Well hello everyone... and surprise!
It's a few years later, and I'm in a much different place. Not geographically, yet. But this is where the next stage of this blog is headed.
I've been through some tough things since I was last the Wench. I grew a massive uterine tumour, and survived, following a huge operation. My whole body is scarred, and I wish I could say I'm fine with that, but... not quite yet. I can at least laugh about it though, which you will find out if you listen here. Yep, doing all right with that Apple-charting podcast.
My dad's dementia got worse. He survived so much that could have done for him from falling off buildings, being electrocuted and crushed by massive factory ovens, but eventually it was COVID that got him. It got me and my husband a bit too, and we fought it off, but my body kept fighting and I'm one of the many that picked up hypothyroidism as a result. One of the easier aspects of Long COVID to identify, perhaps. Free prescriptions though now, woo.
This blog is not so much anonymous, as just an alter ego. I'm kind of getting my name a bit too much out there with writing and performing, and there's barely any digging involved to recognise me. But this was started when I wasn't as comfortable as I am now. Trials and tribulations aside, that's just the truth of it.
My crumbling house is now a lot less crumbly as the roof and windows are fixed, and we are most of the way through transforming the Victorian outhouse dunny to a rather nice downstairs loo. Rather handily, my husband's retraining for a new career has given him some skills, and I too am picking up things like tile-cutting and soldering. YouTube is brilliant for that. There's also a lot of decluttering going on, which is just such a lift!
I'm hoping we can get this place looking brilliant - on a budget, and in a reasonable timeframe. As Jane the Frugal Queen said on one of her recent YouTube videos, there are many different types of frugal. This is the one that has come through debt and is now not badly off. When I think about how things were when I first moved to Northampton, it's incredible! Hopefully that's inspirational, but I'm not writing this from the same place as when I started. It does feel a bit weird sometimes, but then I have to remind myself I'm older and childless, so it's kind of normal. I just feel very lucky.
But as I have faced not-quite-death-but-definitely-very-poorly a few times, I recognise that I do have to start facing life as if the working bit of it is on the downward slope towards not being able to work any more and get myself ready for that. Plus I must try not to hasten my demise by working at my current rates constantly.
My ambition is to get this house tip top, then I would like to move somewhere I can start to live very happily indeed. Somewhere in the country! I'm never happier than when walking somewhere green and beautiful, so I want somewhere on my doorstep like that. Lucky as I feel though the only millionaire lifestyle I've got is access to millionaire shortbread, so I will have to budget. Today then, I must look at my plans... got gigs and work travel to factor back in this coming month. I have been socialising mainly outdoors since the restrictions were lifted so I still have to get my head used to buses and air-conditioned offices. I still fear getting sick, despite the double jab. Mainly because my luck is terrible! But also, now I know how my immune system overreacts to viral infections, I don't know if it will go crazy again and just start shutting things down if I'm sick. Easing back to a social life has been hard. I've had panic attacks at gigs - but at least I've started.
The brain is suffering at the mo too because of the hypo, and I keep forgetting things, so I'm hoping writing will reinforce some of the neural pathways required to remember to do stuff in order, and help me budget.
- Plan for every pound.
- Declutter and get cash for it where possible.
- Make time for basic cooking and meal-prep.
- Save for next DIY project.