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stewblack

How are we making ends meet?

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1 hour ago, Thunderbird said:

I have been working as a high class escort for rich single ladys :)

Thora Hird?  Diane Abbott?  Anne Widdecombe?  I hear they have a great deal of disposable oncome.

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12 minutes ago, Bassfinger said:

Thora Hird?  Diane Abbott?  Anne Widdecombe?  I hear they have a great deal of disposable oncome.

I had to pay them but man it was worth it maybe that's how those silver foxes got so rich lol

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54 minutes ago, Bassfinger said:

Thora Hird?  Diane Abbott?  Anne Widdecombe?  I hear they have a great deal of disposable oncome.

Er didn't Thora Hird die several years ago tho? That’s a bit niche by any standards. 

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1 hour ago, bassbiscuits said:

Er didn't Thora Hird die several years ago tho? That’s a bit niche by any standards. 

Still a better gig than Anne Widdecome 

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1 hour ago, bassbiscuits said:

Er didn't Thora Hird die several years ago tho? That’s a bit niche by any standards. 

I thought she'd lost weight lol

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Going back to the OP, our guitarist is a copper so there's no change for him. 

Our drummer is a news editor for BBC radio and no change for him. 

Our second guitarist and singer owns  a shop selling car spares and the like, and on paper he suffered but in reality has made a fortune over the years and hasn't spunked it all away so he's kept life and soul together. Indeed, he's  got the builders in at the moment tarting up his house and that must be costing him 25 or 30 gees, so I don't think  hes fretting at the moment.

Yeah, as a group were doing ok.

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Life at _5 towers has continued as normal. Butlers still buttle, footmen still foot etc...

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I've been very lucky - like @knirirr, I'm working in research IT. Currently slogging away on covid-19 work, as it happens.

When I was offered the gig, I had to pay my own travel between Leeds, where I lived at the time, and London. When lockdown came, we switched overnight from traipsing into central London to fully remote working. I should have a nice wee nest egg now after six months of WFH, but inevitably I've spent it on Patreon subs, singing lessons and buying gear for the band even though it's anyone's guess when a bunch of superannuated weekend warriors will take to the stage again. But at least we'll be fully tooled-up and good to go when that day finally dawns.

I know I'm very lucky. Some of the full-time musos I know are really struggling and even though we're not exactly besties, I worry about them and feel very guilty for being more secure than they are.

Edited by lozkerr
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I've been a full time musician since I left Uni 7 years ago. Did my last gig middle of March, got a temp job at tesco telling people to stay 2 metres apart etc. Got a permanent job last month as a delivery driver for sainsburys, which to be fair is about 85% the same as being a touring musician, sat in a van all day, desperate for a wee, listening to podcasts. 

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11 hours ago, zranyard said:

sat in a van all day, desperate for a wee, listening to podcasts. 

Get one of those wine carafes with the flared neck. You can discreetly pee into it quite easily. I keep one in the car for emergencies.

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4 minutes ago, Dan Dare said:

Get one of those wine carafes with the flared neck. You can discreetly pee into it quite easily. I keep one in the car for emergencies.

I thought my last bottle of Tesco Taste The Difference white tasted...different 😧

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Including artist compilation albums is a bit daft otherwise why not go the whole hog include some 'That's What I Call Music' or Dad Rocks .

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The worldwide breakdown of reality in 2020 is merely a continuation of the mind and life bending my wife and I have experienced over the last few years.

We were very nearly trapped by a will which curtailed most of our freedoms, tied up our finances, obliged us to be responsible for a house which could not be sold and in which we could not afford not to live. If my wife died before me at any age, even in our 90s, I would have no claim to the home we would have been forced to stay in or any value I had invested in it and would have been homeless. Regardless of my existence, my wife was trapped- legally the restrictions ended on her death. Fortunately this was a trust, and the main flaw in the plan, despite it being demonstrably unreasonable and deeply abusive, was that much of the finances and all the value in the property were essentially locked away. The trustees had the choice of letting the estate stand as a totem of all-encompassing familial control and manipulation, or to agree to break the trust and gain a fare share of the value. The madness of the arrangement wasn't the problem you'd hope for all parties, but that basic financial incentive eventually pulled us through, and after losing a large percentage in legal fees and taxes, we were free, and had a share of the capital that was left.

What I'm getting round to is that we decided, as we had before, to throw everything into our own security. After being forced to move into what I came to call The Haunted House we rented out our flat to help keep afloat. With our share of the estate and most of our life savings we found that we had just enough to buy a house outright, without selling the flat. Even in that crushing situation, that can be considered good luck. So, we find ourselves with a rental property and a home without mortgage. After being dragged through the Hitchcockian darkness, we've scraped landing on our feet.

A few short months after we walked out of the solicitors for the last time, we were in full lockdown.

Now we have the novelty of rent coming in monthly, and with her chronic illness my wife has been working from home for years, checking call recordings for an insurance company, so we have two pretty stable sources of income. After years of graft, eventually working up to being a full time muso, I now look like exactly what I never was- a kept man, free to fanny about with music!

We've obviously lost nearly all my income from playing, which would have helped us to build back up our savings, but as far as making ends meet things have, unbelievably, fallen into place just as global madness descended in full.

While it will take a while to wind back up to my old five-or-so-a-week schedule, I still live in hope that my hard won 'job' as a bass player will return. Until then, our cost are low, income covers them, and I try push myself to be ready and prepared for a return to gigs while a latent potential to become an unwashed, paranoid recluse finds the ground much more fertile.

Edited by Jus Lukin
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@Jus Lukin quite a story right enough. Seems like you are on the right track now tho and things hopefully can only get better.

Sounded like your worst nightmare at the start.

Dave

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Work-wise overall I've only been slightly affected by Covid. I've been self employed (graphic design and artwork specialising in books and packaging) for the last 11 years and work mostly from home anyway, so those rules hardly affected me. Some clients have been given me less work than normal over the last 6 months, but others who have experienced a boom in on-line sales have very nearly made up for that. I am likely to loose one of my biggest clients at the end of this year, as they reorganise due to a change in ownership, and it looks as though the work that do for them is going to be taken in-house.

Music-wise I've done very little since March. Neither band are gigging or rehearsing at the moment since there are members or immediate family of members in the at-risk group in both. We have both been able to release recording that were made earlier - In Isolation to the form of our second album "Shards" which is available to download and stream and will be out on CD on 10th October. Hurtsfall have just released their 4th Single "Revelator". I was hoping to use the down-time to get some unreleased tracks by previous bands out as digital downloads and streaming but that has been put on hold by more pressing matters...

Before this all kicked off I was in the process of having my house completely renovated. Unfortunately my builder stopped work when "lockdown" was announced and has now informed me that he has gone out of business, leaving me with a property that is not really habitable. I am currently working out of the one room that is mostly finished surrounded by all my other possessions packed up in boxes. The rest is building site, with no kitchen, a basic bathroom, no heating or hot water (other than what I can boil in a kettle) and no power or lighting in the rest of the property. Most of the funds required to finish the work have disappeared along with the builder. I have kitchen appliance and units, but they are all packed up and in storage in one of the bedroom with the guarantees running out as I type this. I am expecting something from the insolvency when it is sorted out but it is likely to be a small percentage of flip-all. Quite what happens next, I don't know, but I am seriously looking at having to sell just about everything I own in order to get the work completed without having to wait 5 years while I live frugally and save up...

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My heart goes out to all those who have been (and still are being) negatively affected by this situation. Nobody asked for it and certainly the feedback from  those such as @Jus Lukin and @BigRedX brings it home just how pervasive the knock-on effects can be. I just hope that the worst is over, though I fear it ain't.

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19 hours ago, zranyard said:

desperate for a wee,

That kind of thing would probably rule me out of a number of occupations. Don't know how people in some jobs manage to be honest.

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On 25/09/2020 at 19:00, stewblack said:

I really have been a feckless wastrel. 

Yes, but you are in Sterling company.

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My plan for this year was to use some of my gig earnings to buy myself a nice big valve amp. Instead I had to settle for spending some of my bonus from my day job on a nice small valve amp instead. In the great scheme of things I'd say that doesn't leave me too much room for complaint given some people's situations. 

I am missing the extra cash a little - especially as I was initially furloughed from my main job for 8 weeks and since then have only returned to work on reduced hours until the end of October. On the flip side though I've managed to offset at least a bit of that against the fact that I've not been making my usual 100 mile round trip daily commute as I'm able to work from home. Not only that but my employers seem to have decided that working from home will be the long term plan so that's a longer term saving of a few hundred quid a month in fuel and parking charges too. 

For me the negative impact of not playing has been far greater in terms of its effect on my mental health than it has on my bank balance as the lack of gigs has left me feeling pretty low at times.

I'm hoping to put together some sort of acoustic duo soon though so I can maybe get at least a couple of gigs in here and there. 

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1 hour ago, BigRedX said:

The rest is building site, with no kitchen, a basic bathroom, no heating or hot water (other than what I can boil in a kettle) and no power or lighting in the rest of the property. Most of the funds required to finish the work have disappeared along with the builder.

Oh Lord. I'm so sorry to read this. I can't think of a worse place to be.

Are you any good at DIY? That's not in any way meant to be a flippant comment - there is a lot you can do yourself if you put your mind to it. Over the years, I've retiled a roof, re-plumbed a house and flat, done plastering, wallpapering, laid flooring and carpet, installed fireplaces and curtain rails, replaced wiring including light fittings, switches and power points, installed kitchen units, replaced doors, laid carpets and slapped paint everywhere. It can be done. 

There are some things you can't realistically or safely do yourself without experience and/or qualifications, such as structural work, messing around with gas fittings or certifying wiring installations, but you can certainly do a heck of a lot of the spadework yourself. The secrets are - break big jobs, such as a room refurb, into lots of little ones, think about the order in which things need to be done, don't be afraid to have a go, practise techniques you're not sure about, learn from your mistakes, buy good-quality tools and know when you must get the professionals in.  For example, once you've mastered making watertight soldered joints - Yorkshire ring fittings and a good blowtorch are your friends there - you can fit an entire gas-fired central heating system yourself except for the boiler - that is most definitely a pro job unless you're a Gas Safe engineer. Fitting a boiler is going to be a lot cheaper than paying someone to do the whole system from scratch. And you can work as a pace that suits you and your finances.

It's a bit like becoming a musician, really. 

Also, and this is crucial to maintaining your morale - keep one room spotless and used for living only. It sounds like you already have that, so keep it that way. No tools or materials in there, no filthy work clothes, no effing nowt. Not even overnight. Because when you start to feel overwhelmed - and I can promise you, you will - you need to be able to shut the door on the carnage outside and retreat to your own space for some R&R.

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On 26/09/2020 at 17:10, Thunderbird said:

I have been working as a high class escort for rich single ladys :)

But if you refer to your clients as "ladys" could you really describe yourself as "high class"?

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40 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

But if you refer to your clients as "ladys" could you really describe yourself as "high class"?

Dunno but it pays the bills lol

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17 hours ago, lozkerr said:

Oh Lord. I'm so sorry to read this. I can't think of a worse place to be.

Are you any good at DIY? That's not in any way meant to be a flippant comment - there is a lot you can do yourself if you put your mind to it. Over the years, I've retiled a roof, re-plumbed a house and flat, done plastering, wallpapering, laid flooring and carpet, installed fireplaces and curtain rails, replaced wiring including light fittings, switches and power points, installed kitchen units, replaced doors, laid carpets and slapped paint everywhere. It can be done. 

There are some things you can't realistically or safely do yourself without experience and/or qualifications, such as structural work, messing around with gas fittings or certifying wiring installations, but you can certainly do a heck of a lot of the spadework yourself. The secrets are - break big jobs, such as a room refurb, into lots of little ones, think about the order in which things need to be done, don't be afraid to have a go, practise techniques you're not sure about, learn from your mistakes, buy good-quality tools and know when you must get the professionals in.  For example, once you've mastered making watertight soldered joints - Yorkshire ring fittings and a good blowtorch are your friends there - you can fit an entire gas-fired central heating system yourself except for the boiler - that is most definitely a pro job unless you're a Gas Safe engineer. Fitting a boiler is going to be a lot cheaper than paying someone to do the whole system from scratch. And you can work as a pace that suits you and your finances.

It's a bit like becoming a musician, really. 

Also, and this is crucial to maintaining your morale - keep one room spotless and used for living only. It sounds like you already have that, so keep it that way. No tools or materials in there, no filthy work clothes, no effing nowt. Not even overnight. Because when you start to feel overwhelmed - and I can promise you, you will - you need to be able to shut the door on the carnage outside and retreat to your own space for some R&R.

Thanks.

I'm a pretty competent DIYer and have kept the house maintained that way over the past 25 years. However I had reached the point where the standard of work and finish I was after had noticeably outstripped my abilities, and having come into some money, decided to get everything redone properly. Apart from fitting the kitchen, all the outstanding work, even if I was to do it myself, requires me to find money for the materials - new windows, radiators and boiler, all of the bathroom fixtures and fittings, and right now I don't have anything like enough. The only part I would be confident about finishing off myself to a standard I would be happy with is the electrical wiring, which of course I'm no longer allowed to do.

Also from past experience, whilst it is possible to do a lot of the work myself nearly all of it goes considerably faster if there is at least one competent helper. My friends are very nice people but none of them are really very practical - in the past I've usually been the one helping (read: doing) their DIY.

Anyway the police have got involved from a fraud angle so I probably shouldn't say anything else on a public part of the forum.

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I've been very fortunate - I work for a company which provides services involving key workers (we sweep the streets, collect the bins, process the waste water, etc) so while I'm not a key worker myself, my role has continued unaffected. As a business we've had to put between 500 and 1000 people on furlough at various periods, out of a workforce of about 14,000, and have paid them more than we could reclaim through the government scheme.  I won't personally see any effect on my income until next year's annual bonus, which will be significantly reduced because our commercial revenues have been hit.  I have no cause for complaint

Working from home has been a major bonus - I save three hours a day in commuting, and about £400 a month in fares so I am in fact much better off thanks to lockdown.  The IT has held up brilliantly and proved to the company that there's really no need to make me work in the middle of London going forward, so some of the change will be permanent.  The only significant impact that lockdown has had on work is that I should have been spending time on a project in Ireland over the Summer, which has had to be put back until they are out of lockdown

Like others, music is a loss leading hobby - I have done gigs that generate more than £1k a time for the band, some as recently as the end of 2018, but I rarely take enough out of those to cover longer term costs.  These offset the ones I play for free, or for a tenner and a couple of pints, which never come close to paying for strings and rehearsal rooms.   What lockdown has done is pull the plug, hopefully temporarily, on a couple of new projects that were being discussed, but that has prevented me spending anything on them, rather than denting my income, so I'm probably slightly ahead on the deal

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