Thoughts about colder days

I woke up this morning before 6am, not just because Maggie wanted to go out, but because I was chilled.
Getting the DWP letter last week was a blow, but it’s not the end of the world for us, and we will not be faced with the option of heat or eat.

When I was a child, we didn’t have central heating or double glazing in the council house where I was born, just an open fire in the lounge and our hot water was on the immersion. Us kids had loads of blankets and a little electric fire in our room, though in hindsight, I can’t remember if Mum and Dad had one as well. Thinking about it, it’s doubtful. I still wonder at how they managed as we never went without the important things like good shoes, a thick winter coat, hot meals every day, clean clothes and of course, love.

I appreciate love doesn’t pay the bills and can only keep you warm to a certain extent, but I found it interesting the figures Hubby found on the government website as regards household incomes and fuel poverty.
Even had we stayed on the higher PIP rate, that would not have moved us out of the severe poverty bracket we have discovered ourselves to be in. I find it amusing in a warped sort of way as poverty to me all those years ago meant starving dirty urchins in threadbare tatters, such was the vision imposed by the likes of Oliver Twist and The Prince and the Pauper.
In today’s society and the modern world, poverty such as this shouldn’t exist, but I’m not naive enough or ignorant of the fact that it does.

To be eligible for assistance with heating costs, your bill should equate to 10% or more of
your disposable income.  NB: This post was written in February 2016.
Even that calculation seems to vary from site to site, so as Hubby and I don’t pay income tax (another laughable effort by the boasting Tories when putting the tax thresholds up which doesn’t help people like us anyway), basically our income would, I suppose, all be classed as disposable.
We pride ourselves in not owing a penny to a soul and are fortunate in not having rent or a mortgage to pay. We paid off the latter following redundancy in 2001 and later cashing in our endowment policy which the company had stripped of its accumulated profits to pay out against policies about to mature when the Financial Crunch hit in the mid Noughties. Sadly any killing we made selling our house in 2007 was lost in our next property (which was the cottage) as we lost not only the £30K investment on improvements but a further £25K when house prices dropped.
It seems that no matter what we do to try and improve our standard of living and comfort in our twilight years, some outside influence scuppers our methods. Just as well then that living frugally without excessive luxuries became a way of life for us even before we’d bought the boat.

Hubby and I have worked out the figures should there only be one of us living on a State Pension (so God willing way after 2022 when mine should materialise). Even then the survivor would not be considered in fuel poverty because of the way we live.
However, with fuel and utility costs alone on the increase, that could indeed clobber us.


About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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9 Responses to Thoughts about colder days

  1. fransiweinstein says:

    It’s not easy, that’s for sure. There’s not a day that goes by that something doesn’t go up in price or the government finds a new way to get more money out of us. Yet there never seems to be anything extra going into our wallets. It’s the same story on this side of the pond. And then to add insult to injury, I do freelance work. I currently have 3 clients who haven’t yet paid me for work I did more than 2 months ago. I will eventually get paid, they’re all good for the money, but they take advantage.

  2. Paula Light says:

    Supposedly my income makes me “middle class” for a household of one person in this area, but I can barely afford housing, so what is wrong with this picture? Lol

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