We don’t have much money and being poor folk is one of our jokes. We can’t go out very often, we can’t afford a car, we buy cheap food and drink, and our clothes are mostly second hand. We compare ourselves to family or friends who are wealthy, big houses, expensive cars, fancy holidays. We can’t compete and, for the forseeable future, we won’t.
Of course, when I get my book deal things will change and I’ll be able to do all sorts of lovely things for my people (hint hint any publishers reading this). But that’s somewhat beside the point.
Compared to a lot of our people, we’re the broke ones.
But we aren’t really and, quite honestly, it screams FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS.
We can’t go out very often, but it happens. We’re going to a friend’s birthday party tonight and a high school reunion tomorrow. We have family who are taking care of our children and transporting us to the party because we don’t have a car. Just to help us out.
We can’t afford a car, but we get around. We have family and friends who drive us to things we can’t walk to, and we have buggies and legs for the places we can walk to.
We buy cheap food and cheap drink, but we eat and drink. Even if dinner is beans on toast, it tastes good and is filling. Last night The Boy and I had a midnight feast of Christmas gift Buck’s Fizz and some breakfast biscuits. Random, yes. Delicious, yes. Very much enjoyed, yes.
Our clothes are second hand but they’re clothes and they’re comfy and nice. My favourite dress was 99p on Ebay, but you can’t tell and I feel fabulous in it. Miss Rose’s favourite T-shirt was 50p in a charity shop but she loves it. Our clothes are clean, they are comfy, and we like them.
We don’t have a big house compared to many, but it’s big and it’s lovely. It’s clean, it’s dry, it’s warm. It has a garden out back and a drive way out front. It has big bedrooms with large windows, a beautiful fireplace in the living room, and a pretty kitchen. Sure, it’s not manor in the countryside, but it’s loved and it’s ours. We don’t need more.
We don’t get fancy holidays but we go away. His parents took us for a weekend in Wales, my parents are taking us on holiday to Spain. Our expenditure for both holidays is minimal, their’s extensive, but we get to go because of that kindness.
There will be times in Miss Rose’s life when she will get upset because there are things we can’t afford to do or buy. Things she will want that her more wealthy friends have and we just have to say no to. She will complain about being poor folk but, unlike us, she will genuinely believe it, because as a child you don’t see, you don’t understand.
We have a home, we have food, and we have the most amazing family and friends you can ask for. When we feel glum because we are struggling, we can look at those things and remember. Remind ourselves.
We are lucky. We are rich in ways people dream of.
Sometimes it’s good just to remember that.
You can check out all my contact info an links on www.jjbarnes.co.uk, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also www.sirenstories.co.uk which has all the work by both myself and Jonathan McKinney and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to www.patreon.com/sirenstories.
Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!