It seems I’ve still got to make changes in my life, because the old ways aren’t working — indeed, not even like they used to: for one thing, the dating app I’ve been using since 2015, and which earned me many first dates in the past, now seems to get me virtually no matches — except for women who appear to be in China or Hong Kong (despite their location being given as “London”), and one whose opening volley was an entirely phony, “Hey handsome”!
On that basis, knowing this and other dating apps are likely to be futile (though I’ll keep trying them in the background), and close female friends not turning out to be “the one”, I’m returning to my dating coach once again (for a not insubstantial fee), and though we’ve had to change the meetup date once thanks to overbooking, perhaps this time I’ll learn how to change my body language so I can approach women with quiet confidence in real life, without coming across as a creepy stalker (or having to change my shaving habit so I look like a hipster). How that goes, well, I’ll tell you next week…
(Ooh, a preview!)
In the meantime, what else can I change? I still wish I could get out more, but last week was too hot to go salsa dancing, and indeed too hot to play any video games that use 3D graphics, so I sat at home and relaxed without being too obsessional (don’t worry, I’ve since finished Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and begun Assassin’s Creed: Revelations). “Best mate” wanted to go climbing this week, but hasn’t been able to so far (though we did go on a couple of road trips at the weekend), and while “new bad housemate” has mercifully gone to Europe for a couple of weeks to meet his not-quite-ex-wife and son, I still would feel bad if I just sat here in front of my computer every evening… and yet here I am, writing this to make sure my blog doesn’t disappear completely.
It’s not just for my own sake that I need to change things: my most important task for this household is the management of our bills (except the Internet, for which we pay “best mate”) — and herein lies some major frustration. I won’t name-and-shame E.on this time, because not only did they change the name on our energy bill from our dead landlord’s to mine, but they also granted us a surprising amount of credit as an aside (which more than paid for our first quarterly bill of the year), so I don’t have to sit waiting on the phone for hours all over again!
(Damn, what’s that classical violin tune they use as their hold music? Dadada, dadada, dadada-DA — dadada, dadada, dadada-da… Mozart? Bach? Debussy? Handel?)
Sadly, our other public services aren’t doing well: Barnet Council can’t seem to send us an updated list of council tax charges with our actual names on and confirmation that they’ve corrected the monthly amounts (even though they say they did in June), and Affinity Water could barely be persuaded to add my name to our twice-yearly water bill. Much as the TV Licence organisation won’t change the name on our paperwork unless our dead landlord gives them written permission, so it is that we can’t remove old, long-moved-away residents from our Affinity paperwork unless we provide phone numbers or e-mail addresses that we simply don’t have and can’t obtain — indeed, the only name I even recognise is our one-time “leaderene”, the daughter of a friend of the landlord’s family, who moved out of here in 2013! Still, with my name added to it, we may be able to close and recreate the account, so all is not lost.
Of course, calculating everyone’s share of the bills gets difficult sometimes, and the water bill that covers a period in which two of our housemates changed over doesn’t help: I have to get a share from our two old housemates (including the Aussie) that moved out at the end of May, itself a difficult calculation (since some of the bill actually extends forward to the start of September), but they’ve both returned to their native countries, and while they seem willing to pay their dues, their exchange rates may drive me nuts!
The biggest irony of all, though: “new bad housemate” may have vehemently refused to pay a share of our TV licence (and plans to get rid of the TV set he brought to this house when he moved in), but even though I told him (twice) that he only needed to pay me his share of the rent for August, he’s gone and paid me his share of the council tax as well, even though he paid the same amount last month when our payment was suspended for a month due to Barnet Council’s incompetence (as with the TV Licence people, they’re run appallingly by Capita, who I intend to name and shame properly in a future post). The amount he’s thus overpaid is actually MORE than one-fifth of the cost of our TV licence, so he’s not even saving money!
(I’m tempted to keep it and still charge him a share of the council tax in September, but then he’d get angry at me for his own damn ignorant mistake…)
I know, I know, I should change where I live some day — but I wouldn’t want to stay here in Finchley if moving house became necessary (too many memories), and I wouldn’t want to go back to living in Worthing when I hope I can help my folks escape that dump (and move to a house with a garden, so we can finally get a dog). Where could I move that would mean I could get to work on a train with seats available, and isn’t on the dreadfully overcrowded and unreliable Victoria Line? And would my rent be more expensive, meaning I couldn’t pay my personal trainer any more, when his guidance is essential to my health (especially if I face radiotherapy in the near future)?
I’d love simply to change one housemate — and no, not the female housemate near the back of the house (who’s now changed FIVE TIMES, the original in that room being the “leaderene”), but rather… oh, you guessed who. It seems even “best mate”, who brought him here, is finding him annoying — aside from the passive-aggressive notes, he still has to keep some of the new guy’s stuff in his own room, as a “favour”! Just glad my own friendship with him hasn’t changed…
— — —
Another song called “Changes”, of course, is 2Pac’s posthumous release — scope this out, it’s dope… (just a pity that the “official video” version has half the lyrics cut out!)