I first met Ruby when we were 13 and 14 years old, May in Norway – 2013. We met through a school project, and she lived with me in Norway for a while. I then went to visit her on my own in 2014 and 2015. She visited me in 2016 and we travelled around in Norway together, exploring the country. Four years apart and we finally got to catch up February 2020.
When I first met Ruby, she lived with her mom, dad, sister, dog and rabbit in the countryside of southern England. I remember the house being very cold and made of brick, in contrast to Norway where most houses are wooden ones. This was Ruby's first home, and my first foreign home for the 14 days I stayed there to experience another culture than my own.
Ruby told me about her medication for depression, Sertraline. It didn't make her feel numb, or weird in any way, as she knew it did for some people. She didn't experience any negative feelings by using it and was happy it could help her through her days. She studies phycology now.
While staying with Ruby for a week in her new home in Brighton, her house owners sent someone to have a look at the mould and damp in their student house. Apparently, this wasn't the first time. They kept on being denied permission to do anything about it by their house owners and got told that it wasn't as bad as they said it was. The people that came to look at it turned out to know their house owners on a personal level, and they were clearly biased with the decision to once again tell them “it wasn't as bad as they said it was". They even screamed at the students, and Ruby told me that their house owners often shouted and pointed at especially the girls. As Ruby is receiving her bachelor’s degree in spring of 2021, she is writing about women and the feeling of shame, politeness and unwanted attention from men. As I stayed there for a few more nights, I could smell the mould every time I walked into the house. It was as bad as they said.
Ruby seemed happy, though. She stayed with her friends in the middle of Brighton and said that her room was her happy place. They also got a cat. The past students that lived there didn't know where the cat was coming from, but they called him Beans, and now he keeps on coming back. Sometimes he smells of smoke, so they believe he has another home. Ruby never liked cats, but she loves Beans. Since they don't want to live in a house filled with mould and damp, they're moving in August, and so they'll have to leave Beans behind.
Ruby. 21. Brighton, England.
Psychology, University of Brighton.
Rents house with friends. Old. Cold. Mould. Ignored by estage agents.
Takes advantage of students. No power. Distance.
MESSAGE MON 10 FEB, 16:45
Message from estage agents.
Feeling of having no power.
LAST YEAR PSYCOLOGY AND PERSONAL USAGE OF SERTRALIN
For Ruby’s bachelor (Spring 2021) she’s writing about politeness,
shame and the feeling of guilt regarding women.
Summer 2020 Ruby and her friends moved out from the house into a new one that’s much better. Beans had to stay in his own lane. Ruby is currently writing her bachelor-degree.