FEBRUARY: Not a bad week really, except for the fact that money was flowing out but not coming in, as February is not a good month for B&Bs. Why is it everyone seems to feel the same about January and February? Most people, like me, seem to have so many bills to pay. The bills go up each year, especially the heating bills. Interest rates are rubbish so what’s the point in saving. February is the month when I get my dear old Skoda taxed and MOT’d. It cost me quite a bit for repairs but it’s been such a good car, it’s worth it and Tim, who sees to it for me, advises me to hang on to it as he says modern cars are a nightmare to repair. It has only let me down twice in 12 years and seems to go forever on a single tank of petrol. This is also the month for having repairs done on the house as no B&B guests are about. So this year, it’s a new kitchen to replace the old one in No 1, which was probably bought into the modern age about 70 years ago with running water and electricity. The big old sink was reluctant to come out and the pipework behind it gave the builder a bit of a turn, but everything is well on the way now.
THE ORCHARD: Olly and his mate came to prune our old orchard, which needed a really good going over. Every year, we have a fruit glut, but maybe this year it will take a rest to recover.
BETTER OFF: So we oldies are better off by £20 per week, according to the newspapers. Could it be that’s because we were taught by our parents to save for a rainy day, even if it was a small amount per week? We were also taught if you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. Also we nearly all had the little boxes for rent, gas, electricity, holidays, Christmas, birthdays etc which all had an allocated amount per week put into them, so never got into debt or owed anyone anything. Anything left over from wages, we could spend on what we called luxuries, like having your hair done, going to the cinema or theatre.
MY COUSIN: Who helps with a food bank in Hove, was recently shocked when one of the clients asked her if she liked his new tattoo, which he had gone up to London to get done and cost £300. Because she is a helper, she is not allowed to comment when on duty, but she said to me how upset she was, because that person gave a bad name to people who were generally desperate to get by day by day.
LARGE SINK: One of the large sinks that I advertised in the Parish Pump last week went very quickly. These sinks are much sought after by the modern generation. The door, which I found out is pine and very old, plus one more sink have yet to go. All money made from them is going to a local Hospice in memory of my mother who died on October 31, 2016.
THE GARDEN: I also have quite a few young bay trees, from a height of about 2ft to 4ft, growing in the garden, which have to come out. As they are so expensive in garden centres, I am quite happy for anyone interested to come and dig up what they need and give me yet again a small donation for the Hospice.
LETTERS: There were some good letters in last week’s Letters’ Page, one from D Myles of Newhaven, another from Jon Gunson of Lewes and another on a subject close to my heart, from Rod Main of Northfield Close, who appears to really understand the plight of the elderly, uninitiated in modern technology. His letter applied to many of the people I know, including me. Things are just moving too fast, with some of us finding it difficult to keep up with. In fact, I am at present bringing some of these subjects up with Care for the Carers, and I would be happy to know others who are having difficulties on this subject. If it is not brought to the authorities’ attention, things will go from bad to worse. For many years now, I have been mentioning in the Parish Pump about the problems, which will affect an older generation if the Government doesn’t get the situation sorted. It appears that yet again my predictions are coming true.
THINGS ARE CHANGING: So much between the young and the old. We had my Grandmother living with us (as did many) and we looked after her for years, as it was the right thing to do, to look after your parents, as they had looked after you. Circumstances now make it difficult for the young to do it as much, because the wives have to work as well as the husbands to support the household, especially with mortgages. Then there are those who do not want to devote their lives to caring for parents because they have grown used to a lifestyle of travel and going out and about, and can’t cope with giving up this freedom. One has to ask will their children look after them in their old age, as children follow in the ways of their parents. I am often astounded how families neglect their own. I am very lucky to have wonderful friends and a family who keep a look out for each other.
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