View more on these topics

Correspondent&#39s week

At last, January is drawing to a close and I am resigned to accepting that nearly all the resolutions I made in such good faith a month ago have served their purpose and can now fade blissfully into oblivion until next year.

I think this realisation was characterised not least by last Friday evening&#39s outing to the Royal Albert Hall.

I had “selflessly” offered to escort the now no-smoking, less-drinking Corey Boles to see Cirque de Soleil with Standard Life – strictly on the understanding that I was there as “plus one” and not “PF journalist” (which, to a greater or lesser extent, failed.) I spent the evening musing over how I had missed my vocation to juggle several balls, balance on one wrist or jump through a multitude of hoops but I consoled myself with the fact that I have at least signed up to do the London marathon this year.

This is a decision which makes for great conversation over a glass of Pinot Grigio or two with your mates in the pub but which is significantly less fun in the cold dark of a drizzly Monday morning when I am dragging myself out of bed so I can run the eight and a half miles into work. It is worth it though as it does mean that I am awake by the time I get to my desk.

That said, Monday morning was spent painlessly (apart from the blisters) reviewing the pros and cons of the new easy access account from National Savings and Investments. The afternoon was spent explaining the pros and cons of signing a prenuptial agreement. “Are you marrying a millionaire?” asked one of my City colleagues as she leafed through my printouts. Chance would be a fine thing.

As Monday melted into Tuesday, I found myself slavering over the best and the worstperforming funds according to BestInvest&#39s latest Spot the Dog guide.

Tuesday night saw the Express PF team making the briefest of appearances at the USwitch quiz, much to the disappointment of our PF friends who would have enjoyed watching us squirm over 80s intros and cracker jokes.

But after catching up on Christmas gossip over a swift glass of wine, it was time to move on to our more pressing engagement with the lovely ladies from the AITC at the delectable Hakkasan.

After dinner, my colleagues sampled a wide selection of cocktails while I stuck to the white wine under some firmly misguided belief that it was better for me.

But several glasses later (having left the restaurant without the slightest hint of a wobble), I somehow found myself three stations in the wrong direction up the Piccadilly Line. (What do they put in the tofu these days?) As Tuesday lurched into Wednesday, I was put on life insurance duty and spent the day dissecting the finer points of term insurance. The jovial Kate Coney from Liverpool Victoria proved welcome distraction for a few hours over lunch at The Baltic, where we exchanged stories of finance and wanderlust over apple fritters and raspberry sorbet.

The remainder of Wednesday passed without too much ado but just as I was preparing to head off to my newly-found running club, the heavens decided to open and deliver the white Christmas we had all been waiting for.

This justified my writing a winter-warmer piece for the Wednesday section but it did little to increase my enthusiasm for any form of outdoor activity. In a bid not to break all my resolutions in the space of a week, I donned my trainers, my leggings and my gloves, gritted my teeth and ran eight miles around the parks of central London.

There were no injuries to report one hour and 15 minutes later but it did take me the remainder of the evening to thaw out – optimistically spurred on by the hope that I might be able to “work from home” on Thursday, under the half-baked guise of being “snowed in”.

But as I only live in Fulham I soon realised on Thursday morning that it was never going to wash. Still. The snow&#39s all melted away now which should make the return journey go quick as a flash – were I not going via the pub.

Esther Shaw is a personal finance reporter at The Express

Recommended

Out of context

•”We want to be the Dyson of the hoover world but we&#39re not reinventing the wheel here.” – Bloomsbury Financial Planning managing director Jason Butler. •”He just wants an excuse to get more highlights in his hair.” – Norwich Union PR Rob Pell on boss James Evans organising a Duran Duran concert invite. •”My two […]

Regulation concerns of new CML chief Gunther

The increasing costs of statutory regulation facing the mortgage industry is one of the most pressing issues on the agenda, according to new CML chairwoman Anne Gunther. Standard Life Bank chief executive Gunther, who last week replaced HSBC head of banking and mortgages Clive Wood, says one of the CML&#39s primary responsibilities is to ensure […]

FSA endowment complaints crackdown as waivers end

The FSA says it will come down hard on life companies which do not reduce backlogs of mortgage endowment complaints, threatening fines for breaching complaint handling rules. In a letter to life office chief executives, the FSA warns that, from May 1, firms should be clearing complaints in line with its rules. The move comes […]

Trust territory

This week I would like to continue my review of what was proposed in the pre-Budget report and accompanying documentation. I will start where I left off last week on the matter of capital gains tax and the fact that the trust rate will be 40 per cent from April 6, 2004 for income (32 […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment