Lunchtime, I popped across the bridge to Putney in order to buy a couple of last minute things for Mum and Dad, and buy tape and wrapping paper and the like. It was lovely – I kept noticing people with suitcases and bags, clearly setting off (or arriving) to spend Christmas with loved ones. Wonderful time of year, this.

Because I was over the bridge, I took the chance to nip into Starbucks for another Gingerbread Latte, and as I was walking back, I wondered – when did my financial sense get so screwed up that I would hand over almost a fiver for a coffee and bit of cake, and not think anything odd of it? I mean, I remember living in Edinburgh, and having a weekly budget of about 30 quid for “luxuries”. Spending a fiver on a coffee would have been out of the question. Now, it’s a casual thing that I do without thinking, even when I’m running low on cash…

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