Wednesday 8 October 2008

money, money, money

Timing is everything. It seems that inspite of renaming my diary only at the weekend, now is in fact the time to panic...certainly in the city there is nothing but blind panic and there is no manual to read. Just a year or so ago I remember reading a survey that showed we had more trust in our banks than we do in our local councils or national politicians...and that trust in our national institutions had declined at an alarming rate over the last decade. But now it seems that the bedrock of UK plc is in tatters and there is no one left to trust.

The current financial shannanigans, has caused a mild sweat to break father's will has still not been sorted out (why do the authorities take so long when you really need these things sorted out with military precision so you can move on emotionally) and the tidy sum that constitutes my inheritance is tied up in HBOS. Reassurances from the IFA that the government won't let the Halifax go down, have been said whilst he has his fingers firmly crossed I'm sure. Hopefully today's action by the government will help, but I foresee many months of uncertainty ahead. And I'm certainly better off than my colleague who has some thousands of pounds in Icesave and even as I write is probably running round wondering whether she will ever see her money again. Thank heavens her impressively grounded husband will be a calming influence!

The inheritance is important because for almost my entire life Dad only ever gave cash, albeit generous amounts, as Christmas and birthday presents, and it seems that his parting gift will be only cash...not even a token of something that was truly him. So I'd like to get it out of the way, just to give me a space to reflect on our relationship. It's for this reason that I strain myself creatively when it comes to buying presents for the boy - last Christmas days were spent trying to track down a tent...not easy to do in mid-winter evidently, and hopefully all my presents are thoughtful, relevant and surprising. That's the aim any way....just please don't mention it's only 79 days to Christmas...time for me to don my thinking cap.

In the WAGS triangle that we inhabit it is custom amongst the boy's contemporaries to give money when they go to each other's parties. I've imposed my own rules on the boy, and he, amongst the few, always roles up with a present...sometimes this may be an iTunes gift card, sometimes a book, or something else....but never, ever money. It seems all wrong.


  1. I love my parents dearly and they are incredibly generous to myself and the offspring but I'd rather have a gift. My mum justs transfers the money into my account and I then tear my hair out trying to buy something for the children from my parents as well as my own xmas shopping, work, normal day to day chores etc. My mum's retired she's got loads of free time to do this.

    I have no real money saved, this used to worry me dreadfully, that's worked it's way out of my top 10 worries at the mo !

  2. Wow, this is certainly the topic of the moment, though most interesting how your own situation is suffused with a more emotional side.

    I wish we could have swapped parents - mine gave me the naffest and most inapporpriate presents ever, when all I really wanted was cash!

    If the presents they gave were any indication of what sort of people they are/what they thought of me - they need help! On second thoughts, I probably do too after receiving them! At least you were spared the Chemistry set you were never old enough to play with that still sat on top of the tallest cupboard when you were 25 (albeit with the iron fillings stolen!)

    But I am still as we Irish say, 'sorry for your trouble'. I'm sure bereavement is a difficult enough process without this worry.

  3. I must confess that this financial scare is frightening me. Just wonder if we'll have to take our weekly spending money home from the bank in suitcases, like they did in the depression.

  4. Your phrase 'hopefully my presents will be thoughtful' is the key. Money can so easily be a cop out, and I'd rather choose something with a little care for someone (taking time) than throw money. Maybe there'll be a lot more of that in the near future?

  5. auntiegwen...I so agree. Glad you don't worry about savings/no savings...let the rest of the world do that!

    the poet laura-eate...I'm clearly so ungrateful! I have a friend whose mother bought her a hammer and a saw for a birthday present and she's remained irritated for about fifteen years!

    rosiero - it doesn't matter where you turn it seems impossible to avoid the financial scare. For a decade I've had a clever strategy to keep the books balanced...but that's gone to pieces in the last month...ooops

    the dotterel..yes let's hope's definitely 'what you give' rather than 'how much'

  6. Couldn't resist your name "Nota Bene" here I am! My parents have always been generous with presents and cash, however, I'm afraid I'm in my full rebellion phase (postponed from teenage years) and would just like a cheap but thoughtful present. Or maybe even just nothing. I reckon we all have too much! Or perhaps a book to treasure forever?

  7. Ha! Hadriana...I also use Nulli Secundus for somethings. But NB are my initals, so Nota Bene's been used since for ever. Definitely small and thoughtful is good. The other presents I like are the ones from the boy - usually he chooses it and I pay. errr umm


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