Thursday, 24 March 2011

The Decadence of a Frugaldom Mother's Day


Today began early - the sun was shining before 7am, the hens and ducks wanted their freedom and I wanted my coffee.

The computer gets switched on as soon as I get up each morning, that way it's booted up and ready to go when I come back indoors from seeing to the feathered friends in the garden (and collect any early eggs).While waiting for the kettle to boil, I check online for work updates from clients and make a start on sifting through the invariable pile of 'spam' in search of anything else work-related. I don't usually get very far in the process before the kettle boils, so that's what takes me up to breakfast time.

This morning was glorious, so breakfast was taken on the back door step, shared with the chickens and ducks, I might add! But it gave me time to get into my woman zone and reflect on the contents of most of the 'newsy' type emails that lay in this morning's in-box. They were mostly reminding me of Mothers' Day, in some way, shape or form. I even posted a 'motherly' response on someone's blog update, reiterating what a paranoid lot we can be when it comes to our offspring. I omitted to add the fact that I was just as paranoid about watching my other 'baby', a horse, go out on the tracks back in the good old days when horses, ponies and racing were my chosen NOT SO FRUGAL frugal hobbies.

So, what do women, mothers in this particular case, really want? I've never been one for cosmetics, perfumes, cut flowers or grand gestures. Most would call me 'down to earth', if a little eccentric (replace with whichever word you prefer), in my outlook and lifestyle, so helpfulness, usefulness and functionality are more appreciated here than fripperies. But then I began the morning's work, updating a few bits and pieces on the web pages that will, one day, prove my worth as a frugal entrepreneur. I was looking at CUT FLOWERS and thinking they looked gorgeous! EEK! Is this a true reflection of how age is catching up with me? It suddenly trips me up, leaving me sprawled in a heap of, dare I say it, 'normality'? I just don't 'do' pink! Or, at least, I didn't! But I have to admit that I do collect 'Posy Points' and I do make the most of free delivery and free chocolates! This is a brilliant site!

Back on the trail of what women want - I'm practical, as well as frugal, but extravagances and treats are appreciated. Contemplating what I do from day to day, I came up with the following list::
  1. Look after the poultry
  2. Bake - bread, cakes and biscuits
  3. Grocery shopping & cook meals
  4. Dust & vacuum
  5. Do laundry
  6. Compute, write, blog, log data, research & earn a meagre income from it
  7. Work in the garden
  8. See friends, neighbours and family regularly 
  9. Find the best ways to spend less money
  10. DIY - let's face it, we all need to be able to DIY if we want the frugal house of our dreams, don't we?
I have a good life, I enjoy it, I don't hanker after riches, foreign travel, fine jewellery or designer clothing. I happen to like my green wellies (not Hunter brand) and my waxed jacket (not a Barbour). I like my checked scarf (not Burberry) and I like my secondhand bargains and charity shop treasures. So, when my family asks, 'what would you like for Mother's Day', I have a list of extravagances that could be suitably fitting for my chosen lifestyle...

  1. Some hatching eggs from purebreed poultry or, better still, half a dozen point-of-lay hens.
  2. A 'homemade' cookie stamp so nobody forgets that they're all home made.
  3. Bargain groceries with a delivery service or else a huge voucher for our local Sainsbury's.
  4. A 3-minute cupcake maker, so there are cakes to have with the coffee during the break between vacuuming and dusting.
  5. The box set of Absolutely Fabulous - so I can watch an episode when waiting for the washing machine to complete the cycle
  6. Some more people taking part in our frugal challenges - I can't believe the country is in austerity mode and yet so few homemakers want to share their frugal lifestyle tips - and several new sign-ups for Affiliate Window, so I can earn that last £7 needed to allow me to actually claim a payment.
  7. Compost (lots of it), vegetable seeds, fruit bushes or fruit trees to help quickly increase the food growing capacity of the new garden, once we move house next month, plus peanuts for feeding the wild birds.
  8. A good, solid garden bench for seating visitors when they visit for a cuppa and a catch-up. It's far nicer being able to sit outside in the garden during good weather.
  9. I wish my entire family, all friends, acquaintances, colleagues and, even, passing strangers would consider using a site like Topcashback, so they, too, can claim back a small fortue on almost all of their online shopping. The cyberdosh soon mounts up over the year and then it's up to you what you buy with the resulting cash or Amazon vouchers.
  10. A subscription to the Renovate Alerts, so we can watch for a really cheap fixy-up that could become someone's dream home.
I think the above items tie in nicely with my chosen lifestyle of frugality and the quest to create our very own, mortgage free microholding. I can't think of anything else I'd like, unless I renage on my anti-pink and anti-cut flowers deal to opt for the bouquet plus extra chocolates, hand delivered by all the family who would bring dinner with them and then clear up afterwards. Then again, it just can't happen that way, not with five generations in this family!

I guess what I'm trying to say is that family spirit and camaraderie can be lost in commercialism and consumerism. Gifts are all well and good, but it's remembering who and where your family are that counts most.

Let them all know that they mean something to you. Don't leave it until some made up 'celebratory' day in the consumerist-society-driven calendar.

What would YOU really like for Mothers' Day?

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