Long time since my last post. A quick recap:
1. I went to Newquay, had a fairly OK time. Stayed in the apparently-haunted Jamaica Inn on the first night, captured a girl’s voice talking to me as I rolled over in bed. When we got to Newquay, I lost a lot of money on the gamblers so stopped visiting them from Wednesday onwards. Didn’t drink too much, bought a BB gun and a ZX Spectrum (amongst a whole load of other crap) . Also bought a skateboard and have started to ‘board again. Strangely, haven’t lost the knack, although I have bought wrist splints and a helmet!
2. Went to London for the weekend to help setup a company office. I say help – as an IT dude, I thought it would be technical. Instead, ended up as a logistics exercise, opening boxes and co-ordinating Pickfords (although they didn’t need it – they loaded 70 boxes spread amongst 3 storeys in under 40 minutes). Coming back on the Sunday, I realised that I am just an IT dogsbody now. If it’s in any way connected to IT – a telephone, a charger, a network cable – the company expect the IT department to deal with it. Surely people are capable of unplugging their own kit, boxing it up and then unboxing it afterwards? I must get out of support – or at least start doing it for an appropriate amount of money/reward. Talking of which…
3. Ordered a new company car. I’m driving an Astra Sport 1.9, which has been a mixed experience. One advantage is that it is f’ing fast on accelerating, but one disadvantage is that it has had a fair few issues since it passed its 3rd birthday. The gearbox coming apart on the motorway was an interesting day for me. Anyway, I was expecting the pick of something similar. No no no – thanks to our Fleet department’s strange methods, I had a pick of a Mini, several 1.4 Astras, Auris, A3, Prius, and a whole bunch of Renaults. I thought I’d been demoted – nothing above a 1.6 engine size. It’s apparently to do with tax and emissions, so was grudgingly forced into a Renault Coupe. I don’t like Renault, but I don’t like the other choices more. Reading that, it does sound like I’m having a “super sweet 16” strop about a free car, but it’s not free. The taxman doesn’t do free company perks anymore – I’ll be paying tax on this personal asset, pretty-much wiping out my free taxable income and forcing more of my wages into the higher tax brackets.
4. Started writing more. I’ve made a submission into the Writer’s Bureau Short Story competition – well, three stories in fact. The first was about a company making a water-flavoured artificial water drink, the second was about a man inheriting a broken-hearted dog, and the third was about the president being tested to see if he would sell-out people to aliens. I’m sure the winners were going to be announced in September. I’m not sure if my stories were submitted; I did discover an issue with my emails being sent around the day of submission, but we’ll see. There’s another one competition due-in tomorrow. I have a story – a company who send criminals back in time to be killed – but I’m not sure if I can draft it quickly enough. I may have to let this one go and keep for another time.
5. I’ve started investing in shares. £1k’s worth of RBS shares @ 22.95p. They cannot go lower, and if left long enough, may turn a nice profit. I’ve been drip-feeding money into shares over the last few weeks – had a punt on Desire Petroleum, but they hit mud soon afterwards, and their shares halved overnight. Still, if they do hit oil or get taken over, may see my money back! It’s just another form of gambling.
6. I have an allotment! My parents got one a few years back, so I thought I’d put my name down for one too. Got a call at the start of Sept – it’s a lovely plot. It has a shed but is very old and leaning crazily! I’m going to demolish it, use the wood for edging and buy a new one. Incidentally, they had a “shed” at Cadbury’s Garden Centre as big as my study/front room, with a porch = 4 and a half grand – although it did have 20% until the end of Sept. Still, can only dream!
Well, that’s the recap. Here’s some pictures to help chill you out. They certainly help me out! I look at Newquay beach and think “only 2 hours away”. Oh – I bought an SLR camera too.