Sunday, 9 February 2014

My Birthday Box

The first two months of the year, January especially, are what can only be described as infested with birthdays. Not a week goes by without one, some weeks have three or four scattered around to fill up my calendar. They aren't just any old birthday's either, the sort where I can just pop a card in the post or post a message on Facebook, these are important birthdays; parents, children, step children, grandchildren...

Every year it gives me a headache, sleepless nights even worrying about how I'm going to manage to send a grandchild a birthday present when I can't even afford to put the heating on. Every year I say this isn't going to happen again, I'm going to be much more organised in future and plan in advance like I used to. It's ironic really, when I was working and had enough money that I could buy birthday presents and cards as and when I needed to, I always planned in advance. If I saw something I liked, I'd buy it and put it away to use at a later date. If I saw pretty birthday cards I'd buy them straight away so I'd always got one handy if I forgot a birthday. Now, when I really need to do that I talk myself out of it, telling myself that the pound or two I'd be spending could be put to better use. And then panic when another birthday rolls around.
Well, no more.
Last week I made a start on my 'birthday box' by buying a load of cards. Card Factory is great for this, and often have 10 for £1 on basic cards or 5 for £1 for more special ones, so I spent £2 and bought 15. Now I have a card for just about every occasion and every age. Next week I shall add a book of stamps to the box.
Then I shall start keeping an eye open for little things I can use for gifts. It will take time to build up my box, and I'll have to keep replacing things as I use them, but if everything goes according to plan, come next year and the dreaded months of birthdays, all I'll have to do is go to my box and I'll have everything I need.


  1. Hi Hope,
    I have a birthday box too. This year i'm trying to make some, if not most of my cards as I have so much stuff lying about. I just have to remember to post them at the right time.
    Take care

    1. Haha, me too Kim, remembering to post is always a problem. I think my memory turned to swiss cheese one day when I wasn't looking ;)

  2. hi,
    I found your blog a couple of days ago & have read your entries from the very

    beginning. I can't put into words how much your story has upset me. I am an ex

    service wife & it distresses me that someone who has served his country is left to

    live struggling from day to day.

    please don't be offended if what I suggest has already been tried,

    Firstly, the benefit system is undergoing a big change at the moment, if you

    haven't already done so, contact your local council & ask for welfare rights, and

    request a home visit from them. once they go through your circumstances with

    you they can fill in the forms for you, (welfare rights are there to fight you corner,

    not the governments } if this results in an interview with a doctor who assesses

    you, request to have an advocate present.

    You have said you went without a fridge for sometime, are you aware that both

    Saffa & the british legion have a welfare dept who would help you ?

    My daughter who is ex military & is divorced from a serving soldier couldn't afford

    to replace her broken washing machine ( she has 4 children & is at university )

    the british legion replaced it with a brand new machine & replaced her sitting

    room carpet which had been ruined when the machine flooded downstairs.

    If you haven't done so already,please speak up to these people, they can't help you if they aren't aware of your problems,

    take care,


    1. Thank you Helen,

      We've recently had an assessment of benefits, and my husband's war pension was also assessed and increased (although that meant other things went down, they do love to give with one hand and take with the other) but I'm confident that we are getting everything he's entitled to at the moment.

      We have had help from the British Legion before, when we first relocated. They were fantastic and bought our cooker, washing machine and the original fridge that I had to replace this summer. My husband's always very reluctant to ask for help (I find most ex-forces are) and he does feel very strongly that as we've had help once it's someone else's turn now.

  3. hi,
    I wasn't sure if you knew of these people who could help you.

    I wish I could have been more help to you.

    take care,
    Helen x x