2016 Recap – The Background

Okay, so I guess before I talk about our first author signing event in 2016 (which I will handily link to when it is done) I should give a little backstory. Well, here goes…

A young couple, together a four and a half years at the time, though consistently hard on money. Now I am not one to whine, I generally try to take life one step at a time. We were not unhappy, and I have always been the sort of guy to save up money in case of emergency. It is true that money does not bring you happiness, but when life gives you bad times, it sure does help cushion the blow. (Read: doesn’t get out much, kinda boring really…!)

Passing the time, were the usual things that people with no money turn to – TV, social media, video games, the occasional book. Maybe even enter a few online competitions. Not that there was much hope, but hey – someone’s gotta get lucky, right? And hey – we won free ebooks!

So naturally, eager to see what the books were like, we devoured them. Turns out, some of the best books we’d ever read in a long while. I mean, REALLY good books! From some people we barely spoke to online, including Georgina Hannan, Lavinia Urban… I try to keep authors names out of this blog, but seriously those two were the catalyst to the whole journey. They happened to mention that they were both going to be at a book signing with a bunch of other authors in 2016. It was going to be in Leeds, and we had a couple of months to prepare ourselves. I had recently lost some close family members – we were both pretty depressed. To be honest, I was probably a model candidate for the term “cabin fever”…

The bad luck was being fairly balanced, however – I had a part-time job that paid pretty well, even though it was ultimately only going to be a temporary position. It was a christmas contract, working in a fairly huge warehouse. So, being the cautious and money-sensible person I am, and after as long as it takes for a bloke to take a hint, I say “Hey, what do you think. Can we save up?” to which my better half looked at me with a determined look that I hadn’t seen in years. It was a smile, laden with a glimmer of confidence and hope.

Simply put (yes, I am ad-libbing a tad here) she said something along the lines of “I’ve stopped smoking for well over 6 months now, so we have more money than usual. We don’t drink, we barely go out, and we haven’t been on a holiday together – quite frankly we deserve a break!” and… well… we saved. Scrimped. Gave ourselves a tight budget, which to be fair we were used to living on less. We put everything we could from the paycheck and savings in a jar, literally. The job lasted for a mere four weeks, but every penny we could went towards that journey. We were determined to try our hardest, and you know what? We did it. We saved around four hundred and fifty Great British Pounds in six months!

Well, truth be told it was including some money kindly donated by a family member. Money gifted from parents for Christmas, and savings from Birthday cards. From that 55+ hours a week running around a fair few miles a day in the warehouse vacancy. But…
Hourglass Events’ Author Signing Event, Leeds Marriott Hotel, 5th March, 2016.

We got there! It was the start of the greatest year of my life… so far.

– Madfish Mike, rambling on.


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