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Winter is on its way, although we have a beautiful mild and sunny day today, and long may it continue. The leaves still on the trees are burnished gold and red, while those carpeting the ground rustle underfoot and give the dog something  to play with.

I think that most people would agree that life is stressful. The recent economic crisis, rising food and utilities prices and stagnant salaries make life difficult. The frustration of working hard with little reward and little or no acknowledgement of your contribution does not make it better, nor does being paid just over minimum wage with no rise in salary while prices around you are rocketing.

Take gas and electricity for example. When I first moved into my house 17 years ago, I was paying £24 a month for dual fuel. I am now paying £67 with a large rise on the horizon. I will not be putting my heating on at all this winter, that is for sure, and I am just hoping that temperatures don’t drop too far. Food prices, fuel, insurance have all gone up over the last few years while my salary stayed put. It has been a daily struggle to keep my head above water, but keep it above I have done.

What is making things harder than they need to be now,  are people who do not fulfill their obligations. The distinct lack of concern about the implications of their actions adds to the pressure I am under and makes thinking straight well neigh impossible. My head is foggy with the stress of trying to pay the mortgage, the bills and everything else that I have to find money for. This is a situation I should not be facing for a couple of months, but due to circumstances beyond my control, and the actions of others I am having to worry about it now.

I am looking for work, and trying to get a business off the ground at the same time. There is help available, but not in the way there was a number of years ago. Grants have dried up in the main, although Government backed loans are possible, but do I want to saddle my new business with a debt before making a sale? If I lived a mile or so up the road, than I could get a start-up grant, and this is where I find the system so unfair. I am prepared to work hard to start and grow a business, but it is my postcode which dictates whether or not I can get money, not my ability or passion for the business.