America

I am still in this quandary as to what to do. I would love to visit Chicago, New York, Washington, Seattle, California, Florida and other US States. But I have too much difficulty with the idea of giving them my finger prints. It also screws with my going on a cruise as some of the best cruises touch base with the USA.

I? mean what are they going to want next? A blood or urine sample? A stool? A swipe from my mouth?

Retirement

My dad always wanted to retire at 40. Things went wrong. 40 came and went and I thought perhaps at 50. That came and went to. 60 passed. 61 official retirement age. He claims to have retired, but he has not really.

I am past 30. I cannot see either my husband nor I retiring. Albeit I don’t have an official job but it does not mean I won’t be returning to work in the future. So I am looking into pension options like trust deeds and ISAs. Yet property always seems the better bet. I hope I don’t get it wrong. I dread to think of being in a situation where I could not work and could not afford to live!

Annuity

What is an? annuity?

Annuities come in so many forms that I cannot even begin to explain them. But from the little that I seem to understand it is about insuring that you get what you need. It can be a bit socialistic in terms that you only get what you need but on the other hand it can help those in need.

You can have annuities that give off a life time income though I suspect you miss out on the capital you built.

You can have an insurance policy that would cover your mortgage as time goes by but would only cover what is left of your mortgage despite that the more time passes, the less you will actually owe on your mortgage!

I think I am too Capitalist at heart to want an annuity (though I suspect I may somehow have one as it is a mortgage requirement of ours that decreases our mortgage costs!). Argh. What conundrum!

Ethical Liposuction!

I have recently heard of “Ethical Liposuction“. First of all I cannot see how ethics comes into it. But if you really want to be pedantic about ethics, then perhaps you need to talk aestetics. If someone improves their beauty, is that not a work of art? Whether it is make up or surgery, is it not an improvement? Are we not out to become the best that we can be? And is it not so much nicer to see something beautiful than ugly?

And yes, I have heard of inner beauty but I like outer beauty too. Cannot a person have both?

Holidays

I thought I had seen it all with regards to holidaying. I even thought I had seen it all with regards to time share. But there seems to be something new on the market. A time share points based system. Buena Viva Exeter seems to offer just that. You buy points in advance and you change them for holidays.

I scoured their website and found it is not for me. Although if you go not in peak season it costs you half the points as high season, it is still not enough benefit for me. First of all, I do not want to be tied with one company indefinately. Secondly even though they offer different countries and places, it is still too trapped for my liking. It feels too much like time share.

I like my holidays to be free and relaxed. And sometimes I also want to go to places that are still authentic. I am aware that begins to rule out Europe as a whole since the EC but that still leaves a whole undiscovered world.

Bank Charges

It makes my blood boil when I think of bank charges .?

I do know that they do not automatically give overdraft facilities and worse still sometimes refuse to give it to you even when you request it, despite the fact they sometimes charge ridiculous amounts for the priviledge. As a student I had been refused an overdraft. Then I ended up overdrawn as a result of bank charges. Before I knew it I owed the bank quite a bit of money. I found this out when I received my statement and there were charges upon charges upon charges!

Needless to say, I flipped. I marched into the bank, demanded the manager and raised hell. I said that if there was no money in the account, they should not have taken out any further money especially as they were not verified bank charges. I said I should have been billed first, so that I could make sure that I had enough money in my account to pay.

I felt that if I had a zero balance, then they should have turned down who ever it was who was claiming the money. As it was I ended up with:-

  • The Original bank charge that made me overdrawn
  • A charge for going overdrawn
  • Interest for being overdrawn
  • A charge for something else bouncing despite my having put in money but because I was yet unaware that I was overdrawn and the money I deposited was eaten by bank charges
  • and who knows what else!

I was fuming and threatening to close my account. Especially as I was able to prove that the first charge was not a valid charge but an error on their behalf. It took months to sort out. Needless to say, I do not bank with them anymore. After all if you bought some bread and ran out, you could not eat a couple of slices from your next loaf unless you agreed to take it in advance and pay for it later! Same goes to banking.

There are websites that obviously agree with my irritation with bank charges. They can advise you how to object. So if you see a bank charge and it feels unreasonable (they all do!), then read up about it, hold your head up high and give the bank hell. After all, it is a service they are supposedly offering you and you are not begging. It is YOUR Money!

Guy Fawkes

Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the Houses of Parliment on the 5th November.

Children traditionally since the 18th Centrury have built Guys to be burnt and begged for a “penny for Guy”! This money? used to buy fireworks to “set alight” Guy. However fireworks for under 18’s has become illegal. It feels a bit harsh that we have become so strict a society and care nothing for tradition.

“Remember, remember the fifth of November,
The gunpowder, treason and plot,
I know of no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.”