Posting this as a reminder when things get tough again later in the year (as they most definitely will -- our annual income will drop by a third because of maternity leave). We've had a good week!
1. Due to a case of mistaken identity, a man in New York who used to run the Met
has asked to see Matt's artwork, and has also expressed interest in Matt's new web development project. This is after Matt explained that he wasn't who the man thought he was. Matt's pleased, anyway. It's been a long time since anyone showed any interest in him professionally. And people have started signing up to Matt's project.
2. After some bad budgeting on my part (totally forgot that I'd still have to pay National Insurance even though we were below the Income Tax threshold, so we were stung with an unexpected £2000 bill in January*) we don't have enough money in our account to survive until the next pay-cheque in May. We don't actually have enough in there to meet the utilities bills etc, never mind pay for food, petrol, birthday presents, etc. It's been a very bad few months of worrying and anxiety. But!
(a) Matt sold three board games on Ebay for £95 altogether! Woo-hoo! And we might be able to sell some more stuff!
(b) I've started playing the organ at funerals, and so far have made an extra £80 on top of usual income!
(c) Manx Gas, who have been trying to get us to pay £270 for 2 weeks-worth of gas usage, finally backed down this week and cancelled the bill! (I had to threaten to write to the managing director and my local political representative before they did the right thing, though.)
(d) We've been approved for our first ever credit card! Just waiting for it to come in so that we can buy food again. Mum had to buy our groceries last time. Not my proudest moment.
3. This didn't happen this week, but I want to put it in anyway. We have a new washing machine. Actually new! (Our first one was free on freecycle, but we killed it by overloading it with nappies three times a week. Our second was secondhand, and we were ripped off as the bearings were already going in it when we bought it. The spin cycle sounded like a jet engine. Once it started leaking -- after many months of use -- we decided to just get a new one.) It's so quiet, you can actually have a conversation while it's spinning, even if you're standing next to it. With our last machine, we had to pause DVDs during the spin (even with the kitchen door shut) because it drowned out all noise.
4. I've been given lots of classes in this year's music festival which is (a) lots of fun for me because I love accompanying, (b) good news for us because I'll earn a lot of money from it, and (c) a little daunting as I don't know when I'll get the time to practise 80 different accompaniments!
Anyway, it's been a better week than any we've had so far in 2013. I'm feeling slightly less stressed about the immediate future.
* This wouldn't have been a huge problem if we hadn't had to replace the roof last autumn, which cost thousands of pounds.