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Saturday, 4 October 2014

The Best Money I Ever Spent

"What's the best money you've ever spent?" People never say to me. 
"Why it's the UK pound",  I don't reply."Gold, shiny and the envy of the world. Plus I contribute to the rebounding British economy." 
Then we don't laugh, as this whole conversation is fictional. 
However I have made some spectacular purchases of late and so I am going to tell you about them, like it or not. 
Obviously I am forced to say my house. But in my case I do genuinely love my house. Small but perfectly formed and decorated as though a slightly twee old lady has gone nuts in a junk shop. I love it. I also love that I've rented it out and it's helping me fund my adventures. 
On a slightly less grand scale a couple of years ago I impulse bought a pac-a -mac from Primark. It cost me ten pounds and I estimate I have worn it six hundred thousand times. As I have only been alive 12661 days (thanks google) I have spent a lot of time taking this coat on and off. Now not only does this raincoat pack away nice and small, allowing me to slip it to my bag and take it with me everywhere, it is also an attractive black so goes with everything. Oh and it's covered in pictures of ducks and has a hood so enormous it covers my entire face, forcing me to tighten the woggles either side of the hood so it frames my face like this. 
It's pretty fetching. However it sits besides me as I write now and I have worn it several times on this trip as Sydney rain is insane. I've only been caught out once when I was stranded a good 15 minute walk away from home and the skies started to empty. My trusty cagoule was at home and so I popped to the dollar shop and purchased a child's rain poncho. A light blue one, designed to be worn on log flumes. I draped myself in the flowing plastic and marched home. I recognised the looks of respect I got. I'd seen them many times before when wearing my cagoule. 
On a side note until a couple of years ago I would have called my duck coat a 'cagoule' pronounced 'Kaggle'. However when I referred to it as that I was asked to repeat myself several times before they would ask 'Do you mean KA goooooooooole?" I didn't mean that, I meant 'kaggle' but it made me self-concious and I began to think I might be saying it wrong. Having had many years of merriment laughing at someone who referred to 'Cack he' rather than 'Khaki' I started calling it a rain coat instead. I stick by 'kaggle' though. 

My other amazing purchase has been a sleeping bag. Not just any sleeping bag, a fleece sleeping bag. It was $10 from K-mart and I believe they are still available. When I packed to come to Australia I didn't bring many clothes (still managed to have 30kg of luggage though so I assume they were lead lined). I'd just chucked a few things in, lobbed a couple of cardigans on top and thought 'Oh well it's 18 degrees at the moment I'll be fine until it warms up." To be fair 18 degrees is warm, I've been on SUMMER holidays where 18 degrees was the high and I swam, played on the beach and went a lovely blue colour. 
Reader I was freezing. Not a bit chilly, not a touch on the cold side, I was baltic. Rigid with cold. Particularly at night. Of course I had to lie. I couldn't say that I'd packed for winter and arrived with a couple of pairs of flip flops and light cardigan. I had bought my Ugg boots but they were thrown in to a bin on the street after I spent a while in a cafe going 'what is that horrific smell? Has someone trodden in dog shit?" then traced the smell back to my Ugg boots which had been soaked (see above for rain detail) and dried a dozen times. But with my fleece sleeping bag I was toasty and warm. I even woke up a couple of times in the night boiling to death, which is the dream. It's too hot to use it now but it's coming back to the UK with me. 
So not terribly lavish purchases. Most of my money is going on feeding a terrible Freddo the Frog addiction. These chocolately treats now come in popping candy flavour and I refuse to tell you how many I am getting through, let's just say they are 4 for $2 in Coles and I am in there most days. What I need to do is eat a pine lime flavour one. A treat so unutterably foul it once nearly caused involuntary public vomiting. I can only assume that someone was once using some industrial strength toilet cleaner and thought that they should try and capture the smell and taste in a tiny chocolate bar. Either that or I accidentally ate a car air freshener. That was the worse money I ever spent. That or any money I have ever given to Greater Anglia Train Company.