Just before Christmas, I almost completely ran out of money. My employer either couldn't or wouldn't pay me on time (although they since have), and I not only had Christmas presents to buy, but travel to afford (which I couldn't) and rent to pay (which I have since paid with the aid of a £200 from my mother). Over the Christmas period, my parents housed us temporarily with them - a welcome respite from our previous living condition with the mould, noise and non-working shower. SH, where I am now, is a very small house, comprising one floor and an attic. There are five rooms - bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom and study - plus a small hall and a vestibule type area, which sounds more impressive than it actually is.
Oh, and a broom cupboard.
Around Christmas (in fact, I think, the day beforehand), my parents (although I suspect my father may have been the one to suggest it) "suggested" that we actually move here for "a few months" (read: until I clear my overdraft and get somewhere else). There's very little space left over, and we have re-appropriated what was once the study. Which is now a bedroom with space for drying clothes. We are sleeping (and having sex) on what was a sofa, but is now a bed; we sit and read in the lounge; we shower in the bathroom with very grateful bodies. The rest of the house is something of a demilitarised zone for us, but in reality, that's still a lot more space than we had before we were here.
Life at SH is noticeably calm and relaxed. Despite the presence of things which we didn't have beforehand - my Wii, my cat, a garden with real grass, and my dad (which amounts to the fact that I'm more active than I was before) I feel like I'm calmer than I even was, as things are at a slower pace. Although the fact that I've spent a large amount of time sitting on the sofa reading Justice League International probably contributes to that. I won't be paying much rent for a while, the food's much nicer and I actually have company that I quite like here, which is pretty good.
So although 2013 wasn't very nice at all, really, I'm slightly more optimistic when it comes to 2014, as it starts in a much better place than last year did.
I'll let you know when we've had sex in the shower, by the way.