So, that thing about financial crises being like buses? You know – you wait an eternity and then three always arrive at once? Well, I'm starting to hope it's true. Because I've almost – almost – got on top of mine.
Despite the best efforts of everyone involved in the agent-broker-decision-maker chain of communications, I have actually managed to make an insurance claim. So flabbergasted was I when I found out, that I actually spent much of the next day under the impression that I'd dreamt it. I hadn't. And so, at long last, the builders have begun work on my soggy ceiling, bulging walls and water-logged window pane. By the end of next week, I will finally be able to put my flat back on the market in the full knowledge that it no longer contains the sort of eyesore likely to make potential buyers run screaming for the fire escape.
Meanwhile on Wednesday I met up with Chris Maynard, of Think Ink!, to discuss internet. Remember him? Wandsworth's Favourite Utilities Guru? He works with the Utility Warehouse to try and find cut-price deals on all sorts of things: phone calls, broadband, gas bills, the lot. At the moment I'm limiting my involvement to getting online – aiming for higher is too daunting a prospect to countenance. But I have a feeling that, over the coming months, he may save me a pretty penny or two.
For the time being, of course, he's not. I'm stepping up in the world, web-wise, going from a £15 a month deal with Orange – for which I receive unbelievably rubbish mobile broadband, to a £21.50 a month deal with WFUG. Hopefully, that extra £6.50 will mean that I actually take my laptop out of its case. If I'm lucky, I might even be able to watch programmes on BBC iPlayer – a privilege hitherto kept off-limits by my dawdling dongle.
To top it all, it looks as though I might have resolved the wedding question. For one thing, this betrothed couple don't want any gifts. A contribution towards their honeymoon will, we've been told, suffice – and given the number invited, there's little pressure to stump up any sum too great (though already I'm thinking a guidebook might be a more meaningful form of "donation"). Even better: I've sorted my outfit and my accommodation! Without spending a single penny. So, as far as my three busses are concerned, it looks like I've paid my fare and am ready to go. Fingers crossed it's another eternity until the next lot.