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From Pandemic to Plandemic

Yes, that may sound like a terrible play on words, but right now I need to make lots of plans. In fact, I need to make so many plans that I need to make a plan just for the plans.

This evening I took a pleasant dog walk along the coast with my pooch. It's not uncommon for me to take a dog walk with my pooch, as I've found the best dog walks usually involve a dog. Anyway, if I had one of those watches that monitor your heart rate you'd see two spikes during that walk. One at around 21:05 when Luna starting barking at another dog, and one at 21:09 when I saw an email from my energy provider, titled "You need to get in touch urgently about your final bill."

It didn't even open with the usual preamble of "I hope this e-mail finds you well" it just went straight for the jugular. "You still owe us £556.16.... blah blah.... if we don't hear from you by 3rd June 2022 we will pass your details to a debt collection agency..."

Even on a Saturday night these vultures won't leave you alone.

The thing is, that during the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 I, like millions of others, fell into substantial fuel poverty. I simply wasn't earning enough to cover my monthly outgoings, so the debit just expanded – like many peoples' waistlines.

Then, in January of 2022, I realised I couldn't afford to spend another penny on heating –so I spent the month basking in temperatures of around 12 or 13 degrees. Now that may sound cold and uncomfortable, but it was sustainable. I just threw on some extra layers to keep warm. It's not like I was having to slice open the dog like a Tauntaun.

I eventually managed to obtain a loan so I could take delivery of some heating oil, but, by this point, the damage was already done. Living in fear of the impending rise in fuel prices, I made the decision to leave my two-bedroom bungalow and downsize to a one-bedroom house. Now my kitchen, lounge, and office have been condensed into one room, and my office is situated under the stairs. Maybe not ideal, but if it's good enough for Harry Potter...

The method to my madness is that, come winter, I'll only need to heat the one room (as opposed to three rooms). I'm not worried about heating the bathroom as I tend to just go in there, do my business, and get out as quickly as possible. Like Primark on Christmas Eve.

It's been over a month now and I still have that overdue bill of £556.16 on the closed account from my previous dwelling. I've no idea why they couldn't round it down to £555 as that extra £1.16 just gives me the heebie-jeebies.

I could, theoretically, set up a payment plan over the next 12 months, but my energy provider still vowed to grass me up to the credit reference agencies. Well, they didn't use the word "grass" but they will report me for trying to make life easier for myself.

I can't afford to have any detrimental impacts on my credit report, so I vowed to make the payment in one fell swoop. It's now several days late, hence that email – but the lady I spoke to said I have until the "final demand" before things get ugly.

Again, they didn't use the words "get ugly" but once that debt is sold to a collection agency I can't imagine things will be very pretty. For me.

It was this that inspired me to launch a few business websites – in the hope of raising enough funds to keep the bailiffs at bay. I'm sure £556.16 isn't an awful lot of money to some people, but, right now, it's potentially life changing.

Thus, Beetlemedia was born! So if you need anything designed – be that a website, brochure, flyer, or book cover for your rabbit's memoirs – please get in touch!

I have a BTEC National Diploma in Graphic Design from 1993, so I know my onions. In fact, I was designing things since before some of you were born! Although I appreciate there's not much call for bootleg Betamax covers these days, I am very adaptable.

In the hope of raising £556.16 as quickly as possible I'm currently offering basic five page websites (like this one) for £100, and one page sites (like this one, but smaller) for £60.

Once I make my £556.16 then prices will soar, so if you want a cheap website or brochure I'd advise you to get in early.

Actually, the dog just found 16p after snooping through my rucksack, so the game is on!

Luna can be a hinderance at times, but every so often the clouds part and we're like the A-Team. And I love it when a plan comes together.

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