D4D

If brains were dynamite, you might just have enough to blow your nose.

Expensive

For a number of reasons, the last month has been idiotically expensive.  Some of it has been voluntary, some of it has been necessary. All of it has added up.

In the last month or so, it’s included…

  • Four new tyres for the car (Necessary, as all four were getting close to their wear limits)
  • MOT for the car (Necessary!) – thankfully, it only needed two new bulbs, so the MOT itself wasn’t all that expensive
  • Car Insurance – (Necessary, but also Voluntary – I paid the entire lot at once, rather than monthly, which saved about £60)
  • Tickets to see a band called The The in London next year (Entirely voluntary, of course)
  • Tickets to see Macbeth at the RSC in Stratford-on-Avon next year (Also entirely voluntary)
  • Tickets to see Titus Andronicus at the Barbican in London early next year (Voluntary)
  • New walking boots (Necessary, considering the damage I sustained from the broken old ones)

And that doesn’t include all the usual stuff.

So yeah, fairly expensive. It’s all still within my budgets and limits, and the majority will be paid off this month – but all the same, it’ll be nice if I can have a quieter October and November, with less outgoings!

King of the Air

Today, the news is full of the ‘shocking’ news of Monarch Airlines ceasing to trade.  I’m more surprised that anyone’s surprised, to be honest.

Now OK, Monarch are (semi) local to me, I know people who work(ed) there – but no-one who was in key positions, finance etc.  However, it’s no shock to me at all that they’ve gone under – in many ways I’ve been more surprised that they’ve gone on as long as they have.

The Wikipedia page contains a summary of it – but it’s stuff I was aware of anyway, having watched the news and so on.

Three years ago, they were nearly bankrupt. They got a last-minute bailout/buyout by Greybull Capital, which was all that allowed them to keep trading. Three years ago.

This time last year, rumours came up about their potential bankruptcy. They got a last-minute extension to their ATOL licence (similar to the activities of last weekend) after another £160-odd million fund injection from Greybull and other investors.

Between those warnings, the drop in customers in markets that were key to them (tourism to Tunisia and Egypt, primarily) and other competition, and the general atmosphere post-Brexit, it was no surprise at all.  I fully expect a couple of others to collapse as well.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a shitty situation – for the people who work there, and for the passengers and customers who are currently wondering what’s going to happen.  But it still shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Personally, I know that I wouldn’t have booked anything with them, regardless.

Of course, every cloud has a silver lining – I suspect RyanAir are ecstatic about all those extra Monarch pilots and crew suddenly becoming available (and without even needing expensive relocation packages) that can fill the gaps in their current schedule.  Indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised if RyanAir didn’t aim to buy up a lot of the Monarch stuff – planes, staff, routes etc., and make money off the misfortune of Monarch.

Fluffy

This evening, I’m off to London to see a comedian called Gabriel Iglesias (AKA “Fluffy”) at Hammersmith Apollo.

It’ll be the second time I’ve seen him, and I’m looking forward to it. When the tickets were announced, I got them straight away – at the same time griping about it being a Friday night gig, wishing it could be a Saturday, but there we go, it was the one that was announced.

The Friday sold out pretty quickly, so there’s now a Saturday night gig too – which is kind-of annoying, but still, I’m happy to be going for the original date, the one that should have sold to the people who really wanted to see it, rather than the also-ran “yeah, kinda interested”s, who’ll end up at in the Saturday one.

It makes for a long old day, but I’m sure it’ll be worth it.

Re-covered

Somehow, it’s already nearly a year since I got the latest car. Which, of course, means it’s also time for my insurance renewal to come through.

As usual, the current company have massively taken the piss, nearly doubling my premium this time round.  For some reason, rather than having a number of different under-writers, they’ve recently decided to stick with just the one – and that one happens to be nothing short of extortionate.

Still, that’s fine, they can fuck off.

As a result, I’ve already sorted out a new policy with a different company. It’s got all the cover and options I wanted, and is cheaper than what I’ve paid this year, let alone the ridiculous renewal price.

I truly don’t understand the business model of the insurance industry, this attitude of “keep on charging more ’til people leave”. Surely if someone’s been with a company for [x] years, and established a record of being safe, not claiming etc., then it should be easier/cheaper/better to keep them, rather than letting them sod off somewhere else?

I suppose it might be the law of diminshing returns, an expectation the customers will claim eventually. Using that it kind-of makes sense, if all the customers are paying up, and if we can get rid of them before they cost us, then we’ve made money out of it, and it’s cost “some other company”.

But it all seems pretty flawed to me, and pretty bloody dumb. Hey ho. Their loss, not mine.

Offering A Service

Every few days, I go past this office, and re-notice the window…

It’s a solicitor’s office, and I still can’t figure out whether they’re offering Abduction as a service to their clients (along with Domestic Violence!) or whether they actually mean they offer services based around Abduction and recovery of Abductees.

Either way, it always strikes me as an odd one to advertise – and even more so when it’s not clear what they’re actually doing.

Marathonic

[Apologies to anyone who’s already read a similar post on Facebook!]

So – Saturday night was the night of the Shine Walking Marathon. As I’ve said before, I knew it was likely that I might run (well, walk) into problems this time, because of other stuff that’s happened over the last six weeks or so, both with new boots (and resultant blisters) and the initial damage from the walk on National Burger Day.

So I wasn’t fully optimistic about the day, but also I wasn’t going to duck out without at least trying.  I still wanted to complete it if I possibly could, but I was also prepared to back out if it got too much.

And as it turned out, that’s what happened.  Annoyingly, it was the damage from that first walk, which didn’t take long to reblister, swell with blood, and then burst/split. Indeed, it happened within the first three miles. After that, I still did another three, but it was hurting enough that I decided to stop before it became even more serious.

I’m still really disappointed in myself for having bailed – although everyone else I know has effectively told me to not be so bloody stupid – and narked that Life threw so many obstacles and hindrances at me in the last six weeks.

Of course, I’ve now signed up for next year’s one, so I’ll be working on sorting myself out and repairing all the damage over the next three months, and getting properly prepared for it.

 

Murdered And Left To Die

Every so often, it’s my misfortune to go onto a local news site – in this case the MK Citizen – to find out about something that’s going on.

However, sometimes the ‘other news’ section produces gems of the lost art of sub-editing, like this…

Now OK, it’s a terrible story and so on. But really, “murdered and left to die”?!? Fuck sake. That one’s not even difficult to parse and go “Hang on, if he was murdered, he was already dead, and couldn’t have been left to die.“. Or is that just me?

Post Navigation