Monday, 25 July 2011

The best kind of frugal

I have wanted a bike for some time and I love bicycles like Pashley

This would probably set you back around £500-£600!! Unfortunately, I dont have that kind of pennies and even second hand they can cost several hundred pounds. Whilst moaning about my bicycle-less state to a good friend, she then proceeded to ask me to visit her. She then produced a bike from her shed and gave it to me. A Freebie bicycle, what could be better, a very generous gift, although she did state that I was doing a favour by helping to clear out her shed.
Here is the bike
Its a Raleigh pioneer ladies town bike, at least 20 years old, but still in reasonable nick. Beloved changed a tyre and inner tube and she was ready to go, although she does need a bit of clean up. I couldnt wait to get out there
Sorry about beloved's finger in the way! I know it is not a vintage style, but how can you beat a freebie like this! I have plans to give it a bit of a make over when I have some money and I will be getting a basket as well. I am planning lots of bike rides with T during the holidays.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

A new car

Here is a photo of our new car,a Renault Scenic aptly named 'Gaston' by T - it has a tax disc holder in the shape of a lady bird and there is a ladybird named Gaston in one of T' favourite programmes and of course he is french!
He is a rather smart french navy in colour and this morning, Beloved took the car to a local car wash, where you get a great job - full wash and polish - at least 6 bods working on the car and so you dont have to wait too long. Maybe not always the most frugal of options, but they do a great job and takes approximately 30 minutes. We have already noticed the better fuel economy and it has loads of space - plenty ofr all the camping gear. Beloved put our old car, a Saab up for sale and it was sold within a day. I dont understand why anyone would want to buy a gas guzzling boat of car in the current climate, but I'm not complaining. The only thing I do miss with the Scenic is the lack of power at times, the Saab had plenty - Beloved reckons I'm a bit of a girl racer at heart!!

In order to finance the car we had to take out a loan, not always the recommended move, but we have borrowed enough to clear the two credit cards as well. We now have one payment for the cards and the car at an interest rate that is over half that of the credit cards. We will have paid this loan within 4 years, which is the same amount of time had we snowballed the credit cards. Aside from saving, which would have taken us some time, there is no other way we could finance a new (to us) car. My ideal plan would now be to get my debt management plan done to 4 years. That would mean payments of over £700 per month - I really dont think we could manage this, anyway this is not something I am going to think about until the review is due next year. I am still definitely intending to get it below 10 years and increase my payments.

On a completely different note, I leave you with a photo of a recent meal, using some of our tasty homegrown spuds - the barefoot crofter was right - they are Richard Duke of York, I would definitely grow these again next year. They are sliced and fried with peas, sweetcorn, sausages etc - I love a one pot meal.

Monday, 11 July 2011

An award

I know it has been a while since I last posted - we have been very busy with life I guess. Thisisme at the blog Southams darling has recently given me an award and I have to tell you something about myself.
Something that I have never said on my blog before is that one of my absolute favourite things is ballet - I love it and wish I could go to the ballet all the time. I love everything about it and find it a beautiful, exciting and moving experience. My best experience was seeing Swan Lake at the Royal Opera house as a sixth former. The queen and Princess Margaret attended the theatre and was considered very exciting at the time, by a group of excitable seventeen year olds! If you have never been, then do try to see at least one ballet in your lifetime, I would dearly love to go more, but it is very expensive. I did ballet and tap as a young girl, but I've always been a bit of lumbering lump and lacking in any grace.