Title: The last years of Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock’ first thought when he woke up was he didn’t know where he was. The room was unfamilar, the room, the view from the window. It all had a very cottagey feel with an extensive garden. He paused for a moment as he took in his hands. It took a moment for him to be sure that they were his hands. Knobby, with wrinkled skin and with spots, they were old man hands. His arms and when he checked, his legs and feet told the same story.
Mirror, he needed a mirror. He gaze set upon the sidetable. There he saw a hand mirror, upside down obvious waiting. This had happened before. Sitting just beside it was a wedding ring. Slightly astonished, he picked it up and studied the inscription.
Sherlock Holmes + John Watson 2011
Well that gave him an additional 3 years to when he thought he actually was and he was married? To a man apparently. While the inside of the ring was shiny, considering the fact it was most likely taken off every night that was easily explained, otherwise the ring was in good condition, it fitted when he put it on. Unfortunately he didn’t know enough about what the future trends of jewlery might be to guess at how old it was, though it had enough scratches and marks to suggest it was a number of years old even if it had being routinely polished and cleaned. Admiring the gold for a moment he returned his attention to the hand mirror, picking it up he took a deep breath and lifted it to see his face.
Oh. Yes that was him, same grey eyes, same cheekbones, same blade of a nose. His hair had gone white and the curls had being tamed to wavy. A little thin at the back and on top but he still had most of his hair. He had far more laugh lines around his eyes and his mouth then he ever expected. The fact he still had the ring suggested a happy marriage, that it still meant something even if he had no memory of it.
There was a knock on the door before it opened and an older man entered. “Sherlock?” The man looked slightly expectant. There was something about his stance, those still sharp brown eyes and even his short crop of hair that suggested ex-soldier.
“John?” He guessed, he was rewarded by a warm, welcoming smile.
“Morning Sherlock.” John shuffled in, obviously favouring one leg as he brought over a cup of tea.
“How old am I?” Sherlock asked.
“Oh.” For some reason he never expected to reach such as age, he never expected to reach old age at all really. “The memory?”
“Diagnosed formally about five years ago.” John handed him the tea, it was made perfectly. “Not that I hadn’t realised well before then.”
Sherlock frowned, there was something about the way John said that. “You were a doctor, an army doctor even at one stage.”
John smiled and nodded.
“I have to admit, your skills in deduction does make this whole thing a lot easier. Come on, up you get. I have breakfast ready and no, you don’t have any excuse to not eat.” John rose and opened a closet, pulling out a large robe and placing it on a chair. “If you’re not out in ten, I’ll come check on you.”
Sherlock reached and took his hand, he may not remember John or their many years of marriage but that didn’t mean he couldn’t appreciate what it might be like for John. “Thank you.”
Johns face lit up and surprised Sherlock by leaning forward to briskly kiss his forehead.
“You’ve being worth every moment of it mate.”
It took a few moment after John left before he’d processed his shock enough to get up and pull on the robe. His joints ached and a hefty bruise of his left knee was still sore, he had scars which pulled that he didn’t remember getting but all in all, he considered he didn’t seem to be in all to bad a shape, for his age.
Wondering out his room, he spotted John cooking something in the kitchen but his attention was diverted by a row of photos. They all had labels on them, obviousy to assit him. For instance the first one was listed John and Harry 2008. John was in army uniform and given the similarities between John and Harry, Harry was obviously an older sister. She also had the early symptoms of chronic alcoholism. This would be before he and John met most likely. Next was listed as He and John 2009. They were both in a hospital, John was injured and he was perched on a vistor chair also bandaged but Sherlock knew himself well enough to see the air of concern and worry as he looked at John as well as the bored frustration and irritation he generally has when stuck in a hospital. Given the angle, picture quality and Sherlocks own relaxed countance he’s almost sure Mycroft and his bloody surveillance cameras has something to do with it.
Then there was the obvious wedding photo, 2010. There was Mycroft, Harry, John and himself and a few others. Others listed as Lestrange, Sarah, Clara, Mary, Mrs Hudson. He frowned, He remembered Lestrange, sort of and Mrs Hudson. Oh, Mary, yes he remembered Mary.
“Sarah, Clara?” He asked.”
“Clara is Harry’s Ex-wife and Sarah was my girlfriend for awhile.
He looked at the next photo and nearly gagged.
“Mycroft married Mary?”
“Yes Sherlock and Sarah married Lestrange and Clara met Donavan, do you remember her?”
“No, no, oh yes. She grew up in an abusive home, had self esteem issues, as well as an inability to allow others become emotionally close to her, thus tended to be verbally defensive and only got involved sexually with others who were emotionally unavailable.” He refrained from adding Clara had come out of an abusive relationship with Johns sister. He wasn’t sure why but he thought it likely John knew anyway.
“You would remember her like that.”
“Would? Is she dead then?”
John sighed, a very telling, painful sort of sigh.
“You miss her.”
“Clara was the best thing that happened to her and vice versa. Donavan was pregnant when they met. Completely unexpected and changed her for the better.”
“Didn’t want to resemble her own parents in any way and underwent intensive theory to help deal with unresolved issues, Clara probably recommended the one she saw, a few exchanges in the waiting room led to dates and then more.” Sherlock deduced. “How am I doing?”
“Pretty well. Not long after that we became uncles. Adopted uncles and even an Uncle by default.”
“Because you still consider Clara your sister in law even though she and Harry divorced because you like Clara and Harry…”
“Yes well, in same ways Clara is more of my sister then Harry had ever being.” John grimaced.
“Liver or kidney?” Sherlock asked absently.
“Blood clot in the brain.”
Sherlock paused. “I’m sorry.” He offered a bit uncertainly. John had a resigned smile on his face.
“You don’t remember and its old history for me, its all right Sherlock, really.”
Sherlock managed a slight smile in return. He moved on to more storys. He had a nephew called Frances and a niece called Jaquiline. Sarah and Lestrange had three girls, Molly, Mandy and Mia which was frankly scary. Donavon had a son named John Sherlock, which felt strange in a good sort of way and yes next was a photo of a headstone for Harry. The children grew, he and John grew older, the children got married, had children of their own. Lestrange was the first to die, then Mary, then Donavan and Clara together, probably a car crash. One of the children, and one of a baby that had died within weeks of birth and one of Mycrofts grandchildren receiving an award for something. There was countless of photos really and so many of him and John, getting older, being a part of a larger ‘family’ network Something Sherlock didn’t think he’d ever have and to have had it, to not remember. To remember all those years mostly, alone, isolated… John had done this, somehow. Somehow he’d done the right thing, somehow John had entered his life and in turn given him a life he’d never imagined and though he couldn’t remember it, he felt grateful and humble and a bit it awe.
He looked at the ring he still held in one hand and carefully slipped it on. Why John married him, how John came into his life, what sort of life they’d had between photos he had no real idea but the photos told him enough. Johns face fond as it smiled at him, his own face had an unfamiliar warmth in it as he looked at John, the warmth, the love and acceptance of the family, the family partly built and made and partly of blood surrounding them.
“Breakfast Sherlock.” He wanted to say he wasn’t hungry but even the plate John put down spoke of long familiarity. There was quite simply a bit of everything. One sausage, one mushroom, one tomato, one egg, one bacon, one pancake, there was even a muffin and a bit of muesli, with yogurt. On the table was a fruit bowl. He could pick and choose whatever he wanted or even take a bit of everything and he just knew whatever he didn’t eat John would. Sherlock didn’t remember loving John but he rather thought he loved John now, just for that.
“You are amazing.”
John actually blushed.
I can not believe I'm doing this, I haven't posted anything I've written in years, so here goes.
Pairing: Pre-slash? John/Sherlock
Notes: So I saw the 100 prompts post and got inspired. Don't know If I'l do the whole set but I'd like to, we'll see how inspiration strikes. According to word this is 230 words long which for me is actually quite short and I've never being good at sticking to limits, so if I continue, some will be short, some might be long who knows. Don't know why this came out as first person it just did. Hope it's all right.
From the beginning the cab thing baffed me. How is it, just as soon as he wants one a cab mysterious and miraculously appears? It doesn’t seem to matter if he’s up some dark, deserted alley or in the busy streets of London, an empty cab pulls up at the merest gesture of his hand. It took longer but eventually it even started to happen to me, it wasn’t until a driver muttered that I don’t tip as well that I began to understand. Sherlock’s habit of just shoving whatever money he had in hand into a cab drivers hand without looking or thinking. If he hasn’t happened to hand over enough one time, well that doesn’t matter because he’d make up and most likely more than make up next time. The word of mouth between cab drivers of course ensured this was well known. Heck, they probably even made frequent drivebys at his last known location on the off chance they nab him and nail that hefty tip. Now of course the cab drivers are catching on to me, that I’m with Sherlock and circle about in wait. It’s a bit ridiculous really and strangely funny, it’s only fair though that I reward this behaviour because with Sherlock being who he is you never can tell where and when you’ll need a cab to drive you god knows where.
You've done your homework, made the calculations and now have set up a budget. So much money is put aside for bills, so much money is allocated for food, clothes and so forth. Yet despite all this you find yourself caving in and over spending, buying that purse you really want or a new dress. Perhaps its simply being a bad run of bills or if you are like me, have people with birthdays that all seem to hit about the same time. The November, December period for me is expensive with four birthdays as well as Christmas to cater for. I'm already trying to save up for it.
Hopefully you are continuing to keep a record of all your purchases and there for know exactly which area is causing the most problem. The simplest solution is simply to adjust your budget to take into account hidden expences but impulse spending needs to be nipped in the bud. The brand new purse can wait a few weeks extra on the shelf, something to motivate and treat yourself with if your succeed with your goals.
Learning to curb that instant need to buy now is a lot harder to manage. Turning your back and walking out of the store that very first time can be one of the hardest and most gut wrenching experiences to do. Some people recommend that you simply go away for a coffee break and go back later if you still want to but I usually found the 'cooling off' period simply gave me time to justify why I needed it and how I could afford it anyway.
If you are one of those who are successful with the coffee break method then that's fine but if you are like me, then you probably actually need to go back to your car and drive home and do something else. My best method of not buying involves not going into the shops unless I actually need something and clutching my list tightly, making sure I spend as little time in the store as possible and only looking at what I need and only buying what is on the list.
Doing this can initially be hit and miss as something does catch your eye and you find resolve fades. This might be the time to go pay for what items you've got and head for the car again if you possibly can. If you can learn to turn your back and walk away before the temptation get to you, it starts to get easier over time to ignore temptation completely and manage to continue on. If you do this, don't go back and look at at item again. Keep firmly away.
Turning away from wanted items can be a lot harder when your with friends. One of the reason I actually almost never do it unless it is for a special occation. Of course some can turn just about anything into a special occation. Birthday, new job, the weekend, girl's day out. Might be time to say no to some of these offers, or at least offer a alternative. A lunch at a cafe, a movie, a day at the beach.
Everyone has their own trap and for me that was and is console games. Learning to walk past the shop or area of the store is one of the first big steps of controlling your spending. If you never see it, you are never tempted to buy in the first place. As hard as it can be, try not to look into shop windows or enter into shops unless you have to. Part of the trick can be to never be tempted.
Avoiding items like chocolate and biscuits when food shopping can be just as hard and twice as daunting but if your food bill is coming out to high, then nipping out the more luxury items in your food bill might be the way to go and has the added bonus of improving your diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables are a lot cheaper in the long run. As is going to that bit of extra time an effort of making your own cakes and slices and if you stick to the idea of never eating something you haven't made yourself, it not only regulates biscuits to their proper role of occational indulgence but once you find out how much sugar and butter goes into your favorite snacks might help stop you from buying and eating them in the future and making healthier food choices.
The only real way to keep a budget is to keep trying until you hit the correct money mark and then if you are smart and determined, you actually lower the bar to a new mark to lower your expenditure to. This way you can not only always have the money you need but save money up over time. Try not to spend it foolishly, now that you can afford to again.
That's right, Budget time. People seem to run under the mis-conception that once you have a budget, that's it. A Budget however should be an ever evolving, forever adjusted fact of life. For those who have never tried to budget before it is a daunting task, for those who've ever tried to budget and found they couldn't stick to it, it gets shoved in the to hard basket. The trick to any budget is to first be realistic about your spending and to also expect that your first tries at budgeting is almost guarenteed to fail unless you really are the sort of person who can go "cold turkey' and never look back,
Most of us tend to save our bills, for at least a few months and if you don't you should and now is the time to dig through and perferably sort out some of your paperwork. Gas bills, Electric Bills, Water Bills, the Weekly Rent, Car insurance Bills, House insurance, Council rates, Car liscene re-newal fee, if you own a Boat then you can add Penning fee, licence fees and all that other stuff as well. Then there are debt re-payments. Things like morgages, Credit cards, bank loans. Did you buy furniture and electrical equipment in one of those buy now, pay later deals? Bring them out as well.
Some of these things you pay once a year, twice a year, once in every three months, every months or once a week. This is where you need to get the calculator out. For things like Electricity Bills, it's usually a good idea to calculate the average re-payments, or better yet have a Summer average and a Winter average, Except for Bills, pretty much everything else has a single flat rate and the task is the break it down so you know how much you should put aside for each and every one.
Do I here a groan? Trust me, once this is done, the absolute worst is over. As a general rule it's a good idea to work out how much you need to put aside each month. Personally I find it easier to work with how often you get paid. I get paid fortnightly and so I break down the amount I need to put aside each payday accordingly. If you crunch out the numbers and the amount of money to put aside for bills exceeds your income then you have a real problem on your hands. Drastic measures and lifestyle changes will have to be made to cut down the cost of these annoying but essential payments.
For many it is Debt repayments that is the real killer. If you have a lot of debt then focus your attention in paying off just one, as quickly as you possibly can rather then spreading yourself too thin and paying a little off many debts which gets you no where. As soon as you get one paid off fully, pick the next to pay off as quickly as possible. One by one work your way down the list and slowly but surely you should eventually make a recovery. This is where many people fail and thus get themselves back into debt. As soon as they start making a recovery, they fall back into the trap and give themselves a new debt to be paid off. If you are being hassled for money it is a good idea to let the banks and so forth know what you are doing and even go in and sit down with them and show them that you are trying. They just may not have made it onto your list just yet. These people can be amaizingly helpful once they know that you are making an effort.
For the rest of us however, while we have enough money and income, mis-management in less essential areas is where the fault lies. If your are thinking of buying new furniture, electrical goods, or even a new car or house, it's really important you stop long enough to make sure you can make the re-payments and still manage to pay for everything else comfortably.
For now though I'll go into the next most essential items. This is predominately food and petrol or whatever else your car runs on and if you don't have a car, then what you pay for transport. If you've being doing your homework, then you have being making note of every purchase you've made, then you can make an estimate of how much money is needed each week to pay for these items and only when you have that can you even consider less important items and yes that does include clothes, jewelry, shoes, tools, car parts, magazines and just about everything else you can think of.
I have a pair of jumpers that gets me no end of ribbing from my family simply because I've had them for at least ten years now and they still show little to no sign of wearing out. People go as far to actually buy me clothes for birthdays and Christmas, honestly I couldn't think of a better present I could have. I have never being into fashion and the idea of buying something to throw it out next year for something new is something I simply do not comprehend. Just as I don't comprehend how people can spend so much money of hair products, makeup, perfumes, shoes, body lotions and aging creams.
These items are optional and you can do without them. You might find that in order to get the numbers to add up you have to make a few compromises and in the end there is far more value in living a cheaper and simpler life then any false beauty cosmetics might lend you.
Once you have the numbers worked out, that's not the end, constant adjustments need to be made, keep up making a record of everything you buy and everything you pay off as you go. What works on paper doesn't always work in real life. Your food budget might need more and you may need to reduce your clothing budget, a bill may cost more then you expect or any number of real life problems can enter the picture. Keep an eye on where your money is going and on what and work out where and in which areas you can make cut backs. See my next post of ideas on cutting costs and keeping to a budget.
Before I move on to creating a budget I'm going to touch on using cheaper and more organic cleaners around the home. People spend hundreds of dollars on various products, whether it's washing clothes, cleaning the bathroom, the kitchen or other areas, there is a host of available products out there. One of the simplest cleaners I have is a simple spray bottle filled half with water and half with plain white vinegar, I add a couple drops of tea tree oil or Eucalyptus for their powerful antiseptic properties and to improve the scent of the vinegar. All I do is lightly mist the spray over an old cotton placemat I have to make it damp. A damp cloth is still one of the best dusters around, so long as you don't over saturate the cloth and the mix I use means I'm not just dusting, I'm cleaning at the same down, cutting down the time spent cleaning enormously.
I not only use this spray to wipe down all surfaces, but it works great in adding a shine to metal sinks, I use it to wipe out the porcelain bath and sink as well as spray it into the toilet before scrubbing clean. I even wipe the shower and all the glass and mirrors with it. Vinegar is a great window cleaner. It even works as a mold deterrent. Wiping the shower down with a towel or using the squeegee after every use is also a great way to keep down mold and also keep away soap scum and other shower problems. If I want to give the shower a proper scrub all I do I dissolve some bi-carb in water and use a stiff brush, use the spray and cloth to wipe it clean again and it's done.
I also replace half of my washing powder with Bi-carb and use vinegar during the rinse cycle of every wash as a great fabric softener. Doing this saves me heaps of money in the long run and the clothes come out as clean as ever. To miss-quote someone else, the greatest cleaner of them all is plain hot water and soap. People once used a large pail of hot soapy water to wash their floor and you can too, though these days it's far easier to use a stiff broom if you want to give your floor a bit of a scrub over. A lot of chemicals in the house are just un-necessary, save yourself a bundle of cash and heaps of room in your laundry cupboard and convert yourself to a greener and cheaper way of cleaning.
Before doing anything else it is important to know what your spend your money on and where. That's right, you have to start making a record of your expenditures.
Cue scary, depressing and daunting music. Yes, yes I know. Its tedious, boring and a bit daunting as well. Not to mention those strange looks you get when you pull out a small notebook every time you make any sort of purchase. Or at least that's what I do, I find making a actual written account of everything I spend makes not only keeping track of where my money is going, it also means that the process of pulling out that note book, or mini diary in my case, means I actually have to think about whether I actually need to make this purchase and save myself the trouble of actually having to write it down. It also makes me think twice about whether or not their might be a cheaper item I could get instead.
Either way you look at it, it is a good habit to get into. Paying rent, write it down, paying bill, write it down, buying clothes, write it down, going food shopping, write down the items and their prices. That's right, every individual food purchase should get written down. Do it while walking down the isle in fact, this is doubly handy in double checking the price as each item is scanned. I can waiting while a price is checked as much as the next person and while a 5c difference might not mean much, 50c can mean a heck of a lot when you know you can by a single wholemeal bun for that much.
If you really need that bit of extra money now, this is also a really good opportunity to look around. I like my quality chocolate as much as most people and prefer to buy free range eggs but rather then just grabbing what is familiar, with a known quality, have a look at the cheaper options and also look a bulk buying. I use to be as picky as any girl can be when it came to body soaps and haircare products. That sort of changed when I brought an enormous 1L bottle of body wash. I think it cost double then my usual measly 300ml body soap but where as I'd normally have to buy a new bottle every month or so, I still have about 1/3 of the larger bottle and I bought that over a year ago (I topped it up with water when I'd used about 1/6th of it up. Topping liquid soaps up with water is a great way to save a bit of money and make them stretch a bit further.) I also have a 900ml shampoo bottle, it's nearly empty now but I bought that the same time as my body soap, over a year ago.
One bottle per year at only double the price of a bottle that lasts a month or two? You do the maths! Bulk buy meat, oil, vinegar, laundry soap, flour, sugar, rice. All those items that have a long shelf life or can be packed away into the freezer for later. You might have to fork out more now but in a months time when you don't have to buy replacements, you can make killer savings.
Also while it makes sense to buy quality chocolate, wine and those luxury items all of us must have, it doesn't make sense with more generic items, after all, one bag of plain flour is.... well a bag a plain flour. If you want to make point of buying organic, or locally made produce and don't mind paying that bit extra then that's fine but if you really need to cut costs then you may have to make a sacrifice. Take a careful look at not just the price but at the quantity and choose the best deal. After all one bag might be $6 for a kg and one might be $5.80 for 500g amount. It might cost an extra 20c but the cheaper item is the $6 bag for the simple reason that you are buying double the amount. While prices are rarely that clear cut, it usually pays to double check the quantity of items as well as the price and compare.
Otherwise know as: How I got into this mess to begin with.
Let's re-wind to April last year. The boom was still strong in Australia, according to news and paper reports, there were people out there earning thousands and I got a touch of the green-eyed envy. Not that my job paid all that badly, at the time I was earning $500 a fortnight. Despite this fact my poor money managing skills meant that I often paid my rent late and my bills on the second or even third reminder. I scarsely appricated the fact that while rent was going up to $200 to $300 dollars mine was a pretty reasonable $180. $260 a fornight left me with a managable $240 to live off if I wanted to be smart about it. Unfortunatly I hadn't yet learned the value of what I already had and I always seemed to run short of money.
Surely, I thought, I could get a better job, with a better pay then I have now.
So I quit my job and got a nice pay out of $6000 dollars in unclaimed payments. Brillant ! I thought at the time. This however lead me to 'take some time off.' By the time I started looking for work again it was nearly June and that was when I began to realize my first mistake. You see, I work in Hospitality and even during a boom, winter is a quiet time and despite going to a few trails I didn't get another job until August, the very end of winter and the begining of the Spring trade.
By this time my nice $6000 dollars had dropped to a shocking $1,500. That's right, after three months without work I managed to spend
$4, 500 dollars, despite the fact that normally in three months I would normally manage to live on $3, 000 dollars.
Then add in the fact that my new job offered work on Fri and Sat evenings at a lower rate of pay then my old job. With money running out and a reduced income I had to face some hard facts. I could no longer continue to afford $180 a week for rent. With rent still haywire I eventually had to settle on a share house. One tiny, pokey room for $60 a week. With no room to put any of my stuff, I then I had sell off or get rid of nearly everything. While this provided a nice money boost, it was hard for me to sell and settle into a new lifestyle of reduced funds and reduced items. Only my bed and my clothes pretty much remained.
Now, after some months of hit and miss, I've learned a lot about myself, what I think is really important in life, what I really need and what I can do without. So while for some of you or only just learning what it takes to survive during tough times, I started my recession last year, at a time while the boom was still on. Maybe I can pass some of those lessons on.
Pop-up's have got to be one of the most annoying things ever invented. You surf on the net and before you know it a pop up appears, sometimes as many as ten turn up when you don't want them too. Usually these are ads, selling you everything from free lipgloss to the lastest download for music, movies or games.
While pop-ups are not in themselves a risk unless it's risking your sanity, some of the sites they lead you too might not be entirely above board. All most of us want to do is check the site that we are clicked on to see if it has what we are looking for, what none of us want to do is have to click through a handful of close buttons just to be able to look at the site we want to see.
There are heaps of pop-up blocker software out there to download, how effective or useful they are I couldn't even begin to guess, to know what you are getting is decent you should have a look at this site.
Looking to download windows live messenger?
Or perhaps you need the internet explorer number seven update.
Downlaoding vista updates or vista software?
As far as I can tell windows live and msn messenger means and is exactly the same thing, not that some of the websites I've being checking out meantions that anywhere. At any rate, rather then send everyone to some affilate website that has the links you need, earning them(not me or you) money. I'm going to send you to the site you should have looked for in the first place.
The Offical Windows download site.
It has all the relivant downloads you need. Vista downloads, windows live downloads, ie7 aka internet explorer 7.