Writing Prompt Challenge (1): Outside The Window

So here we are, in lieu of any genuine creativity I figured I’d do what every good blogger does and use an inane list of ‘prompts’ to spark the creative process.

Obviously, we’re going big, and in true Paul Green style I’m going to confidently overcommit by telling you I’m going to do 1 every day for a year – or 365 days, for the mathematically challenged. And then abruptly stop at day 89 without explanation.

Not wanting to leave any stone unturned I’ve thoroughly researched writing prompts and clicked the first result on my Google search ‘writin promt 365’ – which has both poor form and fundamental errors. There’s nothing like a bit of foreshadowing in your writing, is there?

OK, so the website I’m going to use is this one; Think Written and first up on the list is;

1. Outside the Window: What’s the weather outside your window doing right now? If that’s not inspiring, what’s the weather like somewhere you wish you could be?

The part of this prompt which really fascinates me most is ‘what is the weather like somewhere you wish you could be?‘. Which is another way of saying ‘what weather do you like?’ but predicated on the idea that you can only answer this if you are not inspired. If you’re inspired I have no interest in your meteorological tastes thank you very much, keep those to your self.

Now, what is interesting here is the ‘Out the Window’ title.

I currently live in a relatively newly built serviced apartment block, which has a mock New York entrance lobby and even a little man who I say hello to every morning who gives me my mail.

The apartment block is a quadrant and my small apartment windows all face into the small courtyard which in turn faces into everyone else’s small windows – see didn’t I tell you this was interesting depressing.

Ireland, like many other parts of the western world, decided to capitalise their housing markets a few decades ago which resulted in various housing booms bubbles. No longer were houses places to live, fill with your life, loved ones and possessions, they were and are now investments.

No one encompasses this more than the modern buy-to-let landlord, or ‘B2LL Ends’, as they’re more commonly known. They finished university and barely had time to print off their certificate before coming across a copy of the Financial Times, in which they read ‘there ain’t no better investment than brick n’ mortar’. 

The B2LL End says “Wow! let me take my newly learned business principles and apply them to housing.

  1. Reduce cost
  2. Reduce risk
  3. Charge as much as possible

On a side now, a British university will charge you approximately £40,000 over a 3 or 4 year period to pass on that information and I’ve just given it to you, for free. Which feels, rather like handing the nuclear launch codes to Donald Trump, except at least in that case it would be a quick and painless death. What I’ve done is essentially sent out a handsome looking bachelor into this world riddled with AIDS, but at a time before we truly know the devastating impact AIDS may have. Only to eventually learn that this thing that looked so handsome and appealing will ultimately be part of our demise.

So, let’s break down what I see outside my window.

What I actually see is the same thing everywhere; I see uniformity. These apartments weren’t built for individual freedom, they were built for the profit of the owners and as such, they needed to reduce cost.

The first principle of business will dramatically reduce the size of apartments or houses because size is directly proportional to cost. Each apartment I see outside of my small window has the same furniture because buying in bulk is cheaper than buying or curating items individually. Each apartment has the same carpet, kitchen, bathroom, and walls. They all have small windows, and low ceilings because glass is expensive and so is building upwards.

Reduce Cost.

The next principle is where those things called humans really come along and mess everything up. They wander around planet earth not wanting to be homeless and they go looking for a warm place to live. A place to fill with their life, loved ones and possessions. But this is far too much risk. We must vet everyone first to protect the investment, secondly, once they’re in the apartment their liberties must be heavily restricted. We can’t have thumbtacks in the wall – how would we possibly ensure profit in the future?! A pet? Forget it!

At this point, I am tempted to say it is like living in some communist dictatorship utopia, and it is except the apartments are far too small and way too expensive for that. And that is because of the third principle; charge as much as possible.

Ignore the fact your mortgage repayments are only 300 per month, charge double! Heck, charge triple! You earned that right. It is not up to us to make this place a better land.

So that is what I see outside of my window; small, bland, expensive boxes with sad people traipsing through the courtyard to places they don’t want to go – every day. On a more positive note, my favourite weather is mild.

Paul Green

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7 Comments

  1. sadiewolf2014

    Hey you’re back! Great to see you and this was such a good post. Please keep writing for us, anything, everything you write is good. I am in Kathmandu in Nepal, just arrived today when it was quite warm in the sunshine, now at only 8pm I am snuggled up under a thick blanket because after months in India it is most definitely chilly in the evening! No real warm clothes as travelling light and due to return to India in two weeks, but may end up cracking and buying something cosy, or perhaps just keep myself wrapped up in this blanket! All the best

    Like

  2. beingbethanyrose

    Love this post. Got to end and thought is mild really a valid weather though? Mild rain? Mild sun? Mild hurricane? How do you know if it’s mild?

    And then I realised that I mentally answered the question with early autumn weather and quickly got down of my soap box. Mild is way better than that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mydangblog

    I just went from sunny and warm to the Canadian winter, so I’m experiencing all the extremes! In Toronto, they’re taking down blocks of shops and older apartments building to put up 70 story towers. No one can afford to live there anymore. The rent on the 800 sq. foot condo I rent during the week (I have a roommate so I can afford it) is double my mortgage at home for a house 5 times the size. It’s ridiculous!

    Liked by 1 person

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