My behaviour today highlights the confused state of my mind. Lacking any definitive physical challenge this year (compared to last year) and a time of relative calm with my work, I found myself exploring new plans. This is nothing new, nor is it odd to be considering one’s next move, particularly on a Bank Holiday weekend. However, pretty much all my plans seem to be grappling with one another often with opposite values.
Let me explain. So my wife (Vicky, rather than ‘the wife’ or Mrs Gooden as I’m apparently heard referring to her as) and I would like to move house. We live in a modest home if a little small, with an excellent Foxes Dojo (large summerhouse which acts as my office and gym whilst also providing cover to a foxes lair) in one of the most valuable postcodes outside of London, surrounded by awful people. When I say ‘awful people’, I really mean people that for one, I don’t seem to share the same values with. People that carry a poor energy towards pretty much anyone in their immediate sphere of influence. The kind of people that I have on the extreme end witnessed demonstrating racist behaviour, but on a more frequent basis have shown tendencies to treat no-entry signs, disabled parking spaces and double yellow lines as a kind of light to a moth, encouraging their newly leased 4x4’s toward them. Probably not rapists or mass murderers, but quite possibly crooks of the financial world that deserve to serve hard time. You get the picture.
After considering the story of The Minimalists, Mr Money Mustache and more, I was hell-bent on simplifying our lives. Financial freedom was the goal, where my family and I will sit comfortably in our ample-sized home on the edge of the lake and in the shadows of winding woodland. I would record my voice overs for the UFC features from here. The first significant action was to embark on an eBay sell off, cleansing myself of what I considered to be unethical brands and also items that were surplus to requirements. I have also focussed my reading around financial strategies like compounded interest and index-linked financial investments…yes quite possibly the very areas in which the awful people work!
Vicky and I have started viewing houses. Whilst our friends are upsizing, we are trying to reduce our debt and live a freer existence and perhaps home school our future, unborn children- not that either of us are teachers or would be of any real value to a pub quiz team. But my mind is pulling me in another direction. As I scroll through the hundreds of available properties in our price range, I see no lake, nor forest. I don’t really even see an ample sized home, just a stack of bricks surrounded by other similar stacks. Which has me thinking…what would we get if we added £50k to the budget? Or perhaps, we settle in a town full of what my friend affectionately calls ‘pond drinkers’ (I’m assuming it’s a derogatory phrase attributed to areas with which the communities remain with the same few families…from over the last few hundred years) and we spend some of the equity on a property in rural France. Cue a new tab in Google Chrome with the following search terms: house, France, lake, woodland.
Now I’m pretty sure this wasn’t the strategy employed by the more frugal types that I sought to follow, however, this is little ol’ England where space is at a premium and has far fewer lakes than Central Europe or America.
A semi-related search starts to consider the family car. The deal on my current one is coming up for renewal so another opportunity to explore cost savings. I understand the government are giving grants and tax breaks on electric and hybrid vehicles. At first I consider the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, upon a friend’s recommendation. However, I own a BMW M135i. A 3.0 litre twin turbo petrol-powered lunatic machine that propels you to 60 mph from your driveway (never from your driveway that’s far too irresponsible and too like the awful people) in under 5 seconds. So naturally I start considering a happy medium, like a Tesla…model X…a +£70k vehicle that is capable of breaking the sound barrier when you drive down to pick up an artisan coffee…I mean buy some essentials. But why stop there? Mercedes are launching an electric powered AMG SLS which uses torque vectoring. Torque vectoring! For about £400k! So I explored that. I mean with great success, that might only equate to a small percentage of someone’s worth. Perhaps if we stay put in our current house and cosy up to some ‘awful people’ all these things might be attainable!?
You see why it’s been a tortuous day? I feel like I’m a sort of wannabee Tarzan swinging around the trees of our adjacent woodland as part of my daily movement regime all the while hooked up to a blue tooth headset with my broker on voice activated speed dial. Perhaps I should aim for something in between?
Damn, I really hope the UFC calls with a new event for me as I’m a danger to myself! Time to make a mental note in my mental gratitude diary.
By the way, a not so awful person is our 90-something year old neighbour, who is providing me with a chorus of wartime songs and a long, repeated failed impression of what sounds like Police Academy’s Zed and Motor Mouth rolled into one! It is however 11:45pm and if the past 6 months if anything to go by he’s just warming up. Bless him.