I was hoping for a nice quiet January, keep my head down, work hard, save money, go to the gym, watch TV and that's about it. But its been hectic from the start, thankfully mostly for the good.
The Car - sorted. The part cost me 70 quid in the end (Rather than the quoted £800) because I bought it online, a refurbished electric steering column with a 3 month guarantee, not bad. The labour cost me £180 (Not the quoted £400) from my Dad's mate Speedy. So all in all, I forked out £250 instead of the quoted £1200 and would once again reiterate that nobody use the Waggon & Horses Garage on Chesterfield Road in Sheffield. I now realise that the slimey gets were planning on either making a small fortune on the part or, more likely, wanting to buy my car on the cheap and do it up. I have since heard from a friend that they charged them £500 to fix a wire, which they still didn't fix and charged for anyway, and the wire itself seemed to do nothing.
Had a real shock the other day when the Tax Office told me I hadn't filed my tax return, which I submitted last April. That was a day spent panicking, frantically trying to knock a new one together online then at the last minute finding out my accountant (poker player Paul 'M3Boy' Garnham) did them at the last minute in January and I had nowt to worry about. That was a wasted day, but obviously a relief at the end.
One way to guarantee January wont be a quiet month is to move house and get a dog, but thats also on the menu. We've seen a new place that's almost perfect (No drive to park on, which is the only bummer) that we put a holding deposit on yesterday. We are moving (Renting) because we want to get a dog and this place is perfect: nice house, big garden and a stones throw from the local (Massive) park. Being self employed and a significant portion of my income from playing poker, the chances of me getting a good mortgage is slim in the current economic climate, which is a real shame because I have plenty of savings and I earn more than I ever have (and of course its a good time to buy) - hopefully they will loosen up lending in a year or two, by which time I'd like to have a massive deposit anyway.
No clue yet to what sort of dog, but probably a Black Labrador as they tick all the boxes. I have grown up with Old English Sheepdogs, which really are the friendliest dogs in the world but a little too big for our first dog, my girlfriend wants a Bassett Hound but they are a bit too lazy for my liking. Black Labradors are cute, medium sized, tame, well behaved, intelligent and hopefully just big enough to put off burgers.
I'm loving my work with UK Pokernews at the moment and was really surprised when I got a call up from the Big Leagues, the main Pokernews.com website. When Tony G asks you to do something you don't really say no and although I'm not sure what I will be doing yet, I love the site and will be pleased with a new writing challenge. I'm also going to be sticking around at UK Pokernews, which has become a little baby of mine, and will probably reduce the magazine side of things to accomodate it.
And finally, I have still barely played poker in 2009, currently a marginal winner over the few thousand hands Ive played. Hopefully ram a load in the next two weeks before I go to Dublin for the European Deepstack Championships.