Ok, I admit it. I’m poor. Some months things are very fucking difficult. In fact last month, money that I was expecting to come in, didn’t and I couldn’t pay the rent. Which was ironic because Rafe had an expensive birthday party, as well. This only meant that Rafe’s birthday party was paid for before I realized there was going to be a problem with the rent, but sometimes I worry about how things are seen. I try very hard to balance. My kids and I rarely get new clothes, and even then they are George or Primark. They eat very basic lunches that they bring from home. They don’t get any expensive things during the year. Sometimes a weeks worth of dinner will consist of Potato Soup, Mac n cheese, Omelettes, because I can buy the ingedients cheap.
In exchange, I try very hard to make sure they can have at least one paid for extracurricular. That they can have decent birthdays, including parties for milestone years and even occasionally go out to eat. Some years we even get to go on holiday, and it is hard to justify going on holiday vs. plowing money into our debt. But, we take very cheap holidays within England. My mom visited us in 2009 and we took her to Scotland, we had no money, she covered
a lot most of the expenses. One year my husband had a life insurance policy mature, and we used some of that money to go on holiday. Last year when I fought a former employer for unfair dismissal, and received a large settlement, I paid a lot of bills, but also used the last bit of the money to take the kids on holiday to Cornwall. This year, a holiday is very very unlikely. But, while money can be a huge huge burden in our lives, we have also been very lucky. The things we have been lucky enough to do however, are not really a snapshot into our everyday lives.
But, no matter how tight money is I donate regularly to three charities that I feel do very important work, that is bigger than me and my money problems. I also play the lottery. I play the lottery every month, £4-5 a month. Not much, but it’s enough to keep my sudden millionaire hopes alive, and to also make me feel proud and happy when I see things like this.
This is part of a brand spanking new brilliant park that has just been built in a local woodland area. Where there used to be mud and trees, this park sits. Not more crappy little houses that will cost twice what they’re worth and be unavailable to first time working class buyers. A park. For local kids. This park has a decent climbing wall, huge tubes for climbing through, lots of swinging things, it is great and my kids love it. It must have cost a fortune to build. Did the government fund it? No, of course not, they are to busy trying to fuck the working classes with a 10 foot barge pole while keeping their own kind rich and mighty.
The lottery funded it. I funded it. Me and every other working class sap that pays for a lottery ticket hoping they’ll get those special numbers. In a crappy time, where money is like diamonds, scarce and precious, and we are all worrying about how we are going to pay the rent, and where the money for the next round of school uniforms is going to come from, we can at least say that we funded something of worth. Which is more than those rich white men in Westminster can say.
If you don’t play the lottery, I urge you to consider it. Even if you never win anything, you will know that your money is going to useful projects that will do some good in the community, to the lucky people who win (could be you or me one day!) and to the local retailers who sell the tickets. Which, again, is more than the government can promise for your tax money.