Friday, 11 November 2011


...Mr A is useless at it.  I'm the one in this marriage who has to be careful with money.  Winter is particularly difficult, and I pride myself on being able to economise.   I don't waste electricity or water, and I can make a chicken last a whole week with a bit of imagination.

Mr A, on the other hand, plans one day at a time.   If he has money he will spend it.  If he doesn't have money he will sell something.  We have many disagreements over his attitude towards money.  He appears to listen and promises to change his ways, but he has a short memory.

When he has money he will go out and buy the food shopping.  I give him a list...which he vaguely sticks to...but he is extravagant..he just can't help himself.  He will come home with all kinds of expensive food which means we live like kings for a week...then it's back to homemade soup.

He is still working on the garden.  He had enough money to do the balcony roof and rebuild the wall around the garden.  This was sufficient for the time being, but because he is still waiting to hear when he can start a winter job in Istanbul, he thought he would make some more improvements to the garden.  

He has built another wall to cut off the top of the garden (to replace the wooden fence which was demolished by the tractor delivering sand and cement).  But then he decided that all the chicken wire needed to be replaced and that he would build a wooden fence.   To do this properly, he would need to level off part of the uneven driveway with concrete.  But not happy with just repairing this, he thought the whole driveway should be cemented.

I know I shouldn't criticise him for his enthusiasm.  He has worked flat out for the past month and has made such a good job of it all that word has spread around the village and people are turning up daily to admire his efforts.  But I would rather he had made proper plans and budgeted for this work to be done over a longer period of time.

I would post up some photos but my camera isn't working very well.   (I'll give it another go today). 

Mr A could take lots of pics with his iPhone of course...except that he sold it last week to pay for wood and the last lot of cement and sand.

Even though I'm not always happy about him going away to work, I can't wait for him to get the call from Istanbul so that he can start work and stop spending money that he can't afford.

Having previewed this post before publishing, I think I must come across as being very ungrateful.  I could be married to a typical Turkish man who spends the entire winter in the teahouse.  At least Mr A isn't sitting on his backside doing nothing.

Perhaps I need to relax a bit more and stop worrying about things I can't change!


  1. This is a lovely post and Mr A sounds like a lovely man! And I know you are lovely too - so don't change anything!! It simply wouldn't be any fun to be in a partnership with someone who was exactly the same, would it? My husband and I are a bit like you two - only the other way around! I am spontaneous, Cesar thinks I'm scatty. I plan for the future; Cesar thinks I daydream. I am inventive, Cesar thinks I'm irresponsible... though not all the time!

    I used to keep a book on my desk at work called 'I'm not crazy, I'm just not you' - and that just about says it all.
    I think perhaps Mr A might be a tad frustrating at times but he makes me want to give him a big hug!

  2. Our Turkish builder used to shake his head at the young men working for idea of how to handle money, he used to say.
    They would be paid, blow the money on something lavish - not for themselves let it be said, but for their mum, their wife, their kids - and be looking for an advance mid week.
    And, despite his head shaking, he usually gave it!
    It's just how they are, he said.

  3. Annie. I guess we would be bored with each other if we were both the same...opposites attract so they say!

    Fly: He's is exactly how they are!

  4. Shucks Ayak, you're right - it *is* a good thing that he's willing to work so hard. On the other hand, it is difficult when two people have very different ideas about money. Still, a week of eating like kings sounds kind of pleasant. Maybe next week I'll put all *my* budgeting aside, and buy all the expensive cheese and pickles and pastries I'm always coveting :-)

  5. Deniz I'd just like to find some kind of balance rather than two extremes!

  6. ovely post, Ayak. You and Mr A sound like my parents. My father earned the money and my mother carefully budgetted every penny. My DH is the more careful one in our marriage, though I too can make a chicken go a very long way....

  7. Perpetua I often think that unless one person in a partnership is careful with money then its doomed to failure. It would be dreadful if we were both reckless.

  8. It's good to sound off now and again. You've got a good man by the sounds of it. So have I but sometimes I could cheerfully throttle him.

  9. That's just how I feel Jack. We know they are basically good men, just bloody irritating at times.

  10. He sounds like a lovely man, if a tiny bit annoying at times, but it is difficult to stop worrying!

  11. J: I've always been a worrier and Mr A worries about nothing. I guess that's unlikely to change.

  12. If this post felt to you like complaining when you got to the end, then I'd say you've got a fantastic thing going. It's a wonderfully affectionate bit of ungratefulness!

    My husband was much the same with money-- it was like sand through his fingers when he had it, but generally spent in a good and generous way, even if it wasn't all that well thought out. Then there's me always turning down the heat and making everyone wear sweaters, and, as you say, getting darned creative with a chicken!

  13. Sounds like you have a good man there.... :-))).
    I had to laugh to myself....My husband would NOT sell his IPhone for anything, I think he would rather sell me then his 'beloved' IPhone. The man does not get off that cell phone.He sends messages, yick yacks on it and plays games when he takes a break UGH!!! non- stop. But his Blackberry he uses for his business. Just yesterday he was telling me he's going to get the new one that came out last month, this one he has is only 1 year old, it also just came out.

    When I first got married I was never on a budget in my life, I guess my parents spoiled me. My Turksh husband couldn't understand why I needed all this stuff......going ahead 25 years later we are opposites. I have to watch him, b/c he doesn't budget now. :-((( We too had our backyard inter/locked just this past month, we decided on a budget but when my husband wanted this and that it tripled on what we decided. Mind you he didn't do any work but we had about 4 workers. So there goes my vacation for this year. :-(

    Glad Mr. A is making a beautiful garden, something a Sultan would enjoy. :-))) It sometimes good to sound off once in a while, keeps things not boring. Are you going with him to Istanbul????

  14. Erica Mr A also loved his iPhone but no doubt he will get another one sometime in the future. He became so obsessed with the garden that he willingly parted with the iPhone.
    It's not practical for me to go to Istanbul really. Apart from the extra costs involved, we also have our 2 dogs to consider..not easy to find a rental apartment with them in tow.
    Istanbul is not asolutely definite at this point in time. We're hoping he may be able to find something nearer home if it doesn't happen.


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