So it’s Thursday night, and the eve of my last day at work before a blissful two full weeks out of the office. I’m celebrating with a can of Carlsberg and a home cooked meal. Even though I deliberated long and hard before giving my Mum a key to the house, I’ve since realised it’s very beneficial when every time she comes round she puts a few more meals in the freezer. It’s kind of like meal on wheels for the busy and skint.
Preparations for the Italy trip are well underway, Dad and Carol came round on Monday to book our trips to the Vatican and the Coliseum and do some general planning. It’s quite easy to see where you get some of your character traits from when your Dad turns up with printed information in individual plastic wallets and an agenda.
But as well as all the excitement for the trip, the place I’ve been wanting to go to for 15 years, it has come tinged with a bit of worry. Mainly because ever since the marathon I’ve been spending money with gay abandon and I think Italy is going to be the final nail in the coffin that keeps me in the house eating Mum’s ready meals until December.
August has been the most expensive month I’ve ever known, mainly because we’ve literally not been in the house. We’ve only just managed to remedy it this week by devoting ourselves to Mad Men and Breaking Bad (my God it’s getting good) and by putting our jogging pants on the minute we get in the house to stop us going to Bargain Booze, the Bear, the Sparrow, or for a Zios mid week meal deal.
So after my last post, we had a beautiful weekend in Warwickshire celebrating the marriage of John and Bex. An absolutely gorgeous venue and hotel, lovely couple, perfect day and great times all weekend. The boys were over from Poland and we’d not seen John and Bex properly since Easter so it was obviously going to be a jolly good knees up. The speeches were brilliant, admittedly though the group consensus is that we’d struggle repeating them as we were all half cut on champagne by the time we even got to the tables. I’d not eaten any dessert or evening buffet because I’d stopped being able to breathe properly in my very expensive dress, the purchase of which was the start of my decline into not being able to budget or say no. So obviously at 2am you’re going to hear yourself saying ‘I’ve run out of money and I want a ham butty, it’s time for bed.’ It would have been fine spending £17 on two ham sandwiches had we not done the exact same thing the night before. But what a wonderful weekend all round, one of the highlights being jumping around to Reef with the boys and trying to persuade Dave he needed to get into the taxi because they were chucking us out. And the ham of course.
So bearing in mind we’re meant to be saving for Italy, last weekend, bank holiday, we were staying in, full stop. We’d spent the previous weekend partying and spending time with friends, surely we could manage a cheap, relaxing weekend. Unfortunately the Prodigy announced a gig in Manchester in December. 5 days before Christmas, an all nighter at the Warehouse Project. Bring out the Visa, not missing that opportunity. Then Kendal Calling announce that not only have they changed the date of next years festival to a weekend we can go, they’re freezing ticket prices and offering a monthly payment plan. Bring out the Visa. Car needs taxing, insurance needs renewing, breakdown cover needs purchasing. Erm, Visa? Then just as I’d managed to calm the palpitations and reason with myself that I deserve these things, Monday arrives and we go to order our tickets for Rome.
Now I know that the Vatican is going to be mind blowing, but 60 Euros to be shown round? Each? I’ve already seen 4 folk from Dudley on national news this year complaining about being charged 50 Euros for 4 gelatos, I’m not exactly optimistic about Rome not being the most expensive place I’ve ever visited. A group consensus was that we’re going to latch onto four separate tours and see what we can glean from them, obviously in a very covert way, and just hope we don’t end up following Germans. I can only remember how to say I have a grey rabbit and I like chocolate cake in that language, doubt that’d get me far. So the day ended with a further 200 Euros on my credit card for some Roman sightseeing.
I’m all for life being for living, and trying to have as many experiences as possible, but when at 30 you’re relying on portions of pepper chicken from your Mum because you’ve spent your Asda money on another holiday, something has probably got to give.
So this could be it, Italy could be Judith Chalmers last outing for some time. But then, we’ve still got the Mermaid, and Neil and Goshia’s recent engagement meaning an impending Polish wedding (massive congratulations if you’re reading guys!), and three Manchester gigs in December…and I’m not missing out on any of them…so maybe I’ll actually just be getting a second job.
Because after all, it’s difficult to ever save money when you’re obsessed with ham butties…