Sunday, 21 October 2012

Something will turn up...

The Micawbers
Mrs Micawber is a bit of a literary heroine to me.  For those not familiar, Mrs Micawber is the long suffering and supportive wife of Wilkins Micawber in the Dickens novel 'David Copperfield'.  Wilkins Micawber is an eternal optimist.  He's always struggling financially but remains recklessly cheerful - his punchline always being: 'Something will turn up!'  Here's the connection for me to dear old Mrs Micawber for although L is indeed The Wonderful Man, he is also very much the optimist.  Entrepreneurial to the core he has followed every 'get rich' scheme and enterprise, never doubting for a moment its long-term success.  Consequently, it's either feast or famine in the Macfennell household as each plan results in the first flush of profit and then the downward trend once the novelty and usefulness of such an endeavour has worn off.  Currently, we are definitely in more of a lean period, not quite a famine in the biblical 'plague of locusts' kind of way, but certainly a time of tightening our belts and economising.

I like the idea of economising rather than the reality. In my 'fluffy world' (more of this in another post)  economising makes me think of the good life and all the positive adjectives attributed to people who care more about their spiritual well-being than the materialistic.  I start off with excellent thrifty intentions involving DIY and 'upcycling' (I love this neologism, don't you, the idea of of re-using and re-purposing the old into something new and improved...if only you could do this with people!)  The problem is that I don't really possess any DIY skills, my sewing sucks and I do not feel inspired to make my own cleaning solutions with baking soda and lemon, possibly because I don't feel inspired to actually clean the house either.  In my experience I have found people who harp on about how they have stopped using expensive shampoos and soaps, and how they make their own deodorant from a stone or cut their own hair, a bit weird (and quite often a bit smelly).

Our efforts at economising have taken a comical turn.  We decided, for example, to cut down on our alcohol consumption.  You would have thought that this can only be a healthy decision but once you know that you cannot have your requisite glass of wine it becomes an issue.  I found myself like some kind of fallen-off-the-wagon AA member searching through the cupboards for something more interesting and adult than water or milk.  I chanced upon a bottle of champagne, obviously being saved for an 'occasion' and decided there and then that desperation was occasion enough.  The following morning my coffee was accompanied by two paracetamol.  L and I do not on the whole drink spirits but we found ourselves looking deep into the recesses of the drinks cabinet and indulging in a tasting session.  We ruled out the Baileys (it had lumps) and decided that two bottles of a peculiar Danish schnapps sort of thing had to go as we had no idea how it was meant to taste and whether it was meant to be that cloudy.  This left us with various whiskeys, some with tombola tickets still attached, and a bottle of vodka left over from New Year.  

We extended our alcohol limitation exercise to our food consumption also.  Surely, there must be money to be saved by living off the contents of our freezer for a while.  All this exercise led to was a number of searching questions:  how long exactly can you keep salmon frozen for? Can chicken nuggets be 'upcycled' into something more sophisticated? Is that bolognaise, lasagne or shepherds pie in the tupperware and, more importantly, why is it not possible to tell the difference?!

There have been benefits though, especially this last week when the smell of L's homemade bread wafts up the stairs like a sensory alarm clock in the morning or family visits to our fantastic local library rather than one-click ordering on Amazon.  My car has stayed parked in front of the house and I have enjoyed being at home and having more time to look around our cosy abode and appreciate what we do have.  I know too that something will indeed turn up soon and we can stock up again on the non-essentials and the downright hedonistic.

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