Poverty Post

September 29, 2008

*WO-OOP WO-OOP WO-OOP* the povvo alarm is wooping loud and clear at the moment, and I doubt I’m the only one who can hear it. After a year of extravagent indulgance I find that despite being salaried I am not actually rich. It’s a shock that comes to many in their first real grown-up jobs when the lustre of regular payment wears off to reveal the truth of the matter.

This month I’ve given up my personal luxuries. Recently I’ve been a bit lazy/naughty/indulgent and bought a few lunches – that’s definitely off the menu. I’ve switched from sexy muesli to bran flakes. Co-op has again earned my love for creating their own smoothies which are not only almost half the price of Innocent but also fair trade. I’ve decided to forgo buying new trousers to replace the ones that aggravate my eczema.

Partner and I have also reached a “it’s time to regain control over our eating habits and cook properly” stage again. It happens about once every three months. He made the most beautiful cottage pie. Tonight I’m going to try to recreate it.

Other poverty prevension ideas I’ve had include: hand-making a christmas present for my mum, never leaving my house ever again, writing stories for magazines. Finding it difficult to do the writing part but I think something is forming in my mind.

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Times they are up heaving

August 26, 2008

Changes have been happening. Housefolk Femme has gone, leaving babycat with a hole in her heart. I have moved my things into my partner’s room, so that after two years of squatting it is finally my room too. We took a bus ride to the end of the line and saw the border of Worcestershire. I saw an old friend and finally realised that our differences didn’t mean my inferiority.

It’s been intense. More than the run-of-the-mill bank holiday. And now I’m flat broke.

I do worry about money. Old Friend was telling us her mother likes her boyfriend because in ten years he’s set to be earning half a million. To me that is an inconceivable amount of money. After tax that’s still more than my yearly salary per month. I’ll just have to convince myself that my lifestyle is romantic and that I’m a starving artist. The only way to justify this of course is to apply myself to my art so look out for more extracts in the coming weeks and you’ll know I’m making good on it.

I could just make peace with being poor. In fact I don’t mind my lack of money most of the time, I probably just need to manage what I’ve got more effectively (damn jargon word). But in saying these things I’m letting myself off the hook for not writing. And I must write, otherwise I’m wasting everything I’ve achieved so far and using it simply to coast, and while you can coast at work you shouldn’t coast through life.


An Adventuresome Weekend

June 16, 2008

Is what I have just finished having. I am quite sad it’s over, it was going well for a while there and the discovery of elderflower liqueur was a great one. The other great discovery was that there is a reason for the new series of Gladiators: it makes a fantastic drinking game. The rules were to drink when someone strikes a pose, says something cheesy or fails utterly. It was phenomenal.

I have not seen the Hulk movie that came out a few years back because I was busy inhaling paint thinner but did tag along with the gang to see this new one. I think you would get a similar experience if you went to see a cage fight while listening to a premium rate chat line. The movie is literally all fight/chase/fight scenes interspersed with moments of breathy dialoge from Liv Tyler who sounds like she’s been bricked in the face. As much as she sounded like a retard it also bugged me that soldiers were constantly moving her round calling her ‘miss’ when as daughter of the general they would all have known that her name was DR Ross. Nothing like respect in the army…

After the weekend’s overly full house (in which I was seventh in line for the throne, godsdamnit) we are now down to a more reasonable number, in exchange for a guest we have lost one of the housefolks who has run away to join the army. Whether he’ll come back in one piece or not is unknown – I’m not sure if he is adequately prepared for the rigours of the marines’ fitness test so I hope he doesn’t die. Before he left he played me a recording of a poem called ‘You can’t’ by someone who I think spells her name Salena Duggens. It’s a fantastic poem expressing distain for the widespread apathy infecting the nation. I loved it muchly but I don’t know where it came from and my very basic websearches have yielded nothing.

I am feeling poor at the moment. I must do things to improve my situation – all I’ve managed in the last year is to take about 700 off my overdraft which isn’t very much and it is almost the birthingsday of significant other and in order to make a fitting tribute I may have to dent that again. I hate to have to be concerned with money. The lowest point of my poverty when I was a student without loan money and hadn’t landed a summer job yet (which had to start in april I was that poor) was when I realised I had almost worn through the ass of my trousers and it was really cold (too cold for skirts, of which I had two) but couldn’t afford to buy new trousers, even primark trousers, because I had only just enough money for modest food. It sounds daft, oh no, no trousers for me today, I was hardly homeless or without support if I’d needed it, but the first time you look at your budget and think wow, I do kinda need this but if I got it I can’t have food, it really freaks you out and gives you a little taste of what it’s like to really be poor. Now I know I spend a little too much on what I like, particularly in the supermarket, because I hated the feeling of restriction. I could be creating savings but instead I am eating my money as a reassurance that I can afford that luxury. It’s probably time I got over that feeling, at least to make my use of food more efficient.