Life and Everything

Things I couldn’t live without, except it turns out I can.

It’s been a while since I wrote.  I’ve been busy.  What with a couple of biggish social media and content managing contracts coming up, Christmas planning in my Guitar Geekery shop, and a whole load of STUFF going on, I’ve not had much head space for writing.

Truth be told, most of the STUFF has been finance related.  I have got used to juggling funds, living on a shoe string and basically not spending owt.  But every now again I get hit by monumental cash flow problems.  Anyway, solutions are on the horizon, and I’m not quite so stressed now.  But it got me to thinking.  10 years ago, I was in a well paid job that gave me disposable income.  Two redundancies, illness, running a business on next to no capital, being the sole breadwinner, blablabla….  I’ve had to make some cutbacks over the years.

First went the expensive cosmetics.  Then the taxis.  Then I stopped eating in restaurants.  And buying new clothes.  Now I’m living on so little, that when bank managers and benefits advisers want me to tell them my monthly budget I have to double the amount to make it believable!   I won’t deny it’s been hard work, but it’s also a matter of great pride that I have managed this belt tightening.  The stress levels occasionally rocket out of orbit, but the compromise I make on spending, that’s actually OK.

Things I couldn’t live without, except it turns out I can. Things I’ve replaced them with, and yes I’m ok with it
Branded olive oil Supermarket own brand
Lancome makeup The possibilities of cheap makeup are endless
No7 moisturiser Simple(s)
Taxis home from the supermarket Shanks’s Pony
New books The library
Designer specs Should have gone to …
CDs Spotify and BBC Radio 6 Music
Asparagus Brocolli
Cheese from the cheesemonger Bog standard cheddar
Single malt whisky Just the ice!
Weekends away Walks in the park
Holidays in the sun Holidays at home.  Literally.  At my home.
Hobbs, H&M Charity shops and home dressmaking
Christmas Cards Emails
Restaurants Greasy spoons and voucher fuelled pizza
Garden plants Patience
Greengrocery deliveries Trudging around the market.
Magazine subscriptions You know what? Most magazines are a rip off.
Impromptu nights on the tiles I can’t hack it anymore anyway!

None of that makes me miserable.  Can I tell the difference between a £5 bottle of wine and a £10 bottle of wine?  Who am I kidding!  The designer cosmetics – it’s all in the packaging, I promise.  The Christmas cards?  People don’t hate you because you don’t send Christmas cards.  Really they don’t.  And brocolli is just really nice.  All in all, I can’t believe I was so extravagant.

It’s not all a bed of roses though.  Not knowing whether you will be able to pay the mortgage next month is very stressful.  It knocks years off your life. I really don’t recommend it.  But I’m still standing.  And I will be for some time yet.



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