The Madness of The Spreading Bleak

Fascinating Musings
Season 1 – Tuesday – 24/01/23

The Madness of The Spreading Bleak

I love willow trees. They are like whispers of romance in a dark gothic novel that Mary Shelley might pen. Although, according to an American tourist l overheard a week or so ago, “Well dang, that just looks haunted, don’t it now?”

Yes, it does, or maybe just bleak! I thought.

We are two days into the bleak week, and l am the first to concede that it is pretty depressing. But what isn’t depressing about everything anyway? The weather forecasters are also calling this weather ‘bleak week.’

The last twelve-plus months have spiralled down into this bleak contagion. Sure l keep my motivations as high as able, but still, you know?

The Bleakness Madness, as l now term it, is everywhere l look. People have bleak looks on their faces, and cars have lost their shinies and now have a gloomy shade. The overall attitude is one of general bleakness.

As to my world, well, l am just or, instead, we – Sue and l are just keeping busy and trying not to allow the overall tiredness of life to suck and sap our energy levels and trust me, it is challenging. But additionally, we don’t have time to be depressed or sad and down in the dumps, and as long as we are not dead or dying, life is just too short to be thinking the end is nigh!

The decluttering of Willow is long and oft detailed and thorough, and the selling of said clutter is also taking longer as bleakness and financial worry and strains are critical factors to making sales, so tweaking [a word l have a fondness for] is rife with my advertising. The secret for me is a fewfold to making it happen profitably.

Finding the sweet spot, Letting go of one’s attachment or emotions to things, Good photos and descriptions and Politeness, and yet even these key ingredients are not enough. Of course, it’s all just stuff and stuff you don’t want anymore, and you want it gone, so this has to be calculated into pricing. You don’t want to give things away, and if possible, l try not to trash items as that adds more shite to the rubbish piles.

If you price it too cheap, you have those who want everything for nothing and still try to barter you down, so you work on finding the balance between a low and high price with room for bargaining in your favour. Facebook is now filled with scammers and manipulators who make a lot of money ripping people off.

The last course of action for failing sales is to award it to charity, but charity, first and foremost, begins at home, and we are still in the current climate. None of us is free of it. Also, charity is no guarantee either, and they are becoming pickier in what you can donate!

January is a poor cash month, an excellent credit month [think January sales], but it’s usually only at the end of the month that you see the cash sales. So no need to be too glum just yet.

The decluttering started at the beginning of the month and is stretching towards the end. I have twelve active listings and did have fourteen, but I have made some small sales already. I have more adverts to list today, and this week l need some brighter weather to take the photos and not all this bleak grey yuck seeping through the windows.

It isn’t good weather outside as it is sadly grey. Yet Suze and l decided yesterday to recommence the walking, and we managed one yesterday morning and today too.

Also, yesterday we sat down and discussed finances which is never a great conversation under normal circumstances, never mind mad grey and bleak days. But we managed to draw up a twelve-point battle plan on a giant whiteboard, so all good. We outlined ways of making more income through sales and selling, writing and working, gardening and composting, etc.

Let’s not pretend it’s not tight for everyone because it is. However, to echo others here, “Roll on spring!”

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Earthly Comforts is a wildlife journaling scrapbook focusing on the countryside, wildlife biodiversity and environmental conservation, flora and fauna volunteering projects, gardening, composting and vermiculture, inspiration, poetry and photography.

29 thoughts on “The Madness of The Spreading Bleak

  1. I love willow trees, too! I get the bleakness. The weather most certainly does not help. Although this post is melancholy, it was very well written, my friend! I hope you find your spirits lifted soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bleakness seems to be spreading everywhere, Rory! January has always been a drab month, IMO. Plus doubts about worldly outcomes don’t help matters. Yes, we must plan for the future but we can’t forget to live in the moment. Just keep on keepin’ on.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Do people still use EBay?

    I bet you will get some decent cash there.

    We have tax season coming – I always make them take the most out so I never owe and always get back ❤️👏

    I will have my taxes finished in February … but they are not due until April

    Do you guys have something like that?how do they have you paying your taxes ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have eBay. It’s a case of making sales on lesser content through the Facebook marketplace before working with eBay. In truth, the whole market is going through a major slump.

      Our energy prices are the highest in Europe, and the cost of living is skyrocketing, so people are very weary of spending now.

      Our tax system works differently pending on your specific situation – self-employed versus employed.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I don’t do Facebook anything

        And yes recession … also I’m really tired of this whole war thing…

        Do you have a specific date you have to have your taxes done?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I don’t do anything bar selling on Facebook when l have items to sell, because there is a very active buying market here. As to social of Facebook that can swing as l can’t stand it, but the people is who do the buuying so at times it is acase of playing devil’s advocate.

        Yes l am sick to the back teeth of the war.

        The typical tax year in the UK runs from 6th April through to the following 5th April. If you are employed then your tax is automatically sorted, but if you are self-employed you are accountable for sorting your own taxes and getting them submitted to the taxman on time.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Everything is on Facebook 😝 if an app or thing wants Facebook then nope I’m out 👎

        Sometimes I see jobs with social media and I think 🤔 could I? But no I could not

        Lol… I know!! I’m ready for it to be over – can we be done now… what is even the point?

        So if you are employed it’s done for you? What about credits or stocks or property or things like that? They totally do your taxes FOR you?? If you are employed by an employer?

        I am curious if yours are like mine lol

        Liked by 1 person

      4. If you are employed by an employer that isn’t you, then yes the system automatically takes care of it alongside National Insurance payments. If however you are self-employed then the onus of accountability, management and sustainability to your finances falls to you or you could take on board the services of an accountant to work the system for you [they would do your accounts].

        As to stocks and property l am not sure, l should imagine it would reflect upon each situation.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Wow! You don’t have to file anything as long as you work for someone else ? You don’t have to file at all?

        Interesting 🧐

        How much do you pay for national insurance ?

        That is so weird?? Do you have write offs and credits and things?

        If you are employed – do they allow you to have own accountant or do own taxes? Or is that only for self employed?

        Liked by 1 person

      6. As an employee you would pay 14 and a half percent l think. Having not worked now for many years l am not up to speed on all the workings. If l was to get a job this year that wasn’t selfemployed, l would probably be on emergency tax once l hit the personal allowance of earnings.

        It’s all very complex. It becomes even more complex when you start to work for yourself.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. We pay state and federal taxes … so I pay taxes to the federal government and the state of California or whatever state I am living in.

        We have to do our own taxes and submit by April 15th usually – or you file for an extension

        We pay less taxes than England … when I googled if taxes in England were same as taxes in America …

        It said: The highest rate of income tax in the US is 37% if you earn over $523k. In the UK, it’s 45% if you earn over £150k. 😮

        If you work for employer you get a W2 from employer – your employer withholds taxes for you… and you add the credits, deductions etc and computer checks – then government has to approve and accept – or you go to accountant depending on assets and things

        I always make them take the most out … so when I do taxes I always get money back ❤️👏

        If you are self employed it’s a 1099 and keep track of everything and figure out your ownself

        Englands sounds more expensive!! That’s why we rebelled from England in first place lol … Boston Tea Party lol 😘✌️… taxation without representation lol

        Taxing for its own wealth and not benefit the subjects in America

        Other things too but that was big one

        Ya know … when ya mess with other peoples money 🤷‍♀️ lol

        Liked by 1 person

      8. England is more expensive and horribly and unjustly so. With the current climate, we have many families struggling financially over here, and higher taxes make life very unpleasant.

        I am not a true Brit, sure born here, but I have never felt that England was my home, just somewhere l happened to live.

        That’s what l have always found ironic about the Americans. They didn’t want to be part of England and rebelled rightly for their independence, yet many craved monarchy and royalism. That cracks me up all the time.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Well some royalists stayed behind

        And then over time became more romanticized and fairy tale like? Because we were removed from it… so I don’t know what it’s like to have a king or queen

        I’m not really sure what exactly they do??

        Liked by 1 person

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