This year's Christmas hamper didn't contain much to write home about: 2 hotplates, a decorative candle, an oven glove and matching apron, a tea towel, a food container, a bottle of wine, some olive oil and a little jar of course sea salt. I opened it at the busstop, and a Moroccan lady sitting next to me ooh-ed and aah-ed over every item I dug up from the box, so I gave it all to her except for the wine, the oil and the salt which I kept for myself. "Happy Eid al-Fitr!", I said. She couldn't believe her luck.
I got a rude awakening at the cashpoint yesterday, when I went to get some grocery money. It told me I couldn't take out more than 47 euros. I know I've been spending money hand over fist these last two months, putting together a new wardrobe to replace the skirts, tops and trousers that have suddenly become too big for me, and having a few items altered, but I had no idea I'd been going through my reserves so quickly. Part of it's my own fault, for never bothering to apply to extend my overdraught no matter how much better off I am now as compared to twenty years ago when I was making do on a student loan, but still...It's going to have to be a very frugal Christmas this year.