Money cash
Money cash (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

If you are a millionaire, you are probably not reading this. I woke up at three this morning, having had one of those dreams where you have won the lottery but couldn’t find the ticket. It’s the sort of dream that could make you wet the bed; I was spared that indignity. I did get up – it was 3am, and make a cuppa. Then, I sat on the sofa and imagined how it would feel to win a million. My mind whirled like a hungry Dervish, as I went through the scenario in glorious Technicolor.

Would I be like the winners you read about in the tabloids? ‘I’m staying in my two-up, two-down and carrying on with my work in the soup factory. It won’t change my life one bit…’   I don’t think so. So, what would I do first? Remember it was three in the morning, so there has to be some dramatic license. In those wee small hours everything is magnified. And when I say everything, I mean your morals, your conscience, your perception of money and what it can do for you, or not.  For me, the first thought that blossomed was the idea of being able to give each of my four children enough money to see them right for the rest of their lives. But then I realised I would have to win the Euromillions for that. One million wouldn’t touch it. So the fantasy enlarged. I was now the winner of fifty-four million, at least; enough to buy a small country.

Once my kids were sorted, I would look at other members of my family, and then my mates and then the postman and the lady in the library and the director of our local theatre, the art gallery, the children’s services, the old people’s home up the road, the vet, the homeless, the man who cleans my windows…

The thing it, I have just taken a long holiday in Australia to see my daughter, and living in another country for longer than two weeks, makes you think! Coming back to a freezing UK, beleaguered by snow, floods and a miser’s budget, I realised that what is important is not money. Yes, you need enough to put food on the table every day but do we really need all the rest? Buying into the consumer circus that plays out in adverts shoved into our faces all the time, takes something away from us. It’s stops us focusing on what we really need and to my mind, that’s the closeness and love of the people we truly care about, be they family or friends.

But then, to keep the economy going, the circus has to play to packed houses. I have a feeling that deep inside we feel obliged to spend money, to get into debt, because by consuming we are keeping the shops open, keeping us all in jobs, keeping the money flowing. Trouble is, it’s all gone a bit wrong. The money is flowing, but not in the right direction.



IMG_0503Writer’s block – we’ve all heard about it. It’s totally unacceptable to me, so I’ve softened the condition by calling it Writer’s Wall; that gives me a chance to consider graffiti at some point.

I’ve been back in the chilly UK for a month now. Perhaps it’s the weather that is closing down those little brain cells that spark off inspiration?  My brain does feel like a lump of mush, but that could be jet-lag, couldn’t it? No. I know and you know, if you are a traveller and reading this, that jet-lag ends eventually and there is no excuse for not hunkering down to work.

It’s not that I don’t want to. I love words; those wonderful squiggles on the page that MEAN something, even if only to me.  The trouble is, I keep looking for the sun. Coming home was hard sacrifice to make and I never had the disposition of a saint, I’m afraid. Sacrifice always seemed like a bit of a waste of time to me. It certainly does nothing for your self-esteem. I like the opulence of constant warmth. I love the jolly, ‘anything goes’ of the Australian character. I adored the food! I never once ate a kangaroo steak that wasn’t labelled kangaroo, and I don’t think they sold kangaroo as beef in any butcher I ever went to in Sydney. But then I was a tourist and maybe they save the cover-ups for their own?IMG_0376

The Thames or the Exe for that matter are great rivers, but they can’t hold a candle to the ins and outs of Sydney Harbour. I miss all that sparkling water. I have become a Pom who wants to return to Oz and there wasn’t a single thing there that I found to whine about. Of course, if I lived there, I guess there would be a million things that would come to light. But my memories are still good and as I stare out of the window at the sleet, I wish I was still there, in lovely Sydney with the sun on my face and the blue water at my feet. Bliss.

So it’s this yearning to be back there that is filling my head and stopping me from writing. My blog is something I used to do most days before I left. Now, it’s feeling like a chore! My next novel, only one-third completed, is yelling: ‘Finish me, finish me!’ Yet, here I am, mourning over lost sun, sea and joy, lots of it, every day!

Poor old England. The Sunday papers are full of woe. Have just read an article about the recent shenanigans of a cabinet minister and his estranged wife. These two come across as undignified and very sad and yet they both held highly paid and responsible jobs in this country and one was an MP. There is gloom, doom and cold all over the place. Perhaps when spring comes, I shall feel different and start to work again; regain some discipline? But for now, the dreams of sand and blue sea permeate all my thoughts.