Friday 7 September 2007

Sweltering - for several reasons.

Crikey it's hot here today and I'm totally overdressed in an angora cardi, tights and my lovely new dolly shoes (pictures to follow as the camera has gone walkabout). Now the other reason I'm sweltering is due to panic rather than this mini-Indian summer we're having.

Bad news on the work front today, Woody's paper is closing it's Sunday edition which he writes an awful lot for so things are very, very unstable. Brilliant timing of course, seeing as we're just about to move house and up the mortgage again and Christmas is on the distant horizon. He's got a meeting with his Editor next week who's said he wants to keep him involved but who knows how and if it will cover the big shortfall in our income this will leave.

Its been an up and down couple of years since Woody went freelance. On the one hand he's been able to work from home and between us we've juggled our jobs so that one of us was at home with the boys. We've been really lucky to both spend so much time with them and thanks to our lovely parents we've managed not to have to pay for childcare but it has meant a minuscule income, working almost every evening for Woody and not having any spare time to build up other writing contracts.

He's a brilliantly funny, observational writer and has won awards for his columns. I'm so proud of him and so disappointed the paper is going to fold after doing so well. I'm sure we'll muddle through, he may have to go back into the office and now the boys are getting older there's the chance I could work more hours but its all a worry.

(My last treat for a while. Joy!)

So, to cheer myself up on this roasting day I am in Jane's camp and looking ahead in an effort to be prepared early for the festive season and avoid the hassle. I managed it last year, even my scatter-brained self realised having a baby in August was going to make things a bit busier so I got ahead of myself really enjoyed it. A new festive tradition has been borne therefore, planning it all in August! (I feel like one of those whacky people featured in magazines who keep their decorations up all year!).

Frugal is looking like being this year's theme, (or even more frugal than usual). We never spend a lot and we don't have a large family to buy for. For someone not very religious like me the whole essence of Christmas is to celebrate a very special time of year with my lovely family and be thankful that we're so close, happy and healthy, rather than splashing out. Christmas means a lot to me for different reasons but its far too early to go into that yet.

I'm going to spend the weekend going through my Christmas interiors books and thinking of some present ideas. I'm not brilliant at making things but I may be able to negotiate the loan of mum's sewing machine and have a go . For friends I'll be making cookies, biscuits etc and I think we'll throw a house-warming when we put the decorations up at the new house and share good food, mulled wine. Is it ok to give hospitality instead of gifts? I'd really love to know others ideas/plans for Christmas and any tips for easy to make, cheap yet special presents.

Sorry this mammoth post is a bit down, I'm werriting today, as my Grandma would say, but it will pass and it is Friday after all. I've not had time to write my Sublime September post yet and celebrate the coming of Autumn but the picture at the top captures what its like here in the Moorlands at the mo. Happy weekends all.


Vintage to Victorian said...

Hi Steph

An angora cardi? Whatever possessed you, on a day like this?!!!!!

So sorry to hear of your anxieties. Fingers crossed it all goes in the right direction on the work front for Woody and that you soon get back on course.

Of course you can entertain instead of give prezzies. Why not? And cookies as gifts is brilliant, too. Tied up with pretty Christmassy ribbon they'll be as good as a gift bought from a shop (and probably better!!).

Hope you'll soon be feeling happier.

Sue xx

Anonymous said...

Hope things improve on the work front, it's was a major issue for us in January when I was mae redundant.
I like to make flavoured vodka and whiskey for pressies and the autum is just the right time to do it. Plum whiskey, blackberry vodka and apple whiskey are all delish and rather lethal as they are so tasty and slip down rather well!
I have started a list of what I'm making for family and friends this year, love the planning. For frugal tips I like if you go into the forums and choose 'moneysaving oldstyle' there are lots of simple, old fashioned tips plus a huge inventory of recipes for homemade biscuits, preserves etc.

Anonymous said...

Being self employed can have great lifestyle advantages that make it all worthwhile but there do seem to be more financial anxieties. I think the idea of cookies etc for gifts is a great idea, you could start saving some larger jars to put them in which could be dressed up with a homemade label and some ribbon.
Years ago we used to have a Christmas Eve drop-in, we were quite poor at the time but used to make a huge punch (the only booze we offered) and we served that with homemade mince pies, hot out of the oven, we mamaged to do that quite cheaply really.

Ragged Roses said...

Really hope things are okay for you both job-wise. Being freelance has it's advantages and disadvantages. M was freelancing at home when my oldest was a baby which was great but a nightmare waiting for the bills to come in. Hope the worries disappear soon. I always try to make pressies for friends. We've just picked our stash of sloes for this year's sloe gin and I'm busy making lavender sachets too.
Will post about the sloe gin soon.

jessica daisy said...

I Steph, sorry to here that live is a bit stressful at the moment, my husband is self employed, and any curtain making I do for my sister-in-law comes in dribs and drabs, so I always feel like I'm living on the edge too! (plus our mortagage is jumping up to another £180 a month in Oct, AHHHH!!!) I hope that things get better.

Well done for getting started on the christmas gifts, I think I'll make a few this year, mind you, I'll probably end up spending just as much on fabric and trimming, and lost 'real work' time, but hey ho!