Monday, 31 December 2007

Reality bites

I have done something wild and reckless, spontaneous even – I have changed the batteries in the torch before they actually went dead on me.
As I approach the end of the year - the terminus of my hopes and dreams for 2007, I hold up my hands and say: “It has not been quite what I expected”.
For starters I’m no thinner than I was at the beginning, nor richer nor more famous - though why I wanted that heaven only knows, I think I just got carried away with all my wishes last year.
What has happened though possibly not unexpectedly is that financially we are worse off than we were this time last year, I’d like to blame it on the Chancellor, the Credit Crunch, a whole manner of events and circumstance but the truth is it is profligacy…Or owning a Damoclesian house - you know the sword is going to fall you just don’t know when or where.
Despite raising our mortgage to stratospheric heights this year we seem no further on and now every time I walk through the back door I have to search blindly for the kitchen door before I can shed light on where I have been - quite literally, as we have no electrics in the East Wing any longer. In fact we don’t have any plumbing either nor any plaster on the walls nor paint or carpets - nothing really though my ever optimistic helpmeet just hugs me when he looks at it all on his return home and smilingly says: “Isn't it wonderful!”
I’m not quite sure what he is on but BOY do I wish he’d give some to me. He points out all the beautiful oak and I nod dumbly all the while screaming inside my head: “Yep mate, and I know the cost of every square inch of it: a whopping £10,000! Or to put it nicely one fully fitted and functioning bathroom, 10 radiators – working - and all the light I could possibly want with crystal knobs on!”
Dear Charlie hugs me tighter and sighs contentedly surveying the skeleton of the house in all its architectural glory while I make a mental note to call the Bursar as soon as School opens next week to discuss a more flexible way of meeting my obligations.
For before Christmas I waved good bye to the cleaners, dropped the child minder by a day and would have dropped the Gardener too but luckily he owes us some £500 and since we see him so rarely we will manage to spin out his working for us by a few more months through threats and if necessary the small claims court.
By hook or by crook I’ll hold on to Theresa for life will have to be very bad before I do my own ironing. Admittedly there will be less going to her, though Dear Charlie won’t notice. I’ll keep his shirts in the pile but perhaps the boys and I will have to wear our clothes in a more crumpled style not that they mind. Sheets and pillow cases - well having those done was always a luxury, as were dusters and the like. Luckily it’s winter and I’m in polo necks most of the time and maybe by the summer things will have turned.
In a way I’m looking forward to the challenge of a more austere 2008, it is said to be very fashionable at the moment to be careful, prudent and the like. Not that I follow fashion in any way but one must always look on the bright side!

7 comments:

palomino said...

ah yes I know that feeling too well - I too am going to be chatting to the Bursar in January as the electricity board computer had a fit and took 4 months direct debits out in one go, which was Tali's nursery fees. I'm not impressed.

But think of the new austerity as a challenge . When we were really pushed, I found it less depressing if I turned it into a game. And we survived, and still do .

Frances said...

Hello from New York to you Tattie Weasle, and a Happy New Year on top of that!

Hoping that much will turn around in a wished for direction for you in the new year.

I have written before about how I originally came to the site because of my love for the British countryside, and how my travels there always gave me a welcome change from the stresses of New York.

It is interesting that the more I read about all our lives, I realize that many of us share common concerns. The details of our lives may vary, but our concerns do not.

Perhaps that is one of the strength that keeps us all together at this site. We do understand what it is to be alive now. Now used to be 2007. And now ... it is gonna be 2008.

It is very good to be able to share our worries, triumphs, and all that comes inbetween.

xo

mountainear said...

Buildings just soak up £££s, ambitions and dreams don't they? I'm sending you a sisterly, understanding hug (been there, sorted out a wreck etc. Can't face any more plaster in my hair..)

Best wishes for 2008.

Pondside said...

I'm sure many of us were nodding in understanding, Tattie. Been there - experienced that. Unfortunately some of us don't get any wiser - I sit here at 0830 on New Year's Day waiting for a stone mason to arrive to remove the stone from the back of our perfectly good house, so that we can add a room - What are we thinkging????

LittleBrownDog said...

I'm sure it will be lovely when it's all done, and you will look back on this chapter in your life as a blip. Things always manage to sort themselves out somehow - hopefully, it won't involve too much ironing.

Happy New Year.

Potty Mummy said...

Good luck, Tattie. Isn't it disappointing that these things don't just disappear when we're supposedly grown-up?

Exmoorjane said...

The bursar at our school usually gets fees in the shape of several cheques and some loose change! Total sympathy - though sounds as though your house is so gorgeous it must be worth it..... Having been through the shedding of all extra help, I can honestly say that one can live - particularly because, as you get older, eyesight becomes poorer and the layers of dust only get noticed when the level of sneezing elevates to a particularly high level. Ironing? Hmm, what's ironing?
Hold the faith....

Could you possibly have it used as a film/interiors set? Have read about quite a few people who funded their big house renovations that way...... Offset against the hassle of course - but, hey, could have Johnny Depp or whoever swimming in your moat!

Go on you know you want to...

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