Revisiting the house of Henry James
In England, it is illegal for lenders to discriminate on the basis of age, although the rule of thumb seems to be that one should have a loan repaid by the age of eighty-five (if of course, you live to that age, but if you don’t it can be repaid from your estate).
In Ireland, a directive from the Central Bank of Ireland in 2013 says that loans must be repaid by the age of seventy, unless there is “firm evidence” of a capacity to keep up repayments beyond that age.
I need to convince Allied Irish Bank that I have firm evidence that I can pay, at least until I am seventy-five, for a potential loan to be repaid at the age of seventy is not very large if you are already of sixty-one.
A mid terrace two-bedroomed, former Dublin Corporation house would serve my purposes admirably.
Selection will be on the basis of a passage from Colm Tóibín’s The Master, a passage on which I have had occasion to reflect on a number of occasions, selection will be on the basis that this will be the place in which to spend my final years.
In Colm Tóibín’s novel, Henry James finds a house in Rye in southern England in which to live, a house which feels as though it is the very place for which he has been searching, but also a house which has a profound impact upon his thinking. Tóibín writes,
“Strangely, in the months which followed, he felt mainly fear, as though he had embarked unprepared on some vast and risk-filled: financial speculation in which everything he owned could be lost. He had arrangements to make now, extra staff to engage, furniture and household goods to buy, an apartment in London to lease or keep. He also had to ensure his financial future now that he had made these steep commitments. But something other than mere arrangements filled him with a vague, unnameable foreboding. It took him weeks to understand what it was and then it came to him in a flash: when he walked into the upstairs rooms of Lamb House, and into the room where he himself would sleep, he believed that he had come into the room where he would die. As he studied the lease, he knew that its twenty-one years would take him to the tomb. The walls of the house had witnessed men and women come and go for almost three hundred years; now it had invited him to sample briefly its charm, it had enticed him there and offered him its unlasting hospitality. It would welcome him and then see him out, as it had seen others out. He would lie stricken in one of those rooms; he would lie cold in that house. The idea both froze his blood and comforted him at the same time. He had travelled without hesitation to meet his own place of death, to remove its mystery, one of its unknown dimensions. But he would also go there to live, to spend long days working and long evenings by the fire. He had found his home, he who had wandered so uneasily, and he longed for its engulfing presence, its familiarity, its containing beauty”. The Master, p.132
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