Babysitting Big Kids…


As an experienced invigilator I’m regularly offered the opportunity to earn some extra cash overseeing a wide variety of tests and exams, which also provides me with endless amusement. You think you’ve heard it all; ‘I was only looking at my phone to check the time’. ‘I haven’t got a pen’. ‘What’s this?’ (A treasury tag!) and so on.

I’d agreed to spend Friday evening looking after a room full of millennials sitting a two hour exam on Risk Management and Financial Institutions, and they didn’t disappoint in the hilarity stakes, especially with the utterly absurd hair dos and ridiculous outfits.

It felt a bit surreal to be walking home from work at 7.30pm on a Friday as I’m usually a nine-to-five administrator, but I got to earn a few extra quid towards my next holiday; more euros for extra treats in Cyprus. The main exam period will begin at the end of April; six whole weeks of saying “Turn your mobile phones off” and losing weight by walking literally miles every day back and forth to the loos. I’m already excited…


Happy Haggling…

karen waddy

Waking up in a bad mood, for no obvious reason, I figured I may as well use this uncharacteristic grumpiness to my advantage by giving my phone and broadband provider a stern talking to about a recent price hike. The predictable auto-selection process did nothing to improve my attitude and by the time I’d discovered the ‘If
you’re thinking of leaving us‘ option I was more than a tad annoyed, however, shouting never gets you anywhere so I took a deep breath and put forth my complaint in a constructive yet forceful manner.

I’ll give him his dues, the poor lad on the receiving end of my tirade listened patiently and accepted all the arguments I put forward without attempting to defend the company or it’s policies, and after nervously asking for a few more details from me he somehow managed to halve my monthly Direct Debit with immediate effect.

As if by magic, my mood was instantly transformed into cheery with a hint of victory, and within the space of ten minutes I’d completely turned around the outlook for my day, not to mention the huge chunk of cash I’d saved. Can’t wait for the next time I get out of bed the wrong side, I could save myself a fortune!

Sick Pay…

Paid Time Off Clock Words Employee Medical Sick Leave

When you’re self-employed it’s really simple; if you don’t work you don’t get any money. However, now that I’ve ditched self-employment to become a bona fide employee I’m discovering the benefit of ‘sick pay‘. What a truly marvellous phenomenon it is!

After suffering with persistent cough, instead of continuing to struggle in to work in order to ensure I could afford to pay my bills, I was able to take a couple of days off so that my poor old lungs could recover, without me getting stressed out over money. Being able to rest at home fully focussed on simply getting better was not only good for my physical health but also my mental well-being.

This is actually a win-win situation all round as not only was I able to return to work fighting fit within a relatively short period of time, my co-workers no longer had to listening to me hacking up my lungs all day. Result!

Thank You Ernie…


If you’ve spent the past decade saving your spare pennies, birthday money and Christmas cash, the odds are that sooner or later your efforts will start paying dividends. When this happens you realise that all of those bottles of booze and all of that greasy junk food you denied yourself will have all been totally worthwhile as not only will your health have benefited, your money remains a hundred percent safe and you’ll be rewarded with some extra cash every now and again simply for being frugal.

I’m quite happy to admit that I often buy cheap clothes from Ebay or to eat Tesco Value meals; in fact, it’s helped me to become more creative and I’ve certainly never suffered because of it. Although there’s never any guarantee of a win in the monthly Premium Bonds draw, by the law of averages, every so often you’ll be treated to a little windfall, which is always a nice surprise, and with interest rates from banks at an all-time low it’s actually quite a good return on your investment. You’ve gotta be in it to win it!


Anti Virus…


Just got back from my annual pilgrimage to Boots for my flu jab and I can’t believe all the negative comments I’ve had. Yes, I’m well aware of all the old wives tales and scaremongering, (no it can’t give you flu, no your arm won’t drop off, no it can’t prevent colds – that would be called a COLD jab), but I’ve made an informed decision to try to protect myself against whatever particularly nasty strains of influenza are likely to be doing the rounds this winter.

While I fully appreciate there’s no guarantees, I’ve at least done everything I can to avoid catching it, while hopefully preventing me from passing it onto others (you’re welcome!) Those jammy enough to be entitled to sick pay don’t seem to comprehend that when you’re self employed and are unable to work due to illness, you don’t get any money.

There’s also the hypocrites apparently aghast at the ‘stuff‘ I’m willing to have injected into me once a year, while they’re more than happy to regularly ingest meat that’s been vaccinated numerous times throughout it’s brief life, along with fruit and veg grown in chemically fertilised soil and liberally sprayed with a variety of pesticides!

I despair of the naysayers who indiscriminately infect innocent bystanders before they become bedridden for a fortnight, laying there whining on Facebook about how ill they are. Just don’t expect any sympathy from me!

Right, rant over, I’ve been a brave little soldier and I’m now off to eat my sweeties…


screamIn order to earn some ‘pocket money’ I’ve been undertaking paid experiments at my local University for their psychology students. When I first started doing this I simply wanted to make some easy cash-in-hand, but I have to say that there’s far more to be gained than a few extra quid in your purse; you meet a truly eclectic mixture of oddballs and you get to do some bizarre (and often fascinating) things.

So far I’ve watched and reviewed video clips, worn a swimming cap with wires sticking out to track my brain-waves, been involved in the initial stages of creating a brand new video game, tried to count coloured spots on a screen whilst wearing 3D glasses, and much more.

Some tasks have been a little tedious, admittedly, but most have been enjoyable and a few have been absolutely hilarious. My reward for being introduced to these ‘mad young scientists’, and being part of their weird and wonderful experiments; along with a very favourable exchange rate; is that I now have a nice big wad of euros to take to Lanzarote. Carry On Professor…!

Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining…


Woo hoo! I was annoyed last year when HMRC put me on ‘emergency tax‘ and took a large chunk of my freelance corporate wages from me, but now they’ve finally given it back in the form of a tax rebate I can start trawling through the First Choice website looking at where to go for my winter hols this year (which will be predictably called ‘Feliz Navidad the Sequel’ – a.k.a. Tipsy and Topless Again!)

Will it be a return to Gran Canaria… but maybe Maspalomas this time? Or what about Lanzarote – Playa Blanca looks good? But Tenerife also looks very inviting…. Decisions, decisions…. what IS a girl to do?!!