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jonge frouwe's logbook

irregular entries from abroad

My Logbook



October 25th, 2006

How to survive the last week of the month......
This is the sad story of my total lack business sense and financial clearheadedness. It is a story that amazes me each month anew….usually in the last week of each month, when reality takes over my life. Since it is currently the last week of October and I am facing hard facts anyway, I can afford to be absolutely truthful here. While at the same time detaching myself from the problem for research purposes. So, how does it happen?
I start each month with the comfortable feeling that I have a nice full bank account at my disposal. This thought is the beginnning of my downfall. AT MY DISPOSAL. (Rent being taken care of by my parents, so no fear of eviction.) The trouble is that I have an imaginary budget for each week. It goes something like this: one fifth of my monthly income to spend each week, leaves me with one fifth for dire emergencies or even saving. IN THEORY. I am going to be painfully honest here….and this is only because it is again the last week of the month.
By Tuesday of each week my purse is empty. I try to remember what I spent my money on in JUST TWO DAYS, and I usually find that I have spent most of it on food, including snacks and ridiculously pricy coffee drinks. I feel virtuous for a few seconds, when I reflect that I did spend something when I went to the swimming pool (working towards personal fitness, yes!). Then I just give up and march to the cash mashine and draw some more money. All is well until the end of the second week. By this time, my bank account has started feeling the strain of constant cash withdrawal and the various (nasty, horribly large) telephone bills (due to complete incompetence I am maintaining two mobile phones until July 2007). Add to this the fact that I have become used to travelling somewhere in Germany and/or abroad each month…., enough said, by the end of the second week I have started seeing the error of my ways and am already calculating how far I will get on my overdraught. (Luckily I am only allowed to go €100 into the red, would never be able to repay otherwise!).
Instead of curtailing spending the nearer I get to the red, I actually feel really pissed off at being so poor (*sob*, oh dear, this is really ridiculous). So, I ignore it. I ask myself whether I am supposed to stop seeing all my friends (social isolation would be detrimental to my work), which results in my seeing more friends than I intended (drinks, meals, cinema). Once having reached rock bottom of my normal bank account by about the start of the third week, instead of ignoring my financial situation, I am forced to concentrate on it: my bank card has become worthless and I turn into a cash-focused freak for the last ten days of the month. After recklessly pulling out bills from my purse all month, I now know the exact amount of money in my purse at all times. I debate whether to leave the €100 overdraw on my account, or whether it would be better to have the cash in hand, in case of emergencies. I usually withdraw all I can, then hide away my credit card until the beginning of the next month.
I hate asking people for money, since there is no real emergency. I make sure that my kitchen is stocked with the absolute necessities: milk, eggs, flour, butter, sugar, pasta, tomato sauce. Can’t really starve now. I start returning all the empty bottles to cash in the deposit and usually decide I cannot afford to take my washing to the laundry. I start counting my underpants. Will they last, I wonder?
By the start of the fourth week, I have become very very irritated by the situation. I rent a DVD to take my mind off my financial situation……I eat fast food…..and start living on the dregs of my purse by about Wednesday. This is when I start thinking about going on a visit to my parents (do not have to pay for transportation due to student card): would tide me over until last day of month when pay check arrives. I economise by taking müsli and milk to uni in a jar (substitute for cantine). Slowly, the resourcefulness and determination of a true survivor begins to intrude on my feelings. I make pasta to last for days, drink extra water to ensure health, do not overeat, since might starve two days later. If I lived even half as frugally during the first two weeks as I do in these last days, I would soon be filling all my stockings with my savings and be a new, thinner person.
HOWEVER, instead of thinking of reform, I focus on the day that the cash flow will turn in my favour again. I make lists of all the things I suddenly need to buy (a hairdryer, a new heavyweather sailing jacket, perhaps those thermal dungarees….), and can’t wait to storm into the shops again. The wait becomes bearable….three days, two days, one day……I WILL PASS GO! I WILL COLLECT 200 POUNDS!

August 28th, 2006

Limericks galore!

It has been raining steadily all day.
In case you need cheering up too, and you enjoy playing with words, then look up this site:

It's a dictionary in which the definitions are in form of limericks. Great fun :-)


August 17th, 2006

(no subject)

Dear all,
Here I am again. I've had a very busy year up to now, so I'll let that be my excuse.
I don't want to bore you with all the details of my ups and downs, which seemed terribly important to me at the time.

What have I been up to? Well, I've been spending quite a lot of time at sea recently. Seemed a sensible thing to do, since my land life wasn't amounting to much, and wasn't giving me much satifaction.
I sailed from Ireland to Lisbon last November, then joined the ship in Lisbon again in the spring and spent 4 weeks battling North via the Bay of Biscay, Brest, Cherbourg, Helgoland to Eckernförde on the Baltic coast of Germany. In June I rejoined for a trip to Copenhagen and around Denmark (in charge of a horde of 14 year olds: arghhhh!), and early in July the ship set off for the East: Gotland and Lithuania!
All these trips were not really holidays, I usually need a few days to recuperate when I get back home. Due to the 3-watch system on board, you never get enough sleep; and when you're on watch you actually work really hard, since the ship was rigged in the traditional way. And when you're not on watch you clean, wash up or cook.....it seems crazy at first, but spending around 8 days at sea with up to 40 people and nothing but sea around you, no land, no other ships.....it's wonderful, especially up the mast. It's so wonderful, that I got really hooked. You learn an great deal about yourself as well: Being cooped up on 50 m of ship tends to bring out the worst in people...until there's a storm, when you realise that you've got to start giving your best. and experiencing the light and space and colours of a sunrise at sea makes up for everything and gives you all the endorphins you need for the next 3 months.

Now I am back on dry land, sitting in the library and getting work done. nothing exciting there. love to all who know me and who are aware of hidden connotations regarding the town of Basingstoke.

A few photos can be found here:


January 3rd, 2006

Well, hello, here I am at last.
This is my very first entry! Very appropriate, since this is the very beginnning of a brand new year. I have no real resolutions but am exuberantly optimistic in an unspecified way about the new year. Thank you everyone on midnightmelody's journal for wanting me here on LJ.
I very much missed you, but life usually gets in the way too much to be constantly keeping up with all the people one wants to write to!
I don't rightly know how much of myself I want to put in here, but if it means I get to hear more of you (those of you I know, and those I don't as yet), then I shall be quite content!

I am writing a paper on Noel Coward and Bad Manners at the moment: hugely enjoyable, only slightly distracting and I find it very difficult to keep to the point. Here's a lovely quote for you, it seems to fit the general idea of this kind of journal:

M: Words. Masses and masses of words!
D: They're great fun to play with.

Must get back to work and stop blocking the library computer,
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