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  • FIRST POST
    • Smolly
    • By Smolly 1st Aug 16, 8:42 PM
    • 179Posts
    • 484Thanks
    Smolly
    Bereft and Broken
    • #1
    • 1st Aug 16, 8:42 PM
    Bereft and Broken 1st Aug 16 at 8:42 PM
    I feel very sad that my first ever post on this site is about debt and depression. Iím afraid itís not a positive post Ė I donít feel very positive at the moment, but I have no one to help me. I also apologise for the length. I have read diary after diary, post after post on this site and have been truly inspired by the help given to those in need. I am hoping that even just by getting this out there I start to feel better.

    So, what has happened? I finally had my LBM last week. I was on the floor on my hands and knees having a panic attack. I was lonely and afraid and I felt utterly broken. What started it? The realisation that I no longer had the money to keep paying the minimum amounts on my ever increasing debts, and the fact that it was the anniversary of my Dadís death some two years ago, and I still donít seem to be coping very well.

    I am under the GP Ė I take anti-depressants, anti-anxiety pills, migraine tablets and an antibiotic for something which rears up in times of acute stress. I have decided I need to go back to the doctor as the panic attacks are fairly new. I have suffered from them in the past but thought I had them under control. Iíve now had two bad ones in two weeks and I feel constantly on edge, like my whole body is shaking but no one can see.

    I decided also that I needed to speak to someone about my debts. It was a comment that someone posted on their diary about the cost of teenagers. My son isnít a teenager yet but in a few yearsí time he will be. I donít want to be the Mum who canít afford to send him on school trips or within reason pay for the kind of clothes he would like to wear and not what Mum buys him now from the charity shops. I want to do this now, make this change for him, and of course for me as itís killing me.

    After that day I brightened up. I started to plan a few things and today sat down and made it my first priority to go on the Stepchange website. I did the Debt Remedy but I feel now I am back to square one. The results left me in a deep dark depression. I felt so ill and shattered that I just cried and ended up going to bed. Basically I donít earn enough to offer a sufficient amount to my creditors so a DMP wasnít the option. The option suggested was bankruptcy. I donít own the house we live in Ė it is in my husbandís name, as are all of the utilities which he pays for. I pay for groceries and clothes and presents and everything else. I havenít told him about my debts and for reasons I just canít bring myself to go into here I canít tell him. Maybe when Iím clear about the route Iím taking and have made a few inroads then I may tell him as hopefully I will be stronger, but I have to think about our son and my health. I fear if I go down the bankruptcy route we could end up losing this home and it isnít even in my name although after several years Iím sure I have some claim to half of it.

    I was advised to make token payments to my creditors and in the meantime think about what route I could take to reduce my debts, and then re-contact Stepchange if my budget changed. I thought I could just pick up the phone and someone would help me? I donít think I can do this alone. Iím prepared to do the token letters and payments and even talk to creditors but I wanted someone there who would help me through this. After I picked myself up this evening and gave myself a good telling off for continuing to be negative about all this, and reminded myself again that I was doing this for my son, I thought maybe I should ring Stepchange anyway in the morning and actually talk to someone. So I think that is what Iím going to do.

    I also have another bank account sat in the wings, unattached to any debts I have so tomorrow I am going to see my employer and ask to change my wages over to the new account. I am due a little overtime at the end of August so I am thinking that rather than chuck this at my minimum payments as I have been doing, leaving myself with nothing and then resorting to using credit cards which I can no longer do, I will try to start some kind of emergency fund if there is anything left.

    I have not broken anything down yet for here but I owe approximately £26500, over credit cards and two overdrafts and I simply have about £460 coming in each month from one part time job. I did have three which I worked around school runs and my husbandís job so childcare wasnít required, but due to bereavement and a further family complication I had to give two of them up. I have since been selling my things on eBay to try and keep up with repayments, but also adding to my credit cards when there wasnít enough. I know Iíve been an idiot. Itís time to make this right.

    I will try to keep coming back to this to update what has happened but some days are very tough and I canít always seem to cope. I am hoping that I can get a DMP in place and start to record it over on the diary forum.

    Thank you for reading.
Page 7
    • Smolly
    • By Smolly 6th Oct 16, 11:41 AM
    • 179 Posts
    • 484 Thanks
    Smolly
    Oh by the way does anyone know if you can change the heading of your thread. Mine now is sounding quite negative and although I'm still having problems I'm wondering if I'm able to change it to something a little more positive - such as Bereft, Broken but Building Myself Up! Or something like that anyway! xx
    LBM Jul 16 £26,823.83, Nov 16 £27,961.98
    EF #205 £0/£1000
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 6th Oct 16, 2:34 PM
    • 6,383 Posts
    • 35,214 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    I'm not sure you can - just had a look back on my own diary and can't see any option to do it. What I would say though, is if you feel as though you've moved on from where you started with this one, (which it sounds to me as though you have) why not have a clean start and a fresh diary? You can put a link to the new one as the final post in the old one, and a link to the old one in the first post of the new one...if you follow!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • Thistle-down
    • By Thistle-down 6th Oct 16, 2:52 PM
    • 908 Posts
    • 3,105 Thanks
    Thistle-down
    I can relate to all the ebay !!!! - I think once I sell what I already have here in the house, I'll go to charity shops and pick up clothes that I think will sell well on ebay. It would be nice to just put something in a plastic bag, I hate all the trying to find the right box - not too heavy but still sturdy, using tons of bubble wrap, etc etc etc. and then find out I charged £3 too little for postage...

    I'm no mechanic but whenever we've had things done to our exhaust, it's never been a huge expense, usually just a matter of taking off the old and putting on new. Hopefully yours will be the same.

    Maybe one of the mods can change the thread title for you if you sent them a message? It sounds like a good idea to me and being positive has been on my mind all morning. (see my latest diary post!) Otherwise I think starting a new thread on the diary page would be in order. I think I'd even leave off the first two B words, and just keep Building myself up!

    Will you work full or part time when you go back? You may have already said, but if so I have forgotten

    I hope you enjoy seeing your mum
    • Smolly
    • By Smolly 6th Oct 16, 4:43 PM
    • 179 Posts
    • 484 Thanks
    Smolly
    Thank you Essex and Thistle, wise words as ever xx

    I have decided I will start a brand new diary, correctly placed in the diary section once I'm a little straighter in my head and hopefully back at work. I did start one there when I started this one but I would love to start afresh. At the moment I don't feel able to reduce my debt at all so I'll need a plan for when I do start a new diary.


    I only work part time anyway Thistle so will just go back to my usual hours. I want to stay working within a school environment as its so handy for DS but I do plan to look for extra hours. That was my initial plan at the start of the summer but then everything changed and life got in the way!


    Anyway I'm not off to mum's now. There's been a bad accident and one of the motorways I use is completely closed on both sides. I don't think I could take the stress of waiting in traffic so I've told her I'm not going.... Nothing I can do about it and I refuse to worry about not being able to go. I'm going to try and clear the kitchen table instead, list at least another couple of items on eBay and try and think of some other mad money-making schemes!


    xx
    LBM Jul 16 £26,823.83, Nov 16 £27,961.98
    EF #205 £0/£1000
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 6th Oct 16, 8:00 PM
    • 6,383 Posts
    • 35,214 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    We used to have a phrase we used a lot on here - "Baby Steps" - in the first instance target controlling your debt, not allowing it to get any worse. That will get your head into the mindset of knowing where your money is going, what needs to go where,and you'll learn to instinctively know at any stage in a month where your finances are at. While you're doing that, you can start to target an area at a time where you can make savings without trying to hit it all at once. Each time you make a saving, set the money aside and either pop it into your emergency fund or pay it off your chosen debt to target. Before you know it you WILL be tackling your debt, without the associated pressure that can go alongside it.

    You can do this - you've done the hardest bit already, acknowledging you need help. You've got your cheer squad now - you can do anything!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • Thistle-down
    • By Thistle-down 7th Oct 16, 9:43 AM
    • 908 Posts
    • 3,105 Thanks
    Thistle-down
    That's too bad about not seeing your mum, I hope whoever was involved in the accident is okay.

    I think you should start your new diary even without a debt plan, getting yourself into a positive frame of mind with a fresh blank page will start things rolling.

    I hope you have a good day xx
    • ERICS MUM
    • By ERICS MUM 7th Oct 16, 12:47 PM
    • 3,161 Posts
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    ERICS MUM
    Smolly, making the decision not to see your Mum for practical reasons without apparently stressing over it (on here anyway) is a tremendous step forward. Xx
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 7th Oct 16, 12:59 PM
    • 6,383 Posts
    • 35,214 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Smolly, making the decision not to see your Mum for practical reasons without apparently stressing over it (on here anyway) is a tremendous step forward. Xx
    Originally posted by ERICS MUM
    She's right, you know - well done!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • ERICS MUM
    • By ERICS MUM 7th Oct 16, 1:10 PM
    • 3,161 Posts
    • 5,934 Thanks
    ERICS MUM
    She's right, you know - well done!
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    Thanks for that, I worry that my comments might seem patronising. It's funny how we see Smolly's progress more than she herself does. That's the beauty of threads like this, strangers see things without the emotion.

    Have a happy weekend all. I'm planning to start tidying the garden for winter. It's been so dry here that all my summer flowering stuff died long ago ! I never bother with daffs and tulips, I'm a fair-weather gardener !

    EM xx
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 7th Oct 16, 2:12 PM
    • 6,383 Posts
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    EssexHebridean
    That's why these forums work - the mix of those new to it, and those who've been about for a while and speak from experience, mixed with an impartiality and the ability to speak quite frankly thanks to the anonymity. Because people are removed from the OP's situation (not specifically Smolly, but generally) they can see things in a much more level headed, rational way than if it were them in that position, I guess.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • Smolly
    • By Smolly 7th Oct 16, 4:43 PM
    • 179 Posts
    • 484 Thanks
    Smolly
    Aaawww thank you guys - you lot really are the best xx You make me feel so much better and EM - I would never consider your comments to be patronising. You lot are my 'cheer squad'! Thanks EH - that really made me smile. Thistle - it's my birthday next week so I am going to start my new diary then - a new chapter in my life and all that malarkey! And I will leave any negative comments out of the title too!

    OK - so today so far.... got back from taking DS to school. Got to the end of my drive and stopped short. Pulse starting racing, probably went quite white, couldn't move at all. The words, or something quite similar - Oh dear, someone appears to have stolen my flippin' car' went through my head. It was a little more poetic than that but you get my drift. I just didn't know what to do - the drive was empty. I thought what can I do? Then I decided what I must do....I must walk back to flaming school and pick up the damn car where I'd left it!!! God what a fruit I am!

    So last night I had a really lovely evening. It wasn't stressful at all - no horrible motorway driving and although I didn't get anything new listed on 3Bay I did make about £14 so was chuffed with myself. Today - thought I would rest up and just relax. I caught up with a couple of programmes on TV I really enjoy and took myself off into town for a cautious look round. I knew where I was heading. I love scouring charity shops. Once I had to leave a job where I was having a few problems. OH asked me what I wanted to do instead as I had to do something to bring some money in. I told him I really wanted to sell second-hand clothes on 3Bay so that's what I did for a few months. Scouring for the bargains was the best bit and although I don't do it so often now as I have quite a lot of my own stuff still to sell, I do love a good bargain hunt.

    Anyway today I thought that if I saw anything where a profit could be made I would take the opportunity. I used the virtual £14 I made last night, stretched it into £15 and ended up buying....
    6 dresses (two of which are lower end designer labels)
    5 pairs of shoes (3 of which are brand new)
    1 pair of children's roller skates (brand new in box)
    1 doll (old style, but still with some tags on).

    I know which charity shops to check out as a lot in our area sell stuff for just £1 and some really brilliant bargains can be had. Everything I bought today, apart from two pairs of new shoes were all a £1 each, and I'm sure I can realise a profit on everything, or at least get my money back plus some.
    So I felt like I was having a good day. I will spend a little time over the next week specifically trying to get these bits on.

    As I was feeling pretty good in myself and not at all anxious I even opted for a mini beauty treatment in a chemist. I can't remember the last time I did something like this. Anyone ever had their eyebrows threaded? Well be warned if you haven't - it hurts! But in a nice kind of way...

    So - got home, feeling content and relaxed and picked up the phone to mother. Had what I thought was a 'normal' chat, but as the conversation progressed she seemed to be getting a little more uptight. Concluded by telling me she'd rung the gas company to give them 'what for' (didn't say why) and that she was in a bad mood and that it was my fault. Forced laughter on her part. Told her quite crossly that I had no control over road traffic accidents and blocked roads and that it wasn't my fault at all. Forced laughter again and ended call! Does anyone want to adopt my mother???

    Anyway am not going to stew over it, and am going to try and make some money on t'interweb this evening. I'd crack open a bottle of wine if I knew I wouldn't keel over after one glass so it'll have to be something fruity instead.

    Once again - thank you Thistle, EH, EM and anyone else who has left supportive comments for being there in the background for me. I really do appreciate it xx
    LBM Jul 16 £26,823.83, Nov 16 £27,961.98
    EF #205 £0/£1000
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 7th Oct 16, 4:55 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    Oh your car thing REALLY made me laugh! Earlier in the summer I was down in Devon for an aviation/photography thing. Town I'd never been to before, got caught in awful traffic on the way down so arrived in the town with minutes spare to park and get to where I needed to be. Drove round in frantic circles looking for a parking space, finally found one on a residential street, hurled car into space, and practically ran up to the nearest person and asked for directions to the seafront - lovely helpful chap walked down with me as he was going that way. Fast forward 45 minutes....photography thing over, farewells said, time to head back to the car.....except I got halfway back and realised I had literally NO idea where I'd parked it! After 40 minutes of wandering round I finally found the damned thing - that will teach me!

    It sounds like you've had a really good day - those bits you bought were definitely bargainous - well hunted down! As for your Mum though....this is where we need a "rolls eyes" smiley - Whyever was it "your fault"?! You have to feel rather sorry for whoever at the gas company got her on the phone, don't you! Well done for sense of humour retention though!

    I will be consuming beer this evening I think. Debated treating myself to a bottle wine in Aldi earlier then realised that it would mean a) digging a wine glass out of the back of the larder and b) washing the thing up before finally c) putting the wretched thing away again. Pint glasses are sitting in the cupboard in easy reach and I'm essentially idle, so beer it is!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • ERICS MUM
    • By ERICS MUM 7th Oct 16, 6:12 PM
    • 3,161 Posts
    • 5,934 Thanks
    ERICS MUM
    Oh your car thing REALLY made me laugh! Earlier in the summer I was down in Devon for an aviation/photography thing. Town I'd never been to before, got caught in awful traffic on the way down so arrived in the town with minutes spare to park and get to where I needed to be. Drove round in frantic circles looking for a parking space, finally found one on a residential street, hurled car into space, and practically ran up to the nearest person and asked for directions to the seafront - lovely helpful chap walked down with me as he was going that way. Fast forward 45 minutes....photography thing over, farewells said, time to head back to the car.....except I got halfway back and realised I had literally NO idea where I'd parked it! After 40 minutes of wandering round I finally found the damned thing - that will teach me!

    It sounds like you've had a really good day - those bits you bought were definitely bargainous - well hunted down! As for your Mum though....this is where we need a "rolls eyes" smiley - Whyever was it "your fault"?! You have to feel rather sorry for whoever at the gas company got her on the phone, don't you! Well done for sense of humour retention though!

    I will be consuming beer this evening I think. Debated treating myself to a bottle wine in Aldi earlier then realised that it would mean a) digging a wine glass out of the back of the larder and b) washing the thing up before finally c) putting the wretched thing away again. Pint glasses are sitting in the cupboard in easy reach and I'm essentially idle, so beer it is!
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    What's wrong with wine in a pint glass ? !!!!! 😂
    • Smolly
    • By Smolly 7th Oct 16, 9:53 PM
    • 179 Posts
    • 484 Thanks
    Smolly
    I will be consuming beer this evening I think. Debated treating myself to a bottle wine in Aldi earlier then realised that it would mean a) digging a wine glass out of the back of the larder and b) washing the thing up before finally c) putting the wretched thing away again. Pint glasses are sitting in the cupboard in easy reach and I'm essentially idle, so beer it is!
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    Why bother with a glass at all ? Just drink from the bottle girl! It is Friday after all! xx
    LBM Jul 16 £26,823.83, Nov 16 £27,961.98
    EF #205 £0/£1000
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 7th Oct 16, 10:09 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    What's wrong with wine in a pint glass ? !!!!! 😂
    Originally posted by ERICS MUM
    Why bother with a glass at all ? Just drink from the bottle girl! It is Friday after all! xx
    Originally posted by Smolly
    Good points, well made!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • Thistle-down
    • By Thistle-down 9th Oct 16, 11:33 AM
    • 908 Posts
    • 3,105 Thanks
    Thistle-down
    You three have made me laugh! I don't drink anymore as it affects my health too much but I have definitely drank wine from a pint glass in the past.

    Good for you Smolly not letting your mum get away with blaming you for something out of your control.

    You have inspired me to get down to the charity shops, you must keep us posted on how much profit you make from your £15 investment. There are 7 shops less than 5 minute walk from my house so there is no excuse for me not go. Most of them are expensive-ish though, with most clothes selling at £3.99 and up. I saw a George dress last week with the original tag (£9.99) priced at £12. Seriously, it's like the gift bag thing, could they not at least remove the tag? Who is going to pay more for a dress in a charity shop when they could pop down to ASDA and get a brand new one for less?
    • Smolly
    • By Smolly 9th Oct 16, 9:03 PM
    • 179 Posts
    • 484 Thanks
    Smolly
    Hi Thistle

    Hope you have recovered from your Friday night excursions!

    That is funny about the George dress, wonder if they just hadn't seen the tag but why mark it up so expensive? It actually reminds me of something I did once. Came across something in a discount shop which I had seen previously on Am@zon for a lot more than this particular shop was selling it for. I bought two - thinking ooh I'll make a lovely profit on these. Could not understand at all why no one was bidding on them, until one kind person got in touch to say I'd left the price tag on the item in the picture and I was asking more for it! Doh - I said I was a fruit didn't I!

    I will let you know how I get on with the 3Bay stuff. One pair of shoes that I bought were in my size but I didn't buy them for me to wear - they have something like 6" heels plus a platform sole. Now I'm quite tall but felt I could change the battery in the smoke alarm wearing these! I tried to walk and found that I couldn't! I hope to start listing these bits this week. I never pay more than £1 for something unless I think it really is a good deal. When I first started I would spend up to £10 on something if I thought I could make any kind of profit from it. Now I just walk away if something is more than £1. Car boots are brilliant - I picked up a brand new playsuit still with tags attached in the summer for 30p and sold it for about £6 I think. £6 isn't a lot, but compared to 30p it is!

    Now...my mother, god love her. I was feeling really good about being assertive earlier on in the week, but it was a bit like Final Destination today. I didn't go Thursday to see Mum because there had been some big accident and one of the motorways I used was closed, and seriously backed up. Cue today - set off. Major accident on the same bit of motorway, and me and DS were sat on the slip lane of a motorway for about 90 minutes. I was quite calm considering. Mum however was in a right state when I got there. Crying and saying she was a burden and it was all her fault I had to sit in a traffic jam. I tried to reassure her it was fine. I then made the mistake of letting her know (not immediately though) that I couldn't see her Thursday as it was DS's birthday party. She then didn't speak to me for the next two/three hours. It was truly awful. I'd driven all that way to see her and she couldn't even communicate with me.

    I can't blame her in a way - I really struggle to talk to anyone about my feelings and she was truly feeling down today and nothing I could do could shake her out of it.

    I was also a little cross if I'm honest. I had been going to tell her I would see her Wednesday instead but just didn't want to commit to it in case something came up and I couldn't go. Plus the more she shut me out the more I didn't want to offer to come on a different day.

    Why is it so hard? I felt like I had to look after two children today. But the thing is now I'm left feeling really guilty about Mum and am worried about her being on her own. She was so sad when I spoke to her on the phone. I think over the half term holiday I will try and get her to come and stay here for a couple of days, and see if she can get out of this episode she's in. I just don't know what else to do.

    Anyway - money news. I don't have any! Things are really really tight but the OH has more or less committed himself to paying for my exhaust repairs tomorrow and today I have cashed out two survey sites for £23.70 and £20.95. I am going to have to use my EF for the rest of the bits this month but am hoping to make a bit from 3Bay if I can.

    Anyway, am off to try and do some wheeling and dealing and see what I may have sold (or not sold) on 3Bay. Goodnight all! xx
    LBM Jul 16 £26,823.83, Nov 16 £27,961.98
    EF #205 £0/£1000
    • Thistle-down
    • By Thistle-down 10th Oct 16, 10:00 AM
    • 908 Posts
    • 3,105 Thanks
    Thistle-down
    Are the charity shops in your area the national chain type ones (Cancer research, Age uk, etc) or local ones? I'm jealous of you finding so many things for £1. There is only one charity shop here that has good deals, and it is a small local one. They have a 50p rack for things that haven't sold after a few months and I have found some great things on it. I haven't been going to car boots during this last year but am going to make a point of starting, I have found some amazing bargains in the past.

    You went to visit your mum and she didn't speak to you for 2-3 hours? I don't mean to sound harsh but that is very immature behavior. Is she depressed, as in could she do with a Dr's help? Is there any way she can live closer to you (or do you even want that?)

    Yay for your hubby paying for the exhaust repairs, it must be a relief to know you will still have a working car. I hope it's just a minor problem!
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 10th Oct 16, 10:18 AM
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    EssexHebridean
    Aww Smolly - that is tough with your Mum. If that happens again can you put a personal time-limit on how long you stand the non-communication before you simply leave? Perhaps 20 minutes in, say something like "Mum if you don't want to talk to me that's fine, but I don't think there's a lot of point in me staying here if that's the case" and then another 10 minutes before you explain to her that you're going to leave as you feel she no longer wants you there...and then coats on and actually leave. As much as anything else it feels as though her behaving that way is a pretty poor example to your DS and although she may not entirely be able to help her behaviour, he really needs to come first now, doesn't he. It may be that taking some positive action to not engage with her behaviour will make a difference, you never know. can she travel to you sometimes, or can you suggest meeting somewhere a bit closer to you but that she can easily reach on public transport? Apologies, not knowing the background here there may be reasons why that's not possible. I think getting her to come and stay with you for a few days when you can is a great idea too - it also means that if she starts the silent treatment behviour when she's at yours you can quite reasonably tell her that you don;t feel it's appropriate for her to behave that way in YOUR house as it's setting a bad example!

    Your charity shops are bloomin' amazing! Definitely nothing like that round this neck of the woods!

    Money wise - is there anything from what you're looking at spending on this month that you can manage without, or is it all essentials? Food wise have you done a full cupboard/fridge/freezer audit to see how little you can get away with buying? Anywhere else that savings can be made or earnings can be boosted?
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • JustAboutThere
    • By JustAboutThere 10th Oct 16, 12:42 PM
    • 463 Posts
    • 2,022 Thanks
    JustAboutThere
    OK - so today so far.... got back from taking DS to school. Got to the end of my drive and stopped short. Pulse starting racing, probably went quite white, couldn't move at all. The words, or something quite similar - Oh dear, someone appears to have stolen my flippin' car' went through my head. It was a little more poetic than that but you get my drift. I just didn't know what to do - the drive was empty. I thought what can I do? Then I decided what I must do....I must walk back to flaming school and pick up the damn car where I'd left it!!! God what a fruit I am!
    Originally posted by Smolly
    Think of it this way:

    1. Your car wasn't stolen.

    2. You got an unexpected walk.

    All is good
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