Since I began writing for Quercus I am making more money than before. At one point it was getting to be difficult. I needed a loan. If you do need a loan go to Tesco. I got my loan free. Anyway, it wasn't much and I paid it off and kept the purse strings tightly clasped. I still managed the things I wanted most but when you are a bit tight money wise there are so many things that you really would like if only you could afford it.
So for the past two or three years I've started making a bit more and thinking I really can afford certain things. I love olive oil and good olive oil is mind blowing, it tastes and smells amazing and different areas produce different kinds. M&S do beautiful olive oil. It comes in different shaped bottles. It comes in different colours. It comes from Greece and it comes from France and it comes from Spain and it's all very exciting for those of us who are addicted.
I blithely went into M&S and bought the most exquisite bottle I could find. When I got to the check out the lady looked at it and then she looked at me and then she leaned forward and she said,
'Eh, love, are you sure you want it? It's awfully dear.'
So, I look like I can't afford expensive olive oil. I'm not sure whether it's a good thing or not.
I did notice, the last time I went to a wine merchant, that I was with my daughter and she drives one of these git flashy cars, all new and white and Mercedes and it was big and brash and wow! It filled most of the window. Now my little car, Pumphrey the Panda, was very cheap and is sort of cream mucky coloured since his colour has faded and he's little and narrow and ordinary and I swear to you that I never had the same attention when I came in Pumphrey as we did when we turned up in this giant white splodge.
So I look like I can't afford Moet. This unfortunately is true but I will keep you up to date.
I have been thinking lately that I would like a new bathroom. I have been wanting a new bathroom for a very long time and imagining what it would be like when I had a separate shower room and how much easier when there were two bathrooms, so to speak.
Now I am thinking that if I'm careful this year I can afford to have new bathrooms. For a few hours I was all ready to go and look at these, I got quite excited. And then I remembered what it was like having men in the house day after day pulling furniture out and the idea of having my beautiful cast ir on bath lugged down the stairs. I thought of the mess, the dust, the way that I wouldn't be able to write and how I would have to buy new carpets and possibly after that I would need to have the inside of the house painted and then I would need new towels and I certainly need new bedlinen. It was like a nightmare.
So, I am not having a new bathroom, or new bathrooms or anything beyond the expense of good soap and well laundered towels. I have almost everything a woman could want money wise. They say that if you think money can't buy happiness you are going to the wrong shops and I'm sure it's true. I wouldn't change my Apple computers, my recently restored diamond ring or my library of Trollope novels which enrich my days.
If I could have things otherwise I would like to be able to feed the birds in the garden without the crows running off with everything. I would have the mice there sufficient to eat over the winter so that they don't chomp on my crocuses. But I feel lucky, I have the spring and my caravan to look forward to and my afternoons on my balcony there with Anthony Trollope to keep me company.
If I make a lot of money I think I will probably give it to Water Aid, my favourite charity. I'd like to think I was doing some good. And Guide Dogs for the Blind which is my local favourite charity. In the meanwhile I did go to the Co op earlier and buy some very nice wine which was in clearance and I shall enjoy that and my chicken dinner and my writing and my back garden, where the sun sets and the moon puts in an appearance. Lucky me.