A few months back I was feeling a bit frustrated with myself. You see I couldn’t understand how it was practically impossible to get from one end of the week to the next on my deserted wives pension. I reckoned that the wise and important people who govern our country must have worked out what the minimum requirements are in order to keep your hungry little beak just about bobbing above water. But somehow I only found myself getting from Thursday to about Monday and then making pancakes and chasing away the T.V. license man until the next handout.
So I decided to be clever, it’s a recession after all. Down I went to the Credit Union and talked them into lending me the grand sum of €120. With it I headed over to my local Garden Centre and bought the following: a little wooden frame thingy called a raised bed, three bags of muck (no, not make up, real muck. You have to pay for that too.), a few packs of seeds, a bottle of fertilizer, a shovel and extravagantly, a pot of green paint to paint the raised bed. It all came to €142 but the man in the Garden Centre said he’d round it off at €130 what with our kids being in school together and all that. They delivered. I got to work.
Well let’s say if you were to pay yourself the minimum wage, I’m owed around €2k from the garden. But you can’t pay yourself so I fantasised that I was on a work placement and kept at it. I tossed snails over the garden wall, nursed seeds in little pots on the kitchen table, planted, dug, weeded and generally got my hands filthy while neglecting other things like writing a CV or doing job searches on the internet.
There were hidden expenses: weed killer, replacing plants that didn’t make it, a garden hose, a fork, a pair of cotton gloves…
Today was the first harvest home. Salad made with lettuce and onions from the garden and a zucchini quiche with home grown zucchinis. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it, but I’ve just worked out that that head of lettuce cost about 200 quid. And to make it worse, the local fruit and veg place are selling the very same ones at 19c a head.
So now I’m off to pick my €50 bunch of rhubarb and come up with a new money saving plan. Maybe next year I’ll keep hens.