How can it be that there is always “too much month” left before Payday? We don’t live any more extravagantly than before, and yet everything seems so much more expensive!
Both Jeff and I work full time, we work hard and still struggle at times. I guess we`re lucky inasmuch we own our house – well we will eventually – and by the time we`ve finished paying the bloody mortgage, we will have to sell the house to pay for carer`s to come in and help us to the loo and make us a bowl of tomato soup 🙂 We don’t go hungry and we have clothes on our back, which I know is more than others have, but it still pisses me off that there is never really anything left at the end of the month.
I grew up in the time when very few people in our social class owned their own property. It was the days of the Rent Man picking up the rent at the door. That was a barrel of laughs as Dad was a compulsive gambler and very often gambled the rent on a “sure bet” at the bookies. It was many years later before I realised that people didn`t, as a general rule, “hide cash under the carpet” like Mom did to stop Dad from finding it 🙂 What fun we had as kids when Mom would usher me and my sister to the back of the sofa to hide as the Rent Man marched up the garden path 🙂
Again, as a child, I don’t ever remember feeling the effects of poverty. I ate everything put in front of me and don’t ever remember feeling hungry.
Now, feeling cold was a different matter. It was the days of coal fires and chilblains. You were only warm if you sat in the hearth covered in coal dust, rest of the time you were bloody freezing. We had one of those calor gas heaters and Mom would warm up our clothes in the morning. I can still remember the bloody fumes that emanated from that heater – we would turn up at school, light-headed and chuckling, like we had just smoked an enormous spliff 🙂
I hate the cold even now – I’m sure that’s why I have an incredible amount of excess bodily hair – natures way of keeping me warm!
I had my first part-time jobs at 14, paper round, chambermaid and then in a kitchen of a big hotel and restaurant. On a Saturday I would peel a whole sack of potatoes by hand. These were also the days before dishwashers, so everything had to be washed up by hand – my soft little hands turned a lovely shade of brown from being constantly in water – I should have put the whole of my skinny little body in that sink to achieve an all year tan! I worked so hard as a teenager but I didn’t mind – I was taught that you have to work hard to achieve anything in life.
As an adult now, with a family to support, plus the dog and the cat, every penny counts. I wonder if having more would make me happier, as we all know “the best things in life are free” but if I had money I would still have love, loyalty, family and friends – I could just make life a little easier for them.
I work on a budget and can see exactly where our money goes – copious amounts of alcohol and fags :):) only kidding, all our money, after paying mortgage and bills, goes on food shopping, which is ironic seeing as I’m such a shit cook – my lovely next door neighbour gave a home-grown marrow from his allotment – giving a fish a bicycle sprung to mind – marrow is still taking up fridge space 2 months later, whilst I try to decide what to do with it! Jeff tells me he is going to find himself another wife to look after him properly. Seeing as he can`t find his wallet and rizla`s without assistance – fuck knows how he thinks he could find another wife.
Feeding a family of 6 is a mission, what with everyone working different shifts and eating at different times – Arowyn and Lana aged 7 don’t finish cleaning the chimneys till 6.30am, which is a bit of a pain as their gruel gets cold very quick! Within days of filling the fridge it looks like a swarm of locust have hit the kitchen and emptied it again! Sometimes the shopping doesn`t even make it to the fridge and is eaten from the shopping bags – I had to put a stop to that when Lana, aged 3 opened 6 yoghurts and scooped out the contents with her little chubby fingers – she did share with the dog and the cat though!
The bane of my life is bloody packed lunches – the first two weeks after pay day the girls` lunch boxes are seriously the “dogs bollocks” – grapes, cucumber, carrots, yoghurts, lovely fresh sandwiches with salad – the last two weeks – a sandwich and two custard cream biscuits.
I’m sure a lot of families nowadays struggle financially, so any household tips would be gratefully appreciated, failing that food parcels and toilet rolls would be acceptable 🙂