AS an exercise in fiscal responsibility, the past couple of months have seen me trying to downsize. Freelance journalists such as myself live a hand-to-mouth existence … or, more frequently, glass to mouth.
One of the most important journalistic skills that I brought back from my time in London was my ability to hear the popping of a champagne cork or the rustle of a cocktail napkin at a restaurant function from 300 metres away – a skill that has served me well ever since.
Though I might have also inherited that particular talent from my long-suffering father, who can effortlessly graze a free buffet in the style of a herd of wildebeest crossing the Serengeti. But here a a few tips for living simply on the coast.
One of the major problems is the fact that ‘cash is king’, especially if you spend most of your time in Marbella. If you want to be popular in this town, just rock up with a huge pile of cash, wave it around and see how many new friends you get. You are also likely to find yourself with a sultry new eastern European girlfriend.
Which brings us to my next, admittedly bitter and twisted point.
If you are one of those deeply spiritual individuals who posts life-affirming stuff on Facebook, then you’ll know the hoary old chestnut, ‘If you love someone set them free. If they don’t come back then they were never yours’. If you do think it’s time to reevaluate your relationship with the blinged-out bimbo from Belarus, try the equally life-affirming slogan. ‘If you love someone, cancel their Gold Card and delete their dealer’s number from their mobile. If they don’t come back they were never yours…’
Downsizing doesn’t mean that you have to put a dampener on your social life, however. Staying in is the new going out. If you want to recreate the fun of hitting the clubs in Banus, merely tune into a dance channel and jump around the living room in the dark. You can replicate the thrill of buying a dodgy gramme by placing packets of crushed-up slimming tablets around the house. Let’s face it, that was probably what you were buying in the first place.
Should you wish to simulate the busy opening of a new restaurant, merely invite your neighbours over and then squeeze into the pool pump room while holding a small plastic glass of vino collapso and a bit of greasy jamon.
Finally, you should consider alternative ways of raising cash. Half of the coast seems to be baking cakes at the moment. Growing your own fruit and veg is another excellent way of living healthily and saving cash. Dabble in the more exotic variety of herbs and you might even make a few euros.
The most important relationship if you want to downsize, however, is with your bank. Ask them to extend your credit facilities during this time of fiscal belt tightening. And if all else fails, in true Marbs style, rob it!