2 months since I last blogged!!! Catch-Up time….

December 1st, 2010 by luke

Well things have been insane the last 2 months hence why I have hardly been on the Forum on Blogged.

At work – We had a relaunch party on the 27th October for the Building to rename it and raise awareness. It went very well, much alcohol was consumed and I worked a 14 hour day and was shattered. Add to that the prep work I did and tidy up after, I went well and truly above and beyond the call of duty. It resulted in a job offer from the organising firm to go work in PR for them but the money was less than I am on so I had to say no, shame.

We may have a tenant at last (After 2 years), we are hoping a deal will be done in January for a floor and a half and they should be moved in by March after a 6-8 week fit out of the office space, watch this space.

We had an event last night to look into how the Leeds Property MArket is moving on upwards and what can be done to help. It went well and again I worked my behind off. I have had 2 emails of thanks from people involved recognising my hard work, it is all well and good but I’d rather have a payrise as a reward lol.

Leaving work aside, my personal life has been as busy. My girlfriend and I are 8 months and still going strong, we are opening an account to save for a rent deposit etc and will move in together when this is reached, at current projections this will be about 5 years haha (Think I need to work 2 Saturdays a month in order to save my share, just need to find the work now).

I have had a cough on and off (Mild throaty one) for 3 months, last 2 weeks had pain in the chest. My Doctor’s are useless and you have to call on the day for an appointment, I called at 07.00 the other dayand no answer, they started to take calls at 07.04 but ti was engaged, by time I got thru at 07.14 all  the appointments between 19.00 and 20.00 were gone. This pattern has repeated itself over the last few weeks when trying to get in as I can;t have time off work for appointments. Went to NHS Walk in Centre yesterday at 7am (Skived worked, sod em lol) and Nurse advised had a ‘dull spot’ in a lung, so I am on 100mg Anti-Biotics, 1 a day for a week.

I have my doubts that it will be enough to shift it and have been told to go see my own Doctor if it doesn’t. Great!

We have blizzard conditions here in Leeds at the moment and it is set to last all day. At the moment the snow is fun for me, but give it a week and I will be sick of it lol.

The other thing is the trial of the man who (I have to say Alledgedly) murdered my Nephew Sean in June.  Day Two of the trial and it is expected to last a week. Although with all this snow I think it is possible some of the jurors will not be able to get in and so it may be delayed.

….and finally it is December 1st so Xmas is finallyon it’s way. I love the season, my tree is already up, snow on the ground, perfect!!

ADDITIONAL….

Just realised I forgot to add  that I finally had my annual review back and everything in order, no increase to be made (Not a shock seeing as had no pay increase in 2 years lol) and report to creditors means looks like they’ll be getting back more than the inital proposal by 33% according to my reckoning….not sure how this is though, need to sit down and check the figures when I feel like it.

2 years down, 3 to go……4 more payments and it is all downhill, oohhhh baby.

Looking into the past….when I reached out for help…..

September 30th, 2010 by luke

I was just going through the blogs and reading about how Forum User Cakie had the courage to pick up the phone and it brought back memories of the day I did the same…..hold onto your hats as you will not believe what I went through……

The date was the 9th Sept 2008, my Mum’s birthday, I’d been married for exactly one month and was living with my new Wife and her Daughter.

The Wedding and all the extras my Wife had added as planning went on had pushed me over the edge financially and I could not keep up with the debts.

My HSBC account was constantly over the £1250 overdraft limit, My HSBC credit card was maxed out at £7k, my Natwest Credit Card was at £2k, I had loan of £10k with the AA and one with Britannia Building Society at £2.5k, in total about £22k!!

I’d just finally gotten a job in sales on £16k basic after 4 months unemployed (Before I’d earnt £25k) but it still wasn’t enough and my whole wage was gone before I had even gotten my hands on it.

I got up this day and was on a 12-8 shift so set off to cycle the 8 miles to work. En-route I was not paying attention cos of the debts and failed to see a car parked in the cycle lane and I went straight into it and came off.

Needless to say I was annoyed and in pain, I pushed my bike home and sat down and cried. I hated feeling powerless, my Wife didn’t know the true extent of my debt and I decided to act.

I went online and got a number and rang up for advice, the lady I spoke to was great and between us we realised as I owned no property BR was in some ways the best option, but I wanted to go back to work in Finance eventually so it was not an option.

Also I felt I owed it to pay what I could back, as I had after all borrowed the money and my sense of honour said an IVA was the route to go down. So the paperwork was sent out to me for me to review and make a decision that this was right for me.

I was lucky as I had moved a few months before into my Wife’s home my creditors did not have my number and some did not have the new address so I was not harrassed too much by them thankfully.

I felt like I was getting some control back and I could start to enjoy married life, I was trying to get the courage to tell my Wife just how bad my debts were (I had been holding back as she has MS and was going thru a bad spell) when on Sunday 14th September she came into the computer room and sat on my knee…….

She told me ‘It was not working’ and asked me to move out! I was shell shocked, she would not say anything as to why, just ‘I dunno’ and so I moved into her mates house hoping it was just her being silly and it would blow over. It didn’t, 2 days later she told me that she had been having an affair since shortly after we married with her Ex (Her daughter’s Dad).

I was broken, well and truly (I later found out the day I moved out, he moved in!!). I had given up my home, my career and gained a mass of debt paying for our wedding and helping prop up her failing business.

I was alone in a strange place, 7 weeks into a new job and had £5 to my name. I will admit I was suicidal and it was a dark time for me the likes of which I hope never to see again.

But family and friends were there for me, especially my best mate Ernie and my Big Sister Rachel. Ernie came and abducted me the weekend after it happened and took me to see my Younger Brother down South and I firmly believe to this day if he had not done this I would not be here today…..thanks Ernie mate…..friends like him are worth their weight in gold and finally my Sister came and collected me when I was ready to come home.

Fast forward to today, I do not regret anything as it made me the man I am today and I’m happier than ever. I have met a woman I truly believe is my soul-mate and life is good, obviously barring the shortage of funds lol!!!

Time for an update

September 24th, 2010 by luke

Well I’m working in a different building today where there are actually people but I have to say it was not my choice. I wanted to be in my oww workplace watching The X Files Season 4 (Yes I know I have it easy!!)

Well I sat down yesterday and did a budget for Xmas to see what I could afford to save on top of what I have already in order to be able to treat my girlfriend and afford the Taxi Fares to and from her House on Xmas Day.

The long and short of it is that I’m walking to and from work again to save my travel budget so that I have the money well in advance of Xmas so I can buy stuff before the shops go crazy and prices go up.

As for the Taxi Fares I’ve calculated it is 9 miles form hers to mine and am thinking I could maybe walk there and save myself the expected £20 to £30 fare and just get a Taxi back when I am drunk……

I hate being ill!!

September 14th, 2010 by luke

Terrific it seems I have caught a real bad cold from many of the people who were clearly ill on the flight home from my holiday.

My throat feels like someone has had a go at it with wire wool lol and I am all blocked up. Now the ladies know all men do not cope well with being ill but I like to think I’m better than your average man, but that said I’m still feeling rather sorry for myself.

I’m still at work (We do not get sick pay) and am barely awake what with the drugs I am taking to fight it as they are making me very drowsy.

I will not fall asleep, I will not fall asle…..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sun, Sea and Projectile Vomiting…..

September 12th, 2010 by luke

Well I’m freshly back from a week away with my good lady and was delighted to find an e-mail from Andy saying I had won Blog of the Week!

A perfect end to an almost perfect week.

My Best Mate Ernie took Natasha and I to Manchester Airport last Friday for our flight to Corfu.

We were checking in and the lady told us our flight was delayed 3h 45 mins, Tasha took iy real well and I mentioned it as we walked to passport control, she had not listened lol and went mental haha.

We took off at 04.45 and arrived Corfu at 09.45 local time (2 hours ahead of UK). It was cloudy and raining, by the time we got to our resort it had stopped.

The room was basic and poorly cleaned but for what we paid it felt like you could not really complain lol. We went out to get some food and the all important bottled water, as we made our way back the heavens opened and we got soaked, a great start!

Our room was on the Ground Floor right next to the stairs and corridor for another 7 rooms, so we got the joy of early morning wake up calls from seriously drunk people on their way home lol.

The crowd was a bit young on the main strip and so we stayed on a offshoot which had couples and older people. We just can’t do the all night drinking anymore lol and latest we were in was 1am, no the 7am for most people.

We would get up at 8am, get ready, go for breakfast, then be at the pool for 9am there or thereabouts and soak up the sun till about 4pm. I am a real pool baby and spent lots of time in there lol.

We ate some really good meals and some bad. One place was horrid and both Tasha and I felt ill later, we failed to warn two fellow yorkshire lads who stayed at our resort and they went the next night and felt ill too!!

I tanned real quick and my face is really brown. Tasha ain’t too pleased as her face is still quite white haha.

I never really got drunk which surprised me but after a 3 course meal (Average price was 10 Euros as the places all did deals) and a long day of sunbathing we were tired and would go back by 11 or 12 most nights.

Also while pints were 2 Euros in most places I swear they were well watred down. It was only when I bought a Mojito for Tasha and she advised me she hated them and I had to drink it (While watching the England match against the Swiss) that I felt drunk.

We swam a bit in the Med which was really warm the all of a sudden cold which was odd, but still it was warmer than the Hotel pool! I am told by Tasha that I made an awful lot of noise about howw cold it was everytime I got in.

I did spend the holiday watching the cash. It was so on my mind that one night I was talking in my sleep counting Euros, for 10 mintues I did this much to Tasha’s amusement!

We paid 20 Euros extra to keep our room until 8pm rather than have to get out for Noon. That said we still had to wait until 1.25am to be collected by Coach.

I had a Greek Deep Fried Cheese Starter as part of our last meal, this combined with our Coach Driver thinking he was Lewis Hamilton made me spend an hour trying not to be sick on the coach. As soon as we stopped at the airport I was off like a rocket, and projectile vomited as I ran across the road and continued like this for 5 mins. All the while Tasha was moaning as I had abandoned her to get the suitcases, she forgave me and was very sympathetic when I told her.

I bet the hundreds of people watching me be sick thought ‘Tut tut, blooming drunken Yobbo…..’

So to sum up, the accommodation was poor, the food was mosatly lovely, the booze watered down, the temperature hot and the company delightful.

I’ll probably add more to other blogs as I did not want to make this one too long haha.

£7.17 in the bank, but I’m happy….

August 31st, 2010 by luke

Well as you can tell from the title I’m skint with 12 days until I get paid again but despite that I’ve got a great big smile on my face.

Most of my bills have been paid and the rest are waiting on the direct debits on coming out of my separate bills account so I can relax for a while.

Like all my fellow IVAers and Bankrupt types I love that feeling that I have paid the bills with MY money and still have something left in the bank at the end of it and not relying on credit. It is a real feeling of contentment that I never had before.

My girlfriend came over Saturday after work and we had a nice night in (Despite having to watch The X Factor lol). I slaved away in the kitchen making her a 3 course meal on Sunday which she loved.

Best of all I’m VERY lucky to be having a cheap week away with her from Friday to Kavos in Corfu (Yes the place where they caught that foul rapist who lived wild).

I’m a tad worried about the accommodation cos it was so cheap, but hey ho beggars can’t be choosers!

I’ve scraped and saved for the last few months in order to save the holiday money needed, that said I’ll probably spend most of my time fretting about keeping to my daily budget lol. A few months of walking to and from work have done my bank balance and my legs and behind good haha.

I’m feeling it now and know I can’t continue walking 8 miles a day on top of five, 12 hour shifts as it’s wiping me out and doing me no good in the long run.

I’ll be back on the rubbish buses when I’m back from holiday, no doubt moaning about the price increases and the lateness/not showing up buses!

Yesterday was 4 months to Xmas Day…..

August 26th, 2010 by luke

……Please don’t shout at me for reminding you all!

Maybe it is because I am getting older but it seems to arrive quicker each year and you have never saved enough money for it.

I used to buy for all the family but stopped 4 years ago due to the cost (1 Grandparent, 2 Parents, 3 Siblings and 3 Partners, My Partner and 9 Nephews and Nieces!). Now I get a well thought out gift for both my parents and the rest have to make do with a card with a loving message lol. But to be fair they do not buy me anything either.

Well I have already bought pressies for my parents earlier in the year when I found myself with some spare cash and they are in the closest at home. I have bought 2 small gifts for my girlfriend also.

It’s just a case of completing saving for the BIG pressie I am getting her, thanks to some seriously frugal behaviour and selling a few things on Ebay I am 60% to my target so fingers crossed I’ll have it all paid for by end of September.

As for the day itself I have no idea what I will be doing, I’ll not be working it this year (Like I was last year, 12 hour shift in an empty office building sucked) but everyone I know will be off with their families. My parents will not be having Xmas Dinner as my Mum is working.

My good lady has indicated her parents may invite me round but this in itself creates a problem as I can’t stay over as she shares a room with her sister and her folks are old style lol. This means I have to travel 11 miles to her house and then back. Taxi’s I expect will be £70-80 overall, I better get saving hard cos I am NOT spending Xmas Day alone again……

A Flying Visit

August 25th, 2010 by luke

I am so grateful for my girlfriend and what she brings to my life. Many of you will no doubt feel the same about your partners, kids, grand kids and friends and how they keep your spirits up when we are feeling low.

She has today off (Working Saturday) and is in Leeds to have a manicure and wax (OUCH!!!) prior to our holiday. So she surprised me by popping into work for 10 minutes to say hello and it’s left me with a great big smile!

Now her visit itself is great but as usual she has treated me yet again (I keep telling her to stop buying me stuff, she said this is the last time!).

A pair of kickers to replace my rather old tatty trainers, a £100 coat (She got it for £20 so I felt less guilty lol) and some Armani Diamonds fragrance.

Where did Summer Go????

August 23rd, 2010 by luke

I don;t know about the rest of you but it seemed to consist of about 3 weeks this year which given how poor the last few summers have been wasn’t too bad.

But it seems now that it is well and truly over and it’s the steady downhill road into Autumn then Winter. It is my fervent hope that it is not as cold as last year as I’m sure like many of you the energy bills were positively heart attack inducing!!

Oh well guess I will put the BBQ and garden furniture in the shed this weekend as they will not be needed for a while…..

Watching the Pennies more than ever…..

August 20th, 2010 by luke

Well I was paid on the 12th and I’m already watching the pennies very closely, it seems if I take my eyes off them then one will vanish [:D]

All the money to cover my direct debits etc has gone into the bills account where it will safely stay until it’s all collected only for the cycle to begin anew next month.

I’ve stocked the cupboards and freezer up so I will not starve but I’ll not be eating gourmet lol. I have £40 in my wallet and £40 in my other bank account all to cover the cost of fresh food stuff, transport to and from work and of course the all important ‘unforeseen circumstances’…..

You would think from reading this that I would be feeling down, but far from it. It’s Friday and I’m gonna have a few drinks and a takeaway at mine tonight courtesy of my best mate and watch some TV. So that’s putting me in a good mood for starters.

But best of all, is my girlfriend of 5 months, Natasha, how she makes me feel is beyond words and the very thought of her brings a massive smile to my face. She is working tomorrow as usual sadly but we always see each other on a Sunday Afternoon and I can’t wait to spend even a few precious hours with her……