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About mitchbux

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  1. I work in a school. The kids were more than happy with the drive thru opening, well before EHTHO. It is Mummy and Daddy that lapped up the discount. I'm in the miserable bugger camp, Sunak's obesity charter has made dining out a pretty awful experience. I'd rather pay full whack and get a reasonable standard of food and service (and avoid some of those loud staff abusing scumbags that have come out of the woodwork). If what we've tolerated is going to become the norm, I'd rather cook at home. Many of the establishments we been to, or tried to go to, seem to have forgotten that their long term business will be sustained on reputation.. Even paying full whack doesn't guarantee you don't get mucked about at the moment, but the EOTHO nights have been the worst. We've got another meal booked for tomorrow night, it may be our last for a while if they screw up too.
  2. One of the reasons we love living where we do, it gives us options. We can be on the M1 quickly if we want to go further afield, a short drive (or a long walk) into the Peak District, mainline station that'll get us into several city centres very quickly. Only the longer train journeys that can't be done at whim, well unless you want to open a vein.
  3. Depends what the interest rate is? The interest part of our mortgage is less than 10% of that, if we owed 10 times our current outstanding balance I'd not be sleeping at night.
  4. Sorry to hear that Si. I fully understand what they are like and what it can do to you. My mother, born late '44, is almost certainly a narc too (most go undiagnosed because they don't believe anything could be wrong with THEM...) and I don't know whether Dad, born 41, is slightly lower down the spectrum or just suffering from being the son and husband of a full-blown Narc (and brother of, if my childhood memories of my now deceased uncle are correct). I dread to think how much money they have wasted in IFA fees over the years, but they think it impressed people that they had enough spare cash to need a 'financial advisor'. I got their 'man' to quote me for some saving products, and it took me no time at all to realise that I would be better off setting up a direct debit to a normal savings account than I would sticking money in the product he was offering me. Their first home was bought in '70, a three bed semi most families today would happily have as their home. They bought, for £25K, what we refer to as 'tantrum towers' in the late 70's, with a combination of inheritance from my mother's parents and an endowment mortgage (yes, one of those that earnt a huge lump sum when it matured). The place had lead pipes, cloth covered wiring, no central heating, needed a new roof, woodworm... My childhood was one of being told we couldn't afford things because every penny was either being spent on the house or squirreled away for 'early retirement'. They could have comfortably bought a big but modern house and saved themselves all the expense and hassle, but mother had 'always wanted this house' since the first time she saw it... Their fuels bills are four times what ours are, and we live in a four-bed detached! Dad kept quizzing my OH on what sort of boiler we have, as though changing theirs for a condensing combi will miraculously compensate for large rooms, high ceilings, draughts and only having two human beings rattling around in the place. Note he doesn't ask me because I'm female, what would I know about such things... Most of their 'mates' (or should that be the Joneses...) either have downsized or are in the process of doing so, because they want to do it whilst 'they are still fit enough to cope with the upheaval of moving' and they 'want to reduce their running costs' whilst they have the chance. Mother will, without a doubt, let the place rot around her and her collection of expensive (but worthless) hand-painted china ornaments. Dad only ever had two jobs in his entire life, and one of them was just a stepping stone to the 30 year job that set him up with a decent final salary pension from the age of 60. He worked away some times, but all in all it was a fairly cushy deskjob. He retired at 58 on a huge lump sum he got for taking voluntary redundancy. His pension was enhanced as part of the package, and he was able to leave that untouched until he turned 60. I know for a fact, as I worked for the same company for a while, that he paid in 5% to get his 66.7%. Mum gave up work when she got married, and did some part-time work from my late teens until she retired, at 56. She hasn't got much pension behind her, what little contributions she did make were with Equitable Life... but her 'sucking up to dying relatives' yielded her half a house in London, and a tidy amount on top. It was a hoarders house, and when at one point she found a more recent but unsigned will that only gave her 10% you should have heard her rants of disgust. I'm cynical enough to believe if a signed copy did turn up during the clear out that it 'disappeared'. Don't get me started on the number of times I've heard how she doesn't think she should have to pay tax on the interest she earns on it because the relative paid tax during his working life, and she had to pay inheritance tax on the estate... Mother has a sense of entitlement the size of Wales...and her hypocrisy is massive. poor improverished pensioner one minute, then bleating that shop staff should give her age group better service because 'we are the ones with the money' They've dangled small sums of money around from time to time, always with conditions. Their money has also been used behind my back to control me. They've never put anything away for their grandchildren, preferring the granny gives them a pound every time they see them, and buying more plastic tat than my IL's approach so that the kids think they're generous. My potential inheritance has been repeatedly dangled over me in return for them 'not going into a home', despite both of my parents not taking care of their own. I doubt they will be anything left after all the fuel bills, car upgrades, house maintenance, trinkets and holidays. I'd put the pair of them in a home in the blink of an eye. My lovely IL's on the other hand... Started with nothing, FIL volunteered for national service to get away from his home life. When he married they lived with his IL's in their rented home. OH's cot was a bottom draw, first 'bedroom' was when they nailed a sheet to the ceiling to create a divide. FIL grafted all the hours he could doing building work, and my MIL worked in a pub in the evenings whilst relatives took care of their baby. They bought a piece of land in the late 60's, and FIL built them their home in his 'spare' time, and ended up having a very bad bout of Pneumonia in the process. He worked away for long periods to chase the best paying work he could get. He was mortgage free in his early 40's, and since then built up a small property portfolio, that he never leveraged to buy. They never inherited a penny, but did both benefit from fairly decent occupational pensions. The IL's have been generous with their kids, and likewise with their grandkids without ever placing the slightest of conditions on their generosity. Yes they do give our kids cash in hand occasionally, but it is dwarfed by the sums they have stashed in their savings accounts where they can't yet see it. My IL's both say that they don't want to lumber either of their kids with their care...but frankly I'd take either of them in at a moments notice and nurse them to their dying breath. Enjoy your Mum Si, she sounds lovely, but don't waste your time together discussing your Narc. Life is too short for Narcs, which is why I've left mine to wallow in their toxicity. I feel better for it... I have a better relationship with my kids because of it... I'm even wishing I hadn't just typed about them...it's given me a headache.
  5. I think you are spot on there. It's nearer the mark to say that those that 'suffered' sweet rationing as children are those that have benefitted from pensions, good annuities, high house prices, periods of high wage inflation, inheritance etc.
  6. Well done! OH went to England v Scotland there last year and plumped for same-day return train, and a damn long day rather than tag on the cost of a hotel. As a family we went to the JPT final at Wembley in March. Drove down, dumped the car at Hillingdon tube station (£1 to park all day!!!) and got the tube in.
  7. Train to London from the Midlands - 2 hours - £19/person each way first-class... if you can make the cheapest times fit your trip. No check in time, security, passport control and transfer time into the city etc. For us, getting there is the only part that is reasonably priced now. Six years ago I could get train and two nights B&B in a 3-star hotel on Southampton Row for just under £100/adult, booked as a package through the likes of Superbreak. That price included taking our then six year-old with us too. Last year the same hotel wanted double for room only, and I could get train tickets cheaper myself than purchasing a 'rail deal' from the hotel booking site. We plumped for one night in a very ordinary 4-star hotel near St Pancras, and by the time we'd added on train fare, tube fare, lunch, drinks etc it cost us nearly as much as the reason we went down there in the first place...dinner at Gordon Ramsay's 3-star gaffe!!
  8. I said it wasn't dead in the water, not that they were all having a whale of a time. Have RR sat up a big R&D facility in Singapore too? Toyota took on 1500 staff in Derby last year. OH works just over the border in Notts, order books chocker, production staff getting massive amounts of overtime.
  9. I think I'm safe though, joint mortgage, and Mr MB has never goes near the place. Even if they take me hostage in the hopes of getting him to appear he'll not give in, he's from Yorkshire.
  10. We are +0.5% for life. I'm keeping an eye out for the return of the 'beat your current mortgage deal or £50 cash' adverts. I'm liking gf3's idea, but I reckon we need to save a bit more up before we start negotiations.
  11. Britannia BS never even bothered putting a collar in our small print. They were a long time sending out our revised payment letter when we dropped below 3%, but the lawyers obviously didn't find anything they could invoke and all the later letters arrived very quickly. When I went in last month to give them an overpayment cheque the cashier asked me 'as you've had the mortgage a few years, do you want to make an appointment with our mortgage advisor to see if there is anything we can do for you?' Usually they just congratulate me on our 'luck' through gritted teeth.
  12. Number 4 doesn't surprise me. Despite what some people like to think, manufacturing in the UK is not dead in the water.
  13. The smallest of which seats just under 33K if my Googling is correct. The JPT final had an attendance of just under 50K at Wembley, and looked a bit sparse in places (on the side that the TV camera wasn't pointed at ). Surely it's better to fill smaller grounds to capacity, for a whole host of reasons.
  14. It 'only' cost £142 for all four of us to watch our local side, a side we actually care about, win the JPT at Wembley. Decent tickets too. It costs us just over a third of that for us to go to a home match. Any footy fan wanting to watch an international is going to be spending their money on Euro 2012. I'll not be bothering with Olympic football. I also agree about spreading the matches around, not only to shorten spectator journey times, but to spread the financial benefits around a bit more. Our local ground has only had two seasons played in it, so still looks immaculate, there is a brand new hotel 2 minutes walk away, and several older ones a short distance away. It's not far from the M1, and less than two hours from London on the midland mainline. We've got Elton John doing a gig here, an U-21 international match, but not a sniff of a few Olympic matches likely to have low attendance figures.
  15. Don't forget all the labour saving devices in the home too. Has anyone else been watching Secret Eaters on Channel 4? I already knew that studies have shown people under report their food and drink intake when asked to keep a food diary, but the show has taken people who are convinced they are 'under-eating' yet still gaining weight. A woman they featured last night had no idea how many calories she was consuming through picking and nibbling during meal prep, and quite how much of her weight gain was due to her alcohol consumption. Mindlessly throwing stuff down our throats is a much bigger problem than what it's made of.
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