Can This Really Be True?


After the terrible performance of last years world cup, Wayne Rooney seems to be finding his form again (regardless of his foul mouth and awful attitude in general). This can only be good for English football and football in general.

But have you ever wondered of the price of insuring a footballer of this calibre? I don’t know about you, but it’s kept me awake at night……. (er….) So our friends over at confused.com have done the calculation for us. Enjoy:

Maybe I won’t complain about my car premium’s again………….

Money Worries


I’m really worried.

My wife started a new job two weeks ago after leaving her last job after over 9 years. This was due to the company being totally unreasonable in relation to her going back to work part-time after having our daughter (there were other issues relating to the decision to leave, but I won’t post about them just yet, you’ll find out why later). The new job is perfect as it’s working for a children’s soft play company (my wife loves children), it’s part-time hours and she can take my little girl with her to work one of the three days. Money isn’t fantastic, but it’s enough when put with mine to live on.

The problem is my wife came down with this stomach bug Monday and had to call in sick today. This worries me very much! I have no problem with her being sick, but what worries me is she’s only been there a week and I don’t want her current company thinking she a bad employee. In her old job, she had less than a week off sick in nearly 10 years!

I’m terrified that she will lose this job and leave us with no way to pay our bills. I did get an e-mail from my previous boss last week asking if I wanted my old job back. I was tempted purely on the money basis as they’d pay a lot more, but I turned it down when I remembered how they treated me. Wondering if I made the right decision now.

I’m not blaming my wife at all. She is amazing and works so hard at being a mum, this new job and also trying to get her photography business off the ground, but as the man of the family, it’s my job to provide and I’m terrified I won’t be able to do this.

Now my little girls nursery has just called and said she’s got the same stomach bug (poor little angel). It never rains but it pours!

Can’t Sleep


Don’t you just hate it when you’re absolutely shattered, but can’t sleep.

It’s so infuriating!!

So I’m thinking of things. So far, lottery win division, an offer for my old job back and San da.

I’ll start with the old job. I left it over a year ago after suffering major stress related depression. It nearly destroyed me and ruined my marriage. Now I’m in a job where I’m VERY happy, feel appreciated and get to spend time with my family (moneys crap though). But I received an email out of the blue today from my old boss asking if I wanted my job back. I’m considering it purely for the money (my wife is only part-time because of our daughter.) Down sides: won’t get to spend much time with the family, won’t be able to train as much if at all, run the risk of depression again.

Other thoughts were just my previous San da fights. Keep running through my mind where I went wrong etc. Hopefully the new mma training I’m starting Monday will solve a few issues.

Then the lottery division. How would I divide up £12,000,00.00? So far, it goes like this:

£2 mil to charity (undecided which ones)
£2 mil into offshore account and live on interest
£1 mill each to my mum and mother-in-law
£1 mil split between my brother, sister and brother-in-law
£500k each to dad and father-in-law
£1.5 mil to rest of family
£500k round the world trip for me, the wife and daughter
£2 mil for house and car etc.

The house wouldn’t be anything too large or grand. Couple of £000k should cover it. Four rooms I suppose. Garden has to be big though.

Christ I need sleep!!!!

Britain’s Fattest Man


I was watching the tv last night and on channel 4 was a programme called “Britain’s Fattest Man“. The wife usually likes these sort of programmes, so I put it on and start watching. Here is the link for the trailer.

Now I’m sure you’re all thinking the same as I was at the beginning: No sympathy as you’ve gotten yourself in that state. And this is true, no one force-fed him food. We don’t have pity for drug addicts of alcoholics or smokers, so why should he be different? So with this in mind, I began to listen to his story:

He starts off by saying how depressed he gets etc. and hates himself. Well, no sympathy so far. Then you hear the narrator saying how he looked after his poorly mother and was her main carer. This gave him a great deal of stress and his only outlay was food. (ok, I’m feeling a little for him now then, reasons and all that). But he fell out with his sisters as, due to having no money, he persuade his ailing mother to re-mortgage her home to the sum of £10,000! Then they show his room, which has a brand new Windows 7 laptop and a load of other gadgets, which I’m sure cost a pretty penny. This totally removes the sympathy I had started building because there is no way in hell he could earn any money, therefore the tax payer is stumping up the cash for him.

And that was my feeling all the way through to be honest. Probably the accountant coming out in me, but I wondered how much money he has sucked out of the country purely cause he had 4 sausages, a pack of bacon, 4 eggs, hash browns and fried bread for breakfast for Christ knows how long! According to the programme (all endorsed by him, so pretty close to fact I’d say) he was averaging around 20,000 calories a day at the height of his eating:

“Fry up every morning, four sausages, a whole packet of bacon, four eggs, two pieces of fried bread, hash browns,” he said.

“At half ten I’d have sausage rolls, pastries. Lunch would be fish and chips, kebab, and then in the evening time it would be another takeaway.

“In a day I would eat 30-40 chocolate bars, three-four multipacks of 24 crisps.”

The surgeon who took the man’s case was Mr Somers (a consultant bariatric surgeon). In an interview for the BBC News Website, he supported the public funding of the operation, which would cost in the region of £20,000, by claiming the cost of letting him live in this state on government benefits would greatly outweigh the cost of the op. He has a point, but why should we be forced to pay for this man to live purely because he ate the amount he did?

In the programme, it showed Paul after the operation. He was on the phone to his social worked who informed him that his funding had been cut from £750 a week to a mere £300 a week! That’s more than I earn in a week and he broke down in tears saying he wished he’d died on the operating table. I started feeling sorry for him as he broke down in tears at this prospect, but again I couldn’t shake the fact that we’re going through a terrible economic situation in this country at the moment, where education funding is being slashed, public spending is being slashed and then this man is draining £300 a week (£750 prior to filming for god knows how long) from the public’s piggy bank, £20k for his 1 op and the £x.xx amount for his follow-up plastic surgery operations. My wife and I have worked all our lives, have a new child and we’re only just making ends meet.

The end of the programme showed him take ownership of his new, specially made motorized wheelchair. I’m pleased he can get about now, but again, how much did it cost and who paid? I work for a training provider who teaches and helps teenagers get apprenticeships and NVQ‘s and we’ve had our funding cut this year by our new coalition government. How many young people’s education was sacrificed for this selfish man’s new wheels?

Every drop of sympathy I had left me.  Harsh? Yes. Heartless? Possibly. Honest and real? DEFINITELY

In closing, I found these comments on the Channel 4 preview website:

Jax on 05 January 2011 at 20:27What you fail to realise this is a disease. Most people who get this way never feel full, the brain does not communicate properly to their bodies as it would to you or I ,so they have no control over the amount they eat. And you don’t need to be rich to buy food, its cheaper than booze and drugs. Sadly Obesity comes on faster than drug or booze addiction, and takes longer to lose weight then coming of drugs and booze. Even if you limit his diet he will indeed starve to death, as his body is used to certain number of calories, so his weight loss will need to be slowly monitored. Seems we are a nation of people who are far too materialistic, with low morals and little empathy towards our fellow-man,going by some of these comments.I feel good that some of my taxes goes to help people with genuine needs, rather than pay for an MP to have luxuries that most of the nation can’t afford. 

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trixie on 05 January 2011 at 20:16THIS IS A LETTER TO PAUL; Dear Paul, i hope your operation goes well! :)its 50% Hopefully all your family are supporting you every step of the way. May god look down on you and will hold your hand through bad times and good times, remember you can always count on him, what ever the time he’ll be their day and night, may he bless you always 🙂 Britian is behind you x 

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Terry on 05 January 2011 at 19:11I absolutely agree with Frank. This society is democratic for everyone except the tax payer! I’d like someone to ask me what I’d like to spend my hard earned tax money on for a change! As it is I have to cut down on my own food bill to manage my budget; Why? so that I can help this man eat more!!!!! A diabolical state of affairs indeed. 

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FRANK on 05 January 2011 at 18:13It’s disgraceful that the tax payer has to fund this. Where does he get his money from to eat that much anyway, who’s getting and preparing all the food for him. This is not the same as drug addiction or alcoholism, he will not suffer if he is prevented from eating too much, he just will not like it.Stop all his ‘help’ and get real.

I agree with all of this points if truth be known. Frank and Terry are echoing my own sentiments (apart from Frank’s impression that it would be easy and simple for him to lose weight by not eating, anyone who diets will tell you that just ain’t true) and I also agree with Jax on a few points. It is true that food and more importantly, junk food is so cheap and readily available compared to drugs or drink, that obesity is a very real threat. And if I had the choice, I’d rather my tax money go to people who have a problem and need help than a fat-cat politician for his duck house.

As I’m sure you can tell, I have conflicting feelings here. The accountant in me says people like him are leeches and sucking this country dry of valuable resources better spent elsewhere. Then the human being in me says that he has a problem and needs help. We all know the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, but is there really that much done to advertise the dangers and addictions of obesity? Perhaps this is a prime case where our public money would be better spent on prevention. It is better than cure, you know……..

The Wife’s New Job


My wife is coming to the end of her maternity period and work is looming. Unfortunately, she will be unable to return to her current job part-time. It was looked at and discussed (to an extent) but was deemed undoable by the powers that be.

So be it.

Anyway, after the way she was treated (another long story I’d rather not get into) we both decided she shouldn’t return there. If for no other reason than we want her to be at home with our daughter at least some of the time.

She applied for a few photography jobs as she is a very keen and talented photographer, but these came to no avail. Instead, she opened up her own business and has been doing portrait shoots in a studio we made in our house (her website is here, please have a look). This has been going well, but isn’t really bringing in the money we need to keep going just yet. Hopefully once word gets around and the wedding season kicks in, things will change.

She did apply for a job working in a kids gymnastics place. I say gymnastics, it’s a tumble tots kind of get up, called Rainbow Mini Gym. This is perfect as she LOVES kids and she can even take our daughter to one of the sessions she’ll be working. Brilliant news came through today that she got it. Hours are great and days work perfectly. The only draw back is the pay is a little on the smaller side than I was hoping for.

So I get told the good news and the accountant in me rears it’s head. I start running figures through my head and alarm bells start ringing. I’m in the car at this time, so no where near my trusty computer and excel spread sheets. I get back to the office and start crunching numbers. I’m looking at tax relief and voucher schemes left, right and centre. The final result was that we can afford it. We’ll be tightening our belts so much that we’ll be wearing girdles, but we can do it. The only draw back is my training.

I was hoping to leave san da shortly and take up mma. This would be a culmination of techniques and arts I’ve wanted to learn but alas, we will only be able to afford 1 of my hobbies and rugby will ALWAYS take precedent for me.

So I was a bit down on thinking of this when I suddenly had a flash back. A little under a year ago, I was deeply depressed with my work and job. I couldn’t see any way out or any light at the end of the tunnel. My loving and supportive wife told me to leave that job. I did and found the job I’m currently in. Doesn’t pay as well as my last, but I’m much, much happier for it. What I guess I’m getting at is the same for my wife. She COULD go back to her job full time, get the good money and we can have our life back, but my daughter would suffer and be away from her mother. I’m not prepared for that to happen. So if sacrificing mma for my family is the option, I’ll gladly pay it.

My Car’s Social Worker


I drive a BMW. I know what you’re going to say “BMW drivers think they own the road” blah, blah, blah (well, we do!) I love my car. I’ve always had Fords before this and think they’re great cars, but I wanted to treat myself to a toy before my daughter was born, so persuaded the wife to let me get it last year.

Now the time has come for its first mot. For my non-uk readers, an mot is a yearly government test on all vehicles older than 3 years which tests to see if it’s safe, brakes are ok, tyres, lights, co2 emissions. Generally an orderly working car and not a death trap or pollution monkey.

I hate these things! I always panic and feel I’m being judged (which I suppose I am) I’m guessing it should be ok as I keep it in good condition, but you just can’t tell. Before the test, I got them to put two new tyres on the back. I had a bit of a result. Not as expensive as I had thought they would be.

It doesn’t help though when they put you in a waiting room overlooking the test pit. You sit there, watching them going over your prized possession with their clipboard and pen, making notes and things and deciding if your car is good or not. Makes me feel like a bad parent in front of the social worker! “Yes mr. Wade, your child’s brakes are faulty and her rear-brake light is out”. Their faces never give anything away either. Not sure if that’s a good thing or bad thing really.

 

To cap it all off, I just remembered I have a bulb out on the rear of my car, which I’m almost positive is a fail. Not got a great feeling about this….. I’ll just hit the free coffee and hope for the best.

PMA: Positive Mental Attitude


My wife is due to go back to work in January after being on maternity leave for our daughter. So she went in to see her HR department the other day to discuss this and see if part-time would be an option. Before going on maternity leave, her manager assured her that she would be able to do part-time and made all these promises.

She lied.

The response she got today was that she can have her old job back @ fulltime (as this is the legal requirement in the UK). Obviously, this means more money coming into the house, but it also means more money going out in nursery fee’s for my little girl. But the money is not really the sore point. Both my wife and I want her to go part-time so she can bring up our daughter, not some stranger. We’re all up for her going to a nursery for 2 days a week so she won’t be as clingy to us and become more sociable, but she needs parental guidance in life.

So this has left us in rather a difficult situation.

But as I went for my lunch today, I thought “sod it, this is a oppotunity in the offering!” My wife is a skilled photographer and loves it with a passion! She’s done wedding photography in the past, family portraits, children’s portraits etc. So I have told her we’ll agree to her going back fulltime in January (as we MUST have her income) but in the mean time, I want her pushing the photography work for all it’s worth and make this her business and main income. Her big problem is confidence and I’m hoping that this situation is the push she needs to overcome her shyness and embrace this talent she has and make some good money from it.

The moral of the story is: True, bad things happen. I don’t believe good things happen to good people. I believe all things happen to all people, but it’s how you react and deal with these problems that make you happy or sad. POsitive mental attitude people!

If anyone is looking for a photographer along the south coast of England, please contact me and she’ll give you a fantastic rate for being a blog follower!