Tuesday 1 March 2022

Home Economics: February Report

I knew my February Report was going to be somewhat different when I found myself in Hobby Craft contemplating the cost of acrylic jewels. They were made in China--what was I doing? But I was in the grip of a creative mania, and I was determined to make two crowns for a Platinum Jubilee party. 

The invitation suggested "patriotic costuming," and I was in no mood for a Spice Girl Union Jack sparkly dress, so I decided Benedict Ambrose and I would go as the Lion and the Unicorn from the Royal Arms. When I looked up masks on Amazon, I discovered that party masks have come a long way.  Reproductions of the crowns on the Royal Arms have not, however, and that is why I spent £15.75 on metallic cardboard, glue, acrylic jewels, fake pearls, red tissue paper, and cotton balls. (By the way, cotton balls are a lousy substitute for ermine, and eventually I will throw good money after bad and get some fake fur trim.)

Incidentally, when B.A. and I turned up, half-blinded by our masks, disguised as the Royal Arms but otherwise in overly-correct evening wear, we discovered that none of the other guests had gone to such lengths and even the host was sporting just a Union flag cravat. But we certainly made an Entrance, and I very much enjoyed my Saturday of crown-making. 

But normally I just reveal our food expenses, so here we go:

February 2022: Groceries: £307.15; RBCT (Restaurants, Bars, Cafes, Takeaway) £166.80. Total: £473.95.

That's not too bad: just £23.95 over my tentative budget. And to examine the recent past, we naturally saved more than in January, my birthday dinner month:

January 2022: Groceries: £313.05; RBCT:  £267.00. Total: £580.05. 

We also did better than December:

December 2021: Groceries: £319.10; RBCT: £214.80. Total: £533.90

But we did not do better than February 2021, which was partly in Lent, and looked like this:

February 2021: Groceries: £299.70; RBCT: £45.15. Total: £344.85

It looks as though our usual food purchases have not been affected by inflation. Meanwhile, so as to enjoy the memory of our 13 bouts of RBCT, here is the tally: 

My coffee & croissant at favourite cafe; B.A.'s coffee & cake with pals; Sunday lunch in Stockbridge; cappuccini & bun/croissant after dermatologist's appointment; cocktails after seeing Belfast; Sunday pints with a pal up from England; Chinese takeaway for Valentine's Day; my coffee & croissant in favourite cafe; Sunday lunch and doughnuts in Stockbridge; takeaway cannoli and croissant; B.A.'s pints with pal in pub; Sunday lunch in Stockbridge; B.A.'s coffee with old university pal.

The NHS being in the state it is, I went to a private dermatologist to see about an irritated mole, and B.A. came with me in case we had another sudden cancer drama. I am happy to report both that the mole was merely irritated, not cancerous, and that the appointment was only £50.   

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