Saturday, 19 May 2012

Two Kinds Of Jam


The Jam Store Cupboard At Rosehill

Farmer Landlord makes contact by phone; he has missed the latest smoke alarm episode. He is calling, from a wedding in Wiltshire, to see has anyone stopped by to look at the broken electric boiler. 
While he is on the phone, apologetic for the alarm, and the long list of problems to address which he tries not to think about, I press for news on the mortgage foreclosure. Salt meets badly patched wound. 
This is a wincing silence. 
Followed by a rush of ‘Well, I haven’t done much about it, I must get to see the bank;’ followed by the truth; ‘I don’t want to sell,’ ending with the admission, ‘I think the bank will force me to sell.’ 
I tell him we are now starting to look for alternative accommodation, but there aren’t many rentals that will take pets. He has a brainwave that a cousin of a cousin has a farmhouse lying empty, not too far away, he will make a call and see.

Mr and me take breakfast outside.
‘Somewhere with a garden,’ he says,’ and a big shed.’
We are working on a wish list. He says we should go to the beach, and he’s right.

The sand has blown inland, built a sand ramp down from the car park wall. Dog plunges through puddles and into the sea. I’m not too far behind. The waves are mildly cold, the rock pools soothingly warm. Perfect weather for barefoot with a light windstopper coat; I am excellently dressed.

Driving back we spy properties we could live in. We debunk the myth that art and honesty only thrive with poverty by spending imaginary fortunes in inspirationally creative ways. I say I have enough source material for rags, it will be safe to move on to riches. It will, in fact, be new territory to discover. 

If you want facts and figures, I can reveal (from the BBC website, so can be regarded as acceptably true) that my current earnings are 27% of the UK average wage, and 56% of the world average. 
I have been far poorer than this. 
I do not forget the day I opened my food cupboard and cried because I had two kinds of jam: I was thinking, two kinds of jam means you are rich.

Back at Rosehill, I google map the empty farmhouse. There are sheds, big sheds, and a garden. I don’t set my heart on it, I’m eccentric, not (necessarily) foolish, but… I like the look of it. Plenty of space for storing my jam. 

Wanted: slighty bonkers rural property, must love dogs 



4 comments:

  1. 'We debunk the myth that art and honesty only thrive with poverty by spending imaginary fortunes'

    My heart was already twisting. This wrenched it. I'm forcing back tears as I wish for you, always, more than one kind of jam.

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  2. This is a nice post, Lily! Two kinds of jam--and we are rich :-) Fortunate are those who equate wealth with simple blessings. I see that in you--in your posts, you know. You see everything, and appreciate the fact that it all exists.

    I so hope you get the cousin's cousin's farmhouse! It sounds lovely :-)

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  3. I would love to get out of the city and rent a place somewhere surrounded by nature, though I've more that one different kinds of jam, I'm not rich enough to buy a nice house in such area yet.

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  4. Suze- It helps to know that I have to have a happy ending, or my poor readers might be forced to be miserable on my behalf; this is a good motivation!
    Teresa- simple pleasures, appreciated, make a rich life- I know you know this of course! Farmhouse gets my vote, so far :-)
    Jan- I hope you still get to spend plenty of time surrounded by nature; maybe with a picnic and some lovely jam sandwiches :-)
    And thank you, all, for your kind support- it does make a difference, it really does :-)

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