No Man, no Motor, no Mortgage. No Worries.

It took a while; forty odd years to be precise but as soon as I realised that these three things had caused me nothing but grief, invariably  unreliable, wouldn’t start and grab most of my salary I was a new woman.

Now don’t get me wrong I have not turned into Mother Theresa, men are still on the agenda just not a permanent fixture. The car went when I was doing a degree at the age of forty seven and trying to live, well exist, on a student loan. Yep £4000 per year is hard to live on. By the time you’ve paid rent and I was so lucky to find a small flat that was actually cheaper than Halls of Residence ( which I would have hated after the novelty wore off, probably ten days) I had bugger all to live on. However I wasn’t trying to have the kind of frantic, ooh look another empty tequila bottle, social life that most normal age students do and I don’t smoke so at least I did eat.

Everyone said I would miss my car terribly. I had recently spent £500 on a new carburettor, so no, I wouldn’t. It was great when it was working but jeez it forever wanted attention. Or was that Barry (the name should have been enough) but why don’t you want to come and live with me? He grizzled. You can live with me and mother for free and the cat loves you. Pathetic! See what I mean? Men, motors. Trouble. If I really need a car I hire one or take a taxi. Don’t look at me like that; think of the money I save by not having a car. And my personal favourite, not having to dash back to the bloody lump of metal to put another ticket on it, as the allotted time that you thought you would need, is just about to expire. Grrrrrrrr.

But no, I haven’t got to the stage of hiring a man. Never say never, so let’s just say I can’t imagine that ever happening. Note to self: very nice young man got up and offered you his seat on the bus the other day. Bloody cheek. Anyone would think I am a middle aged…Oh. Fifty six. He meant well and I really shouldn’t have glared at him as though he had just spat in my face. Will he ever be so well mannered again? It’s all my fault.

The mortgage thing makes less erm, common sense. I admit it, ok. But I’m afraid it is linked to those dreaded  ‘c’ words. Compromise (oh no, that’s the men thing) commitment, cancer and cardigans. Not the word you were thinking? Shame on you.

So, I rent and so far I have lived in twenty nine places. Of course now I’m the Madonna side of fifty my next abode will be permmm no, can’t say it. Why buy a book when you can go the library. Love this quip, which is total rubbish of course because I buy books all the time, hell I’ve been known to change flights by two days to get hold of the latest Janet Evanovich out in something between hardback and paperback and only available at selected airports but you get my drift. That’s not a question because if you don’t-get my drift- you will have given up reading by now.

Writing is what I do. If I don’t, the words get all crammed up and press on my frontal lobe and that gives other people a headache.

So, where was I? Oh yes. My final resting place. Ah, maybe that’s it. If I say this is where I am going to live from now on it is like saying. Here until I die. And who wants to look at their home and think, I’m going to die here. Hmm?

I have two philosophies. Stay very still and you won’t spend any money. Or if you must go out, try this very useful mantra that I used as a mature student. Look in shop window. Do I like it? Yes. Do I want it? Yes. Do I need it? Nope.  Deep breath, no sighing, you are in control and step away from the window.

See, easy, peasy.

Unfortunately I did such a good job with this; it is on a loop, constant playback, so that now when I do really need to buy anything I have something close to a panic attack. You see a new pair of rubber gloves, I see bailiffs banging down the door, the Spanish inquisition.

The second philosophy is simple. Keep moving because if we only have one life (and if you’ve ever been driven in a tuk-tuk in Bangkok, you’ll assume there has to be more than one life) you want to see as much as you can.

No conflict there then.

Barbra Streisand sang, many years ago about having a twin, one that goes out as you come in. I blame her for my split personality. I loved that song. Everything.

Get up when I want. Go to bed when I please. No rules. But I do like rhythm; hence, I live in France, as much as possible. Hang on, it’s gone 11 where’s my coffee?

Note to self. Men are useful for making coffee and bringing cups of tea in bed and other things. Oh and it’s raining so a car would be useful today and my rent has gone up (due to rubbish exchange rate) £200 month. So much for fixed outgoings…

Final thoughts.

Two days of rain and I am wondering what the weather is like in Malta?

Is there such a thing as gypsy blood?



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