Hi, I just wanted to share a lovely story about how it feels to be supported, and, what happens when you are given a break and the money to enjoy that break.
We have just returned from a week away at a friend's caravan in Wales.
The weather was mostly fantastic, that made such a difference! That, and the money my friend also gave us to go away with. It changed everything so noticeably that I had to share it here.
We set off after some really difficult days of unexpected expense, pet illness and an issue with my car that cost me more than it should have done. I really do struggle to work out why people overcharge for services. It seems where you don’t understand the workings of something there is always room for tradespeople to overcharge you after scaring you half to death about what will happen if you don’t pay them to fix it! Anyway, that’s another story!
Our break began with a very easy drive to the caravan and a day of torrential rain which almost led to us returning home. My son has additional needs which impact any transition if it is difficult or happy, so handling that first, we then managed to smooth things out and begin one of the best holidays we have ever had!
Not having to worry about money meant that we could do more or less what we wanted! That meant I wasn’t uptight and worried for the whole time, it was an astonishing difference! So much that my son even noticed it.
We walked on the beach daily, we went to the market, we bought the food we wanted, we laughed we hugged and we snuggled down watching tv and spending unfettered time together.
He played out with friends and was an unworried child for the week.
We are so so lucky to have the friends we do, without whom we really would be totally isolated. Not having supportive family has been exhausting and led to some very low times.
I can’t say that everything is fixed because of the break, but I can say that my son and my relationship was given space and it was so fulfilling. I feel rested, positive and as though I can face life with less stress for a bit.
I’m grateful, on every level, and especially uplifted because my boy and I got to experience what life is like when you don’t have to worry about money all of the time. It was beautiful and it made me realise just how impactful it is living hand to mouth with a child.
Sorry to discover more negative side effects from the cost of living crisis.
We were away at the weekend visiting a friend. We went to a theme park for the day. Sadly we weren't prepared for the cost of the food & drinks.
Disgusted to be charged £6. 60 for a small tray of chips as well as a regular coffee. Later we paid £5 for just two cups of tea.
Apparently the catering company who supply the food & refreshments at the location also supply prison food. The company "Aramark" "also have a long history of providing substandard food. The company reduce quantities. The company has been repeatedly accused of severe health & safety violation sanitation violations unauthorised food substitutions, undercooked food & food shortages."
Also my son tells me today his teacher was ranting about the poor quality of food on offer in the school canteen. She was completely confused & amazed at why they didn't provide butter for the bread with the fish finger butty she ordered. The" chicken wrap" was literally a piece of chicken in a wrap, no extras just the 2 items.
I had assumed students were fed a filling meal at lunch time in schools these days. I've been informed by my son that's not been the case since as long as he's been there.
The school holidays have give me time with the kids the first week we spent in the house just enjoying lazing about. This week we have so far enjoyed 2 days out to free museums.
I’m really struggling to get time to myself. If it’s not the children wanting my attention, my partner feels that any free time I have I should be giving him my undivided attention. I would love to be able to meditate and but there’s no time for me.
My son joined me with the zine making session this evening and he loved it. Time went really quickly and he was engaged for the whole session. It was a really good way of entertaining him as we’ve just started the Easter holidays (hence him being up later than usual). I will probably do this activity with him again myself, so thank you for the inspiration.
Really enjoyed the crafts tonight, was brilliant to do something for myself. Thank you
Myself and my two children are at a soft play activity organised by a local group, funded by the council holiday activity fund. The children get a lunch and transport was provided. Feeling thankful for this but also just so overwhelmed to think of how I am going to get through the next two weeks with so little money. The children get so bored. It’s such a struggle.
Spending time with my kids and seeing them happy.
Living on a very low income makes it extremely difficult, I do walk a lot partly to save money on travel but also for exercise. My main joy in life is spending time with my teenage daughter while she is still at home studying hard for her exams. I also have a keen interest in restoring old mechanical clocks which gives me great pleasure and takes my mind off other things that are going on in the world at large and my own life which can seem pretty dismal at the best of times.
I like sewing, listening music, cooking, etc. which makes me feel better. Sometimes chatting with family members back home refreshes my mind. Celebrating occasions with my family members gives me a restart of my life and less worry for the current situation for time being. Surfing the internet scrolling down with Facebook is now a new addition to my daily life for lifting up my mood.
We always try to do dinner together to have a family time together in this busy life. Sometimes we cook together for a special day celebration otherwise organise a meal out on our special occasion. We always have a plan to play together like carom board or chess but not always it happened. Always tried to do extra bit to make other family members smile such as doing house chores, etc.
I used to love going to salsa socials although I recently swapped this for weekly online chair yoga/dance classes. There's a small fee to pay and they are organised through a private group for people with similar health issues to me, but the classes were fun to do.
For the sake of my sanity I also practice meditation as often as I can. I used to enjoy attending local classes face to face whenever I could but the pandemic put a stop it. In fact I've only recently started using a meditation app on my phone. I stumbled across the app through an email subscription I've received for years and never bothered with but a video on it caught my eye and has opened up a whole new world of possibilities to me. I now prefer the app to 'real' classes because as well as saving me money it also allows me to meditate in the comfort of my own home.
In addition, we love trips to local beaches, or the woods in good weather. We take a big bag of bird seed with us. It's become a cheap new hobby to go bird feeding if that's even a thing?! It's a great way to get children, young and old, engaged in something that benefits wildlife and is rewarding to do. We all get so excited to see the birds flock around us while we scatter seed for them. There are some lovely parks with ponds a short car ride away. One of them has a model railway ride which is very popular with families. There's no charge but a donation is welcomed. Never too old to enjoy a ride on it but having a grandchild to ride with, makes it all the more worthwhile.