no money, no excuses

“You have insufficient funds in your account”

Not the blog I was expecting to write today. In times past I have suffered the same display message as above and crumbled like a character in sci-fi kneeling at the feet of a robotic overload. Now I reacted with the heavy sigh/simple nodding combination popular amongst reality-television stars fired or danced off or eliminated or however disposed.

The truth, then. From today, 11 October, to pay day on Friday, 30 October, the total amount of income available to me is £6. Six. I will spell it like the BBC “Final Score” vidiprinter. Although I will be checking my bank statement when it arrives, the financial final score is highly unlikely to be the result of identity theft (although I will hold out a little hope for this.)

In times past my reaction has been over-theatrical, almost hysterical. I have run to my savings accounts to keep me in milkshakes and bus-fares. This weekend has been completely different. Through my own actions I have suffered a rather unfortunate and difficult penalty.

Each wave of consequence to this hit me like being at Victory Park watching goals go in at the wrong end. Not being able to visit the (usually belting) Continental beer festival, not being able to replace my broken digital camera, and perhaps with a bit more vital importance about it, not being able to guarantee eating something every day for 21 days.

The change in my reaction is one-bit maturity, one-bit pride, a lot of helping of lack of alternatives. So walking to and from work every day – 2hrs each – should be a pain in the lower legs while doing a little better work on the beer belly. And I will not fall into the trap of starving myself for the sake of it: even with something around 20p per day (technically) I will find ways to keep hunger at bay….

I cannot feel sorry for myself too much. Okay so maybe the water rates should not have been paid in one chunk; maybe I should found alternative (cheaper!) means to travel to Horden, maybe the white-with-tartan hoodie was a purchase too far. The consequences will flicker on until payday; my luck is having a moment of relative “poverty” – and I really do use that for want of a better word – which is temporary. Unlike so many in society my lack of cash is not permanent. There are lessons to be learned – and indeed, yes, having been here before, those lessons should have already been revised somewhat! – starting with a lot of chores to be carried out with no connection to saving spends.

So this is the truth, then. Six pounds to last three weeks. A consequence of personal financial cock-hoopery. Here’s to payday, when I think (even with all things considered) I deserve spending quite a bit on celebrating.

What?…..Oh wait, I see…..


London – aim one. Maybe I could find the pub half-way up the Northern Line with the French “mathscore” band upstairs, the place from which I had to belt down towards the Underground station due to complete ignorance about matters relating to Night Buses. Many years ago now, thinking about it. My hotel was way out East, employing only – it seemed at the time – surly Spanish women and clearly bored West African men.

But any future plans could be turned upside down, they often are. Everything slots into place in my brain rather like the placings in school sports day races. Once such a thing and t’other things are done, only then can I do Activity C followed by subsequent pencilled-in ideas. There is a way through, most things are not always as complex as they seem.

Financial matters are quite another matter. Got the dreaded Television License letter through the post – for the first time in….ten years, now….I have to pay the whole thing rather than being one part of a shared household. Oh growing up, you never promised me so many outgoings when I was younger….

But you know things are going alright, really. Routines are easily returned too following holidays, after all. The same people are catching the same bus, just as ever, indeed the 126 retains the peculiar “arbitrary stop” half-way to Brig as though there’s some ritual among bus-drivers. Maybe there’s a reason.

Bury (football, for FC United. T’was good to see Burscough winning last night. It took me two-and-a-half-hours to get to Moorthorpe for Frickley on Saturday. Never thought West Yorkshire was quite so far away until I was in the arms of Northern Rail). Then London? What to do on pay-day weekend, if owt? There’s something that needs slotting in….what is it….Health Insurance, darn it, still not got that sorted. Or the gas meter people.

Right….until the next time….I’ve got more ad hoc diary preparing to sort out….


Positive thinking. Things are good. By the bathroom mirror I notice stronger more defined muscles in the arms, a lesser belly, broader shoulders. All will fade once the effects of yomping up mountains carrying camping equipment wears off (or for that matter eating at the Wellington followed by munching an entire fruit-loaf while watching England) but for now OPTIMISM and FEELING GOOD are orders of the day.

(Inserted thought, though. Did sit in the Wellington next to the jukebox which inevitably means the usual selection of songs. I finished on Have A Nice Day which is not my preferred choice. Drained by pint when the warbling women restarted with the tinny beats and “off” production. I’m sounding like my father moaning about rappers on childrens’ television back many years ago; he said once-upon-a-time the moon landings were carried live, now it’s all….well, there was a term for people it may be best not repeated….If I am sharing the same disquiet over musical tastes it’s not from the same social commentary perspective.)

Specifics, though. Devil in the detail. Damn TV Licencing people sent me a letter during my break (do their “chase up team” not know my budgeting starts and ends with payday weekends? What good is every third-week for me?). Powergen, e-on, buggery sods from the bank (they lured me into complacency, now their letters go almost directly from letterbox to shredder).

Goodness, though. That’s the spirit. Sunshine, more days off work (though, ah yes, must buy breakfast cereal to avoid continuing the microwaved-cheese-on-warm-floppy-bread habit). And this Saturday I am off to watch the mighty Burscough against Frickley (so I replace the West Highland Line with a muddled jaunt across Manchester and Leeds commuter routes). FC United in two weeks time, never before has the promise of a day in Bury seemed so appealing….

Must concentrate, though. Could have taken the leccy reading and done it all here, on-line. CDs to review, I could send them off from the Conty tonight if the laptop is repaired. Now there are things to do, do them.