Frugal failure

Apparently this blog is interfering with my ability to surprise my parents, who live in Ireland, with tales of my thrilling adventures in exciting Billericay. About to launch into one such saga on the phone to my mother last night, she quickly interrupted me. “I know what you’ve been doing this week,” she said, sounding faintly bored. “I read your blog.” Ah…such cutting words. What will I have to do now to keep her entertained during our weekly phone conversations? Maybe I could get a tattoo. It’ll have to be a home-made one though in keeping with the frugal lifestyle. Perhaps I could write DON’T SPEND ANY MONEY on my arm with biro – that would serve two purposes then and hopefully save me from myself.

Shunil’s leaving do on Friday was great fun. But I was a frugal failure. The excitement of seeing my old work mates disorientated me. Despite all best intentions, I found myself uttering the treacherous words “does anyone want a drink?” This was greeted with titters from my former comrades who pointed out I have pledged to live the frugal life, but by that point I felt too embarrassed to retract my offer.

The round came to £10.70…eek…although it could have been worse…but fortunately, whether this was good luck or karma, the evening was largely cash neutral in the end as the very kind Shunil insisted on buying me dinner. He was embarrassed that nobody let him buy any drinks in the pub. Who ever heard of anybody buying their own drinks at their leaving do? Shocking!

But I must try harder next time to be a skinflint, or simply not go to the pub at all. Perhaps it would be less guilt-inducing to opt out of the round system altogether and simply buy my own soft drink and make it last as long as possible.


Meanwhile I have received an exciting FINAL DEMAND from my new best friends at TalkTalk for their daylight robbery £70 ‘cessation fee’ and them stealing our phone number from us. It was a ‘FINAL DEMAND’ as opposed to a ‘final demand’, as this was printed in big red letters at the top and I got the impression that they were definitely shouting. It is all terribly bullying – they say they will soon set rottweilers from a “licensed debt collection agency” on me and my credit rating “may already be affected”. I’m assuming that Simon Rawlings, the author who works in TalkTalk’s charming Debt Prevention and Litigation department, hasn’t read/ appreciated the stinging eloquence of my complaint letter. But then Carphone Warehouse/TalkTalk only give out a PO Box number, not a proper address on their letters so goodness knows where my complaint letter has got to. Especially as they don’t even seem to have a complaints department! I feel multiple complaint letters coming on…

Interestingly, they are also labouring under the impression that we had a phone service with them until 2 October, when we switched to BT on 3 September. So they have charged us for an extra month but provided no service during that time. Excellent! Keep up the good work, Charles Dunstone!

To cheer myself up I am planning on making my own Christmas pud this year, although the challenge will be keeping the price of a homemade one down to the price of a shop bought one. More on that soon!

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