Sunday, October 05, 2008

Clean Sheets

It's finally happened; I've had a reverse mental breakdown.

It's a reverse because I'm acting completely out of character. I am happy. I am confident. I am being - ugh, stupid word - proactive.

The clocks will soon go back and the weather is now officially allowed to be shitty. With no more bank holidays on the horizon and my Eastern European trip done and dusted - and no more work leave available anyway - there's nothing left to look forward to until Christmas.

Thus, for the last week, I have - ugh, stupid phrase - Life Laundered.
I have taken all my household bills, calculated their combined yearly total, worked out the monthly average (which I then halved as Large Northern Flatmate obviously pays bills too) and am squirrelling that sum - 35 quid - into a dormant account every month ready for the next bill to land. I Will Be Prepared This Time.

I am now keeping abreast of my bank account and actually making a note of how much I can spend per week. I am 34 and I've never actually done that. It sucks, but it's incredibly simple and effective. Yesterday, I spent 99p. On a Saturday. When I normally spend at least £50.

I didn't do anything all day, but you get the point.

I have cancelled the gym I never go to near me. That was £36 a month right there.
I then vowed to forsake the tube throughout October if at all possible, and cycle to work again.

I have decided to be less wasteful and to eat what's in my fridge/larder instead of letting it rot and throwing it out.

I am avoiding alcohol as best I can, throughout October. God knows I had enough of the stuff in Europe, and I'm fairly sure I've never spent a month of my adult life alcohol-free, so it'll be nice to attempt. I think.

Oh, and I haven't smoked since last Monday when I woke up and finished my remaining fag from the weekend.

So, October's been a clean sheet so far:
I haven't smoked.
I haven't eaten any crap.
I've cycled to work and back every day.
I am spending my money only on healthy food. Any free time has so far being spent on household chores and writing.

I should be at the shoe-eating/ murdering stage by now, but I'm not. I feel strangely empowered. I spent last Christmas, and pretty much the dozen before that, in an orgy of bacchanalian excess, boozing, smoking, and eating only the yellowest, shrink-wrapped garbage. I would at least like to approach this one with a little more common sense.

Apologies for the conservative, rigidly boring, and relentlessly dull nature of this post. I wouldn't expect much else here for the rest of the month, but you're all invited to stick around for the inevitable breakdown where I end up face-first in the gutter with the world's largest hypodermic syringe protruding from my neck, its contents of mashed up Pringles, 2,000 Marlboro lights, Tesco's value meatfeast pizzas, a barrel's worth of lager and a light sprinkling of crack and skag being absorbed into my ruddy, bloated corpse.


daisyfae said...

i hate throwing away the abandoned - and festering - healthy food that generally sits uneaten in my fridge while i snack on whatever morsels of chocolate decadence i can scrape from the bottom of the baking supply stash... so i started buying it in smaller quantities.

good luck with October. it's only a month. i think you'll be fine... it takes about 3 weeks to truly establish a "habit", so be patient and stay on course. plan a blowout in December - just a weekend - where you can look forward to rewarding yourself with that syringe... i'd think the pringles would hurt a bit going in, though...

Dom said...

I found keeping track of expenditure quite illuminating, especially given the amount I found I spend on trains... and the amount that I can't account for which basically equates to pubs and anywhere else that doesn't give receipts. For someone that doesn't drink it's a frightening amount.

I look forward to the inevitable breakdown :)

Id Entity said...

Good god, man! What are you doing?This post makes me feel dreadful! Can't a person be happy without this type of stuff?

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Blimey - I have to say, this post does rather conflict with the image I have of you festering in your own smells and KFC wrappers, however, keep it up and just think, only 2 months to go til Christmas. When you will undo all the money saving, healthy eating and no boozing with a baaaang. Woop!

Dandelion said...

i'd think the pringles would hurt a bit going in, though...

He's not planning to fuck them, is he?

Z said...

You can do it, if you choose to, and if you do I'll send you a Christmas present. A nice one. However, when you fancy a drink or a pork pie or a bar of chocolate, please don't think that if you were to give in to the temptation it completely nullifies all the rest of what you are doing. Please, Fweng.

No, Dand, read the post. They're mashed up in the syringe.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

This is pretty impressive stuff. Are you trying to make me feel like a big zero? Because it’s working. I’ve been meaning to do the whole tracking-your-expenses thing for a few decades now but haven’t gotten around to it. The big question is: can you sustain? We shall see.

C said...

fucking hell- the life parallels are getting spooky!?!

Pearl said...

Oh, my. You sound dreadfully healthy at the moment. Think of the great things you'll accomplish!

I love your writing. Very funny.

Not sure how I got here, but will be back...


Anonymous said...

re: "the inevitable breakdown where I end up face-first in the gutter with the world's largest hypodermic syringe protruding from my neck, its contents of mashed up Pringles, 2,000 Marlboro lights, Tesco's value meatfeast pizzas, a barrel's worth of lager and a light sprinkling of crack and skag being absorbed into my ruddy, bloated corpse."
One can only hope...

chopperbomb said...

God, you sound even more dull than usual!

Andrew said...

Not that I enjoy the pain of others you understand, it's just that your inevitable kamikaze style dive back into fags, booze and depression will result in some funny writing from you.

All the best, remember to take a look around while you are up on that high for the next few days.

Have you ever considered doing things in a sensible and controlled manner? No, me either.

Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast.

Anonymous said...

pint on weds?

Anonymous said...

I, for one, think you'll still be funny without daily plodding yourself closer to bankruptcy/a triple bypass/a larynx box/DEATH.

Glad to see you finally caring enough about yourself to actually commit to your good intentions. Feels good, doesn't it? And I agree with Daisy... Set a date for a "reward" weekend that you can look forward to. It'll help keep you on track.

fwengebola said...

df ~ 3 weeks, eh? I'd never heard that fact before. Rest assured, it had been keeping me going for a while. Crisis of faith time though. I think I need a treat weekend soon though.
Dom ~ The finance side is strangely fascinating. I spent nothing today. Tomorrow I'll be spending no more than a fiver on work lunch for Weds and Thurs, and something for dinner.
I am slightly pathetic.
ID ~ Don't worry, I can never stomach this shit for long.
PDEWYMO ~ I really hope I can last that long. At the moment, I'm not sure if I can make it 3 weeks to a planned boozeup.
Dandelion ~ You flatter me. That tube's enormous.
Z ~ Choose. You make it sound almost casual.
It's hard not to have one dangerous snack and explode in an orgy of carnivorous lust.
UB ~ I think sustaining this is an enormous question, the answer to which is 'No'.
C ~ You planning to be on crack by November too?
Pearl ~ Oh hello, and welcome. Very nice of you to say so, thanks.
Anon ~ It's a certainty.
Cb ~ Cunt.
Andrew ~ It's already getting tedious and boring. I really want some kind of drug, be it legal, illegal, or Pringles.
Anon ~ Probably best not to for now, cheers.
Anon ~ That's nice of you, ta. And I am considering a reward of some kind in November. Not sure what yet.

Z said...

I'm in the twelfth month of my self-reinvention. I could return to old habits at any time, but I choose not to.

Casual, no. Simple, it is.

Of course, the downside is that I have to fight off a whole lot of adoring blokes, but I can cope with that.

fwengebola said...

Jesus, you've done a year? I'm about two weeks in and, my Saturday night blowout not included, I'm starting to get weak.

luna said...

Blimey!What did they put in the paprika powder?

fwengebola said...

Blimey, where've you been?

luna said...

I've been busy.

Betraying you.

I've been,hum,bonding with some French people...

fwengebola said...

You've been shagging the French?

luna said...

I wrote bonding,not bonking,don't make it out as if there's a typo!

Actually in that department I much prefer the Ger

Hey good for you for spotting the typo!

fwengebola said...