Microfiction #1 – Fire

I wasn’t sure at first that I would take part but here’s my entry into Marc@FinanceYourFire’s Microfiction Series. He states a word (in this case ‘fire’) and participants are asked to write a short story (less than 350 words) on the subject. Head over to the article to see his own and any other entries.

*Disclaimer* I’m not an aspiring writer – the idea just came to me as I was sitting on the tram on the way home from work. Quite why I was thinking such thoughts is anyone’s guess…

Here goes:

The girl stood there alone, waiting.

Trembling a little.

Fear or anticipation?

Trying to steady her breathing.

In through the nose, out through the mouth. In, out, in out.

She tried to relax her hands but the hands seemed no longer hers to command. They were the hands of a killer.

She was a killer. Wasn’t she? That’s what they were all saying.

She watched him approach.

Small beads of sweat formed rivulets down her brow, stinging her eyes.

The girl blinked rapidly to clear her vision and swayed to one side, just as Teacher’s heavy fist came crashing towards her face without warning.

It missed by a hair’s breadth, but she reared back a split second too slow for his elbow, which glanced off her chin, causing her to stagger sideways.

She had bitten her tongue, the blood tasted of old metal.

Teacher stepped forwards to grab her and she pivoted, spinning to try to get behind him but his grasping fingers caught hold of her hair.

The girl cursed herself for not taking the time to tie it up. Or shave it all off.

She struggled this way and that, twisting to avoid the onslaught of his kicks and punches. Two blows smashed into the side of her head making her see stars, but she managed to prise away a few fingers and wheeled away, leaving him holding a clump of long brown strands in his gnarly hands.

Her scalp was on fire. Blood dripped from her left ear.

Her breathing came out in ragged gasps and she made the effort to control it again.

In through the nose, out through the mouth. In, out, in out.

“You were always such a disappointment,” said Teacher, with a little sigh.

The girl grinned, showing her blood-smeared teeth.

No more running.

The time for respect was over.

“You were always my favourite teacher,” she said. “But not anymore.”

Teacher thought she sounded sad but as he looked into her eyes, he saw only death.

As the girl stepped calmly towards him, Teacher hesitated.

His final error.

March 2019 Savings + other updates

So I celebrated 5 years of blogging and I’ve been blown away by all the wonderful comments  – thank you very much for all your support! 🙂

Anyway, it’s been a blur of a month, one which saw me working some late nights, binge-watching seasons 2 & 3 of ‘The Expanse’ and also enjoying a few social outings, including meeting up with fellow FIRE wannabees in Manchester.

One piece of good news at work was that I received a partial bonus, so how did that affect my savings this month?

I decided to chuck the whole bonus into my ISA so I ended up saving 64%.

There’s no way I can max my ISA (I’ve only ever done this once before) and with a few days to go in the tax year, I’m trying to work out how much of my emergency and matched betting funds I can safely shift over, without leaving me short.

The above savings includes top ups from my £25 premium bond win, £14.35 from TopCashback*, £100 matched betting profit (from last month) and £87.59 affiliate income from OddsMonkey (thank you to all who signed up via my links!).

Shares and Investment Trusts

No new investments, just added to existing ones.

Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.

(Entire portfolio here)

Future Fund 

I guess the markets are still going up as my Future Fund has grown by more than the capital I’ve invested, now sitting at £158,763.

Dividends and Other Income

A good month for dividends: Continue reading

February 2019 Savings, other updates + Meet Up News

I have family staying with me at the moment so while I wait for them to come back from shopping (I only worked half-day today), I thought I’d get this out. The post was all prepared in advance, I just slotted in the numbers.

I will need to figure out my posting schedule and how I’m going to keep up with this secret blogging lark when my sis is living with me…

This month has just whizzed by – work’s been really busy and I’ve gotten into the bad habit of staying late when it’s not a gym night; need to stop doing that as it’s making me feel really drained.

I successfully claimed for a delayed flight and received £168 compensation, which will nicely pay for my next planned trip – I was delayed for 5 hours at Amsterdam on my way to HK just before Christmas. First time I’ve claimed and it was a relatively painless process.

Anyway, how did I get on with my savings this month?

I saved 37% – a couple of social outings, Chinese New Year and stocking up my beer fridge pushed the spending up somewhat this month.  I can’t seem to get into the ‘zone’ at the moment to do some more home brewing, hence the beer purchases.

The above savings includes top ups of £30.07 from TopCashback* and £131.69 affiliate income from OddsMonkey (thank you to all who signed up via my links!).

Shares and Investment Trusts

No new investments, just added to existing ones.

Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.

(Entire portfolio here)

Future Fund 

I think the markets have continued to recover as my Future Fund has grown by more than the capital I’ve invested, now sitting at £153,555.

Dividends and Other Income

Historically, February has the lowest dividends: Continue reading

January 2019 Savings, plus other updates

Unlike last January, where I tried to lead a frugal nun-like existence, I did no such thing this time round – it was just a really quiet month social-wise, with only one cheeky ‘beer and Nando’s’ session after work on pay day.

All other weekends, I went to the gym or stayed at home, slowly making my way through the alcohol in the house, reading a little and re-watching (and enjoying) old episodes of Doctor Who (I started from the Christopher Eccleston series).

Oh, I did go on my first walk of the year – a 6-mile flat trek along the Bridgewater Canal in Warrington, which was very pleasant. I wore my new waterproof jacket and walking trousers (hand-me-down and a late Christmas present from a family member) so my walking gear is getting a bit more suitable for the good ole British weather!

I also got my first Premium Bond win of the year – hopefully, the first of many!

NS&I’s app informing me of my win!

So, how did I get on with my savings in the first month of the year?

I saved 41.5%, which is a pretty good start.

The above savings includes top ups from £116 matched betting profits (from last month), the £25 premium bond win, £10 lotto winnings, £15 from TopCashback* and £69.02 affiliate income from OddsMonkey (thank you to all who signed up via my links!).

Shares and Investment Trusts

No new investments, just added to existing ones.

Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.

(Entire portfolio here)

Future Fund 

I was vaguely aware that the markets had begun to recover a bit but was surprised to see the extent of that recovery when I ran my numbers – my Future Fund is heading in the right direction again, sitting at £151,358. Whilst not all the losses have been recouped, I’m just glad to have crossed the £150k milestone again!

Dividends and Other Income

An average month of dividends: Continue reading