It’s A Wonderfuel Life

by Quinn

I can’t say I’m happy about the changes over at Eastlands. I actually went to the City-Sunderland game – my first live match for some years – but all through Saturday evening I kept mulling over what I feel has been a disastrous and self-defeating decision. It’s truly shocking. Just when did they change the supplier for the Meat and Potato pies? I’d been looking forward to their unique qualities all Saturday and I couldn’t believe it when they fobbed me off with some bog-standard Holland’s effort for the absurd sum of £2.50. I blame the Cook. But that’s that anyway, I’m done with them; that was the last pie I ever buy at the City of Manchester Stadium.

Ha-ha, do you see what I did there? Meanwhile I just find it depressing that City’s current owners – who hitherto had seemed to be doing just about everything right at the club – decided to take a leaf out of the Big Book of Football Stereotypes and act in the impatient and short-termist way that foreign billionaire owners are expected to. It doesn’t take much to squander the vast reserves of goodwill I had for them, as I was grateful that they took over from Thaksin Shinawatra then behaved impeccably and honourably from thereon in; but that’s what they’ve done, and it will be a long hard slog for them to earn my respect again (although, being a fickle fan, winning some trophies will go some way towards doing that, no doubt).

But I’ll give them their due; they’re feeling their way into this football club ownership lark and I know where they’re coming from, as I’m feeling my way back into blogging since my recent hiatus. That’s perhaps why, on reflection, I wish I hadn’t bothered with that last post on the bankers’ bonuses, a clumsy collection of loose semi-thought bundled together in a post, the existence of which is partly thanks to the fact that I had a free afternoon. So as I’m approaching my usual Christmas sabbatical I’ll try to tidy this place up a bit and not make such a mistake again. Some hope. But in that vein I’ve ditched those weekly twitter digests that were just cluttering the place up in the absence of any other posts. If you want to read my twitterings then you can always follow them here, and they are also duplicated on my tumblelog over here; there really is no need to triplicate them, so now, if I can’t think of anything worthy of a full post then this site will simply go quiet, but I will always be back.

While in the mood to tidy up I think I’ll finish off this story from last year, because I hate leaving loose ends lying around, I really do. You’ll recall, perhaps, that British Gas had doubled our direct debit payment, despite our being in credit? Well they had. And last Winter came and went, we shovelled money to the gas board hand over fist, and in the Spring we found that those payments had just about covered our seasonal usage, and so we were still over a hundred pounds in credit. Time, perhaps, to rethink the level of our monthly payment? Well British Telecom and E-On thought so; our telecoms provider gave us two free months as we were in credit with them, while our electricity supplier refunded our credit and lowered our monthly payment. But from British Gas we heard nothing.

Summer arrived, then Autumn, during which, of course, our gas usage plummeted while our payments remained sky high, and by the time of our October statement we were now some £315 in credit. Time, now, surely, to readjust our payment amount? I’d have thought so, but perusing our gas bill I found a notice warning against this, as British Gas said that they strongly suggest we all wait until the Spring before any payment amount is altered. If only they’d stuck to this policy the previous year, when they’d hiked our monthly direct debit in Summer and Autumn; then, perhaps, our account wouldn’t have gone in credit to the value of China’s trade surplus? Well anyway, I couldn’t be bothered waiting until Spring, and I couldn’t be bothered negotiating with British Gas, so we skipped over to E-On for a dual-fuel account, a process that took around six weeks, buy which time our account had become £415 in credit. Only then, once we had left, did British Gas finally repay us.

So a happy story in the end in which everyone is a winner. E-On has a new customer; British Gas earned a paltry sum of interest on our money; and I have a tidy lump-sum to spend as I wish. I know I could moan about British Gas earning interest that should have been mine, but unless yields on pissing money against the wall have risen sharply in the past year I wouldn’t have done anything of note with that spare cash. As it is, their crazy direct debit policy has turned out to be an unlikely savings plan. So ultimately, and ironically, I end this tale with a sincere and honest “Thank you, British Gas”; because this year, after a fashion, Christmas is on you.