Blogable

Recently, I've been leading a very blogworthy life. I've been baking my own bread and eating it with the neighbour's homemade jam; I've been sewing cushion covers and laying my own bright yellow polkadot lino; I've been transitioning to more eco-friendly cleaning products and having an enormous cull of my wardrobe which included drawing felt tip pen pictures of every single item of clothing I own; I've been nurturing plants (with varying degrees of success) and weeding the garden; I've been taking photography seriously and talking interior decor with my sister.

I've been ticking off the cliches and basking in my photogenically minimalist watching-Parks-and-Recreation DIY lots-of-vegetables sort of life.

But if there's anything which spoils relaxed fun, it's having to document every single moment of it so I can teach somebody else how to have relaxed fun, too. My coffee dates don't need a storyboard.

And I'm pretty sure you all know how to sit in a cafe and drink camomile tea without instructions from me.

That said, the neglect has to stop. I've poured years of effort into building up this blog and it saddens me a little that I've let that slide.

Why have I done that? Well, I've been busy; I've been dealing with assorted crises; I've been a bit disillusioned with the blandness hiccup the blog world's been going through... but it's not just that. It's also in part that I'm now working in the oil sodden, personalised license plated, absolutely minted private sector. I live in a city where it's not unusual to earn six figures in your early twenties and to have more bathrooms than family members.

I do not earn six figures. I barely earn enough to pay taxes. Which is all my own doing: I chose a creative (as opposed to, say, an engineering) field; I chose to work part-time; I regularly choose to turn down interviews for better paid roles for a whole assortment of reasons. And, compared to a lot of the more hidden people in this city, I'm well off; I have a job and a mortgage and food on the table.

However I spend a lot of time dodging questions about why I'm not having any foreign holidays this summer (can't afford it) or buying the empty flat downstairs (can't afford it) or going to any of the £80-per-head charity galas (can't afford it). I feel baffled that those are serious queries. I feel self conscious that I can't afford new work clothes or a hair cut or somebody to lay the lino for me.

And that has seeped into blogging. If I blog about flogging old clothes on eBay or free ways to have fun or making my own... anything at all... are people going to read it and feel embarrassed for me?

But, actually, one of the things I originally loved about blogging was the acceptance that we were all a bit broke and most of us had money-making schemes on the side and we all furnished our homes from charity shops and kept Wednesdays aside for cheap cinema trips. There was an acceptance that things could be much worse and a shared belief that feeling fulfilled by our lives was more important than feeling financially flush.

One of the things I've disliked about blogging recently is the emphasis on working with brands, on encouraging each other to go out and buy loads of new clothes and subscribe to "beauty boxes" full of products we'll never get round to using. I don't feel blogs should be making me feel bad about my budget.

So perhaps it's time to stop worrying about this. Perhaps it's time to be one of the voices saying, "If you can pay your bills, you're doing okay. You do not need a new car every year. You do not new clothes every season. You do not need designer handbags. If you like where you're living and you have friends who will bring round a bottle and watch movies with you, you have enough."

And while I'm getting on my high horse, perhaps I should be adding, "If you can afford one more tin of beans than your meal planning requires, bung it in the foodbank bin in the supermarket." Because I shouldn't be embarrassed that I'm earning less than the local millionaires; I should be embarrassed that people are earning less than me.

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