Let me begin by saying that I don't gamble myself. I don't agree with it. It's my wife's little vice,
Her only real indulgence, as she neither drinks nor smokes. I am against it on moral grounds, as I have seen the devastation this addiction can cause. Please don't jump to any conclusions, my Dearest is not out till the early hours, at the Casino ( apart from the late shop! ) roll around the floor laughing. Michelle, does not come in at 4 am with bank rolls of Dosh, or some story about how she lost the house deeds on the turn of a card.
No, she has a strict limit ,which she adheres too religiously. She is very good that way, unlike her Sister and Brother-in-law-who shoot off to Vegas at the drop of a hat. But they do not have any kids so it is easy for them. huh!
Don't get me wrong I did gamble years ago, and I was very good at it, in a fact I am still owed £80,000.00 from a game of chance that I played with my all time best buddy Pat ( or Pat Cash as my mate Darren calls him larf ) Pat would not shy away from my letting you know that he himself is a multi-millionaire.
Yes, we were very competitive as as kids, and took a wager on everything, tennis, footy, racing, who could wee highest up a wall, you name it, we wagered on it. There was even a little side bet on the likes of Monopoly, Trivial Pursuits, 3 card Blind Brag, and our all time favourite Mexican shoot. Olé. I stress here that Pat came from a family of 11, who allways found it tough going, and frankly he hated every minute of it, the room sharing, the-hand-me-downs and that was just the food! Which is why he has built such a fortune, and remains....careful.
In would be unfair to say that my Bestest Buddy ever cheated, but he did, for example learn all the triva answers off by heart, as he always liked and advantage, an edge, and err....winning.
We were in a card game, a LONG back, in the Algarve playing Mexican shoot. To be honest, I was brilliant, we had invited the owners of a local hostelry to join us, much Medronhiero ( a local industrial cleaning material ) was imbibed.
There we were, staying a private villa ( pool, orange Grove maid and all that ) all hurling cards into this top hat. To cut a long story in half, I cleaned up, and their business folded, the very next day. I had walked away with the best portion of their seasons profit. Hey ho! heat/ Kitchen etc. I finished on a high. What? they wanted to play the dam' game!
It was a priceless night, hot, and the stars were twinkling like jewels in the sky, which all felt unnaturally close by. Some bright Spark, I'm sure it was Rich, said hey let's have a Toga Party! Woop Woop! The next thing I know, we are all stripped off wearing our beach towels hurtling round the town in Mini Mokes. A Bacchanalian burn up.
Happy daze! Where was I? counting the MONEY! Ah, these were precious times, we don't do it anymore. Of course.
Not a Zloti in a slotty, not a spot of Dominoes, no pontoon bridged, no trump is trumped... The real reason why I stopped this Maverick life style was simple. I was just too good at it. I can't explain it either, no number counting, no mirrors on toe caps, marked cards, slight of hand, just a knack? Yes, a feel, an intuition?
A sort of tingling in the fingertips, and the ability to read the most petrified poker face. We got into a great deal of trouble. Once on a roll, but eventually to be turned out of clubs and schools, games and the Casino. Monte Carlo is far behind us now. The chips were finally down! Loss Banditos hung up their gloves, the Card sharps were finally dulled.
It is all behind me now, I didn't have the heart to carry on, I still have the skill set in spades, believe me, but when then Clubs won't let you in anymore, you know in, your heart of hearts the gravy train has pulled into the terminus. It's over, the Champagne lifestyle is gone, diamonds and pearls are hocked, your body and mind no longer the Temple they were.
So, My Lady doesn't do scratch cards or horses, even though she comes from a very horsey family. But she does invest in the Biggy, The Euro Lottery where a King''s ransom can be won every week.
She has a method
Her Magical method follows: she will invest in One or at the most 2 lines, each line of numbers costs her 2 euros so in the worst case scenario, it's an outlay of 4 euros per week. Does she use a number system? my weight take awya hers, plus the sum of our two kids' ages, add the parent's birth-dates multiply by plus half a pin numbe, and take away the last three digits of our Goldcards..don't be silly that's a mugs' game.
She uses the Lucky Dip system ONLY if there's an Eff in the Month. This method is therefore very very rare. It is automated, and very hit andiss.
No, she makes the numbers up! plucks them clean out of thin air. I don't know how she does it. It's not an exact science. But where does that insight come from? It's a gift!
She had, had a barren run for some time, no LUCK, no JOY, had she lost the knack?
Pretty recently she awoke early one Thursday, she was very quiet, as if in deep thought." What's up love?" I asked, thinking she might be ill or something. I'm thoughtful like that, any way I can't do the school run, I'm far to busy! "I've a sort of feeling," she said, "What"? I asked. "thinking oi oi, luck be a lady tonight!"
"No its a weird feeling." "OMG not?" ...."No it's a good feeling, she left it at that, and went out.
She came back several hours later, with the shopping. "Spend, Spend, Spend" I laughed as she came in the door laden with bags. Some gifts and Christmas presents, and then the usual stuff, a couple of loaves, red cabbage, some fish, herring at it happens.
I'm ferreting through the bags looking for Cigarrettes.."Saurkraut und Rollmops Heute Abend MeinLeibschen?"
Please note that we ALWAYS get into character on LIDL special nights. My fave Is THAI night...raises eyebows!
"What?" I said, she's very red in the face. "Take a load off honey" I said, "I'll get the rest!" thinking, last thing we need is an Athsma attack this close to Christmas.
I struggled in with the rest. The Cornflakes, a crate of Champers, little pack of butchers offal, you know.... tongue-in-cheek compote in Jelly for the cats, a load of other animal parts, pack of Rich tea, you know the sort of thing. "You going on cruise, my little lettuce leaf?" I joked, as I came in dropping the Ferrerros!!!!! and the eggs. "What took you?"
"I went to Beziers, I was looking a new car," "Oh really? that exhaust still blowing off?" Nodding to myself..
Nothing much happened after we'd put the pre-Christmas pre-stock away.
Michelle just watched bit of of Eastenders, the Million Pound Drop as usual. I was on the computer, as always trying to earn a crust. I could hear her shouting out Greece!, Euro!, and whatever else, the kids were screaming, it was a typical Friday night. Did you get me any fags? Ma Petite Chou fleur?
There's a carton of Bensons in the hall.(thank God ) I was just coming to the end of my shift, the kids were tucked up, snuggled..... What time is it?
"Quoi?" turn that damn' thing down!!!!!!!
Not long after, she came in looking as white as a ghost, "What's up?" I asked, "I feel sick", she said, "Poor love,
then she said "Guess what?"
"What?" thinking Christ she's up the plum duff, OMG!
"Won on what?" Thinking the kids Christmas raffle or something..
"On what?" I repeated
"What? you are joking?" "Look!" she rattles out some numbers, "12" "4"...I Couldn't see a thing, I had mislaid my specs. I felt a little unbalanced, it was suddenly very hot. Then I felt sick, then, my glasses fell down over my eyes!
I am boiling! So much so, I had to strip right down, then in a cold sweat "How much?"
"I've no idea we'll have to wait"
The Kids are back in the room both screaming "Oh My God", "Oh my God" like they do, repeatedly.
"We've never won anything!!!!!!"
"Right kids, will you please stop shouting and go to bed!" "But Daaaa--aaa-aad" Gabi already buying a big shaggy dog, Maddie's setting her heart on a two story penthouse...
I took some Beta Blockers and poured a large LIDL Scotch.
That night Michelle phoned her Mum and Skyped her two ugly sisters.
Well we now know, and the winning windfall has joined our other monies, attracting interest of 3.4 percent gross p.a. with Credit Agricole, where our most of our savings are are housed.
That my dears WAS the story so far, we won! CA are pretty sound, I spoke to them and even with the exposure of 800,000,000 now halved and thrown at Greece, they still have reserves of a Billion.
But that's when the trouble started. Constant bickering. I told you so, that's why I stopped gambling in the first place. She wants this, the other wants that, I wanted to give it all away. My life has been utter misery this last few weeks, I can tell you.
Till it came to a head Two nights back, That's it I put my foot down I called them all into my study.
Michelle sit down. Maddie sit down. Stop pulling that face Gabi, sit there and pass me that s*dding calculator.
Right I said with a voice of authority, we will share it out equally amongst our selves "What!"..Michelle goes, "Wohey" chorus the kids in unison....
TOK TOK TOK.....TAP TAP TAP bing = there you are
3.18 Euros each, now let that be the end of it.!