Malmaison Hotel, Reading, RG1 1JX, 12th November, 7 pm

LOndon frugal friends

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Well, I managed to choose a night when Arsenal were playing away to Reading. Traffic was heavy and my apologies to everyone who had to battle to get there.

Once again, we managed to have our best turn out to date. But not everything went smoothly! It was one of those days where everything that can go wrong did. Melanie phoned me to say that she was not feeling well, but would still make it just for an hour or so. But she sounded really full of cold, and had to pull out a few hours later. Then my trusty old car decided to splutter all over the place when my wife used it to drop off one of the kids earlier in the day.

That had to go into the garage and I had to close my shop three hours early and plod down in my van. However, I made it with time to spare and parked in the long stay car park by the rail station.

Jon Tegg (Coveritall), his wife Gwen and business associate Rob were already at the hotel having arrived early (Rob had driven down from Liverpool); Debbie (Soulgrowth) arrived just before 7, followed by Ray (Ray A) Tracey (Skippy) and her partner Dave.

The lounge area was a bit small to accommodate all of us but luckily (?) John had eaten a rather poor meal in the restaurant and was due a refund - but his business head kicked in and he managed to negotiate a meeting room (quoted at £190) in lieu of his poor dinner. So we were able to have a chat in comfort, style and privacy.

As with all these events, conversation was easy and relaxed. We covered areas such as TIX, reasons for getting into debt, various postings on the forum, life after an IVA or Bankruptcy, levels of debt in the UK and insurance products for IVAs.

John and Rob are working on a accident/sickness and redundancy policy specific for the IVA industry and hope to present it to TIX (The Insolvency Exchange) in the near future.

My thanks to all that attended, I really do appreciate the effort made and am always so impressed with the people that I meet at these events, forum members and experts alike. All genuine people with a genuine interest in helping others.

I stayed over, but was up at six as, having the only vehicle, I had to take my daughter to a hospital appointment. But I was in need of treatment myself after having to pay £16 to get out of the station car park!