Tumultuous events have kept me away from the computer this week. And what a week it has been.
It is most peculiar to think that, this time last week, our lives were chugging along as normal, no warning lights upon the horizon to steady us... Perhaps I should explain. At the beginning of the week, my beloved partner found herself compelled to declare insolvency. Car bills, life bills and me bills had all become too much and we were exceeding our income. So, on Monday, it became necessary for my partner to raise her paws and say that she could manage no longer. A wretched happenstance, which I would not wish upon anyone - even the New Cat.
The bank's answer to the problem was, of course, another loan. Grrrowl. I don't think so. Given the fact that my partner did NOT overspend this month, and only went overdrawn by £143 because the BANK charged her £185 costs, she was not minded to line their pockets by getting into further debt to them. Bankruptcy was another option. But that has serious ramifications - this computer would be seized for one thing, and then I have my social position to consider. Happily for us, there was another option available: an IVA. This is an Individual Voluntary Agreement, which you sort out with a government/Law Society-approved group (NOT one of those sharks advertising on the TV). They take your debts away, give you money from your wages to live on based on your needs and pay a fixed sum each month to your creditors... but all the details are far too boring for my humble little blog - look up IVA on a search engine if you're that interested. Suffice it to say, that my partner has done the right thing in freeing herself from the spiralling debt trap and we can begin afresh. Hurrah!
There are downsides though: I have to have supermarket own-brand biscuits and fewer treats for a while. The first "new budget" shop took place on Friday and our weekly groceries cost us £14.96. My post-shopping treat turned out to be the opening of the cheap biscuit box. Hmmm...
I sneered at the proffered biscuit. You must understand, dear blog, that I am accustomed to the sorts of treats that cost, on average, £1 each. NOT an entire boxful of biscuits for 94p the lot. My partner sighed and smiled at me and said "I'm sorry Jasper - these are all that mummy can afford for a while." So I decided not to be small about these things and accepted the biscuit. It actually wasn't that bad. In fact, if truth be told, I have become rather partial to them. But don't tell my partner.
Even more scary than the cheapo biscuits was the meeting we had to have with the IVA agency rep on Wednesday evening, during which we had to hand over all our documentation; bills, bank statements, wage slips, driving license, bank contracts, etc. We chose to meet him in the pub to spare my partner's parents the sight of their daughter in this position. It was desperately humiliating for my partner, and not a little unnerving when it transpired that the 'rep' was, in fact, a private detective. I hid under the table.
But, although presently wretched, we are assured that we have done the right thing and are more positive about our future than we have been for many years. If only BC would return, then my partner's happiness would be wholly complete. But my partner is not accustomed to things going right for her, so perhaps it is better if things only improve a piece at a time - a fully happy life would only frighten her. I can, however, tell you that it is a matter of supreme satisfaction to us both to know that those grasping little Fagins at my partner's bank will not get another penny of profit from her struggles. It infuriates me to see how people who have the least money are encouraged to assume credit by the banking institutions and then penalised further and further when they begin to struggle. I wonder how the immoral s*ds sleep at night.
As if all this wasn't enough of a trial; guess which mangy, pox-riddled, repugnant buzzard has returned to Abbotstone? Can you guess? If not, I shall enlighten you. Yes - the Buzzard is back. My partner saw him on Wednesday. I thought I had detected his presence last week, but did not voice my fears - there was a dead mouse on the footpath last Wednesday and the body of a shrew at the beginning of this week. And the squirrels have been keeping an extremely low profile. Oh bosoms. I really thought I'd seen the last of that revolting raptor. He does look a bit bedraggled - he is missing a few feathers on his right wing and appears to have been in the wars, but I pity him not. He'd better not try any fun and games with me again or I'll have more than a few feathers from his wretched carcass. I'll keep the blog posted with any developments.
Barking of Abbotstone, I managed to acquire a rather hideous injury there this afternoon. Nothing to do with the Buzzard, alas, so I cannot get him via Claims Direct ("Been injured at work...?"). I was playing sticks with my partner and forgot to duck when I went under some barbed wire. Oh POO. Take a look at the result:
But DO NOT fear - it actually doesn't hurt at all. My partner was terribly worried when she saw it (she nearly crashed the car when she saw the blood - hee hee hee...) and Maisie will go ballistic when I see her tomorrow, but I am entirely unconcerned about it myself and you know what I always say - the ladies love a scar! Helloooo girls.....
So a very wordy entry it is today. Fittingly, because it has been a very wordy (and rather trying) week. But my partner and I have each other, and love is free (unless you are a prostitute). One of the nicest moments in the week came on our most difficult day. After we had finished with the private investigator chap in the pub, my partner visited the room called "Ladies" so that she could send a weemail. Naturally, I accompanied her. After the act, we both had a moment of distress at the enormity of what we had just accomplished (the handing over of documents, not the pee-pee). I fixed my dewy brown eyes earnestly on my partner and, as she knelt before me, I put my front paws on her shoulders and we held each other quietly.
And then, in a comment that served to justify my whole existence, my partner said simply
"I'm glad you were here with me, Jasper."