I've got a Christmas compilation CD on at the moment and Mariah Carey is singing "All I Want for Christmas is You." Well, it would be nice to have my husband for Christmas and for the rest of my life ... I thought that was the general plan when you got married.
The old house been up for sale for over two years now, and we've dropped the price several times, to the extent that if it sold today we'd be now be worse off than we were before we moved. I'd been made redundant so we had a nice bit of cash that it seemed foolish in these days of low interest to leave sitting around in the bank. I'd budgeted and struggled to pay off the original mortgage before I was finished by my employers - we never had big holidays, just voluntary work at beer festivals and the occasional long weekend. We don't do fancy clothes or expensive meals out, I like history books and the OH likes beer and we get along fairly simply.
Our Lives: Beer Escalator Lobby, CAMRA What Pub? Database, Great British Beer Festival,
Open University, Beer Festival at Elsecar Heritage Railway, Beer Festival at Milton Hall,
World War One Soldiers' stories and talks, Experience Barnsley and Barnsley Archives
The maths of the transaction worked out so well two years ago. Which is where the delusional bit comes in ... we thought the old house would sell eventually, we weren't stupidly confident, we had a two year plan. The sale of the old house would pay for the rest of the new house, and leave enough for some improvements including a modern kitchen and in the meantime the payments on the interest only mortgage are much cheaper than lots of people have to pay in rent, so we are lucky really (more self-delusion ...)
But that's gone and past now, we are into phase two, which is fairly desperate. I can't work any more and don't get any benefits or allowances. If it wasn't for my mum's generosity I wouldn't have been able to enrol on my last two Open Uni modules. The garden has been stripped of Mrs B's shrubs and bulbs, but the raised beds are only made of old scaffolding planks and are beginning to rot. I've been very grateful for it this year, lots of carrots, green beans, onions and strawberries. We still have a few leeks and parsnips to pull. But with the OH living in the other house I have to do all the gardening and other household thingys ... and I get tired so easily. And it's lonely by myself.
People have suggested we rent the old house out - but it wouldn't bring in enough to pay the mortgage and I really hate the idea of other people wrecking my lovely kitchen and the carpets and curtains which we left there. I don't think I could cope with the stress of worrying about the cost of repairs and redecorations and damage and so on. The council offered to lease it from us for ten years (part of their Empty Homes policy) for £1,000 a year - well that wouldn't pay the mortgage either!
This morning I woke at 6am (the cat - you all know about the cat by now I'm sure) and couldn't get back to sleep. I read Facebook and Twitter and watched a really sad video about the effects of the Work Capability Assessment on people with mental health problems. I'm not so badly off I know, but some days I just get very down about it all.
Am I clever? If I was so clever I'd be able to think of a way out of this. Or should I just carry on regardless, living for the day and not over thinking the whole thing. I wish I could afford to go to the pub ... that used to be my answer to everything twenty years ago ... I wish I had a local to go to! You see, there I go again - overthinking the problem and putting obstacles in the way of even going for a beer.
Ah, well. Soon be Christmas! Hmmm?!