The Boomerang Generation, The Lumineers and “Sleep On The Floor”

I hate if a week goes by when I don’t post anything new, but here we are a full 10 days since my last offering. No earworms this week and no tributes to write (thankfully), but feeling a bit hampered by the fact I recently announced that I would no longer embarrass myself by writing about my personal life or have long rants about what I perceive as injustices in the world. In the comments boxes however it was decided that such writing is acceptable as it can be therapeutic and “gets issues out there for discussion”, but perhaps not posts to leave in the archive long-term.

So, what’s coming I hear you ask? – Well it’s been a bit of an odd week. I have written quite a bit of late about finding myself the squeezed filling in a sandwich. Much of my week is taken up providing all sorts of support to both the generation above, and the generation below within my family. Turns out that the focus this week has been on the generation below. Yes, according to darling daughter, a few days ago we committed the most heinous of all crimes, “we embarrassed her in front of her boyfriend”, and there is now apparently no going back to how it used to be!


A tenancy agreement has been drawn up (by DD) outlining her “rights” in return for the (peppercorn) rent she pays us and in response we have drawn up a document outlining her responsibilities as a good tenant. So far we’ve not had to actually fork out for legal counsel but it’s looking awfully like a possibility, as down the line there may be lawsuits and countersuits for minor misdemeanours. Shame all of this has happened just before Mother’s Day as I am now highly sceptical whether I’ll even get a card, let alone some nice flowers or chocolates!

Much of this is written in jest of course as although relations are indeed frosty (but not as bad as those between the UK and Russia at the moment), still a lot of love there, it’s just that once your offspring reach adulthood and leave home they don’t always want to return to the confines of their old school bedroom, but sometimes they have to (coined the Boomerang Generation). Not easy nowadays when the only options are to: (1) pay a ludicrous amount of rent for a room in a shared flat; (2) save a whopping amount of cash for a deposit in order to obtain a mortgage; (3) put your name on a housing association list, knowing full well that you will never reach the top of that list. Yes, it’s all gone horribly wrong in our country hasn’t it. When did houses stop being homes and how is it going to change going forward?


As I have mentioned in a previous post, the 5th largest bank in the UK is the Bank of Mum and Dad so that is an option for some of the more affluent families out there. That option is just not available however for the less affluent, who despite often working in highly worthy and vitally important professions, perhaps just don’t command the kind of salaries afforded to those in other jobs (some of which often seen as less worthy – Just sayin’).

But hey, there is always the rental market isn’t there? But no, even here in the North of Scotland, it seems that renting a room in a private flat would cost half the average youngster’s monthly salary. With bills and living expenses on top of that, not much cash left for anything else and although Mr WIAA and I are happy to lead a simple existence filling our free time with blogging, boxsets, music and walking, I wouldn’t want to see DD miss out on all the things she wants to do throughout her 20s. Indeed here is a paragraph from her tenancy agreement which relates to something I hadn’t heard of before but it seems to be a thing. She apparently should have the ability and freedom to serve her 20s in a “Butterfly” capacity, defined as such: Your 20s are your selfish years. Its a decade to immerse yourself in every single thing possible, to be selfish with your time and all aspects of you. Tinker with things, spend nights away, travel, explore, love a lot, love a little and never touch the ground. (And there I was mundanely asking her to tidy her room and tell us what time she was going to be back – Oops)

Here is a song she shared with me last year by The Lumineers – It had really resonated with her as there seems to be a real desire amongst young people at the moment to acquire a quirky vehicle of some kind and go travelling. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. If you can’t join ’em, make ’em jealous. In the video clip it shows what can happen if you take a chance and “leave this town” – I give you Sleep On The Floor from their 2016 album Cleopatra.

Sleep On The Floor by The Lumineers:

For more mature adults with stressful jobs, long commutes, big mortgages and kids to bring up, the Butterfly Years must now seem like a distant memory but I did indeed experience them myself (away from the family home) so I would like to see her do the same in due course. In the short-term I think we will just have to learn how to co-exist in a slightly more fluid and less-interfering manner, which is not easy for me, but I’ll try.


So, “What’s It All About?” – Just a mini rant this time, about housing. I would love to offer up solutions but as ever there is a balance and if a policy change comes about that benefits the young, too many older people feel aggrieved and change allegiance to another political party come the next election. Surely as should happen with Health/The NHS, there also needs to be All Party Parliamentary Groups dedicated to long-term policy for Housing.

Looking around me there seems to be far too many people of my generation buying up all the starter flats on a buy-to-let basis, but then they would argue that because interest rates are so low, it is needed for retirement income. How much retirement income is enough though – Do you really need three or four flats? Wouldn’t one be enough. Also are planning rules really too restrictive or do building companies deliberately hold back on new builds to keep profits high? As for London, it’s beyond bonkers down there. It’s a difficult one, but time is running out for these youngsters and if we’re not careful they’ll all take off in their VW Campervans, to Sleep On The Floor. They want to experience their Butterfly Years but just one question, who’s going to be left to run our vital services and industries once they all go?


One last thing before I go – I was lucky enough to grow up in a lovely stone-built house with a big garden full of flowers, vegetables and soft fruit. We had great neighbours and all took a real pride in our community. Yes, like about half the people I grew up with, we lived in houses provided for rent by the County Council (as it was called then). Sadly these houses of my youth have all been sold off at a vast discount and the only council-provided housing nowadays seems to be called Social Housing which to me just conjures up negative terms like Social Services, Social Problems, Social Security, so can we please change that nomenclature? Time for a massive sea-change but, “Where is the money?” they always ask. Well here’s an idea – Now that Donald Trump seems to palling-up with Kim Jong-un, the world looks as if it might be a safer place in the future. How about we trade-in a few nuclear missiles for a million new homes (not houses) to rent from our local Councils? Makes sense to me.

In the meantime, I’m off to check the tenancy agreement in case I’ve missed anything vital – I don’t think providing a late-night taxi service is included in this new document but before I pour that glass of wine, I had better check!

As ever, I’d love to hear from you, and I always reply.

Sleep On The Floor Lyrics
(Song by Jeremiah Fraites/Wesley Schultz)

Pack yourself a toothbrush dear
Pack yourself a favourite blouse
Take a withdrawal slip
Take all of your savings out
‘Cause if we don’t leave this town
We might never make it out
I was not born to drown
Baby come on

Forget what Father Brennan said
We were not born in sin
Leave a note on your bed
Let your mother know you’re safe
And by the time she wakes
We’ll have driven through the state
We’ll have driven through the night
Baby come on

If the sun don’t shine on me today
And if the subways flood and bridges break
Will you lay yourself down and dig your grave
Or will you rail against your dying day

And when we looked outside
Couldn’t even see the sky
How do you pay the rent
Is it your parents
Or is hard work dear
Holding the atmosphere
I don’t wanna live like that, yeah

If the sun don’t shine on me today
If the subways flood and bridges break

Jesus Christ can’t save me tonight
Put on your dress, yes wear something nice
Decide on me, yea decide on us
Oh, oh, oh, Illinois, Illinois

Pack yourself a toothbrush dear
Pack yourself a favourite blouse
Take a withdrawal slip
Take all of your savings out
‘Cause if we don’t leave this town
We might never make it out


Just an update to this post – Yes, I did receive a card, flowers and chocolates for Mother’s Day plus I had a lovely lunch cooked for me by DD. I have also now seen the error of my ways in continuing to treat her like the schoolgirl she was 4 years ago. Those days have gone so the tenancy agreement was a great way of making us realise that. These months back at home have freed up a lot of cash that would otherwise have gone on overpriced rent – Having cash in the bank leads to opportunities, rather than just treading water, so happy to oblige. (Just one thing, I’ve got to learn not to criticise how she does her laundry – Mixing whites and coloureds? Sacré bleu.)