••• The International Writers Magazine: Modern Living
Shed that Load
Ownership is on the way out. Rent to live is how we live now.
They say Millennials don’t need living rooms – they need ‘hotel-room sized’ studio flats according to Patrick Shumaker, a senior designer at Zaha Hadid Architects, London (April 26th 2018). Millennials don’t stay home much and have city-based lifestyles and want minimum commuting from work and cafés.
Others speculate that Millennials won’t be car owning –mortgage heavy citizens burdened by owning anything – they will rent living spaces, music, furniture, whatever and be much more flexible in where and how they live. They won’t be committed to local community but belong to more disparate global online communities by race, sexual orientation, food preferences, music and political/lifestyle preferences.
Well all that might well be true and worrying for car manufacturers, furniture makers and the like, but I’d say that where Millennials go so will retirees. Those who can afford to retire will find that being fixed to one place, surrounded by all they have have accumulated in life is a huge burden and there will be political and economic pressures to downsize (whether by garden taxes or revalued council taxes). Some might argue that people in their sixties want to be near family, stay in the familiar and I’m sure that is true for some, but others might welcome freedom from the burden ownership or furniture (or family) as much as Millennials. There is a trend among active seniors to go to places unknown, experience new things, learn new skills and if not obliged by grand-parent duties, junk everything and begin again. They don’t need to commute and want to live near cafés, restaurants and go to lectures by professionals and start new lives where they don't need a car, just like Millennials.
So I have been researching this. Brexit aside, is it possible on a limited budget to have a foothold in the UK and a home abroad? Or own a home you can lock up and rent abroad or vice versa. Brexit has definitely soured this choice but for the foolhardy (that’s me) I’m thinking that this is what I should be doing. One doesn’t know long one has to live (although there are apps that will tell you) but living in the warmth can’t be bad for you (except cancer). You are bound to walk more, swim more and hopefully make new friends. (That’s the hard part). I thought it strange at first that everything one views in Spain comes with furniture, but now upon reflection I realise that they too don’t want to be burdened by all this ‘stuff’. The question remains as to what to do with all the stuff one has already and I haven’t quite worked that out yet, but perhaps I am nudging towards getting rid of it, antiques, books, beds, you name it, a lifetime of accumulation. A friend’s father recently died and he’d spent a lifetime taking photos all over Europe. It was his pride and joy. They junked the lot. Didn’t even look at them. I guess that when I peg it the same will happen to me. Nothing will be valued, not a book or photo – the collection of Victorian glass will be sent to the charity shop, my manuscripts burned and there you go – no one gives a damn. Too many people. Just too much stuff.
||So the Millennials will get used to renting everything – develop no particular bonds to anything or lasting relationships possibly and ok some will form families and community links as they age, but the trend will be to be footloose and free; society will change entirely. What that might evolve into is for others to speculate, but if the young and old have no anchor it will have political repercussions – when people aren’t invested in a location or it’s people it will have consequences.
Possession free mobility - is it a problem or a solution? Add Ai to the mix and a general inability to make enough money to live on as the robots are doing our jobs… Where is everything going?
Me I’m heading to the beach I think. Maybe. Possibly…
© Sam Hawksmoor May 2018
Read GIRL with CAT (Blue) by Sam Hawksmoor
Believing in a multiverse is one thing - actually crossing over into one risks madness. Jules believes, McReady, the sceptic, does not, either way - they have to find Inglund & the Girl with Cat (Blue).
'Saska is awesome' Amazon.co.uk
PS: Thanks to those buying 'Girl With Cat (Blue)' and once read do post a review on Amazon - it all helps (well not always of course but here's hoping).