"I cried like a baby yesterday. On Tuesday our local community center sent over some packs, with food and activities for the kiddies (they're sending another today which I'm anxiously keen on like a little schoolgirl lol). This was from the youth group my kids normally would attend in the holidays, where they'd normally do crafts and have lunch. So in the pack were fresh ingredients for lunch and crafts. I mean fresh. The lunch was a loaf of soft fresh white bread, grated cheese packet, slab of real butter and family sized pack of fresh honey roasted ham slices. We felt like Kings, kiddies keep asking for sandwiches since cos it tasted so good. So soft and fresh and luxurious. They also provided a bag of bananas and oranges, which have gone down a lovely treat. We made banana milkshakes in blender with milk powder and water, the sweetness of the bananas masked the powder nicely. Was a lovely treat and a great mood lifter.

This arrived at the same time as the food relief parcels we get weekly arrived, as the two teams work closely together (the organisation funding and managing the food relief is normally who provides lunches at the youth club, so they often work together but are separate from the organisation that runs the youth club), it was easy to tell with food was provided by which organisation. From this usual relief parcel we were given some biscuits, tinned beans and tinned meatballs and some 'add water' items. Of which we are grateful for but my kiddies are lately refusing to eat, saying they makes them feel sick. They're sick of tinned goods. They miss me making meaty and healthy foods. My kids don't complain though, they never act spoilt over it, they don't turn their noses up at when I offer and will often join me to see what herbs or spices we have left to try and improve upon the meal options (I am very worried about our salt intake, especially kiddies, surely all these tinned salted goods aren't healthy!?). They try to eat but can normally only manage a few mouthfuls before they say they can't stomach it no more. In the food parcel also came the dreaded bread, three loafs. One was stale and solid (I let the kids have fun carving it like a pumpkin - least it eased my conscience some that it wasn't entirely wasted), the other was of course mouldy, so common these days I barely bother to get excited now. But one loaf was actually edible, it was lovely for toasting. So yesterday I was able to cheer up some beans with meatballs by putting it on toast. I cried because it was the first time where my kiddies had eaten their full meals in weeks with gusto. And now for two days in a row. Tuesday with sandwiches and yesterday with toast and beans.

Funny how our everyday now is less about what we do and more about what we eat.

I've got £2.32 in my purse until I get paid, which is the last day of the month. We're counting down. I promised kiddies a take away, heaven knows we earned a treat. They keep asking how long, how many days, etc. My daughter has especially become interested in the family budget, which I encourage as I want them to be independent when they mature, she seen what we have coming in and the bills we need to pay. We've done a food shop on Iceland website, saved and ready to place when I get paid. With plenty meat and easy cook options. We want to restock our herbs and spices but those are expensive when brought together, so just going with mixed herbs and five spice for now, not great but will hopefully see us by. Her maths skills are coming along nicely. She thinks I should invest in a rumba/robot hoover, I said we can't afford too, already need to take out more credit to replace our dryer, but she argued that it would save me pain from hoovering daily as my asthma is playing up lately, I've managed to hurt my back and I'm struggling to keep on top of cleaning. I can tell she's worried about me. I feel bad that she's worried about me but I'm also so proud of her empathy, and her cognitive skills and logic. As she put it "we can't afford a cleaner to help you, I can't do much as I'm little and it makes you sad when I do too much cleaning, so I think it would be good to get a robot." She is sweet. Both my kiddies fill me with much joy. If it weren't for them I'd not be here, if it weren't for them I'd have given up by now. They give me such joy and are my only source of hope. "

Victoria B
Jul 23, 2020

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