A lot of people are not working, the banks are being guaranteed by the government as people panic about their savings, and there are still a lot of "For Sale" signs around as people jump ship from mortgages that they can't afford.
And the Budget, brought forward to shore up an ailing exchequer, went after the very people civilised society is supposed to protect; The Elderly, Children, The Disabled and People with Special Needs, and they threw in a 1% levy on People on Low Incomes.
But I talked about that already in my post about Joe Behan. All I will add is that Joe called me tonight on my mobile to say thank you for the blog and all your comments. In his own words he was "gobsmacked" at our support.
So, I have decided to have a think about what we can still enjoy without risking penury.
No 1, is to go for a walk with my Mr Hammie. We head out at about 5 o'clock when our Angel arrives to mind Boo and Bratty; and we walk all the way down to the beach, along the sea wall and up to what used to be our Harbour. (developers are building a marina but we won't talk about that)
Speaking of foods you wouldn't normally justify:
2.Plain Chocolate Brownie from The Butler's Pantry: €2.50
Before I started working again I used to go out for a walk during the day and buy one of these little beauties as a treat. You have a choice of plain or with walnuts and I always go for plain. As you can see the counter is covered in single serve treats and Free Samples. I actually order a Mocha latte at the coffee shop across the road (or Mocha Frappethingie in Summer) and eschewing their brownies, run over to Butler's while they are making it to buy the superior version.
It is a lovely open and airy shop, the staff are very friendly and the cakes are super. And If you need a to buy a present for a hard to choose for person, A Butler's cake in a pretty box with a ribbon is a winner, every time.
3. Towel Hugs
Another thing that I am truly grateful for each day is my kids. But since they do cost quite a lot to run, and earn nothing (so far) I cannot really count them as "free".
However, everyday I get to do something that reminds me how much I love being a Mum, Bath time. Not the bath itself which involves a great risk of flooding and, as they get older, a lot of prompting to "wash this, wash that, don't do that, What Are You Doing?!!!" type stuff.
But afterwards, no matter how big they are growing, I get to wrap them up in a super sized bath sheet and hold them like a little swaddled baby on my lap. With Boo I get a bonus "drying of a small boy's wet hair", so it ends up all spikey. But with Bratty I just hold her like the little Eskimo baby she was on Day 1.
So there you go, three things for under 3 bucks to make you smile in these troubled times.
I am waiting for Number 4 (child sleeping peacefully) to materialise.
But since neither Boo nor Bratty is obliging me with a kodak opportunity I will post that another time, check back later if I succeed.
More "steps" another day.
Have a great weekend!