Part 158

Hello and welcome back to Mortgage Advisor on FIRE.  This week I look at the latest farce surrounding the Qatar 2022 World Cup.  A look back at the Kiefer Sutherland gig, and a surreal interaction on Facebook.  The usual financial updates and a possible increase in debt in the coming weeks.

Qatar 2022

As the World Cup draws closer the controversy over the competition is heating up again.  Gary Neville was ripped a new one by Ian Hislop on Have I Got News For You over his decision to attend as a commentator.  Neville had responded that he felt it was a choice between not going, or going and highlighting the problems with the tournament’s host.  Hislop asked why he couldn’t stay in the UK, not take the Qatari’s money and highlight the problems from home.  It’s a fair, and obvious, question. 

I always try to be balanced and fair in my opinion, but this World Cup is an abhorrent, morally bankrupt, circle jerk by the rulers of Qatar.  We have a country that, if I’m being polite, has a medieval approach to human rights, and is seemingly fine with working hundreds (maybe more) of immigrant workers (is “slaves” too strong a word?) to death.

There is now the issue that they are bribing fans of different countries to be cheerleaders who will be contractually obligated to post only positive stories about their time in Qatar.  These fans will be given flights, accommodation, and spending money.  It’s an absolute fucking disgrace and shows that, for some people, they can be bought for the equivalent of £60 per day.  So far I’ve read that fans from England, Wales, and Dutch fans have been bought.

If I was a high-profile footballer who was going to be included in the World Cup squad, I’d have refused.  Some things are more important than money, and players at that level are already financially comfortable.  I don’t buy the argument that it’s down to sponsors either.  Imagine if an England international refused to go on principle.  Would a sponsor really come out and say, “well yeah, lots of people have died and Qatar’s human rights record is awful, but you should put money ahead of your morals.”  Not a chance; it would be even more damaging to their brand.  Also, I think that had someone jumped off the bandwagon early enough, more would have followed.  Anyone who voluntarily takes part in this farce needs to have a look in the mirror and ask if it’s worth it.

My decision to not watch the World Cup might not achieve anything, but at least I can say with a clear conscience that I didn’t contribute to it. 

Weekly Update

We had a fun start to the week as we saw Kiefer Sutherland in concert at the Leadmill in Sheffield.  It’s the second time we’ve seen him and although we enjoyed the first gig, this second one was much better.  This might be because we are more familiar with his music, but whatever the reason we had a great time.

I had a frustrating interaction with someone on Facebook.  I’ll let the screenshots tell the story;

It’s incredible how many assumptions were made from just a short post from me.  She’s getting worked up about points I’ve not even made, and arguing against positions I’ve not even stated.  She’s basically arguing with herself.  People like this are impossible to have a rational debate with.  The key to any argument should be to reach an understanding, rather than simply score points off each other.  Sometimes though, people are just playing a different game by their own rules.  

I’m due to have an operation to remove a troublesome kidney stone next week and I’ll be under general anaesthetic.  That doesn’t bother me, but waiting around for hours until my surgery is stressful, especially in a hospital environment.  It might not happen though as I feel like I’m coming down with a cold.

A large part of my week has been spent building my Lego Star Destroyer.  It has almost 5,000 pieces and has been fun to build.  I’m nearly finished and you can see my progress in the images below:

The Star Destroyer is the Devastator, the first Star Destroyer seen in the original Star Wars movie.  Although it’s been fun to build, there have been a few steps in the instructions that were not very clear.  Also, one of the pieces broke but I had a spare from another Lego set.  

I should receive the last few parts for my Rocinante model, so if I’m not going into the hospital next week I’ll probably be building that instead.

Movember

In 2017 I completed a cycling challenge for Movember.  Through the course of the month, using a stationary bike at the gym, I cycled the distance from Land’s End to John o’Groats.  I raised a few hundred pounds for Movember, and it was the most satisfying charity campaign I’ve been a part of.  

This year I’m raising money for Movember again.  I’m aiming to lose weight this year; 10kg in November for Movember.  I’ll share my fundraising page throughout the month and update you on my progress.  

Why does Movember matter?  Over 500,000 men take their own lives around the world each year.  Movember funds research and services to help men of all ages with mental health.  Times are hard for us all, but even a small donation can make a difference.  You can find my fundraising page here:

https://movember.com/m/13607662?mc=1

Support Mortgage Advisor on FIRE

I love writing this blog but maintaining a website costs money.  If you want to say thanks for the content I publish, consider donating to my virtual tip jar on the link below:

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/davidscothern

2022 Goals – to be achieved by 31/12/2022

1 – Reduce weight to 90kg.  (Current weight 126.4kg).

2 – Complete 10 “classic” books (4/10)

  1. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1866)
  2. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville (1851)
  3. Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897) ✅
  4. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (1961)
  5. The Iliad by Homer (8th century BC) ✅
  6. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (1844) ✅
  7. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1867)
  8. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (1859)
  9. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (1862)
  10. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (1605) ✅

3 – Read 10 authors I’ve not read before (24/10)

  1. John Birmingham ✅
  2. Nicole Perlroth ✅
  3. Sabine Durrant ✅
  4. Luke Smitherd ✅
  5. Max Skittle ✅
  6. Harlan Coben ✅
  7. Jo Spain ✅
  8. Kate Elizabeth Russell ✅
  9. Kiersten White ✅
  10. Rob Hart ✅
  11. Edward Aubry ✅
  12. Marina J. Lostetter ✅
  13. S. J. Morden ✅
  14. C. J. Tudor ✅
  15. Greer Hendricks ✅
  16. Clare Mackintosh ✅
  17. Stephen Baxter ✅
  18. Pete Wharmby ✅
  19. Devon Price ✅
  20. Nick Jones ✅
  21. Nathan Hystad ✅ 
  22. J. P. Pomare ✅
  23. Max Hastings ✅
  24. Brian Lumley ✅

What Am I Doing?

Reading: Fake History by Otto English.

Listening: Necroscope III: The Source by Brian Lumley.

Watching: Nothing at the moment.

I’ve loved the Necroscope series so far.  In short, the series follows young Harry Keogh, from the north of England, as he discovers he can talk to the dead.  Set against a backdrop of vampires and ESP-based intelligence services in the UK and the Soviet Union in the 1970s it’s as refreshing as it is bloody.  One of the main things I like about the series is that actions have consequences, and characters don’t have much plot armour for protection.  It’s something I find frustrating in many works of fiction when the main characters survive absurd events which would kill anyone else.  

Financial Update

Assets

Premium Bonds: £9,260.00 (+£100.00). 

Stocks and Shares ISA: £60,587.73 (+£1,868.79). 

Fuck It Fund: £1,625.00 (no change).

Pensions: £53,315.11 (+£1,123.96). 

Residential Property Value: £233,989.00 (no change). 

Buy-to-Let Property Value: £150,993.00 (no change). 

Total Assets: £509,769.84 (+£3,092.75). 

Debts

Credit Card: £0.00 (no change).

Residential Mortgage: £180,466.52 (-£432.10). 

Buy-to-Let Mortgage: £105,193.90 (-£85.33). 

Total Debts: £285,660.42 (-£517.43). 

Total Wealth: £224,109.42 (+£3,610.18)

Investment Income in 2022: £4,805.27 (target £6,000).

I had a £100 Premium Bond win which helped boost my investment income for the year.  Also, the stock market has had a mini-surge which boosted my ISA and pension.

It feels as though things have gone a bit flat on the investment front.  I had hoped to be much further on by now, but as I stated last week there have been a lot of uncontrollable factors at play.  As we head into 2023 I’m expecting house prices to stall and then fall.  So, the aim is to try and acquire our second BTL by the midpoint of next year.

It’s likely that in the coming months my debts may increase a little as we pay for additional work in our apartment.  Our kitchen is in need of modernisation.  I use the word “need” correctly here as certain parts of our kitchen just don’t work properly, such as our extractor fan, taps, power points for the dishwasher, and several other things.  We’ve been using workarounds for a while now but it’s got to the point where we have to put in place more permanent solutions.  We’re getting quotes for the work and I’m expecting something in the region of £5,000-£7,000 for what we want to do.  

That’s it for this week.  Thanks for reading.

Disclaimer

The views and opinions in this blog are my own, and do not represent the views or opinions of my employer, nor should they be considered advice.

If you want personalised financial advice, seek an appropriate professional.  If you are in financial difficulty, seek advice via the resources below:

StepChange

MoneyHelper

Biolink and other links

You can now find all my social media pages by checking out my Biolink:

bio.link/davidscothern.

Also, check out Darren Scothern’s blog which talks about autism, being autistic, and general mental health:

www.darrenscothern.com

3 thoughts on “Part 158

  1. Enjoyed reading your blog and totally agree with your Suella Braverman comments. Always find it strange how immigration can raise such emotions in people, whereas they don’t seem to care about the massive corporations etc who are evading taxes which costs the country far more. Just shows power of right wing press.
    Good luck with your operation.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m torn over the World Cup as it’s a tournament I love and have followed (with friends and family) for as long as I can remember. All I will do is not buy any of their merchandise. Work are doing a WC event, celebrating the different countries taking part – money raised will go towards a Qatar charity.

    Anyway, hope all goes well with the op – wishing you a speedy recovery.

    And the Star Destroyer looks epic!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: