The Landlady is eating out of house and home

I started this year full of vim and vigour and hell-bent on making some money before I get too old and tired. I have to admit that my enthusiasm has waned somewhat and I am far less enthusiastic in February that I was in January. This is mainly down to the fact that neither my mum’s house in Stoke-On-Trent, nor my one-bed flat in Brighton are showing any signs of selling and I need some kind of investment money before I can get started. I have received just one silly offer for my flat in Brighton, but I’m honestly not that desperate to sell it.

The trouble is, the longer I sit it out, the less enthusiastic I am to do any work. As if I needed another excuse, spring is just around the corner and I would much rather be messing about in the garden than renovating some stinking hovel when the weather is fine.

“The longer I sit it out, the less enthusiastic I am to do any work”

I love eating out, but in the current climate, I am unlikely to want to spend money on restaurant food, when I can eat the same thing for a fraction of the price at home, especially when you factor in my Staff Discount at The Supermarket. Besides, the amount I used to spend eating out every month – and I’m going back a good many years – could easily add up to the cost of a flight to somewhere more exotic. A bit of a false economy, I know.

Myself and my friend Anne – currently unemployed – make a great deal of effort to be as thrifty as we possibly can. So much so, that we could almost make a full-time career out of being penny-pinching. One of our favourite things to do is to walk along the undercliff to Rottingdean and treat ourselves to a cup of instant coffee (none of your fancy caramel shot latte nonsense here) and a huge slice of cake for a bargain price, then walk back to town ruing the fact that we have undone all the good work we achieved walking there in the first place.

I often have friends round for dinner or lunch as I still love cooking, in spite of the fact that I’m obligated to do it for the kids and the lodgers every evening. This week has been unusual and fabulous, in that I have been invited back to four different friends’ houses for dinner. The Small Daughter and The Lodgers were away for the weekend, so I haven’t even been to The Supermarket since Thursday – apart from working there – let alone cooked anything. It’s now Monday and I’m off out for dinner again, this time with The Small Daughter. The only downside is that The Big Daughter and Son are so narked that I’m not fulfilling my contractual duty as a mother, that they’re really bad-tempered and I daren’t go into the living room when they’re there…

Illustration: Jake McDonald

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