Before the tumour came along, B and I were considering our investment options. We started to think seriously about purchasing a buy-to-let flat here in London. Then came the seizure, diagnosis, surgery etc and all of those ideas were forgotten.

Now that B is stable and we are returning to ‘normal’ (the ‘new normal’) we’ve discussed it again. It has been difficult. We are practical people but it is hard not to be affected by emotions when talking about the future, especially a long term future which B may not experience. Yet we cannot ignore the seriousness of his illness either.

If the worst happened, I’m certain that I would return to Australia to live. I’d need my family around me. With that in mind, we are looking for a property in my home town of Adelaide rather than in London. It should be a good investment for us, and has the potential to offer me security and possibly a home, further down the line.

It feels very strange to be planning for a future that I don’t want, and I don’t like being in this position. But it is the reality.

B is enthusiastic about the project. I’m opposed to effusiveness in blogs as a rule, but he is pretty amazing. We’re focussing on the positives – of course it’s possible that B and I will live happily together for many years to come, in which case it will be purely an investment and we need to view it as such. For now we can try to forget the darker agenda lurking beneath.

Of course, we need to enlist the help of my family in Adelaide as we are unable to view potential properties ourselves. As usual they have perfected the art of being simultaneously accommodating and insulting.

Mum: I’d love to help!
Me: That’s great, we really appreciate it.
Mum: It’s a pity you don’t have $1 million. I’d ENJOY looking at THOSE places.
Me: Sorry. Just semi-grotty home units for you.

I haven’t paid much attention to Adelaide property prices over the past 8 years, and now find that they have risen enormously. We’ve had to amend our initial wishlist from:

  • panoramic sea views
  • wine cellar
  • temperature-controlled trout pond
  • indoor slide


  • roof
  • 2 bedrooms
  • air conditioning
  • not completely ghastly

With these lowered standards I think it’s only a matter of time until our status as ‘International Property Tycoons’ is confirmed. I prefer this title to ‘Makers of Questionable Financial Decisions in 2 Countries’.



  1. megan · · Reply

    Melbourne might be a better investment choice cuz…still expensive but heaps more career opportunities here…

    1. We could afford a nice garden shed in Melbourne, or maybe a scenic parking space 😉

  2. I really can relate to your post, it reminded me of how many people have to have those very conversations when discussing the future. My husband and I were married September 30th 2012, and the following February, Ben was diagnosed with his brain tumor. After months in hospitals, and undergoing treatment, we are having those same conversations about our previous plans to buy a home (we thought we might be doing that this spring). It takes grace to decide to continue on, and hold realities and hopes all in the light. Thank you for sharing your journey!

  3. Peter Leonard · · Reply

    You talk about things I think of regularly but pull myself up on, on every occassion. I love how you say ‘we focus on the positive'(as we do) but realities do kick in at times. With what’s going on with families with ‘the citrus sized thing removed’ (we both laughed about that) some of us seem to have 2 future realities, that some of us dance between, it is great that you guys have it together in a way that allows you to talk about this stuff. (Please never let the AP see this as I am sure that the punctuation isn’t correct)
    All the best

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