Return of the Prodigal
Mobi – Babble
Well here we are, almost three months on since my last proper blog which was posted on 9th June.
A fair bit has happened in the past 3 months, some good and some bad, and my mood has swung from bordering on the suicidal, to feelings of relative equanimity.
The stark fact is that in every day that passes, the prospect of recovering even a tiny percentage of my savings is fast disappearing. The initial guarded optimism on the part of my IFA, seems to have now transformed itself into making angry protests against the liquidators and the Australian regulators who, according to the IFA’s are not working in the best interests of investors.
This may or may not be the case, but quite frankly, I regard it all as just so much hot air which is designed to be a smoke screen to mask the reality of the dire situation, which is that we have all lost our money for good.
My savings are gone and I have to get used to living what remains of my life without them. I now pay scant attention to any of the bulletins and emails I receive regarding my lost money as it only depresses me and I have read enough to realise that along with 4,500 other investors, our hard earned savings are in the throes of disappearing down the proverbial plug hole – all of it that is, save any ‘residual recoveries’ which will be eaten alive by administrators, liquidators, lawyers and God knows who else.
So unless there is anything significantly positive to report on this front – which I very much doubt – the subject of my lost funds will not occupy very much space on future blogs. I have to get on and forget about it.
There have been several reasons why I decided to suspend my blog for a while, not least of which was a 3 week trip to the UK to see my family and my subsequent return to Thailand with my youngest daughter and her husband, both of whom I took to the airport early this morning for their return flights.
In case you are wondering, all these air tickets were booked and paid for back in January, before my financial crisis, and up to a month ago, I was seriously considering cancelling the trips to save money. In the end I decided to ahead with the visit as my family was looking forward to us going , (yes, Noo came with me), and I decided that I would try my best to curtail my spending, which to a large extent I was successful in doing.
I will write more about this trip in the coming weeks, and I have many pics to accompany my trip notes.
Another reason I decided to suspend my blog was my deteriorating state of mind. I think you can see what I mean, by reading what I wrote back on July 11th, a month after I wrote my last blog:
“I know it sounds ridiculous, but I think I’m mourning the loss of my life savings in the same way as someone might mourn the loss of a loved one.
It has all the familiar symptoms: initial disbelief, a refusal to accept the truth, and then the slow, terrible realisation that I have indeed lost something very big that was close to my heart and provided the very means of my existence.
Along with this acceptance is the additional realisation that I will never be able to replace this loss, in much the same manner that someone in their later years might lose a loved one and know that it is all over – that the person can never be replaced. It is far too late for all that.
Over the past few months I have been through wild mood swings, but the truth is that on the whole, my moods have simply become darker and darker. There are times, in the early morning, when I first wake up, when for a few precious, blessed seconds I feel at peace. Then, without warning, the memory of what has happened floods my consciousness and my stomach starts to grumble and I feel terrible.
The thoughts of my ‘loss’ pervade my every waking moment. I cannot remove it from my mind, no matter how hard I try. I live continuously with the awful knowledge that hundreds of thousands of pounds which were intended to keep me in reasonable comfort in my old age have been cheated out of me, and will never return.
Maybe after a few more weeks I will start to feel a bit better. Maybe, as the memory of what has happened starts to fade a little, there will be hours, or even days, when it won’t dominate my thinking in the way that it does right now.
I have no appetite, although when food is placed on front of me I manage to force down about half of what is on the plate, but if I don’t eat, I don’t miss it. Some days I have gone right through to the late afternoon without eating a single thing.
I also have frequent panic attacks – my heart and stomach flutter wildly and I am in a generally agitated state, although nothing in particular has triggered them.
At other times I feel much better and more cheerful; for in spite of my dire circumstances, things could be so much worse. If I hadn’t had the foresight to take out a lump sum from my savings last years to pay my expenses for a full 12 months, I would probably have sold my car by now to put food on the table. In particular I have the wonderful and incredibly loyal Noo who is sticking by me and does everything she possible can to cheer me up and encourage me not to worry too much. Honestly, without her, I very much doubt whether I would still be around to write this blog.
I am seriously thinking about taking some anti-depressants, but can’t quite make up my mind on this. If my state of mind improves over the next week or so, then I will try to soldier on without. But then again, maybe I should take something – who knows for sure?”
I am pleased to say that my mood has improved considerably since I wrote that piece and I am rapidly coming to terms with the fact that I am 67, nearly broke, with precious few options on how I can survive with Noo in Thailand.
So now that I have completed my UK family responsibilities, I will turn my attention back to seeing what I can do to generate a bit of income and supplement my very meagre pension. I have mentioned before that my main hope is to rent out my pick-up truck and I will now re-double my efforts in this regard. High season in Pattaya is just around the corner so let’s see what I can do.
I’m giving myself about 6 months to see if I can find a way to make ends meet over here and if my efforts fail then I will be faced with the stark choice of having to return to the UK and throw myself at the mercy of the social services.
In these days of extreme anti-immigration measures in the UK, there is no chance whatsoever that I can obtain a residence visa for Noo to go with me – not even if I married her – and if anything, the prospect of having to part with her, maybe for ever, is even more distressing than the bleak prospect of going back broke and homeless to England after decades of living in the tropics.
On a slightly positive front, I can report that I am in the final throes of restructuring my novel which is now undergoing a thorough re-read and final edit, from cover to cover. I hope to have this completed within September and I will then re-submit it to the agent who suggested the changes and see what she says. Of course, I am not expecting too much, but there’s no harm in hoping.
Once the restructure is complete, I will remove the existing version that is currently on my blog and replace it with the revised version.
I will do my best to keep my blog going and in due course will resume writing articles on current events, Thailand related events and other stuff that takes my fancy from time to time. I will try to keep the blog up on a weekly basis but no hard promises.
In the meantime, here are a few ‘taster’ snaps of my recent trip to the UK to show you some of the many places we visited.
The Shard In London