Thursday, 30 June 2011

Pennies from heaven

While one random act of kindness can supposedly change the world, I am delighted to report three random acts of kindness have amounted to a much needed holiday for our family.
When Christmas  2008 came only eight weeks after the Grand Opening, every penny I received in gifts from my family went towards heat, light, food and fuel. We had weekly benefits of £300 a week and nothing to spare for presents let alone luxuries. Our life remained like this for many months leaving me trapped in my beautiful,  but expensive to heat, country home with creditors shouting abuse at my door, debt collection agencies constantly telephoning, baliff visits looming  and no idea where the tunnel was let alone where the light at the end of it might be.
A year later when Christmas came around again we had lost our home but had managed to secure a roof over our head in the form of a drafty, leaky old farmhouse which had stood empty for nearly a year. By this time my husband was working at M & S but we had to use the Christmas money sent to us as gifts to finance the purchase of presents for our children and grandchildren.

This year was completely different.
With rental income from lodgers bridging the gap between torturously cold and bearably comfortable, I felt able, for the first time in three years, to spend the three hundred pounds my father sent us, on a luxury. So, on New Year’s Eve, I paid £321 for five return flights to Spain thanks to my Dad and his wife’s generousity.
Three years ago, within days of discovering our predicament, my father- in -law urged me to take my children away from the continual harassment and verbal abuse which went hand in hand with the demise of our business by moving to his apartment on the Costa del Sol. Not wishing to hide from our financial responsibilites I decided to stay and face the consequences so declined his kind offer to use his well appointed Spanish home complete with car and a full larder. Three years on he was only too happy to make the same offer again but this time for ten days in July.

Hearing the prohibitively expensive transfers from the airport were going to cost nearly as much as our flights, some Spanish resident ex-patriot friends of my father in law, whom we have never meet, offered to bring two cars to Malaga airport to collect us at a fraction of the cost of the commercial transfers available.
Because of these three independent acts of kindness, I, my husband and my children will fly to Spain for a ten day holiday of sun, sand and sea for which we have not paid one penny.  For me, this is a clear indication the “everyday kindness of the back roads more than makes up for the acts of greed in the headlines”.

I do not doubt ex Lloyds Chief Executive Eric Daniel’s holiday plans, along with a fair few other HBOS and Lloyd’s executives, will have used tax-payer paid bonuses to finance much more extravagant and exotic summer breaks for their families than mine. I cannot, however, believe it possible for any of them to be looking forward to their vacation more than I am.

This feeling is priceless.

No comments:

Post a Comment