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Spend & Save

Alice-Azania Jarvis: Costly things always seem to come in threes

In The Red

Rarely would one describe my life as organised. Rarely are all the component parts in their right places. More often than not, there is a subscription that remains uncancelled, a bill that remains unpaid, a chore that has yet to be crossed off. "Organised" is not a word which, used in association with my name, tends to appear in the positive. At the present moment in particular.

For one thing, I have resumed my long-running struggle for broadband. I really had no excuse. It has got to the point whereby I refuse even to turn my laptop on for anything in the slightest bit web-based. Instead, I spend vast quantities of time reading the news, browsing Twitter and replying to emails – all while squinting at the post-it sized screen of my BlackBerry. The Orange dongle can be no more. Unfortunately, I don't seem to have made much progress in getting rid of it; obtaining a landline turns out to be a process so torturous, so very baffling, as to make BlackBerry surfing sound like an aspirational way of life. (I know this isn't true. It's just a matter of remembering it).

At the same time, my crumbling bathroom continues to – well – crumble. I've just learned via the agent-broker-decision-maker grapevine that, down to some kink in said vine, the insurance claim after whose health I was making daily enquiries was, in fact, never lodged. This discovery came to light, conveniently, the day before a fairly crucial section of that vine was due to retire. I won't go into too much detail – no doubt the whole messy saga will get full airing in these pages once the job has actually been done and I am, as it were, home and dry – but suffice to say that I'll have to wait another decade and a half to hear whether the insurers will cough up. And if they won't – who knows? (They will. As earlier, it's just a matter of remembering it).

And, since these things always come in threes, the wedding question has returned. Because I'm going to another – in just a couple of months. Of course, a large part of me – 99.9 per cent – can't wait. The last one was so much fun, and the engaged couple are so lovely, that this is bound to be a blast. On the other hand, all those lingering doubts are beginning to resurface: What to do about gifts? What to do about accommodation? Whether I need buy a new outfit? It's like having a particularly romantic episode of déjà vu. I know I'm not. I just need to remember it. a.jarvis@independent.co.uk.