Money really does makes the world go round

Money talks, they say, but all mine has said lately is goodbye.

August is the time of year when my car registration comes due, as does my warrant and car insurance. The rates bill arrives, and scary winter power bills have to be paid.

All these things can be planned for, but there have been a few surprises, too. Driving through South Dunedin in our Hilux on a recent Sunday, we heard a hissing sound start up.

After an embarrassing wait at the lights as steam began to rise from under the bonnet, we pulled over and parked and there we were, stuck at the side of the road, miles from home.

The radiator was empty, which led to the sort of "You should have ...", " Well you were driving" tiff any long-married couple will be familiar with. We retired to a coffee bar to let things - vehicle and people - cool down, and begged some warm water for a refill.

Lucky for us we managed to nurse the Hilux home, driving carefully and watching the temperature gauge, with no further overheating.

The good news from the garage was that we had a burst hose, so we didn't need a new radiator. The bad news was it was a heater hose, and hard to get at. So more than a week's pay has gone on fixing that.

Another surprise came at the supermarket, when I fancied a few chops for tea. Teeny weeny lamb chops were more than $2 each, and I vowed to pay more attention to my flock, which at those prices must be worth more than the car.

We had a nice meal of meatballs, and then made plans to sharpen up the butcher's knife at home.

Then came the snow, and I tried to buy some sheep nuts to feed those newly-valuable animals: more money. But the rural supplies store had sold out, so I came away with crushed barley instead. The sheep didn't mind, they were just happy to be eating.

The hens are eating lots too, but at least they have started laying again. Meanwhile the bees are flourishing: I have started to worry about them running out of room in their hives. They even seem to be making honey, although it's not really spring yet and there's not enough for me to take any.

More money must be spent to expand the hives, and to have a spare box or two in case there is a swarm.

Who knows? One day, one of these ventures might even make me some money.


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