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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

3k and Falling...

My personal debt is still falling, hopefully I might even get a bonus from work soon this year - meaning I can write even more of it off.

I've started planning my wishlist of things I'd like to buy (when I win the lottery):
1) A flat in St Katherine's dock or maybe just over Tower Bridge, down some of the nice little streets.
Myself and C spent last Saturday taking a walk/mini-pub crawl around the centre of London and ended up here - very nice.

2) A nice fat speed-boat or yacht.
Preferably something really fast, powered by solar and wind power with a secondary power source if needs. Stealth technology, auto-pilot, etc.

3) A home in the Channel Islands.
Somewhere I can bugger off to at the weekends in the afore mentioned water craft. Obviously this has added advantages being as the islands are tax havens, the people speak English and the currency is Sterling.

4) A mansion house in Hull.
Hull properties can be bought from as modest a price as £7k [if you like corporation windows and ASBO neighbours], it's on the coast (handy for travelling in boats) and it's in my native Yorkshire.

Jersey

It was C's birthday so I decided to book her a suprise trip to Jersey. It was 'liberation' weekend - unfortunately I'd not done enough mental calculations to realise that it was the 60th aniversary of VE day and the fact that the islands was once occupied by Hitlers goons may be somewhat of a cause for celebration amongst the islanders (even though there seemed to be more Irish accents than any others kicking around).

The Queen decided to turn up for the even too - we managed to catch a glimse of her driving past waving regally.

There was much fun to be had - food and drink stalls, a parade of WWII vehicles, the red arrows doing ariel displays, ex-service men displaying their medals, 21 gun salutes, overly apparent M15 operatives walking around, drunken sailors, etc.

Not really what I'd expected but it was fun all the same even though I'm not overly a Royalist. Still we might be better off with a Monarchy than the Banana Republic Democracy we currently have, at least a Monarch should be able to plan for the future of the country rather than the short sighted 5 year plans of politicians. On the other hand getting rid of a Monarch is somewhat more bloody and difficult (not that I wouldn't like to string the politicians up). You get the same problems though - their more concerned with their own comforts and lifestyle.

Anyhow the weather was gorgeous but the cooling breeze disguise the evil solar radiation - I'm now somewhat overcooked!!!

All Clear On the Southern Front

My little friend has now departed - well I'm infected for life but the symptoms have gone. That's the problem with viruses - they stay with you forever, roll on advances in medical science.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Stock Exchange

I visited the good old London Stock Exchange in the evening to attend a talk on small cap shares, the corridors were paved with gold – well marble. The toilet doors were massive mahogany panels. Very plush, next time I’m taking a bag with me so I can half inch one of their emblazoned coffee cups.

Actually I’ve decided to attempt to get my Certificate in Investment Management and get myself a City job – bit of an extreme career change, hell the only time I ever see 6 a.m. is when it’s past bed time but, well… we all have our dreams.

Knob Doctor (pt. 2)

Since my last entry I’ve had to endure a little pain – if I thought the initial blast of freezing nitrogen was painful I obviously wasn’t expecting the pain of urinating and occasionally just irritating for no reason. The treated area swelled, became painful and turned white.

After a couple of days things got better and after a bunch of lilies, a home cooked meal of duck with spring onions, ginger, noodles in sweet chillie sauce and a heap of hugs, C was feeling reassured. She’d worried I’d think ‘That’s what you get for dating random internet girls’ – not at all.

So feeling amorous, horny (for the first time in days) and bagged up [yes a little late I know] we hit the hay…

After the money shot the pain was intense, maybe the strong alkaline sperm had irritated my cold induced wound?

Anyhow, things soon calmed down, my tiny cauliflower looking guest is on the way out, C went to get checked out too – apparently she has an infection and has been on the antibiotics, let’s hope all turns out well.

I went back to the clinic yesterday, same embarrassed looks on the guys faces only this time I was a little cheerier, knowing that I had merely come back for a second dose of treatment for my Human Papilloma Virus. Apparently 50-75% of the sexually active female population in the Western world is infected – oh and there’s no cure…

Still doing a search round the web I figure I got away lightly with my tiny bump – there are some seriously scary pictures out there with growths that look like huge broccoli sprouts growing all around one guy’s helmet!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

How to Get a Hospital Appointment

Something had been irritating and worrying me – it was time to get it checked out. I phoned the hospital on Monday morning.

“Hello the Lydia clinic.”
“Hi I’d like to make an appointment please.”
“I’m sorry all the appointments are taken, try phoning back next Monday.”

Hmmm, that’s one way to keep the waiting lists down I guess.

Tuesday I decided to take another approach – I turned up to the walk in clinic and managed to get a ticket to see the doctor in the afternoon.

So there I am, sat in a waiting room full of the most furtive, sheepish looking men on the planet, heads hung in shame. I glance around to the coffee table next to me and pick up the well thumbed copy of GQ. Strangely no one else has bother to pick it up and flicking through the pages I suddenly discover why. This month’s installment of high gloss, lads mag has the following articles:
What women like in bed
Bikini shots
Strangely the site of well oiled, nubile young women wearing nothing more than a couple of bits of string fails to arouse me. It’s something to do with the context and the current worries on my mind.

I place it back and watch the badly tuned TV, placed at an awkward angle given my current seat. Eventually I’m called through…

I sit through the usual list of questions – I say usual, not that they’re the kind of questions asked in polite conversation (do you use intravenous drugs, have you slept with prostitutes, do you have sex with men…[no, no, no – incase your wondering]) but I’ve been in these situations on more than one prior occasion. Maybe I should have learnt my lesson you might think, well bloody hell – I hope this is the last time.

Then we get down to the crux, or maybe I should say the point of the matter in hand. I explain the symptoms, the strange little white growth and my suspicions, given that C told me she’d had this previously.

We go to the examination room, this is one of those incredibly uncomfortable situations – I show the offending part of my anatomy, having to squeeze the end slightly to allow him to look just inside the pipe-work.

“Yes, I think that’s what you’ve got. We can give it some treatment now but you’ll have to come back every week for 4 to 6 weeks so we can treat it properly, given it’s location.”

Yikes!

So there I am, looking and feeling uncomfortable, holding my pride and joy in my hands whilst a guy I’ve never met before fires a jet of freezing liquid nitrogen right into my most delicate areas – not once – but three separate times, each until I can no longer stand the burning sensation.

I’ve taken pain before, had what amounts to long, thin, cotton wool buds shoved down those parts by over zealous nurses before but this is something different. OK maybe I exaggerate a bit, it wasn’t that bad. Now I’ve just got to wait for it to scab up, go black & drop off!!!

Snickers and Cream Cakes

Friday night saw us in our new local - Ganton's celebrating my manager’s birthday. Much alcohol was consumed. On the way home myself and C had a bit of an argument, well – not really an argument, she just took something I’d told her the wrong way. My fault I guess – being drunk wasn’t really the best time to bring up my concerns but we kissed and made up for it. More on this later…

Saturday night saw us at the End listening to Laurent Garnier, there was a group of about 20 of us – friends and friends of friends. A good night was had by all and I managed to meet a couple of other random Northerners too.

By 6 a.m. we were danced out so me and C got our coats and headed to the tube. Walking past St Paul’s, all white and marbley in the early morning sun, the streets quiet on a sunny Sunday morning. We reached the tube station and waited for the first tube, resting our weary bones against the platform wall.

Suddenly the station started to fill up, crowds of wide eyed, overly energetic and garishly dressed people. Wearing bright, flammable, plastic clothing, tracksuits and trainers, carrying water bottles. What the hell was this – some new chav rave sub-culture? No… it was the London Marathon, I’d totally forgotten.

We escaped home and hit the hay for 12 hours.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Curry Me Home...

Last night myself and C went on a mini bender (mid week drinks) and hit brick lane for a curry.

I was sadly disappointed by the culinary delights on offer, not a patch on the curries of Bradford. Oh well, guess that’s life in London’s Curry Mecca.

Today I’ve had some strange feeling of depression for no apparent reason; maybe it’s an after effect from last night’s food? Something just doesn’t feel right in my little world and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because G has left our flat and we still don’t know whose going to move into the now empty room?

Maybe a walk will clear my mind – the past few days I’ve been walking home from the West End in an attempt to get fit (by breathing in all those fumes!) – I guess by road it’s around 3.5 to 4 miles home. The weather looks a bit nasty though – maybe I’ll just go inhale someone’s armpit odours instead on the tube and go to the gym after I get home?

I don’t mind the walking though – I get to orientate myself with the City and see some of its inhabitants.

Monday I wandered back via Trafalgar Square and across Waterloo Bridge and via the Cut. I don’t know if it’s because the weather has been particularly sunny of late but I seem to have seen the Hare Krishnas around quite a bit of late.

Tuesday I wandered east past St Paul’s and the City. At one point saw a guy off his head wandering into the middle of the yellow hashed traffic box (do not enter unless you can exit) on the road at a massive crossroads, shouting abuse at the traffic, obviously not 100% corpus mentis.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Politics

Please change the channel now...

OK its election time, I’m fed up of it already. Not that I'm non-political but all the donkeys in this years derby have been doped (as well as the populous thanks to Fluoride and the reclassification of cannabis) and the jockeys club is seriously looking into race fixing allegations.

For years I was a Tory, which if you know my name as well as the timing and place of my childhood is ironic, it's just that I really don’t want to vote for any of the major parties. I haven't backed a major party candidate for the last couple of elections and what's more I'm not register to at my new address.

What I'm proposing is a new method of government, forget the "here’s your 3+ candidate choices, attempt to pick the lesser of the evils live with the fact that your one X every 4 or so years has probably been thrown aside/miscounted by some election riggers" sytem of present.

Here’s how it would work:

You have multiple ballot papers to place an X on:
1) The candidate you want for your area.
2+ Your option preferences with regards various topics of the day, such as:

Immigration
Would you like to repatriate those not born in Britain? _
Would you prefer preset annual limits based on skills shortages, etc? _
Are you in favor of current legislation and procedures? _
I'd like to decrease the regulations on immigration; my mail order bride is in the post, my lover's nanny needs a visa and I need a cleaner who’ll work for peanuts cos the dog's just shat on the carpet. _
Sod it, just like mum – I'm off to Iceland. Where's my visa? _

EU
I want to be a citizen of the super state, it can't be any worse than being ruled by you muppets. _
We need more European centralisation and legislation. _
Things are OK at present. _
I want to have free trade agreements with Europe but no more. _
We need a bigger moat. _

The Euro
I want to switch to the Euro. _
I want to keep Sterling. _
I want to use magic beans and bartering instead. _

ID Cards
I don't think this is a good idea. _
I'm in favor of national ID cards. _
Let's just microchip everyone and have done with it. _

The Health Service
We need to increase investment in the NHS. _
I like the current NHS system as it stands. _
We should attempt to reduce waste and increase efficiency in the current system. _
Patients should have more choice as to where to be treated and have half the money refunded if they wish to go private. _
Stop making me pay taxes to be treated like a burden and looked down the nose at, I'd rather pay when I’m ill, to hell with the poor, evolution is King. _

Drugs
Should cannabis be reclassified as a class A drug? _
Should cannabis be reclassified as a class B drug? _
Should cannabis remain as a class C drug? _
Cannabis should remain illegal, dealers prosecuted but individuals should be allowed to grow no more than 2 plants per household without incurring legal penalties. _
Decriminalize cannabis totally. _
Legalize cannabis for sale and tax it. _
Legalize all drugs. _

Genetic Modification
Should GM crops and foodstuffs be made illegal? _
We require more data, they should be considered harmful and more small scale research should be undertaken. _
We should allow the sale of GM crops and foodstuffs if clearly labeled. _
I don't see a problem with GM food. _
I'd rather have GM and fewer pesticides and look forward to designing my baby / wife / clone / goldfish. _

Maybe I should make a web-poll for this?

Monday, April 11, 2005

How to back a winning 'Os

Os - recently coined colloquialism for horse in the Yorkshire dialect. See The Rules of 'Os'

Well Saturday started off with a great sunny spell, a hangover and a royal wedding. Unlike the media of this country would have you believe the vast majority of the populous of this island don't give much of a toss about which ugly inbred is marry which other ugly divorced inbred or even give a jot about what the soon to be in-laws of the aforementioned allegedly thought of the arrangement.

We all had bigger things on our mind - the Grand National. The nations favourite way to see animals being put down and humans trampled, oh the spectacle of it all - plus it's the day even the most tight-pursed amongst us get to stick a wager on t' 'orses.

Unfortunately the beasts I picked were nags: Just in Debt came in 9th and Forest Gunner was just out of the money coming in 5th. C had more luck - she'd picked the winner Hedgehunter. Well done C! ;-)

Saturday night saw us at her friends for a dinner party, after a hearty feast of homemade curries, popadoms, onion bahjis, samosas, and dessert we made the long crawl home from Ealing our bellies full. We'd left things a little late so the last tube only got us as far as Earl's Court so we hit the night bus home, taking in the night time scenery of Kensington before getting off at Trafalgar Square. We then proceeded to walk home down the South bank in an attempt to burn off some of the excess calories.

Sunday was a glorious day, my flat having been invaded by another couple of Aussies temporarily (G's mates, they're all off traveling) and I noticed our dishwasher seemed to have become home to a colony of ants (guessing they came up the drain) so I switched it on and gave them a good rinse before we went for a stroll and a few cheeky beers on the pub roof garden.

Well its Monday now - I might not of backed a winning 'Os but the shares I bought in a fit of panic speculation on Thursday (Virotec) are doing the business - up 5% at the end of Friday and they're up another 5% already today. Wish I'd bought more! The only trouble is unlike horse racing you need to pick a point to jump off before everything goes pear shaped. Still from 24p to 27.5p isn't bad in 2 days trading. I think I'm becoming an addict!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Vote Me!

Well it's my Aussie flat-mate’s penultimate leaving do tonight, she's off traveling round Europe for a bit with her friend before we finally bid her farewell and send her back off to Sydney.

That reminds me, we have a slight wager to fulfill - I'm supposed to wear her Aussie flag shorts and run round the block whist she does the same in some Union Jack ones - well, I'll be kind and get her a bikini. One of the really tacky ones off the market stalls down Oxford Street. I never asked her size, guess I'll have to see how big they make those thongs and make an educated guess.

In other news I've opened a self trading maxi-ISA (Individual Savings Account) with comdirect so I can start trading without giving that fat b**tard in No.11 Downing Street a cut of my hard earned (good for up to £7000 worth of tax exemption). I'm contemplating hitting the ETF (Exchange Traded Funds) market and gambling on the FTSE - I just need to do a few calculations first and time it right - it'll probably go a little wobbly around the 5th of May due to Election Day.

I'm seriously considering gambling/investing in putting myself up for election too - £500 and I could potentially be on the gravy train for life. Hell if I don't get in I only need about 3% of the vote and I get my stake back... no one fancies the retards that stand for the major parties anyhow.

Other investment news is thus: the OEICs I'm investing in have lost me £2 over a month, arse. Still given the percentages of commission charged I'm at a roughly breakeven position. Come next month I'll see if I could gamble it more effectively myself.