In my attempts to live a frugal life as a mother of no fixed income, I am trying to avoid the temptation of play centres where a large latte and a glossy mag can be enjoyed while the small people run riot in padded climbing frames dressed as spiderman. Very appealing, but not an option for the fiscally challenged.
Instead, I go to local toddler groups, other people’s houses, the back garden, other people’s back gardens and the duck pond. Unfortunately, the latter of these inexpensive options has just cost me dearly.
Despite the lashing hailstones and howling wind last Tuesday, off we went to feed the ducks. After several anxious moments where the sixteen-month-old lunged dangerously close to the edge of the path, I decided we would head back to the car. As I brushed the breadcrumbs off my jeans, my engagement ring flew off my finger and into the water.
It was one of those slow motion moments – I almost caught it, but just out of reach, in it fell. Horrified I stared into the water – no sign of the ring anywhere. After a while standing like this, telling my little boys how awful it all was, I realised there really was not much I could do without a snorkel or wet suit so I turned my back on my lovely ring, and drove home.
Despite returning the next day with a make-shift dredging device fashioned by my husband from bits of junk he found in the shed, still no ring. The swans looked very suspicious – I reckon they know something.
Now every time I look at my left hand I see a gaping void where my ring should be but the void in our bank balance will be even more gaping if we try to replace it.
I am hopeful that one day I will gaze into that duck pond and something familiar will glint back at me. In the meantime, I’m taking the kids to the play centre to cheer myself up with a large latte and a glossy mag!