A rosy story


I was sitting in the corner all alone and not playing with the other kids. Well, not so much playing but dancing but you know what I mean. “Different, but same-same” – as they say in Malaysia.
I was a true outsider or should I say outlier? Suddenly I had an idea to give something new a shot. Here goes nothing…
I’m going to introduce you to a woman in my life. She’s not much older than me but far wiser than she thinks. She tends to lack a filter and is a master at tearing a new one to anyone who insults her. Beware! Don’t poke the bear. She bites.
If I was interrogated by a policeman and asked if I knew someone who was capable of the nastiest and vilest actions against humanity – she’d fit the bill perfectly. She’s perfect like that.
It always seems like someone or something died in the room if she’s not around. She’s the sun that brightens up each and every crevice of a long forsaken Egyptian tomb. We all secretly miss her when she’s sick or far away on holidays.

She’s quick with her decisions. Kinda like a panda. A kung-fu panda! She can do cartwheels which will bring tears into your eyes.
Her spontaneity is both a virtue and a curse. It depends on who you ask. You always need to take everything she says or commits to with a grain of salt. We love her anyway.
Sometimes she passes me in her car on my way to work. She usually offers me a lift but I almost always give her the finger. “Up yours, I’m not rushing to work” I say. She knows that but after 10 months and countless hand gestures all meaning “go away”, she persists. A lot like a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred-and-first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before (~Jacob Riis). Eventually she’ll lure me into the deathtrap which her car certainly is. May the Almighty be with me when that day arrives.
One of her greatest gifts is making teas and coffees. It doesn’t happen often but when it does my neighbors neighbor will know about it. Oh boy is that an occasion.

There you go. Xoxo
Ivar the Salacious


New year, new home


I had an exam yesterday (R06) and think that it went really well. I’m sure I passed but will find out the results Feb 27th. This was the last exam needed for the diploma in financial planning. So… all I need to do is wait for the diploma to pop in in the post and make it official. Hopefully it’ll make me much more employable and open a few more doors.

The studying and exams don’t end here. I’m going to continue towards chartered status and will do a bunch more this year. I’m glad all the foundation work is done and everything else is a good extra to have.

After smashing my exam I had to pack up all my stuff and move out to my new home. I could’ve moved out earlier but I didn’t want to spend valuable study time on that.

I was surprised how much crap I’ve accumulated in the last 10 months. I remember all I had was one bag of stuff when I first came to England. I think it weighed 8 kg. Now I’ve at least tripled that…Long story short all my stuff is in my new home now.

I am living in a two bedroom flat with Sue. Sue is in her early 50s. Her daughter moved out and she needed someone to help cover the rent and bills. She looked for people for ages but nobody was good enough. Finally, as she said, I rode in like a knight in shining armor to save the day. 😀

On the plus side my room is bigger – it’s got a double bed. By the way this is the first time ever I’ve had the luxury of having a double bed in my room. It’s so big, it’s a monstrosity of a bed and I’m so small. I still have a few issues to deal with. I don’t quite know how I’m going to cope with all this extra room on the bed.

One thing is different though. It’s a bit colder here. I was freezing my ass off during the night and the hot water ran out fairly quickly in the shower. In all fairness it’s -4C outside (the coldest it’s been in the UK since I immigrated on my row boat with Bubba and Malloy… I sometimes still have nightmares and see the massive waves and how they grabbed Bubba… rest his soul in peace).

Now I live twice as far from work compared to what it used to be. A 25 minute stroll (2km) became a solid 50 minutes (4km). I’m probably going to bus it every now and then… until I buy a bike. The bike idea isn’t great anyway because I have nowhere to store it. Luckily our office will move closer to the town center in a few months’ time and I live in that neighborhood. Even if I had to bike or bus it, it would be temporary.

It’s already the 20th January and I’ve only run twice this year. Training isn’t going that well. I’ve never had issues with my shin splints for so long. Normally they’d disappear after taking a few days off. I’m not too worried though. To a big extent I’m glad I can’t run – it’s freezing outside. I feel bad about it, especially when I skip a run on a beautiful sunny day – it’s such a waste.

The best is yet to come

I’m enjoying my Latin dancing classes. I leveled up into the highest level group in zouk and if I get my salsa instructor’s blessing will do the same with her classes.

Remember, I wrote a post about hugs and kisses almost a year ago? How things have changed… I met this French girl – let’s call her Amelie – and last week I did something I’ve never done before. It was a normal zouk social but strangely I danced with Amelie a bit more than usual. Normally I’d max out at 2 dances with the same girl during a social but that time it was 4 or 5. She just seemed to be available every time I finished dancing with somebody else. Anywho she’s fun and I like her and before leaving I kissed her on the cheek… you know like the French do. I know it’s not a big deal but I remember it was a very spontaneous thing – I just said “see ya” and went for the cheek. I’ve never initiated a kiss on the cheek as I’ve always been uncomfortable with the concept. How I’ve grown…

OK boys and girls, I need to go to work now,

Ivar the soon to be level 4 financial planner

I found the one


In mid-December I decided to take my own advice and move out of my current sharehouse. I gave my 30 day notice and started looking for a new home.

I think I looked at 8 properties until I made my decision.  Actually I said yes to 3 people but I was late with my decision for one of them. Another landlord was very uncommunicative – so I decided to skip that one and as it looks right now all lights are green for my move to the third place I said yes to.

home change for a goldfish to a better place

It’s amazing how quickly rooms are snatched up in Chelmsford. For example I had to cancel two of my viewings because somebody else took the room before I even had the chance of seeing it.

Anywho, I checked out this two bedroom flat yesterday and was very happy with it. It was beautiful, very clean and in a perfect location – next to a park and much more central than my current place. I will be sharing the place with just one more person, which is fantastic. I don’t like to live in a crowded place. Plus I need my quiet to study for my financial adviser/planner exams.

My next and final exam to get my diploma will be on the 19th January – in 10 days. My study marathon will start shortly. I’m glad I found a new home as the last couple of weeks have been rather stressful. Now I don’t have to worry about moving house anymore and can focus on my exam.

Oh…. I was promoted to assistant paraplanner at work. Now I’m doing “research” and writing suitability reports for clients. It’s basically a step closer/transitionary phase to becoming an adviser. The job description is still a bit fuzzy and I don’t quite know what I’ll end up doing. Only time will tell.

Looks like this year started reasonably well. I found a new home, got a promotion at work and will probably get my diploma soon as well. Everything seems to be going well.


Looking back at 2014 vol 2


I realise I should’ve done a much better job summarizing my last year in my previous post. That’s because I just saw how PewDiePie summarized his year. Oh man… I’ve got so much to learn from him.

Now where’s my credit card? I need to buy some merch and bropoints.


Ivar – forever bro