Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Sometimes I'm very glad at the job I do.

It's not true of all lines of work, to be sure, but for many, being physically weak and having your mental capacity reduced by an illness can mean you have to go without something. I like that while it was only physical weakness I could still do my job fine, and only when my mind started going did I consider not going in.

I've had the feverish coughing and headache making cold for nine days now, and it's getting close to Christmas. I'm going to go home (not as close as I'd like) and tuck up until Santa brings me my orange.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

negative gradient

soooo, it's been a while since we looked at our finances in scrutiny, and to be honest, we've been able to survive with the help of others, and that's the only reason we've been able to survive. Turns out if it wasn't for the friends we have and support of family, we would be haemorrhaging something in the region of £500 a month. Although this used to be something I thought of as a problem a few years ago, those were the days when I had £10k in the bank to soften the news. Today, I have £300 and half of that at least has to go on buying food up until Christmas.

So, finally, I think my wife and I are about to give up. We just can't live so far apart, leeching off others, especially when there is no hope in sight. None. Not for at least four years, and then only in the form of being able to slowly claw back. In all, I would miss about six or seven years of being a dad to my three kids, and for what? So I can say I didn't give up on paying back a stupid debt that wasn't my fault in the first place.

So that's it. Time for plan B.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Gran Turismo 5

Apparently I now have GT5...
this is great except for two small things
1. My PS3 got a yellow light error a few months back.
2. I don't get to go home except at weekends.

Motorcycles in the snow.

I've been enjoying the reduced cost of travel and increased average speed of my commute over the last two months. London was made for motorcycles.

But the snow... I'm not happy about that really, not after having "fun" with my Bandit last winter.

Oh well, I guess I'l have to keep my fingers crossed and my balance tip top.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

No eaty

I just found out that Ben (my middle kid) ate a pokemon card.

Yes. Really. Reason?

He was bored.

Apparently, he folded it in half and started nibbling at it and by the time the owner of the card noticed (that would be Alex, my eldest), he had eaten a great big hole out of the middle of it.

I think Ben may have slightly strange taste in food.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Double Take

Not only did the money back from the landlord go towards my new (old) bike, but it also went back in his pocket....

what?

Yeah, having never really rented properly before, it turns out I hadn't cancelled the standing order. I've had so many monthly payments go out and they're all direct debits, so had no idea that I had to do anything with an "SO" as I find out other people are calling them.

Hopefully the money should come back before I am desperate for it... not nice though. My friend helped gather the last few pennies for the bike, which was really nice of him as it seems that the bike was a really good bargain.



Monday, 13 September 2010

Freedom!

We no longer have a landlord!

Okay, so for some reason he thought that coming round our rental and doing the gardening without asking permission to visit meant he could bill us for work done to the property, but hey, at least we don't have him any more.

All in all, the experience was awful. He kept on making us stick to the letter of the contract, however he kept ignoring his part of the deal. I do feel like we were cheated, but at least it's over for now and we'll never have to deal with that deranged fellow again.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Debden to Fulham

My cycle ride this morning (because of the London Underground strike) was a long one. 21 miles.

I did get to ride through Hollow Ponds and actually enjoyed the journey. It was quite nice cycling through where I used to live and then along the road I used every day for University.

I'm not really looking forward to the journey home tonight though.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Free lunches

Sometimes you can get quite cool stuff for free. Take my new phone for example, it's probably not the greatest android phone by miles, but as a free phone, i'm really impressed.
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Monday, 9 August 2010

Chickens

In a continuing effort to save money and grow our own, we now have chickens.

have had three eggs by the time this post goes live, and only one lost due to children's hands.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Things we lost

Due to the mortgage pain, the house not selling, the insolvency of Broadsword, here are some of the things we've lost:
  • My RC helicopter (full 3D electric)
  • My RC plane controller and Futaba servos (very nice 2.4ghz controller)
  • My first RC Airplane (not great, but I liked it)
  • My RC Car (Mad Force, I loved that car)
  • My Wife's RC Car (She loved her Savage as much as I loved my Mad Force)
  • A large number of my wife's collected fairy ornaments and a piggy bank.
  • My motorcycle, a Suzuki Bandit 1200
  • Our car, a Renault Clio Automatic (so my wife could learn to drive)
  • My power kite (a 3m kite)
  • My Alienware Laptop
  • Our Fridge Freezer (it was a very nice large American style one)
  • My mum's motorcycle (she didn't want it, but I was going to fix it up and use it)
  • My wacom graphics tablet (so now I can't do art on my computer as nicely)
  • My DasKeyboard (the blank keys keyboard. My typing speed hasn't been the same since)
  • My Beautiful M-Audio BX8a monitor speakers
  • My Oxygen Midi Controller Keyboard
  • My ability to tip well at restaurants
  • Sleep, sometimes for days on end
  • Our temper with our children, for no real reason
  • Our sense of humour at stuff sometimes, mostly anything to do with money
  • Our sense of stability, having to live 250 miles away from your family is wearing in itself
  • Two of our friends due to their moving to Canada in search of a job that pays
  • Many more of our friends due to us moving in search of a job,
  • Track of our finances
  • Hope in getting back what we've lost.
  • Our materialistic sides
  • Our desire to get new things as they come out
  • The distractions from truly appreciating what it means to be a family

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Repo

And so it's finally happened. We've not been in a good position to pay our mortgage for a while now, and what with the landlord for our place in Cambridge being horrid to us, we've still not been able to pay up the full amount on our mortgage.

It's not like we're not trying.

I've got a good paying job, but with the rent on the wrong house, and the long commutes, it was impossible to keep our house and stay in Cambridge. I got a job in London, working for quite a good company, on a reasonable wage, but the landlord decided he'd stick us in the ribs with "the letter of the law" about the rental agreement, and wouldn't take our month's notice. In fact, he unkindly demanded that we "pay up all the rest of the rent, then we could go."

So, I'm now living on London on £0 a week (cycling to work, eating at other people's expense and living in a place without paying rent). My family are living in the house that is 250 miles away, and now has a repo order on it. Every time I think about the situation, I wonder how it's possible that I can't afford to live. Every time I take out the spreadsheet and calculate our outgoings, I can balance it, but can't make a profit. It's like I'm missing something. Other people manage to get by on half the wage! I think I'd be better off out of work. At least then I could live off a pittance at home with my family rather than just about getting by, only seeing them once a week.

I'm tired and angry and upset, but at least I've still got my family. One day this will all be okay and we'll look back and think that it was hard, but in the end everything was okay. Sometimes I'm lucky, I've never been one for the gamblers falacy, and I'm still not, so I don't think I deserve any bad luck, but also don't think I deserve any good luck either. I would just like some, and soon.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Travelling

Its just another day, but this one started out with a 6am wake up to move the car to where it needs to be tonight. Cycling is free, taking the car home at weekends costs parking, fuel, my hours, and two train fares. That's not friendly. A motorcycle would be cheaper as I don't have to start my journey in the wrong place, nor do I have to pay for parking. Must get back on a motorcycle when Harry stops moving backwards and forwards to Wales.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Cycling in London again

Yesterday was the first day cycling in London in about nine years. I managed an average of pain miles per hour, the journey too an awfully long time for someone just getting back on a bike. My butt hurts like I've been shown how to appreciate alternative lifestyles.

This biking thing is another cunning plan to reduce outgoings as my situation is financially pitiful. I'm on good wages, but still, given the situation I'm in, it's just not enough. To save money, my wife and kids are in Wales, approximately 250 miles away. Which is sad, and I miss them. I am living in London, in a room with another games developer, trying desperately to make ends meet. The tube and national rail are costing me enough to make me get out my old pedal cycle. Again, this is sad as I now ride motorcycles, have done for years, and now I really need one as my bum hurts.