Tuesday, 22 February 2011
Storms, Gas Bottles and Control....
I'm very careful now to make sure everything electrical is disconnected at the first sign of a storm...particularly the modem! I don't use the electric shower when there's a storm (you may recall the shock I received last summer). I have always had it somewhere in the back of my mind that I should be careful with the gas bottles that are used here. We only have one which is connected to the hob on the cooker (the oven is electric). But sometimes one just forgets the dangers. If there was any proper health and safety legislation in this country, their inspectors would have a field day. Maybe that's why there is no control over the dangers in the home...they wouldn't know where to begin.
Yesterday I put the kettle on the gas hob to make a coffee and went off to use the bathroom. When I returned, there was no flame under the kettle. Instead of checking to see whether the gas was on, I just didn't think and pressed the ignition switch....whooosh...bang...flames! Fortunately I jumped back and no harm was done...but it made me stop and think...it was certainly a wake-up call. I will be much more careful in future.
Control...hmmm...when did I lose control over my life? I can't really pinpoint the time...it's kind of crept up gradually. It's all about money of course...or rather lack of it. Money's not everything in life but it gives you choices...it gives you control. We have no money...we have no control...and we have huge debts.
I've had my credit card for years...going back to the time when I was in full-time employment in England. For most of the time there, and here, I've used it for things like booking flights and paid in full on statement every month. We've had a difficult few years financially, so I've used the card more than I should, and the closer I got to the credit limit, the more the company increased it. Do they ever check your incomings before doing this? I think not, or they would know that it's not wise to keep increasing it. OK I've never missed a monthly payment, but my credit limit stands at 9,900 pounds, and I have now reached this limit. I have a very small pension (minute in fact) which now only just covers the minimum monthly payment on the card. Oh the interest charged is so high I can't bare to think about it. And at this rate I won't finish paying it off until I'm about 135 years old.
I haven't been extravagant. Those of you who follow me regularly know that I don't waste money...quite the opposite. But we have had to live, and the card has only been used out of necessity.
You know we live in this house which FIL "gave" us. We live in it, but it's not ours. FIL's name is still on the deeds. He mentioned last year about being willing to sign the house over to us. It comes with a piece of land on the outskirts of the village where he has planted fruit and nut trees. This started out for him as a hobby. But Ankara is so far away that he only comes to tend the land twice a year for a week or two at a time. The rest of the time, FIL pays a man in the village to look after the land. I asked Mr A why FIL could not just pay Mr A to look after the land. At least we would have some money coming in. Mr A replied that this had already been discussed and that FIL would expect him to do it for nothing because he's family. OK I think this is fair enough...but Mr A can't do this if he is either working, or looking for work.
Mr A spoke to FIL recently, and asked if the land could be sold, to pay off my credit card debt, and so enable us to free up my pension, which would support us through the winter months. But he has flatly refused. No explanation, other than to say he doesn't want to sell anything. FIL also "gave" houses to Mr A's brother and to his sister (again the deeds are still in FIL's name). Apparently, because his sister and her husband are doctors and are now earning good money, FIL is about to take the house back from them. Again, I can see the fairness of this up to a point...they should stand on their own feet, and they can afford to.
But...it's all about control isn't it? FIL has ALL the control over his family, and will continue to do so until the day he dies.
FIL and MIL will be here in a couple of weeks time. He will as usual criticise everything....the state of the garden, the dogs hairs, my cooking, the cheap food that we are forced to buy that doesn't suit his expensive taste buds. He may find it difficult to criticise the food on this occasion however, as the cupboard and fridge are bare. I should be thankful for small mercies!
I could do with a lottery win...difficult to achieve when I can't even find the money to buy a ticket. I'm not greedy, just 10,000 pounds to settle my debts would help. Although a larger win would be acceptable, if only to be able to either buy the house from FIL ...or tell him to stick it. But mainly it would give me back control of my life again....something I am desperately in need of.