A lot of incidental things have happened since Wednesday. The biggest being that I/we have committed to Cubbly’s for the next 12 months. Committed means that I will work 3.5 days a week, but we have guaranteed periods of holiday which we already have planned (skiing, a trip abroad in Doris in the Spring and 6 weeks in the summer doing China etc with Bex and Steven). Jen and I (with some limited support from C – somebody will need to hold the rest of us together) want to give this a wholehearted go. This came to me when we were slogging through bandana orders on Thursday (didn’t finish until 10 pm), realising that we may be onto something special – bigger than just Jen and me/C sewing a few things here and there.
I think I said last time that we have two women coming along tomorrow to look at whether or not they’re prepared to help out. Taking on gig workers; that’s no small thing. One part of me is excited – another, already exhausted. We’ll give it our best.
Second, we popped to Mum and Dad’s on Friday. Although, to be fair, you can’t ‘pop’ to M&D’s. It’s a 3.5 hour drive on a good day. We weren’t thinking of going until early December, but Mum was in a bit of state. Actually little has changed. Dad is more and more forgetful and pretty inert, but he can be a little aggressive when his frustration comes out. I think the thing is, even with the girls coming in twice a day, Mum is weary. Anyway we’re looking at getting in more support to give Mum more respite. The big move would be putting Dad into a home, which would disassociate him from the family home completely, and, we guess, he would go down hill v quickly. The problem would be Mum who, whilst she says she could cope at home on her own, would hate it. I’m like her. I’m not v good in my own company – that’s one of the reasons I write books – because I feel as though I’m talking to lots of people. She would quickly get bored … and would find herself in a home pretty quickly. And she would not see Dad – or not often. Ho hum.
Finally, a couple of words about how inexpensive the UK is. No, really. I know a lot of people have difficulty making ends meet, but we’ve found the cost of just living continues to surprise us. I spoke a couple of weeks ago about the price of electricity. Well, in the last week, and just by using the web, we have remortgaged a house we own in Wells. It’s 2-year fixed price mortgage which was coming up for renewal. I went on to the mortgage company’s website and, literally, two minutes later I pressed ‘send’ and had signed us up to a 5-year fixed rate which was cheaper than the current rate we were being charged (I think it’s 2.99% no fees, for a buy-to-let). Sorry, but when you’re talking about borrowing thousands and thousands of pounds and you can do that in minutes, without talking to a human – and save money – that works for me.
And yesterday we re-insured our trusty Ford Focus (2006). Hastings wanted £254 – which, in itself, wasn’t bad. However Go Compare pulled out 5 companies for under £160. Twenty minutes later we’d signed up to the RAC with increased mileage and ‘commuting’ on the schedule. Fab.
Oh, and did I tell you about the Focus’s MoT? It went in on Friday. I take it to the County MoT place as they’re not a garage and don’t go out of their way to find things wrong so that they can fix them for you. They can also MoT Doris – as they are one of just a couple of places who can physically squeeze her bulk through their doors. Anyhow, it failed because there was no oil in the sump. Which, by the way, is not an MoT failure. But the guy couldn’t run the engine at high-speed to test the emissions, so he couldn’t pass the car. And we were off to Colchester in an hour to see M&D. Mmmm.
Well, it’s my fault, although having had (allegedly) oil and filter changed exactly a year ago I was a bit surprised that there was no oil in the car. I know, I know, I should check. I do on Doris (who is, as you know, part of the family), but have never thought it necessary on the Focus as …. well, no excuse. Anyhow, 2.5 litres of oil (she only takes 3.2!) later and she’s back at the yard and passes her MoT. There’s a lesson for me. and, maybe, the rest of you. Check your oil once a month!
Books? Still selling, which is good. I plan to finish Chapter 19 of 20 today and have it completed, less prologue and epilogue next weekend. I’m really excited by the ending. It’s going to surprise a few people!