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Oh, shit

August 14, 2018

Turns out something I thought was a good idea was actually a very, very bad idea.

Last year, when the Bank of Canada  decided it was time to double the country’s very low interest rates, the monthly interest payment on the line of credit debt left to me by Mike’s son went from easily affordable to pay to a substantial bite into my survivor benefit income. I decided to cash in an RRSP (registered retirement savings plan) to reduce said debt and therefore monthly interest payments. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

Then, last month, I received a letter from the Canada Revenue Agency, informing me that, because my income (the cashing in of said RRSP) had been higher in 2017, my survivor benefit was to be reduced by $350 per month.

Anyone who has been following this blog for a while knows that I have been unable to take on paying work for some time due to my chronic depression. I’ve learnt to live small and as a result I’ve been doing okay.

For the next year, until the full benefit is restored, I won’t be.

When the last bottle of my carefully hoarded birthday wine from my friend Irmani is gone, there will be no more wine for me – not even cheap boxes of plonk.

There will be no occasional nights out – not even the $10 burger and beer special at the pub on Wednesday nights.

There will be no book buying, except at the local recycling depot. It’s the library (which it has largely been for the past couple of years anyway) for me. God bless it.

There will be no haircuts.

No more prawns as an occasional treat.

No more organic bananas and to hell with the pesticide-related health damage of plantation workers to which I will be contributing. Or perhaps just no more bananas.

No more hot chocolate with Frangelico on a cold winter’s evening.

No more bottles of prosecco with which to toast visitors. (There aren’t that many visitors, so there haven’t been that many bottles of prosecco.)

No more fancy cheese.

And gawd ‘elp us if one of the cats gets sick.

There will be only the basics and even then I’m not sure I won’t have to dip into the line of credit to survive. Certainly I will have to use it for anything above and beyond the basics. So having the chimney swept, buying wood for the winter, getting the snow tires put on the car, all these and any other unexpected expense will go on the line of credit. Suspect by year’s end I will have put the $5000 I took off the debt will go back on.

Fuck, fuck, fuckety fuck.

If you’re wondering why I broke my vow that normal service was to resume, this is the reason. I have been wallowing in self pity. I’ve had my head stuck firmly in the sand, sitting outside under the umbrella playing endless games of spider solitaire. (I persuaded myself that games played outside didn’t count.)

Meanwhile, all the garden and outdoor jobs I should have been doing and enjoying have simply fallen by the wallowing wayside.

The bad news arrived the day I was going to make my ferry reservations for the trip to Seattle. When I realised the ferries were going to cost me $200 I nearly called Charlie to say I couldn’t afford to come. But some things are sacred and the Mike Wallace Memorial Baseball game is one of those things. So the $200 on my credit card will be paid with the line of credit.

Only $4800 to go to get back to square one. And with another interest rate forecast. Shit.

So, I’m doing what I was reduced to doing in October 2016 and hoped I’d never do again. I’m putting the begging bowl out, both here and on the home page.

Do you like this blog? Would you like to help this impoverished writer? If she promises to write something every day? If, like this writer, you cannot imagine a world without wine, please click here.

I swear not a penny donated to the cause will be wasted on mundane items like toilet paper or cat litter.

day without wine

And you will have the satisfaction of adopting and supporting a virtually penniless writer. If, by any chance, you know someone wealthy who would like to be a literary patron, feel free to share this, because I am so fucked.

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From → Black dog diary

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