So, when you think things are going along not too badly, you loosen up, and you do dumb things.
This weekend, with funds lowish, but with Neil starting a new painting job in Bath on Monday for good money, I came over all picky and bought some organic flour, and a few other organic/eco friendly staples.
This evening, his car died. It’s currently in a car park outside a pub somewhere, and goodness alone knows how we will get it towed out of there.
We can’t afford to fix it, or replace it, and we can’t afford not to.
This lesson is long in the learning, it’s not over when the patient is breathing unassisted, it’s over when he’s ready to walk out of the door and go home.
In the past months, despite my part time job only taking up two days a week, I haven’t worked hard enough at creating an income from our other resources. Oh I’ve played hard. I’ve joined WWOOF as a host and spent time and money on that. I’ve formed a CIC and applied for a grant. Therein lies another tale.
Last Tuesday as I was pottering around the poultry I suddenly realised with total horror that the Man from the Grant Funding Body was due any minute. I was wearing the contents of the laundry basket and had yet to brush my hair that day. Nothing for it, I searched high and low in the car for a stray hair band, but hair band was there none, so I thought I’d just brazen it out..
When he wasn’t there at the appointed time, I rang his office, and they couldn’t find him either. He didn’t show up, and I had goats to go and feed so I went. An hour later he left a frankly drunk sounding message on my voicemail, saying he’d just got back off leave, and forgot to check his diary. Taking your leave in a distillery will do that to you.
I’ve promoted the CSA (with approximately no success whatsoever) and spent time creating a school program (the Head Teacher is harder to tie down than the Grant Guy.) and talked to the PreSchool.
In short, I am right off plan.
Tomorrow is my long day. Yes, OK, I do know they are all the same length. And at this Vernal Equinox sort of a time they are the same length as the night. Yes indeed. However, Tuesday is the day the girls go straight on to run a kids’ club at church after school, so it’s clear from 9 til 7 usually.
Tomorrow it will be even clearer. Neil will have to take the car, get all the animals done before school take the girls to school, (although I might get to do that while he wrangles with the car problem) and then he will take my car and disappear to
and I will be marooned, alone without a car.
Tomorrow, I will spend half the day, overhauling the system. Out will go the fancy schmancy meals, and back on will come my wartime menu. The budget will be examined. There will be clearance. Some things might make their way onto eBay.
I will spend the other half of the day, God willing, in the garden, and I will be planning to feed my family. All summer long and on into the winter.
It is tiresome, and tearful, and weary making, this endless cyclical lesson we are learning. For years, we pushed aside the idea of the CSA and the Farm, and the School Sessions, and all the amazing things we could do. And then this year, we decided, to go for it. Pull out all the stops. Run for our lives.
We don’t have the capital. Right now, it can’t be done. We need to draw in our horns. So far, on my hit list for discussion at the family meeting:
- The CIC. Kill it before it does anything and causes us endless paperwork
- The CSA – for now. We must still grow as much as we can and sell it somehow.
- School Sessions. The insurance is prohibitive, and the Head is too much like hard work.
- The Grant. I don’t have time for the Grant Guy (who could realistically be called the Hugh Grant Guy – not as attractive but pretty similar to many of his feckless, entitled, public school educated characters)
- Possibly a couple of goats. To good homes.
- Some of the sheep.
- Possibly a pony. Possibly.
It’s time to man up and get back on plan. Dig for Victory. Store, save, put up and hoard. Make Do and Mend. Menu Plans for meals on nothing.
I must seriously consider a return to the Country Markets, and I must seriously consider a return to telephone work. It’s hard, but I want to get out of this now, come what may.