Since making the decision to move to London I've been quite determined to save as much money as I can. This hasn't been easy because I had been off work for a month and I had some of those there taxes (duck islands) to pay for. Now that I've had my first pay-cheque for a couple of months I've sort of forgotten about the 'saving money' mission and have been browsing many-a-website where quirky t-shirts, bearing quirky, nerdy logos can be yours for the mere price of £29.99 each.
Then I spoke to my Dad.
Ah, conversations with my Dad.
They're the best. Full of analogies that feel perfectly at home in high powered business meetings, passionate gesticulating, and no nonsense 'back in my day' style advice. In the middle of moving all my worldly possessions from shared house to Mother's house, we got to talking about the usual; money and politics.
"Don't believe what you hear on the news. There's no way we're creeping out of this recession. Things are going to get worse before they get better. Do you know how much debt we're in? It's as though we've been borrowing a million pounds a day since Jesus was born. We ain't breaking even til at least 2030, til you're 45, when you're my age. I wouldn't get on the property market now. Your Mum and I bought a place the last time things were like this. Do you know how much debt we were in? You know the only people still in work at the moment? The public sector. Come the next election, there's gonna be a cull. Those people have mortgages! How are they gonna pay those mortgages? People who get on the property market at the moment, good luck to them. And you see people your age getting money from The Bank of Mum and Dad to buy those houses. Do you think this Bank of Dad is open?"
"Damn right. My parents had to work hard, I had to work damn hard. This bank is closed. And you know what? Now you're going to see a fight for quality. There are lots of people applying for a small number of jobs. Now the employers can pick and choose who they want to hire. Who are you going to pick between the scruff with his jeans around his arse and the guy who's made an effort?"
"The guy who's made an eff-"
"EXACTLY. So now you're gonna see a fight for quality, a rise in quality. They ain't gonna be hiring just anybody anymore. No way. No, Sir. Now you're gonna see people get desperate and they'll all be saying, 'gimme a job, I'll do that'. The people they need today, the people who can help build and create jobs, they're all obsessed with X-Factor and Big Brother and Facebook. They've been brainwashed against the important things in life and now all of a sudden they're asking, 'what happened? Where's my money?"
"Oh, I've quit Facebook, by the way."
"Good for you, it's too invasive. I signed up to that and thought 'WOAH', this is way too invasive. Twitter, right? Now there's another example of a rise in quality. If people can be engaging and clever in 140 characters or less, then they're an example of a rise in quality. With Facebook it's all waffle and photos and groups and whinging and going on and on. Twitter is less invasive and forces you to boil everything down to the quality and cut out the waffle."
"I'm following some pretty vocal people my age on Twitter, from the left and right. It's interesting to watch the debate rage. I couldn't believe it when Right-Wingers said that Gordon Brown only spoke about the death of his daughter for a PR stunt."
"You're being very naive. You've got a LOT to learn. The only thing politicians care about is getting re-elected. All this recession stuff that's going on at the moment? None of them, not the left, middle, right, whatever - NONE of them have got the answer that's going to save everyone. They all want you to think that they're gonna do something that's never been done before. Whatever happens, someone's going to get done in, someone's getting the short straw. Here's something for you... all this PR? Even Obama."
"No... not 'Golden Boy' Obama?"
"YES Obama. Everyone talks about Bush as the war-mongering president, but there have been more missile launches under Obama than Bush. It's all about PR. The only thing politicians care about is one thing."
Never a dull conversation with my Dad. Talking to him, or being on the receiving end of his impassioned speeches, anyway, always helps me refocus and feel inspired to do something, anything.
So... keeping in mind the first thing we actually spoke about, with the money and whatnot, about things getting worse before they get better... I might not buy those t-shirts after all. I have plenty of clothes that I never wear anyway...