4 January 2013 (Friday) - Feeling Ill
Astronomy is a rubbish hobby. Last night there was a wonderful meteor shower; the Quadrantids. Or there would have been if there wasn't complete cloud cover. I've mentioned before that every time there is anything of astronomical interest going on there is always a sky full of clouds.
Over the last few days I've griped that I've not been feeling quite one hundred percent. I felt particularly grotty today. I considered phoning in sick, but out of a sense of duty I persevered. I really don't know why - I've never liked the idea of phoning in sick. I think I've done so twice in all the years I've been blogging.
I thought I might get some cough sweets on the way to work, so I went to the shop over the road. Over the years this place has had a variety of businesses operating from it; none of which seem to pass the test of time. And I doubt this one will last. Clearly ready for business, with the door unlocked and complete with a bored-looking chap behind the till, the place still had a "closed" sign up. But I went in and asked if they had any cough sweets. The chap behind the counter said no. Just as I was about to walk out I saw about a dozen different varieties of cough sweet. I commented on them. The chap looked at them as though he'd never seen them before. Mind you they didn't have my favourite brand - given the choice I'd always prefer to suck on a fisherman's friend.
As I drove to work there was an interesting article on the radio about endowment mortgages. It's now eighteen months since ours finally let us down completely. When it happened we were several thousand pounds out of pocket on the deal, and apparently about now is the time when the vast majority of everyone else's endowments mature. Or fail to mature to be more precise. Despite countless warnings and predictions about the things not being what they were promised, it seems that thousands of people have ignored all the warnings. They have apparently done nothing about making alternative arrangements to pay off their debts, and are all now out of pocket to the tune of an average of seven thousand pounds each.
Whilst I sympathise with their predicament, it's a bit late to start worrying about the problem now. We took out extra policies to cover the predicted shortfall years ago. Other people would seem to have ignored the problem and now that it's too late to claim about allegedly mis-sold products they are trying to claim compensation.
Having been stuffed by the things myself I have to admit that endowment mortgages were a gamble. We were told that we would make a killing on the basis of predicted interest rates. We were also told that interest rates were not predictable. We were sold our endowment in good faith by my father in law. So I know that it was sold in all honesty and with no malice. We took a gamble. We might have won. We might have had thousands of pounds profit. However we lost. So has everyone else. But this cannot possibly come as a surprise to anyone?
Being on a late shift today meant that I travelled to work at the busiest time. For some reason the roads were deserted, so I got to Canterbury far earlier than I expected. I spent a little while mooching round the bargain shop I'd spotted a week or so ago. It has some good deals; but nothing that I really wanted. Perhaps it didn't help that there were normal people bumbling about. They wound me up - there weren't many of them, but those that were there had the uncanny knack of getting in my way no matter where I tried to go.
I also went into Pets at Home to get some tins of scoff for Furry Face. I'm trying to persuade everyone else who feeds him to only give him a third of a tin of food at each meal rather than half a tin. He never eats all that is put down for him. Unlike most mutts, he's not greedy and we throw so much dog food away.
I also got some treats. I shall stick those in my pocket and dish them out when he least expects it. That might make him less inclined to wander off when he's off the lead.
The phone rang - an employment agency had a job offer for me. Super-sciency stuff; just the sort of thing I would like. However it would involve a relocation. To Denmark. Apparently the fact that i don't speak Danish wouldn't be a problem as everyone there speaks very good English (!)
I turned the job down. I don't think that I will regret that somehow...