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Stories from the Squeezed Middle

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This is my own small riposte for the online film of a woman taking 15 mins to double park. I am a brilliant double parker. Here is the example of my stellar parking last weekend. Into a tiny slot, first time, never bothered a) the kerb or b) anyone else’s bumper. Of course when I showed this picture to a man, he scoffed and said I had ACRES of space at either end. Fish eye lens, my friend, is my response. It was very very tight. Read More…

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The power of Monopoly and Laura Ingalls Wilder

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So here we are on a rainy summer holiday in Cornwall.  With no television, internet or decent weather. Incidentally, forget the sunglasses in this picture. They are being worn for Joan Collins-style glamour.  Read More…

Sole Trader Yawn

What I’m really really fed up with is doing work for people who don’t pay, or say they’ll pay, and then stall. I am THOUSANDS of pounds in debt, and owed THOUSANDS of pounds by people I have done work for. Result? Huge bank charges and major stress for yours truly. God! Drives me mental. Grrr. Otherwise, Happy Easter!

Day Seven at Last!

What shall I do tomorrow? Go and spend £6 on a coffe and muffin at my favourite cafe? Go to the gym? Read the New Yorker? All of the above? Having been denied all of them for the past seven days, I feel like going on a bender. It’s been very difficult to stick to my weekly budget of £34.17, and I have to admit I have been something of a tart, accepting drinks and a few evenings out with pathetic gratitude. Read More…

Seven days has never seemed so Long

And its not over yet. What can I tell you about today? Only that I needed to buy the children some shoes…get a birthday present for a friend…buy a friends’ book which she had just written…have a cup of coffee…and so on, and so forth. All of which I had to hand over to my husband to fund. Which left me with a nice day travelling gratis around London on public transport and visiting the Imperial War Museum which of course is also free. Not the temporary show, however, so we couldnt do that.  Read More…

It all depends whether you are alone

I think if you are a pensioner on your own, its jolly difficult. By the end of the week I have been longing to go out and socialise. And I have a husband here, and as we all know, lovin’ is free, is it not. But if you are solitary, then having £34.17 only is jolly difficult. I mean, you can’t even buy your mate lunch, or take someone out for a drink. I’m going to the cinema tonight for a bit of socialising, knowing that it was my last bit of money I was blowing, but hoping that my loaf of bread, veg soup and bit of stew will last me until Sunday when I hit the high time with roast Sunday lunch at my mother’s. Visiting family on a Sunday has been done since time immemorial by pensioners so this is quite within the rules, is it not?

Why don’t we rethink pensions

Well I now have about a tenner to last me until Sunday. It’s OK because I have lots of veg and a stew, but what if something untoward happens? Not a disaster, because the state will (hopefully) pick up the bill if that is the case, but just a little event. Today I smashed a teapot, for example. So that was £6 to buy a new one from a dirt-cheap shop (although it pours like a dream and I love it already). I forgot my packed lunch today and had to fork out 2 quid for a sandwich at SubWay. It was hideous, tiny and involved ONE rectangle of processed cheese. For Two Quid!! Read More…

Yes! I’ve had some proper food and wine

Hoorah. Just when I was desparing of never having anything to eat but pumpkin soup on my budget, along comes a friendly award ceremony. The Grierson Documentary Award, to be precise. Hosted by Andrew Marr with lots of amazing films, interesting people and yes! delicious supper. Plus bubble. Very good indeed. Read More…

Living on a pension

Yes well I am trying an experiment for a week – I’ve been asked to do this alongside various other people including an MP. Looking forward to see how THEY cope with no expenses allowance he he. After my allowances for water, heating etc however my pension has SHRUNK to precisely £34.17, for seven days. So forget about haircuts, drinks, clothes, books, theatre, cinema or anything fun. Read More…