “Make Up Your Minds that the War shall NOT spoil your Children’s Christmas.” Or to put it another way: “Spend, spend, spend!”