Sunday, December 10, 2006

Forty years further on ....

Our house is twenty-five years old, and in the tropics, that means major overhaul time.

I have a large bucket under the leak in the dining room ceiling.
None of the huge sliding doors will slide any more; to open them requires the kind of muscles you only get after six months of weightlifting.
There are civets living in the roof.
Paint is pealing.
All the pipes to the bathrooms are partially blocked, and water is hard to come by.
The trees in the garden have grown so large that if it's cloudy at noon, you need the lights on. The kitchen cabinet doors have just disintegrated into sawdust.

With so many things to choose from, and so little money, I chose to have the kitchen cabinet doors replaced - the local workers did a good job, but do not accept credit cards. Which has left me broke.
Husband is somewhere in the heart of Borneo - Long Pasia to be exact, and incommunicado for a week.
The only credit card I have was declined when I tried to use it today, dunno why.
Last month I was supposed to receive the first payment for my project job - which I have been working on for almost two months - but nothing has arrived.
I have a payment arriving from via my agent from UK, but it takes 6 weeks to clear the cheque. Yep, that's right. In this day and age of electronic transfers, it still takes 6 weeks to clear a cheque.

So here I am, with a car that desparately needs servicing, a service centre that won't take Amex, grocery shopping that needs doing.

So I was scrambling around the house looking for all the money I could find.
$US121 left over from my trip to see my daughter;
20 pounds sterling left over from trip to see other daughter;
20 Austrian schillings which no money changer here will look at;
a savings bankbook with rm 175 in it (that's 50 USD);
and a heap of coins...
I changed the money at the local cambio, but alas, he turned down the 10 Scottish pound note. Damn.
I send the car to servicing. He says it needs new brake linings and timing belts and names a sum that turns my face green. "Minor service only, please," says I, counting out some cash. (It's my husband's car; mine is in Kota Kinabalu.)
And there are people out there who think writers make money?

Forty years ago today I got married. We had no money - we were students after all. What's changed? Nothing much that I can see. Well, one thing, I guess, my husband did turn up forty years ago. Today for the anniversary he's in Borneo and I'm in Kuala Lumpur.

Sometime in the next week or two my sixth book hits the bookshop shelves. In just over an hour my daughter arrives from Virginia with my grandson.

Forty years further on, and life is good.

7 comments:

Lisa said...

Happy anniversary, Glenda and Hubby!! Many good wishes for all the years still to come.

Can't wait to get my hands on Shadows of Tyr, to see what changes the switch from first to third person has made.

Congrats and cheers,
Lisa.

PS my change moneybox is in the mail. ;)

hrugaar said...

Hopefully your daughter brought her credit card - or at least some ready cash. :o)

Sounds like our house, except that ours is slightly older than 25 years, and we don't have the excuse of being in the tropics - and we don't have civets.

Happy (belated) anniversary. And happy book publication! May it sell and sell and earn you loadsa money. :o)

Glenda Larke said...

Thanks, Lisa, Hrugaar! Never mind, there is something romantic about being poor as a writer and having to catch the drips in a bucket, starving in a garret and all that. (Never been to sure what a garret is though...)

hrugaar said...

A garret is a top floor or attic room, usually small and squalid. Conducive to consumption, which apparently makes one lecherous (something to do with the blood loss).

No photos of visiting daughter yet??

Anonymous said...

Bloody hell!!!! All I can offer from here are huge, huge hugs, so you've got them in spadefuls.

I guess all you can do it repeat the Writer's Mantra:

It's all good copy, it's all good copy, it's all good copy ...

BTW -- your site won't let me log in as a Blogger.

It's Karen

Satima Flavell said...

Yeah, all good copy, the highs and the lows. May the new book sell a million and may your marriage be good for another forty years:-)

Looking forward to your new book, too, Karen! Sorry for using Glenda's blog to send you messages but I can't find a way to leave messages on yours...

Anonymous said...

And just who are you kidding ? if you had just Rm125 in the world, you wouldn't be able to afford Internet access :) Rm125 is barely food for a month, so like, pull the other one :)

PS. Not sure about poverty being romantic, I'm sure only people who aren't poor will say that :)