Show me the money
I notice that I tend to blog the most on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I wonder why this is. Perhaps it's when I feel at my most creative. Maybe Monday, Wednesday and Fridays are write-offs for me intellectually. Oh whatever the reason, it's a bit like EastEnders before they started stretching themselves to four episodes a week: regular as clockwork every Tuesday and Thursday. I'm the Pauline Fowler of the internet! Woo!
I had quite a nice weekend, ruined only by the fact that on Saturday night, I couldn't find a cash machine and had to pay for everything by card. Now, if you live in a small village, a lack of 'ATMs', as our American cousins are so fond of calling them, probably isn't a big deal; perhaps you just sell a cow to tide you over until you can ride your horse into the next town to go to the bank (or am I thinking of the Wild West?), but when you live in the capital, a dearth of cash machines is horrifying. Why, my capital-dwelling ironic haircut quivers at the very thought of it (not really)!
I'm a bit like the Queen in that I tend not to carry that much cash around and like to pay with cards if I'm shopping. Come a night out, though, and it's a different story. All of a sudden that spirit of my Northern upbringing takes over and demands that I withdraw a set amount of money and keep a close, obsessive eye on it all night to check I'm not being short-changed, overcharged or stiffed by people who order expensive drinks when it's not their round.
I was out for a friend's birthday in Shoreditch, which is notoriously bad for availability of cash machines. I only had a tenner on me and some other friends had insisted we get a taxi so I was in a blind panic, trying to calculate how much the taxi journey would cost and working out how I could find a cash machine. My repeated requests to the cabbie to pull over at a bank were completely ignored as he swerved and screeched his half-empty people carrier round the streets of south London. By the time he agreed to stop at a bank, the machine was empty and subsequent kerb crawls around the dirty streets of Shoreditch to other machines suffered the same fate.
Pity my poor fellow passengers as they witnessed me lamenting the lack of notes, as a debit card-filled night stretched before me. Paying for drinks on a debit card all night makes me lose all my inhibitions, I decide to order bizarre, expensive combos of just about every drink; ridiculously contrived bar snacks; and usually two drinks too many every round.
Thankfully, in the taxi on the way home, I was allowed to stop at a bank where I withdrew three times as much as I needed. Like a smackhead getting that extra big hit of heroin to take away the pain of lengthier than usual abstinence, I felt more comfortable knowing that I had a stockpile of cash in my pocket. Alas, I've spent it all now.