I've been partying like there's no tomorrow lately.
After years in the social doldrums my social calendar - which has up until recently been occupied only by children's party afternoon dates - is now full to capacity.
The opera festival in Wexford town filled three weekends, fulfilling my cultural needs for a year. The highlight for me was the Spiegeltent where I got to enjoy several shows including the shock and awe comic Reginald D Hunter, the at times brilliant set piece comedic trio of Foil, Arms & Hog, Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott of The Beautoful South and last, but not least, Bosco.
Performed in a tent straight out of the 1920s Weimar Republic, complete with mirrors and a disco ball, many a great night was had with friends partying away through the night. The Speigeltent has added considerably to what is a fantastic time of year in wonderful Wexford. Between the Singing Pubs competition, the musical recitals, the operas and all the art exhibitions around every nook and cranny in the old Norman town, you can't help but feel the better having stooped off in Wexford for a day or two.
At a black tie event on Saturday night where I had the privilege of presenting a Person of the Year award to a colleague, discussions turned to Christmas and all the expense that will be incurred. The penny dropped on Sunday morning as I peered into the ATM screen, that financial tight-beltening and pulling up of socks is required as the cold winter air numbed my bones. For the winter is an expensive time of the year. Money just seems to fly out of my pockets as soon as it is stuffed in. Add to this the expense of getting several rooms in the house painted, the usual bills and then the endless fuel costs, it will be a fiscal tightrope act like never before these coming months.
I'd love to say cash reserves were there to keep things moving along swimmingly but a few minor extravagances including holidays and attending birthday parties abroad put paid to that so I find myself in a financial tundra.
The options are stark: sink or swim or splash about and have fun and put off any stressing as long as humanly possible!
The finanical meltdown came to a head when I nearly melted the house down last week by leaving the heating on all night after a particularly hectic day on the news hound beat.
In an attempt at stoicism and self-castigation the heating has been off since so the thought has occurred to me that I can save money by turning off the fridge freezer and just let everything chill out in my frozen house. The Government Budget won't save me so here's hoping the tax returns do!