And from another email to a friend:


It was nice to have Friday off.  As you may remember, I took it off for the TV repairman to come around and fix the wretched LG behemoth in my lounge, as well as to have some prep time for Saturday’s game night.

It kinda went wrong pretty quickly as I didn’t go to bed until 2am on Thursday night/Friday morning thinking I’d get a lie in. You can seen how it’s going to go downhill.  Despite no “warning” call, the damn repairman turned up at 9.30 when I was unconscious.  And as one of my muppet housemates let the damn cats in the lounge by leaving the door open, they’d been shedding all their fur over the carpet (whilst the summer coats grow in) which was mildly embarrassing.  But 30 minutes later the driver board was swapped out for a new one and the television is 100% functional.  Best of all I guess is that although the repair only cost £125, the cost of the part was £144 so bargain!

And I thought I’d have the house to myself for the day – again big mistake as the loathsome couple were in all day. Unfortunately (for them) they weren’t able to enjoy the TV as they know they’re not allowed and short of me taking the SKY card everywhere I go with me or locking it with a pin, they won’t even try.  Mind you, I still took the remote control to bed with me as I suspect it’s being watched when I’m not there.  As I said before, they won’t get their deposit back because I’m claiming back £10 for SKY for each month they’ve watched it without paying for it.

But they did go out at around 3pm so I decided to do the same.  I walked up to the Tesco in Leytonstone to get the food in for Saturday (I was going to be hosting for ten) but of all the day’s annoyances – the wretched store was closed for a week as they remodelled it.  And there were no local announcements about it either.  What a waste of a journey.  Whilst the Asda in Leyton and the Morrisons in Stratford were closer, they don’t do clubcards or anything like that so I went to the Bow Tesco which is a wee bit smaller than the Leytonstone store but not by much.  I got what I wanted but decided to buy a few more bits and pieces for a general grocery shop.  Ended up costing £143 in total (you should have seen the size of the till receipt before money saving offers were applied – £209). Taxied back home, unpacked groceries and began the general clean and tidy up. Scrubbed the bathroom and lounge, prepared the food as much as possible (washing and chopping) and went to bed late.

Woken up really early by some pillock outside who was playing mechanic, got up and realised I didn’t pick up a cocktail shaker (the idea being to serve Cactus Blues to guests on arrival).  I went to the Asda in Leyton, then B&Q, then Next Homeware, then Morrisons, then Wilkinsons, then Tiger, then Poundstretcher and finally to Sainsbury’s where a two hour search was rewarded.  Alas when I got home, I checked on my giant coke bottle cooler to see how chilled the cola was and I’d accidentally switched the device onto “hot” thus super-heating 16 cans of coke.  I quickly swapped out the cans for other ones and set it to cold. 

Panic started kicking in at 2pm once I’d had my lunch as I still needed to move furniture.  The horrible futon was the big beast and once that was moved, I noticed the carpet underneath it was grey from 2 years worth of dust and cat hair so hoovered all that rubbish up before moving it, splintering off several chunks of wood.  Made a greek salad (with a twist – I added Mint and Rosemary), put out crisps, kept picking at them and brought down my games.

Christian and Stephen were the first to arrive at 5.30 and we had Cactus Blues (they were well regarded), we chatted, the other guests began arriving and we played Trivial Pursuit, Articulate, Family Fortunes and…um…I think that was it.   We drank wine, ate the food (again very well regarded) and people began leaving at 10 with the last ones to go at 11.  I spent the next 90 minutes tidying up, washing up and the house was back to normal apart from vacuuming by 12.30.  Unfortunately as I moved the sofa back into place, I ran over a modem cable for the SKY box.  Noting seemed affected by its absence so I unplugged it and plugged the regular modem cable into the phone jack.  Incredibly, my broadband speed has jumped from 1.1mbps to 2.9, almost trebling the speed.  I want to know why SKY has been sucking up the phone signal like that.  

Sunday was the proverbial day of rest – finished the cleaning and had the house to myself all day so was picking at the leftovers, played Mario Kart (finally unlocked the last remaining character of Dry Bowser) and had an itch at 3pm so went out to Game and bought four new Wii games with your birthday voucher, the £20 on my reward card and the remnants of my trade in cash.  Not bad eh?  And the Wii Party came with a free Wiimote taking my total back up to three.

And today I’ve been totting up my finances after spending a lot already this month.  Thanks to Games Night and the TV repair as well as a couple of other expenses, I’m somehow got only £350 or so left for me this month when I’d normally have more. It’s not insurmountable – there’s only 18 days until payday which is early thanks to the Royal Wedding but that makes May an extremely long month.  I’ve also got the Dentist next Monday which will be another £45.  I don’t want to dip into savings but needs must.  At least I have plenty of food left over in my cupboards so that’s something I don’t have to fork out for.

Back to the saga of the phone.  Friday I received a call from the insurance people once they’d received my form and they decided that it was a case of theft and would honour the agreement.  However as predicted, they pulled the “we don’t do iPhone 3GS  any more” line on me and so offered another phone of similar substance or £370 cash.  I accepted the cash offer and spent some time dithering over whether to get another iPhone 3GS (£410 from the Apple Store) or the iPhone 4 (£510 at the store).  I went out this lunchtime in advance of receiving the money and bought the 4, reasoning that my contract will be up in 9 months and I can either get a 5 at that point or consider a shorter contract at a reduced rate.  If I get the iPhone 5, I can sell my 4 for about £300 recouping the £140 surplus costs which isn’t too shabby.  I’ll get the cash paid into my account this week but wanted to get the ball rolling on this now as I do have the funds in my account.  That’s being taken directly from the savings rather than the monthly pool.

So all in all, an expensive first half of the month but the rest of April should be relatively quiet and sane.  And with a little luck and prudence, I can make back my outlay this month.  Unfortunately, I hear about my job tomorrow – do I keep it or am I being made redundant?  And if I’m made redundant, where do I go?  Actually – ditto if I keep it, where do I go?  It’s not a place I want to be at right now.