Apart from having unwisely bought a summer frock for Tim’s party, all is in hand for my weekend away. I should say that Tim invited the Sage too, but he’s otherwise engaged, unfortunately. But there’s something rather nice about a bed to oneself and being able to read all night without disturbing someone if one wants to (saying ‘one’ only works *one-ce* – after that, it becomes horribly artificial, doesn’t it).
The Sage had his mid-year tax demand a couple of days ago. Since I’d completely forgotten that a second payment is due at the end of July and I hadn’t budgeted for it, I was slightly alarmed. Not *that* alarmed because my habit of not overspending is deeply engrained.
In fact, I shall explain it. I never spend more than half the money I have available. I never have – when I first had a Saturday job at the local library when I was 16, I was paid monthly by cheque – I had to open a bank account specially. I’d never received pocket money as a child – I was always grateful for book tokens or cash as presents because it was the only time I ever got my hands on any money. Books were bought for myself, but I saved the money for presents. But this monthly paycheque was awfully exciting. My father had died not long previously, and I felt I had to contribute to the family budget, so I bought a treat each month. A nice meal, some grapes or olives or something like that – my mother wouldn’t have thanked me for chocolate. The rest was mine, but I never spent it all. I made an arbitrary rule that I never spent more than half on any one thing. But I really didn’t earn much, so I didn’t fritter it on cheap stuff either. I usually had to save for two or three months to buy anything – by which time, I usually didn’t need or want it any more. But the thing is, it worked, whether I had a fiver or five shillings – I’d only ever be down to my last penny if I’d only had tuppence in the first place.
Anyway, I can’t remember how much I owe the taxman. I’ll get a bill, but I must look up the papers, just as soon as I remember where I put them. And it was a going to be a case of frisking the back of the sofa and long-neglected handbags in the hope of finding lost change or the odd forgotten tenner, until I opened today’s post. A company I’d forgotten I had shares in has been bought out and I’ve been bought out too. Pity to spend it nearly all on a tax bill, but I’m not too bothered about that. The main thing is, I’ve got the money. Whew. And my to-do list is almost fully ticked, for this week anyway. Not that I wrote it, it’s all in my mind and on my nerves. Sort of a nervous tick-list.