When my husband retired I had been a full time writer for a year and I have to admit that I longed for a space to retreat to, in order to concentrate on my writing. As we juggled with our new pattern of life we needed to tackle many issues and one of them was money.
We began to think twice about going out for lunch or coffee – afraid of spending our small amount of savings we reluctantly curtailed going on so many breaks…which to be honest with you we needed far less now that we didn’t long to relieve the stress of our work situation.
Together we wrote a finance to-do list:
- make spreadsheets of all our income and outgoings
- switch bank accounts to one which pays interest
- check the value tariffs for our mobile phones
- Look at utility providers to compare alternatives (gas, electricity, water)
- Look at insurance providers to compare alternatives (car, house)
I had been with one of the top four banks since I was eighteen years and so loyalty was a powerful emotion to overcome here, but reading the small amount of interest added to our accounts each month ~ enough for a modest meal out ~ made it all worth while ~ despite having to remember a new pin number!
During this process of financial adjustment my husband received holiday pay from his employer. He was straight on the internet for a late autumn deal and booked for us to go to Corfu for a week. It is the first time, having been a teacher all my life, that this option was open for me.
The quiet resort of San Stefanos was chosen – a sleepy place preparing to close down for the winter, and the small and welcoming Hotel Nafsica.
We enjoyed sunny day between 22 and 26 degrees, fantastic Greek food in their Taverna, friendly guests, lovely walks and the sea, which was certainly pleasant enough for a daily swim. (strange coincidence for us that many of the guests had links with Scotland) We certainly had a welcome break.
We thought little of our life in Bedfordshire or the choices we may still have to make. I didn’t even take my computer with me and so cut myself off from all ‘writerly‘ things.
I was, however, inspired by the fresh air, exercise and scenery to weave words in my head once more, for the first time since we left Fife, and we both felt happy to be alive. We also appreciated how fortunate we were and counted our blessings!
I have no doubt that I will be able to find a place where I can relax to write once more in the not too distant future, but feel at peace that my priority has been to work out the right balance of life with loved ones and family first. I have been fortunate that, meanwhile, I have been provided with timely writing related tasks which have fitted in with our current way of life and could cope with frequent interruptions!