Saturday, 31 December 2011

New Year's Eve

I will be spending my new years eve at the local pub, the red lion. I have a couple of freinds going up there & I am going to go with them & have a beer or two.
I will shortly be taking the bus into Wellingborough where I intend to buy some swimming trunks & then I am going to see what the new pool is like. I was going to do this the other day, but a lot of small things got in the way, as usual.
My girl friend is spending new year working in Oman. Poor girl.
My kids are mainly going to be spending theirs with their mum over in MIlton Keynes, except for the eldest who will be spending it with her kids in Wolverton.
Next year I intend this to be very different.
A year ago I was in a hopeless state, I was in the middle east & could not afford to pay for my diabetes medication as I was not earning enough to do things like eat, pay debts & buy medcine.
Hence one of the main reasons I left that complete hell hole.
This year I am a lot better off. My debt has stopped growing, I am now in point of fact paying all my creditors now, and paying them decent sums of money. I have paid two small creditors off completely, and will pay a third off shortly. I have done a budget planner with the Consumer Credit Councilling Service (it did not include some of the smaller creditors as I knew I could pay them off quite quickly), and now all of my major creditors are on board with regular, and most importantly, affordable repayments.
My target was to get all debt paid off in 5 years. In actual fact, I am looking at most beng paid off in 2 1/2 years. But this allows me to reduce some payments if I get into difficulty. Whilst I want to be debt free, I also want to be able to buy the odd luxury item (cream cake, MP3 player etc).
Before anyone in the family buys me an MP3 player - I have one, it is old, but it works & I know how to use it, so no need to buy one, OK?
I have also got an e-reader, the cheapest on the market, but it does what I want it to & it has loads of free books on it & I am working my way through them.
Christmas is a wonder thing!
I was a bit of a cheapskate this Christmas, but then I did not have a lot of money to spare. I have saved the money I have got & use it for car hire to see the kids. It is only £30 a day and it is worth every penny.
My eldest daughter understands my predicament, but my 19year old is a little less understanding & seems to think I don't care about her so much any more. She is wrong. Her & her brother are terribly important to me & this year I am going to do every thing I can to make them realise that.
I now have a job, I now have my debt under control, now I can move forward.
Happy New Year.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Car hire to see kids

OK, I have arranged car hire so I can see the kids. £35 a day including damage insurance.
I am now set. As well as being to fat, I also suffer from diabetes and asthma, but someone still gave me one of those italian cakes, the really, really sugary ones!
So I am going to give it to the kids, they are not fat (thank the gods for that!), so they will be OK eating it. I am also going to give them the £50 John Lewis voucher I was given as a christmas present from my employer. It was a nice touch that they did not have to do. See, nice things do happen.
I have confirmed my appointment with my hyponotherapist on the 3rd, 1230. Wish me luck with this, I really need to lose the weight & I really need to overcome the sea sickness.
To add to the stress, I am also having my blood tests for my diabetes on the same day.
I may have mentioned that I am broke before. Well, T'is true. I did not work properly for about two years, as a result my bank piled on the debt & what was a manageable debt ended up as a nightmare with interest rates of 22.63% being applied, along with £35 being charged for each returned items & £5 a day being charged for being overdrawn.
They really know how to kick someone when they are down!
Well, hopefully I have managed to get my final creditor onto a payment plan. If that is what has happened I will be a very happy man. Clearing the debts is the only way forward, their dumb demands for full payment, even though I have told them repeatedly I do not have the money were stressing me out.
I even tried to explain to them that even if they take me to court, they will not get the full payment, but I am now in a position to make the original minimum payments that they were previously asking for. I wasn't before, as I did not have a job, I have a job now. Why are financial people so dumb?
They pile debt on you in the form of charges when you are in difficulty & then threaten you when you can not pay the now grossly elevated debt.
Stay away from debt, that is my advice.
I am working to become debt free & I will do every thing I can to stay that way.


After a long period of unemployment (including 10 months in Dubai where I received a salary that averaged out at less than the UK minimum wage!), I logged into skype to reacrivate my account.
Even though I started work again back in June/July, I am still ultra short of cash, so I look on skype as a way of making long distance calls on a shoe string (cheaply), so I only put £20 on the account, actually £23 when you include the pointless VAT charge.
I logged in this evening to call my girlfriend who is working in Oman & found my account had almost no funds remaining!
The reason was they had reactivated a set of subscriptions I had forgot I had. So, I have a reactivated skype account, but no funds to use it with.
I have sent a help request to them to see if they will pay the money back, but I do not hold out much hope of this.
I will let you know

Book Upate

I have just re read my "test book" on my e-reader, as a PDF, I am actually quite pleased with it. It is not great, but I will now definitely be putting this online!
OK, my test book is now a "self help" book, it describes how my business went down. I have mainly concentrated in what I believe I did wrong, and not so much on the fact that three of my best customers disappeared from the scene.
The business ran well initially, I even managed to pay myself £30k for a few years. But that failure was built into the design of the company. I allowed my customers credit, initially I gave them all 30 day credit (which in the early days was fine as I was making the money). But then when they started to stretch that to 60 & in some cases 120 days, the cash flow was destroyed. Which killed the company.
So, the book could be summed up as, business need cash flow, make sure you get paid in advance!
There, that has killed it as commercial success...!
Just a joke. No, I will upload it once I have finished it, probably as one of those £0.75 books you see of Kindle. Once it is uploaded, I will let you know.


I am trying to book a hire car so I can go and see my children, this is usually quite straight forward for most people, but I try and get the best car for the cheapest price etc etc and I tend to get bogged down.
I have not had a car since I sold mine the summer before last to try & clear off some money I owed the bank. It has been really hard not having a car, but it has saved me a fortune.
Before we had Tony Bliar in charge, we used to have a great bus service that meant I could even get to london on the bus. Now we only have a daily services (no buses on sunday or holidays) to the local town. Aren't socialists wonderful!
Pre 2005, I could have taken a bus from the village to Milton Keynes. Now, I have to take a bus from the village, travel to wellingborough. Take another bus from Wellingborough to Northampton. Take a bus from Northampton to Milton Keynes. Ridiculous.
I have just got broadband at home again. At last I can use skype again! Now I can start making cheap international calls again.
I have done some more work on the test book. I am actually quite pleased with it & may put it up as an ebook. I don't suppose anyone will read it, but what the hell!
I now have nearly all my creditors on payment plans, only one is causing a problem & I hope to have that resolved this month. Now that I am working again, I will be able to finally pay off some of the debt that built up. I now owe about £26000, which to some people may not sound a lot, to me it sounds like a prison sentence! When I was not working and was not able to get my jobseekers allowance (due to petty officials in the Jobcentre Plus making life harder for me), the debt more than doubled!
I had a 22.63% interest rate (bank base rate is 0.5%), plus I was charged £35 for any returned payments, and seemed to get random charges of between £100 & £220 added to my account, plus £5 a day for being overdrawn, all when I had no income! As I could not find a job or get jobseekers allowance, I could not stop the interest by using someone like the  Consumer Credit Councilling Service. Once I finally managed to get jobseekers allowance (after months of being battered by the bank), I was able to stop the debt growing.
Now I can finally start bring it down! Happy.
I will never borrow or go overdrawn again. You can not rely on your job being there any more, so I just will not take the risk with borrowing now.
If you even get in debt, use the consumer credit councilling serivice, and use it as early as you can.
They work.
And they cost you nothing.
Well, I am off to go into town after lunch, I am going to buy a pair of swimming trunks & go swimming.
On the 3rd I am going to have two sets of hypnotic therapy. One is a hypnotic gastrict band, the second is treatment for sea sickness. Wish me luck with these.
I work as an surveyor on a ship in the north sea now. But my sea sickness has been a real issue.
I have worked offshore for years, but usually in either the middle east or africa. I am now working in the north sea, very different.
OK, that is enough for today. More tomorrow.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Weight loss

OK. I am over weight.
I thought about a gastrict band, but I am not unhealthy enough to get one.
so, on the 3rd, I am going for a hypnotic gastrict band. Please don't laugh.
I have been told they are very sucessfull and I have decided this is the thing for me.

Newbie Warning

Hi, I have just started this & this is my very first post.
Today I started to write a book, not for publication, but to try it out.
My brother is an artist, he paints pictures & they are brillient. I also paint, but I am not so great.
He is currently at University in Northampton & is creating some really quite brilliant pieces.
So, I am going to write a book about one of his pieces, specifically the creation of the piece and decided that before I ruin his career by writing a bum book, I would write one for myself.
He recently did a piece called boundaries and space. It was a hand carved stone ball on a stone plinth with a dry stone wall built around it. Search for it, it is brilliant.
He wants someone to commission the full size piece some where, but as he is unknown at the moment, this is just not going to happen. So, I thought if I write a book about his next piece & distribute it as an ebook, his name may just get about a bit and someone might want the full size boundaries and space piece in a garden.
If anyone has any useful comments on how to do the book, drop me a line.