Le roupie de sansonnet

The rupee of a starling, apparently. Worthless. Which is what my bank is. Again, I come back to the notion that they’re all out to get us. I’m feeling rather paranoid, these days!!

I’m still waiting, almost 3 weeks on, for a new bank card. I can’t begin to explain the complications, including being unable to get car tax, to cash cheques, to get an MOT…. you’re worthless without that bit of plastic. Whatever happened to real money??!

I don’t know if this is because Steve came home with a huge safe yesterday – one of the old-fashioned types. I like it. It’s a bit like one of those old bank robbery safe jobs. You screw it to the floor and it’s heavy and you can’t do much by way of moving it. I think I like this idea. The only thing is, it’s becoming impossible to pay by cash.

Utilities companies give you money off for direct debits, as do telephone companies. I’d have to walk into Bolton to pay my council tax, and I’m not sure how the Halifax and Legal & General stuff would operate, but I’m getting leaner and leaner on Direct Debits. I used to have loads. Every time I got a pay rise, I’d give a little to a charity via direct debit. I had all my utilities and phones and Sky and so on coming out of there. I’m looking forward to France being simpler by default, though I am worried about not being able to open an account. Surely, you have a right to open a bank account??!

I have to say, I despise the banks. My bank charges me an account fee, which supposedly covers travel insurance and the likes. I get breakdown cover, which is fine, and travel insurance – also fine, but I don’t use anything else. Probably, the cost of these two things is smaller than the fee of £12.00 a month I pay. I’ve also got into a nasty habit of having a couple of bills run over each month (thanks, Bolton Council, for leaving the roads impassable and your residents to stay put. I lost over £800 due to snow-bound clients) and so I get charges which then make me miss another payment, and so on the cycle goes. When I can be free of all of this, I’ll be so glad. No mortgage on the new place, no gas bill. So…

  • electricity, which we hope will be increasingly solar. Steve was running through circuit designs last night; we’ve talked about having under-floor heating and a back boiler, solar-powered water heaters and so on, but he’s planning on using an air compressor and so on with his tools, bringing down costs further, as with the generator and so on.
  • the phone. Unavoidable. We’ve still not decided on mobiles, what with contracts and so on. How many will we need??! I’m hoping we’ll get by with two, plus the walkie-talkies. I’m guessing one contract and one PAYG – though I wish they both were ‘off-grid’ PAYG phones!
  • water: again, lots of recycling thoughts going on, as with boreholes and wells. Hmmmm.
  • taxe fonciere and habitation. Birth, death and taxes.
  • my contact lenses!

I’m hoping I can get those on the cheap over the counter in England and not have to bother with messing about. So… electricity, phone and water. Simple!

I’m also sick of their hypocrisy. I feel like it could all collapse in moments, and we could end up with a worse recession. Only today, the EU are warning England to cut debts. I feel like it’s impossible to live in a culture where money-borrowing is endemic at the absolute highest echelons, and then they pick up on the little man and slap huge fees on for everything. It’s immoral.

In this internet culture, ‘ether-trails’ are everywhere. Everyone knows your business. It’s so risky. I’m feeling like I should invest in gold or something, in case it all falls apart. Oh, how quickly I turn into a completely paranoid freak!! It’s amazing to me that banks really haven’t existed that long (though money lenders have!) and we trust them with some kind of innate ignorance that worries me a great deal. Even when they rob us, even when they have huge payouts, which they justify and feel no pain in taking, even when they collapse in on themselves, rocking the world, we still trust them.

And the arrival of the beautiful cast-iron safe marks a further departure I feel into the life of an outlaw! Still, beats putting it in envelopes in my Dior shoebox, I guess!

Banks: give details to outside stakeholders, notify the government of huge cash transferences (which is fair enough if you’re a money launderer, but surely it’s the government’s job to hound them, not the innocent masses. Oh, silly me, I forgot! Blanket punishment for all because of some Al Capone types out there. As if the Al Capone types don’t know how to get around with the IOM accounts and Channel Island accounts and offshore accounts in the Caribbean and Swiss bank accounts. Like banks have morals – look at all those Swiss banks who hid stolen Jewish artworks and jewels and cash! Let’s shut the stable door after the horse has well and truly bolted!

I might start my own bank. The bank of Emma.

I did see, however, a brilliant Trigger Happy TV clip which about sums up my way of gaining revenue en France….

Setting up a ‘troll toll booth’ across the D6!


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