Very small achievements.

Slowly, slowly, we take tiny steps in the direction of The Life You Want.

I am becoming ever more conscious of the need to take better care of my money. That’s why I haven’t had a summer holiday this year, except for that couple of days in Corfu in the spring where I was ill. In fact, Klaus and I talked about going away together in December – he is flush because he has a new job with a big salary. But then I came to my senses and remembered that I have a mortgage to pay off while he doesn’t, plus I have to get new windows and such so I told him on second thoughts I’d better not arrange expensive trips at the moment.

We are making plans for Xmas because Little G is going to be away and Klaus doesn’t have family in the UK, so he is spending Christmas with me. It will be such fun! We are going to have Christmas at home with combined British and German traditions, so on my side that means Christmas crackers, snowballs made with advocaat, and board games that you would never play at any other time of year, and on his side that means gingerbread houses and Stollen and things like that. Let’s have a picture of some Stollen, in fact. I can feel my waist getting thicker just looking at it.

stollen

That reminds me, I’d better get on and order that new cooker because it looks like I will be doing cooking after all, because Christmas turkey.

Where were we? Oh yes, money. So anyway. I have managed two very small but very important Things that I have been putting off for a long time. Here is a picture to help you understand.

no tv

That blue thing at the top is an Oyster card and it lets you use London’s outstandingly good public transport for about half price or some shit. I resisted because I don’t see the need to let the British Government know every single detail of my movements. I still use cash for a lot of things. So I held off. Then I gave in. Oyster cards were introduced in 2003. I got mine today.

That other thing, that letter, is from the TV Licensing Authority, because I cancelled payments for my TV licence, which is something else I should have done a long time ago. In the UK, the TV licence helps fund the BBC, which is great and everything, but you don’t need one if you don’t watch live-broadcast TV. I couldn’t believe how fast the TV licence people phoned me up when I cancelled my direct debit. They even threatened to send someone out to my house to inspect my TV-viewing apparatus, or lack thereof. “Go ahead”, I said. “Be my guest.” Even though they are totally bluffing as ownership of a TV is not what you are being charged for and owning a TV while not in possession of a licence is not an offence. You only need a licence if you are watching TV as it is being broadcast. By the way, British readers, if you want to cancel your TV licence and your current one has time left on it, you can get a refund. In fact, I am going to nip out to the letterbox and post my refund form right now. Then I am going to come back and play some newly-remodelled Warcraft, because priorities.

And that’s all the news. If you know any particularly good board games for two players, post in the comments.

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