Life is full of surprises isn’t it? You would think by my age I would have seen it all by now but no like everyone else there is always something to surprise. Speaking of age and all that comes with growing old I can say I am becoming a victim, if that is the right word, of it. According to one theory we begin the downward slope of deterioration once we are beyond the age of twenty-one. Until that age we evidently continue to grow. Obviously twenty-one is only an approximation though I remember noticing small things happening to me at around about that age which would seem to support the theory. Physical ability and strength are usually the first things one notices which begin to deteriorate. We simply cannot do things as we once were able to. Oh yes we can do them though often more slowly or with less strength but as the years pass even that sometimes dwindles away to nothing. We begin to forget things as we age.
”Note that in this diagram, sensory memory is detached from either form of memory, and represents its development from short term and long term memory, due to its storage being used primarily on a “run time” basis for physical or psychosomatic reference. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Though I still have an excellent long-term memory recent events sometimes elude me. I can remember events from forty, fifty, sixty years ago, even further back in some instances which were part of my life. Often though I forget events which are very recent, months, weeks, days and even hours ago disappear from my thoughts. I would guess I first noticed poor short-term memory loss around the age of sixty. An example would be my going upstairs either at home or in someone else’s house to collect something and upon getting there no remembering what it was I was collecting! I have a poor memory when it comes to people’s names though faces I do remember. Where I had seen the face is usually forgotten though. What has all this to do with a dining room? No, I haven’t forgotten…….honestly! I was up in my bedroom a few days ago searching for something to wear and inside the wardrobe I noticed a cardboard box on the shelf. That in itself isn’t unusual for I have many boxes and other things in my wardrobes besides clothing. Wanting to refresh my memory as to the boxes contents I removed it from the shelf and delved inside. I found amongst other things some small plastic bags which I thought E might find useful so I removed them. Whilst doing that I saw a plastic money bag of the type used in banks with something inside it. To my surprise it contained banknotes, two hundred and sixty pounds in twenties, tens and fives. I couldn’t remember when it was I put the bag there or why. There is a small purse in the same wardrobe in which I keep banknotes and it has a similar amount in it but I know what that money is for. This separate bag of money I must have placed there for a rainy day as the saying goes but I had forgotten about it completely. It must have been there for more than a year waiting for me to use. I took a trip to the bank and deposited most of it. With the remainder I took E out to lunch. That is where the dining room comes into the story. We drove into town and went to the plush Bold Hotel restaurant for our meal. https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g191255-d568615-i180703826-The_Bold_Hotel-Southport_Merseyside_England.html
More walking about on Monday….I could get used to this! I extended my usual walk of two to three miles and did five instead, something more like the distances I used to do a couple of years back. I used to regularly walk eight to ten miles then but I was younger and was working many hours each week then. For many years I went running, doing four miles each day and often eight or sixteen miles each week too but I gave up running about eighteen years ago. Actually running isn’t as good as it is made out to be and isn’t good for the joints and spine. Brisk walking is safer and just as good for the heart and general health as far as exercise is concerned. Running certainly builds up stamina though and is good for improving blood circulation. I always found it exhilarating and I could feel the beneficial effects of a long run for many hours afterward. A brisk walk has a similar though lesser effect. Anyway, I was nearly finished my walk and noticed something on top of a perimeter wall surrounding a nearby apartment block. It was a debit card. I examined it and found it to be a recent issue so not an old one someone might have discarded, if indeed anyone would discard such a thing by leaving it on a wall. It was issued by the Santander Bank to someone addressed as ‘Miss…’.
No doubt she would have been terrified at the thought of someone using it illegally and emptying her account in the process. People should be more careful with their credit and debit cards and indeed all their financial affairs. I took it home and showed it to E. and we agreed to take the journey into town immediately and hand it in to the branch of that bank, the only one in the district. Bank branches are getting thinner on the ground and soon there might not be any at all! Having done our good deed for the day I took E out-of-town to lunch. We spent the remainder of the afternoon out on the patio whilst the sun was still shining. Tuesday promised rain once more.
It Ain’t My Fault (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Was I going to get Friday (9th) all to myself? Well sort of. I managed a little bit of a lie-in for a change though even then I was up and dressed well before eight-thirty. I had no work so I decided I would walk into town and deposit some more cash at the bank before it started to burn a hole in my purse! I had just finished breakfast when someone called to ask if I could check why their shower wasn’t working. I was free so I agreed to drive there and sort out the problem. The drive took me to another town which doesn’t have a branch outlet of my bank so I would have to wait until I could drive back home before making my deposit. The fault with the shower lay in the ceiling pull-switch which had jammed open, an unrepairable internal fault meant it would need replacing. I carry several types of switches in my van stock so I was able to effect an immediate replacement and was soon driving back to my own town. I parked the van in the same road I always park in when I have to visit the town centre but only wish to walk part-way there. The bank uses machines for making deposits so I took out the bank notes and placed them into the receptacle for the machine to count and verify them but half were rejected as being unrecognisable! They were all twenty pound notes £500 worth. I walked over to the girl at the help desk and she tried them in another machine with success. I could have done the same thing myself but at the time no other machine was available and I had thought that maybe there was an actual problem with some of the notes and perhaps they were forgeries. It wasn’t my fault was it? It would be quite possible after all for my customers pay in cash (I won’t accept cheques) and who knows where they got them from? There are forgeries at large. Anyway all was put right and the deposit was made. Now I have known this ‘girl’ for quite a few years but actually she is a middle-aged woman. We took a little time to catch up with each other’s news. She told me she was dreading the introduction of tablets for the staff to use when assisting customers. We ended up chatting about technology and the way it is beginning to take over our lives. She and I are both of the same opinion it seems for we both hate it, technology that is. I mentioned ‘the sign of the end times’ when nobody would be able to purchase anything or conduct any business unless they had on them the mark of the beast (which is metaphorically 666). In other words if we haven’t fallen in line with the ‘system’ we will be outcasts. On the other hand God says that whoever has the mark of the beast upon them will be cast out of His presence too. People may not see the future but future has its beginnings in the present. She actually informed me that it is planned that access to banking facilities will one day all be carried out on a smart phone to which I replied, ‘What if you haven’t got or don’t want a smart phone’? Get my drift? We also chatted about Christmas and the hype that surrounds it nowadays. It is surprising what you can chat about in five minutes isn’t it? I had to let her get back to her work but not until she had provided me with the bank’s contact number for their special services. I had told her that I wasn’t impressed with the bank having closed their branch in my village for it meant an inconveniently long trek into town to make deposits. On my way back through town to collect my vehicle I walked through the high street church grounds as they are open to the public and was approached by a lady running the church stall outside the church building. She wanted to know if I had ever used their cáfe to which I replied I had. She wanted to press upon me a couple of tickets for free drinks but I refused them. She then mentioned something about Christmas but I told her that although I was a Christian too I didn’t celebrate it. She was taken a little aback at that while I continued to say that nothing that was on her display, Christmas tree, decorations, wreaths etc. had anything to do with Christ, it was all heathen symbolism. She didn’t have a reply as I bade her farewell. Maybe she (a sister in Christ) will have something to think about in the weeks ahead. When I returned home I phoned the number I was given in the bank and I was able to register to have the branch of the Post Office in my village receive deposits on behalf of my bank. They will send me a book of deposit slips which I will receive in due course. It will mean I will no longer have to walk all the way into town just to put money in the bank. After lunch I received two calls for my electrical services, one I took on board but the other I rejected as it would involve too much work. The one I took on was for another of my regular customers and I would do that work on Saturday morning. I wanted to accommodate them by working on a Saturday because they had a very busy schedule ahead of them. It would be nice to see them again anyway. After their call I drove off to the electrical supplier to purchase a few items and that about summed up the day.
The AA – Back in the Day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A few weeks ago I received a letter from my motoring organisation, the AA, informing me that the bank details they had with which to pay my membership renewal were now invalid. This happens when a card has been replaced by my bank. I was to call them nearer to the date of renewal with my new card details. Around about the same time as I received that letter I received one from the Inland Revenue Service showing an estimate of revenue due for payment in January. I was pottering around the house on Monday morning with nothing to do so I phoned my local newspaper to make arrangements for cancelling my advertisement over the Christmas and New Year period as it would be pointless advertising during the holiday. I do this every year but somehow still get one or two jobs anyway. Not long after I received a call from a guy living in the next town asking if I could install some replacement light units. I jumped at the chance as I had no work scheduled until the following day. I was away from the house for about two hours and on my return I saw that E had left my post on the stand in the hallway. We place post there so that it can easily be seen. Obviously the postman had called whilst we were out. E had taken our neighbour to her hospital appointment as she is reluctant to drive herself because of the treatment she receives. E was already eating lunch as she had to go out again. I had the rest of the day to myself but first I made myself a snack. After lunch I opened the letter from the tax office, this time it was my statement showing the actual amount of tax due. A few clicks on the computer and I had the payment done. Then I noticed the letter from the AA where I had placed it to remind me to action it. Funny how we forget things isn’t it? I had forgotten but no doubt would have been reminded anyway as I had put the letter in a prominent position. I telephoned their office and gave them the new card details, the membership renewal date is mid January. I like to get things out-of-the-way as early as I can as I don’t like having debts hanging over my head. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw my tax bill, it hadn’t been as much as I had first thought.
Nothing special to report by way of that surprise except that I received a request for my services on Friday morning when I had expected I would be having a day with nothing to do. It was one of several small jobs I have been offered lately just as I needed in order to rebuild my disposable funds. The work itself involved finishing work a builder/electrician had not completed having been asked many times to do so. This I have found happens quite a lot and I wonder why jobs are not properly completed promptly. No doubt the builder has started another project and now hasn’t the time to complete the first one. Personally I think that is a despicable practice. Anyway I did the work and was paid and better still it has led to other work at the same house.
Please Teacher! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The lady of the house was a teacher, is a teacher and an accomplished artist who teaches young children at a local school. She’d gotten the day off work and had decided to search for an electrician who would finally get the much-needed work completed. I was the fortunate person she chose having seen my advertisement as a local female electrician. She told me she was tired of waiting for male electricians to turn up! How nice for me. We got on very well and it was very pleasant working for her. She showed me several of her paintings and very impressive they were too. She told me she once displayed many paintings in galleries in London and Brighton, places where she used to live at one time. Many of the subjects were based upon famous sayings like ‘High hopes’, a picture of an ant carrying a leaf from an enormous rubber plant close by. Another picture showed two bare feet walking over a floor covered with egg shells and one of a woman with a head scarf inside of which were many bees. I’ll let you work those two out. There were others too. It had been a lovely sunny morning on Friday which was fortunate too as some of the work had been outdoors. It went cloudy during the afternoon but by then I was already back home relaxing.
Credit card (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Well Tuesday lived up to the forecast it was given, wet, windy and cooler, a typical Autumn day. The season begins in earnest but I’ve an inkling the weather won’t stay that way for already the weather people are saying it will get milder for a while. It makes no difference to me, unless I wish to work outdoors but even then it would depend on what I wanted to do. I had no work for the day but had to go out anyway to make deposits and donations and to buy fuel for the van. I had intended to slip in a little shopping but I changed my mind and left that for another day. When I got back home I spent some time on the computer shuffling money about between accounts and at the same time I logged in to my credit card provider account to see how much I had spent. As I have a direct debit set up to make the payment I have to ensure money is available in the relevant current account when the card provider wants paying. Usually the procedure is straightforward but on this occasion I made one error when filling in a piece of information on the log-in page and immediately my access was denied. Now I am all for on-line security, it is absolutely necessary in these evil times but I wasn’t given the opportunity to re-submit the details. I had to make a telephone call to arrange for the account to be unblocked. That took some time but it was a frustrating few minutes trying to understand what they wanted of me but I finally got there. I don’t know how they have the patience! In essence I was given a new customer number and I had to input a new password number and verify it though I had to use the telephone I was using to connect with them to do that. They think of everything when it comes to possible fraud. Once that was done I had to erase old signing-in information and save the new information on my automatic data input site account. All that for making one small error when signing in. It was lunchtime but before I could have lunch the house phone rang. The call was from an elderly lady I had worked for in the past and she was calling to ask if I would do a small job for her. I arranged to go in the afternoon and after lunch.
Automatic teller machines in Hong Kong Category:Bank of China (Hong Kong) Photo credit: Wikipedia
I don’t usually need an excuse to go for a walk, I like walking but on Tuesday I had no choice, I had to visit the bank in town. The bank is a mere one and a quarter miles or so from home and it was a pleasant and sunny day, just right for a walk. When I take my walks they are usually much further but this time I had a handbag with me, something I almost never take with me when out walking so it was a case of carrying out my business and then returning straight home. I could go for a longer walk after lunch. On Monday I received a cheque in the post for the grand sum of ten pounds! An organisation I subscribe to run a monthly draw and my number came up as a winner. The prizes range much higher than that, into the thousands but alas I missed out this time. Still ten pounds can buy a decent meal in many restaurants. My winnings could have been credited to my bank directly but that would mean my bank details if stored electronically might be vulnerable so they send out cheques instead. I had to visit the bank in any case as I had a few hundred pounds in bank notes which needed depositing too. I generally receive payments from my customers in cash and I wait a few weeks until I have a substantial amount to deposit. My bank now encourages the use of their machines to carry out deposits and of course withdrawals too. Unless other business which cannot be transacted using the machines needs to be conducted there is little reason to speak to staff. First I had to deposit the cheque but the machine wouldn’t accept it even after a couple of attempts so I made the cash deposits instead. I had to call for assistance to get the cheque processed. This time I was successful but I have no idea why. Maybe the machine was afraid of the staff! Banking this way is so impersonal I feel and one day in the future I know there will be no such thing as paying a visit to the bank, all transactions will be done at a machine which doesn’t necessarily need to be in a bank! If prophecy is true there will be no such thing as cheques or folding money in the future. Perish the thought I say but that’s the way we seem to be heading. It might seem like progress to some people but I am not one of them. The walk was nice though!
…………….and easy go. This has been the story of my finances these past few months, I earned the money and it was immediately spent on my domestic projects. I am happy to report that very little of my savings has been spent which is a good thing. I haven’t completely finished spending though. On Friday morning I had one electrical job amd after lunch I continued to finish the plastering I had begun a couple of days earlier. I had been repairing the damage to the ceiling and wall in one of the rooms at the top of the house which had been caused by the ingress of rain water through the roof. I found I needed some more plaster to finish the job so E and I went to buy the extra plaster but ended up buying other things too. E had wanted some bird seed and an extra feeder to hang beneath the bird table we had bought a week ago. We decided to buy a bedside table lamp for use in the small bedroom whilst we were in the spending mood. The money I had earned at the job I did in the morning covered the cost of everything we had purchased with some to spare. They had effectively cost me nothing. When we got back home I plugged in the lamp but I couldn’t see a switch on it with which to turn it on. I switched on the wall socket switch and the lamp didn’t work. It wasn’t faulty however, I hadn’t realised it was designed that way as it came on as soon as I touched it. I didn’t know it was touch-sensitive operated unit! We had bought the lamp because of its weight and its looks, its weight so that it would be less likely to be knocked off the table! I had plans to finish the plastering on Saturday or Monday depending on whether it was dry enough to skim it over. I am not a plasterer by any stretch of the imagination but I can say I am getting better at it and the work looks professional compared to my first attempt many years ago. I am not afraid to try new things and the only way to learn is to do it! That approach has saved me thousands of pounds over the years and has made me capable of doing many things in the process. Some tasks though I leave to those more capable. Well I can’t be good at all things!
An example of 2,000 cheque given to people (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
After the previous day’s debacle and time-wasting I wasn’t sure what to expect on Tuesday. I had arranged to drive to the same little township I had been to the day before but this time I had been asked to sort out a problem with someone else’s electrical supply to their shower. It turned out to be a faulty pull-cord switch which I duly replaced. I wasn’t there too long before I was off home again and a little financially better off. I was thinking about my finances in general and especially my expenditure and how I was to fund the roof repairs and the bedroom refurbishment without having to dig into my main savings account. The money in there has been set aside for specific purposes and I don’t want to use it for current needs. One of the things I pray for occasionally is for The Lord to provide for my needs and the needs of my family and He has never let me down. I remember a shortfall I had some years ago and wondered how I was going to meet it. God provided me with the exact amount I needed a few days later! When I arrived back home on Tuesday morning I collected the mail that had been pushed through the letter box. One item was an outreach leaflet from the Jehovah’s Witnesses regarding salvation. I gave it a quick read as I always do but discarded it as I am a Christian believer. Their doctrine differs from mainstream Christianity as do many other groups and churches so we believe in different things. Anyhow amongst the other mail items was one marked ‘important’ and it was addressed to me. Inside was some literature regarding some shares I hold with an accompanying cheque for £2162. Now that was a lovely and unexpected surprise and will more than cover the cost of the roof repairs with something left over. E drove me to the bank so that I could deposit the cheque in my account and then we drove to a nearby town for lunch. We had not been out for lunch for quite some time as we wanted to save the cash for the roof repairs and the bedroom refurbishment. The venue was somewhere we had only visited a couple of times before. The meal was excellent and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there before returning home.
Windy & Breezy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It was a very windy day on Tuesday. The day had started rather miserably with intermittent rain but soon after lunch it became bright and sunny at times. It was all we could hope for as more windy and rainy hours had been the forecast for the following day. Considering the time of year the weather has been very mild so we cannot complain.Things around here are slowly getting back to normal but I feel progress isn’t what it should be. I am waiting for the time when I can concentrate on my projects but that can’t happen whilst I am catering to the needs of those I am employing to work for me. In other words I am waiting for my house back. Don’t misunderstand, I will do the work I have to do, it’s just that I like to have the time all to myself in order to do them. I am trying my best to break through and make headway just like the sun is trying to outshine the dullness, the wet and windy weather. I have been rather fortunate over the last few weeks in that I have had plenty of offers of work, most of which I accepted and therefore have accumulated quite a sum of money in the process. It will of course fund the building work that has been going on though I am not yet sure just how much the roof repairs will cost me but I am hoping I shall have earned something toward that cost in the meantime without having to delve yet again into my savings. I am trying my best to do so. I was sitting at home late on Tuesday afternoon when I received a call from my local newspaper‘s advertisement department reminding me that my payment would be due in a week or so. Usually they wouldn’t call early but they are in the process of updating their computer system and would be unable to process my payment when it is due unless I would favour them by making the payment a week earlier. I agreed to do so but had to give them the details from another debit card from which they could take the funds. The card I normally use unfortunately has no more credit available on it until the present debt is cleared. The funds are sitting in my bank account waiting to be removed when the Direct Debit is activated. I am trying hard to keep things moving along and thankfully I think I am succeeding and it is getting brighter each day.
End or Limit switch on canal lock (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have learned over the years that life is a constant battle with things going wrong. I am referring to material things here. We do our best to stay ahead and if we make provisions we get by. I know people who don’t bother to save much for emergencies and end up getting into debt when something they need suddenly fails. I have always been a saver. I don’t like the idea of having unexpected problems happening that cannot be resolved due to a lack of funds and that is one reason I put aside funds. Whilst I have been able to lay money aside I have done so. It is annoying though to have saved money for a specific reason and suddenly having to divert those funds or part of them when some unforseen calamity rears its head. Such is life I say. I had a busy day on Thursday and in the afternoon I went to install a couple of replacement lighting fittings in a house a few miles away. Normally quite a simple job but problems can make it less so. I had been told that one of the original fittings hadn’t worked for some time and when I checked it out I discovered there was no live supply when the switch was on. That meant removing the switch to see if there was a supply to it. There wasn’t. It had been difficult removing the switch because the fixing screws had seized up but I finally managed it. I had therefore to find out why there was no supply. The lady of the house was beginning to think that the price was going to rise but I soon discovered the problem and carried on with the work. The job had taken me longer than I had expected and it was late in the afternoon by the time I could return home. I was feeling tired. When I arrived home I operated the remote control to open the garage door and as it was by now dark I expected the internal garage light to come on as the door opened fully but it didn’t switch on. It is wired in such a way that in hours of darkness the light will automatically switch on whenever the main door is opened but not do so if it is still daylight. I thought perhaps that the limit switch had not been pressed as the top of the door reached it and indeed that was the case. The reason it hadn’t had been due to the fact that the tensioning spring on that side of the door had failed. The steel connecting cable had snapped. At first I thought it had simply come off the guide pulley but it hadn’t. It is an easy job to replace the cable but the one on the other side of the door would have to be done too. I knew at that point that my labours for the day would now all be spent on repairing the door! I called the door specialist and made arrangements for its repair. Before the door was converted to automatic operation I used to do all the mechanical repairs on it but unless it is something menial I now leave it to others.
Punch cartoon (1907); illustrates the unpopularity amongst Punch readers of a proposed 1907 income tax by the Labour Party in the United Kingdom. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Yesterday happened to be the beginning of a new tax year for those in the UK. Naturally that means the end of the 2014 to 2015 tax year (financial year) and the time for me to collate all my business account figures to make ready my self-assessment tax return. It isn’t that difficult, in fact it has become easier for me now that I don’t submit a full tax return but what is termed a ‘short form’. That doesn’t mean I pay less tax, it simply means that my tax return form is less complicated because I have a limited turnover. It is still a little boring though having to collect all the information and submit it but I do it a little at a time and after a few days it is ready. I don’t submit the form immediately but give myself a little more time in order to check that my figures are correct. So today, Tuesday, is the first working day for me in the new tax year and already I have a couple of jobs scheduled. I remember this time last year when I had thoughts of making that year my last but as things were going so well I forgot the idea, in fact this past financial year has been my best for quite some time since I started self-employment. The last couple of years prior were not so good, not only because I did less but because I had been occupied working at home more often. I also had a few weeks off due to illness too. I just hadn’t the time to do as much electrical work as I have been able to do this last financial year. Having said that I still managed to fit in the refurbishment of our main bathroom and dig out that now infamous ‘mound’ in the garden! I have had that many offers of work I have had to turn down much of it. Maybe that’s why I am so tired! How long into this year I will continue to work I have no idea but if things go well I have an idea I might be doing the same thing next year as I am doing right now, filling out another tax return. I could be doing that on-line if the government’s plans go ahead (see below).
I have always had a steady flow of work since becoming self-employed back in September 1997. Prior to that time I worked for others and in my last job doing that the workload had become minimal and the routine checks I had to make on equipment became tedious and boring. My colleague and I were well on top of things and little needed to be done to maintain things. I left that employment at just the right time it seems. What actually happened was my employer was streamlining the industry (asset stripping) and encouraging those who were of suitable age and thereby could retire voluntarily to do so. I was of suitable age and because the terms were so favourable I chose to take early voluntary retirement on a full pension with the added bonus of a ‘golden handshake‘, a tidy lump sum. That lump sum and the fact that I was ensured a monthly income from my pension with immediate effect meant that I could continue working as a self-employed person. I have never looked back since that day and in fact my fortunes took a turn for the better. Over the years since then my workload has been steady and often too much at times for me to handle. Gradually I have wound things down and no longer take on projects I consider too much for me to do at my age.
The strange thing is there still is plenty of work I am able to do, small jobs that no-one else seems to be able to fit into their schedule or perhaps are not interested in doing. I did one such job on Thursday morning. I had to disconnect and remove a hard-wired bell circuit and replace it with a wireless type. Next, I had to replace a light unit on an outside wall and finally replace the base box (called a pattress) beneath a power outlet in the garage as it had been broken. Simple little jobs yes but nevertheless financially rewarding. I also discovered that a plug-in type of RCD unit they had been using whenever they used their electric lawnmower was faulty. They told me that they had used it for years and I asked if they ever tested it before use. It appears they hadn’t even though printed on the unit are instructions to do so. The test simply involves pushing the device’s test button! I thought to myself why have a safety device and never test it to see if it is working? As for the work I do, the way I look at it is this, if I am continuing to work I might as well get paid for it! Whilst at the house I received phone calls asking for my services. So despite there being no work on some days there is enough to keep me going, to tide me over as it were.
The Debt (2011 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A couple of weeks ago I posted something about my son’s car being sold. This car, a Lexus, was personally owned by him but as he now has use of a car provided by his employer he has no use for it. I say ‘was personally owned’ for on Friday he phoned us to say that he was coming over to arrange the sale of the car. He had been let down by the four would-be purchasers who each claimed they wanted the car but this time it looked as though someone was seriously interested. However when they arrived at our house to view the car they back-pedalled on the price after agreeing what they would pay. Sadly they left and I thought my son had again been let down. Whilst having a meal he asked us what we thought and I told him to accept the slightly reduced offer. A few minutes later the interested party returned and the deal was struck. He allowed them to drive the car away once the money had been transferred to his bank account. Over the years I have been very generous to my sons, bailing them out with ‘temporary’ cash loans but never accepting repayment from them. A month or so ago my youngest had not been paid his monthly salary and he needed a loan. I obliged as I usually do and he told me he would repay me once the car had been sold. There is an outstanding debt on the car which he will have to clear with some of the cash he received. I think he was expecting that I would take the repayment from him but I told him to forget the debt which I am sure he was relieved to hear. He works hard and I know he and his girlfriend are only just getting on their feet whilst paying off their debts. Things are slowly improving for them so I wouldn’t wish to make their lives more difficult. I am happy to help them, both of my sons, for I know how hard it is these days to get by. When I was their age life was much easier but nowadays things are not the same. The recession hasn’t helped those starting out on their own and I cannot see much of an improvement for some time yet. Now my son is just waiting for the cash transfer to clear, a couple of days is all it takes and then we can say the car has finally gone forever. His girlfriend has booked a week’s break for the two of them in Barcelona and by the time this is published they will already be there as the went on Sunday. I think it was by way of a treat for his birthday on the 10th.
Waiting for relief checks during Great depression. Calipatria, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Life is a waiting game. We spend many hours in our lives waiting for one thing or another to happen, We may not realise it but waiting promotes patience and patience promotes peace. We may not like having to wait for certain things but often we have no choice. Stuck in a line of traffic waiting for it to move can be infuriating especially if we have an appointment to keep but there is little we can do about that except start out on our journey earlier. Many think their urgency is the problem of others and get annoyed if the rest of us take little notice. Waiting for other people who might not be as reliable as ourselves as far as time-keeping is concerned can step up the anxiety in us unless we can remain at peace with it all. Those amongst us who seem to have no sense of urgency in their lives are our children. We have to keep on top of things and take control in some circumstances. Of course many children expect things to be done for them at home. It takes a disciplined heart to negotiate around that one. As they grow we expect more independence on their part and more responsibility for their own lives and by and large that is what happens. Once in a while they may return for help, perhaps some physical assistance with something or financial help to get them out of a problem or situation. I don’t remember ever having to rely on parental help once I flew the nest. Not so with my own children. It may be a sign of the times and probably is. Job prospects and salaries may not be as they once were when I started out in life. Both my sons have asked for financial assistance a couple of times, one more so than the other and I have obliged. What they both need, apart from better jobs, is a little spare cash for a rainy day. One of my sons is currently saving as much as he can for a deposit on a house so he will have such a pot of money to fall back on. The other son it seems hasn’t been able to save much and when something out of the blue happens he has to rely on my generosity. That has happened a few times over the last five years or so. It happened again on Saturday when I had to deposit some cash in his account to tide him over. The father of his boss has just died and for some reason that has affected my son’s salary getting paid on time. He hadn’t that financial cushion he should have by now. I encourage him to save something each month even if it is a small amount. Either his situation won’t allow a small amount of saving or he just doesn’t know how to save. Maybe he just spends too much. So I have been patiently waiting for better times in the lives of my children. It is a good thing that I save when I can isn’t it?