Monday, 24 December 2012

Seasons Greetings

I'm just popping by to say Merry Christmas / Seasons Greetings one and all, however you may be celebrating. I also wanted to say belated Solstice blessings. I've just finished work and looking forward to nearly 2 weeks off from work. Cant wait! Yesterday, we received some fantastic news and I will tell more after Christmas, see you on the other side, take care
Blessings x

Monday, 10 December 2012

Mitts and money







Firstly, look what came in the post for me, just at the right time as well with the cold weather. Anne Marie at Beetles, bikes and books made these fingerless mitts for me. Thank you so much.
I also recently received some lovely Christmas delight from Callie at Callies Cottage. A while ago, she had a Christmas giveaway - I won some Father Christmas goodies, including some decorations for our Christmas tree. I would post pics, but the battery in the camera has died.



On the money front, I had returned to the envelope system for things like the food/petrol budget. I have also been writing down everything we have been spending, as well as shopping lists and menu planning. I went through our direct debits and cancelled only one which was unnecessary. On the whole, I think we are getting back in control and we have stuck to our Christmas budget.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Pay day

Yes, a few campers just because there has a been a lack of VWs on the blog recently!
Many thanks for everyone who commented on my last post . I am in a more cheerful mood. It is pay day for beloved today, I will be paid on Friday and I am determined to get back in control with our finances. Ilona is right, you have to meticously watch what you spend your money on and every spend. I used to do this, but have over time, drifted away from it. Likewise with menu planning and shopping lists etc - in the past year, these good habits have gone by the wayside and I need to get back in the saddle as such.

This year we have set a budget for Christmas and this includes the food as well as presents - we have to buy presents for 8 kids and 2 adults. We have our decorations and do not go out every year and buy new, as I know some do. Im not worrying about it, as we have set our budget and will be ready. I cant wait until I finish on Christmas Eve and can look forward to being off until 7th Jan with beloved and T - just family time. I have given a lot of thought to your comments and what I know to be good money habits and have decided to start with the following:

  • A return to shopping lists and menu planning
  • Setting and sticking to a weekly shopping budget - this has been sliding as well recently
  • Adding up as I go alone to ensure that I stick to said budget
  • No unecessary car journeys - wasting petrol
  • Cancelling any unecessary direct debits and other expenses
  • Spending diary - I have found a blank note book I can use, I used to do this all the time, cant believe I stopped
  • Being mindful of the energy we use, I think we are already quite good at this, but I'm sure we could get better
  • Batch cooking - not something I have really done, always had the excuse of not enough time, but I guess you have to make the time. 

So this is the start of us getting back in control of our money, saving money and hopefully paying off the debts even quicker, that would be the best bit.Watch this space to see how we get on
Blessings x

Edited - Very sorry I seem to have inadvertently deleted the previous post and comments, I didnt mean to!




Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Choccywoccydoodah

Did you celebrate Halloween/Samhain, we did as the 31st is Beloved's birthday. He is holding a special cake that his mum bought him from Choccywoccydoodah - the Brighton Cake makers/designers. His Mum visited Brighton a couple of weeks ago mainly to visit the shop and decided to get the cake. It was a layer of dark chocolate rice krispies, milk cornflakes and then marshmellows on top covering in white chocolate. Very nice too, dont know why beloved is pulling odd face. As you can see T has lost his two top teeth. Choccywoccydoeodah has become well known for their one off cake designs and recently there has been a series made about them. Beloved's mum has been watching the show and then decided that she had to visit the shop. As much as the cake was nice, it is all a bit overpriced in my opinion, but it was kind of his mum to buy the cake for beloved.

Monday, 22 October 2012







Its been a while since my last post, I've been busy and I've been going through a bit of fog when it comes to blogging and really life in general. Just recently, I havent felt like blogging and when life gets tough as it does from time to time, I tend to retreat into my shell. However, I'm back to the blogging, feeling a lot more positive about life and everything. For some time now, we have been trying to find something that we can enjoy as a family, aside from the things we do already. This month we have supporting the local ice hockey team - MK Lightning.

We have been to two matches and had a great time on both occasions. We are going to continue to go to the home games, not all of them, probably twice a month. We will budget for the games each month and also take our own snacks for the breaks. For those those who might be interested, ice hockey is played as 3 20 minutes plays with a 15 minute breaks between the plays.  Aside from the ice hockey, there is not much else that we have been doing, aside from staying at home to save money and having a bit of a clear out! Although we were very upset when the house move and mortgage fell through, we then have spent time trying to resolve some of the storage and space issues which were some of many reasons for moving. We have managed to sort some of these issues which includes having a clear out. This includes selling a load of books neither I nor beloved wanted and we made £50 selling the books. We still have some way to go and I like the idea of having less "stuff".




I will leave you with a photo of T sitting in the giants chair with the "The big bardic book", beside it. We found this on our recent forest walk at a reasonably local forest managed by the Greensand Trust.


Monday, 24 September 2012

Autumn


Well, I cant believe its been nearly a month since my last post. The ebb and flow of life sometimes takes over and blogging has to take a back seat. As we suspected the Halifax wrote to us stating that they had done nothing wrong and that we will not get our money back. We have taken the case to the financial ombudsman - they seem to think we have a case, I'm not convinced. What makes it worse is that we borrowed some of the money from my parents and I want to pay them back. I will have to save up to do this.

Moving onto other more cheerful things, we recently paid a visit to the local museum, there was a vintage transport festival taking place, lots of cars, motorbikes and military vehicles. The museum has a transport section which it is expanding, as well as a developing history of MK and a telephone museum - great fun had by all playing with the phones and pretending to be switchboard operators!! Here are some photos

I love Morris Minors




We didnt take many photos, too busy looking at everything.
So, the Autumn equinox has been and gone, the half way point, we look forward now to Yule, the winter solstice. I spent the Autumn equinox in quiet contemplation, I think I have said before that Autumn is my favourite season and the season of my birthday. I'm looking forward to mists and mellow fruitfulness, although not at the moment, as I write this, we have torrential rain!








Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Cornwall

Hello all, thank you for all the kind comments on my last post. We have made a complaint to Halifax and are now waiting to see if we stand a chance of getting any money reimbursed. We have recently been to Cornwall for a week to visit family, T has spent two weeks with his grandparents in Cornwall. I'm currently off for the last week and a bit with T until he is back to school next Wednesday.We paid a visit to the steam railway in Launceston - T loved it.
At the end of the railway there was a playground and farm animals for the kids.
We also had a day out in Brixham, still a working fishing town.
The lifeboat was in, just waiting. We were able to look around the lifeboat station and look at the inshore lifeboat. T and beloved thought this was wonderful.
We also went for a look around Bodmin jail - this was the execution room.
I felt an overriding sense of sadness. The prison had both civil and naval prisoners at one time. Did you know at one time you could be jailed for being an indefatigable rogue. Many sad stories of children aged 10/11 being transported for stealing raisins and eggs and other seemingly minor things.
We also parked up at Minions on Bodmin Moor and visited the Hurlers. Sorry for the quality of the pic - it was raining and very windy. The Hurlers are just one of many ancient stone sites in Cornwall. I found it a very special place and definitely felt energy coming from the stones. We had a wonderful week and as always I was sad to leave Cornwall, but I know I will return.

Monday, 6 August 2012

disappointed and upset

Firstly thank you for the kind comments about the dog. She is better, however the medication dose has been increased. We are now having to budget £100 per month with the increased meds costs, but she is worth it and it is great to see her feeling better. Some may remember that I have talked about us moving to another house, well we found a buyer for our house, found a house that we liked and the process started with searches, surveys etc. There was no virtually no chain and everything seemed to be going along well.

Well, our dream of moving has been completely shattered. It is a saga, we had a mortgage in place, however the mortgage provider has since pulled the plug on the new mortgage. We were told at the beginning that the mortgage was in place, however it has been stopped. We are gutted, we would never had started this process if for a moment we thought we wouldnt get a mortgage. We have already spent out around £1500, its unlikely that we will get this back, although given it is the mortgage provider's fault and they have admitted their mistake, we are going to try to get the money back. We also feel for the buyer for our house who has spent out time and money. Our house has had to come off the market.

I wont go into it all, but suffice to say my debt has yet again come round to haunt me and continues to cause problems. After much discussion and a few tears, we have decided that we will be staying here for another 3 years and then reviewing what we do then. I'm so upset, I really thought things had turned a corner for us and then the rug is pulled from under us, through no fault of our own. Hey ho, another hard lesson.
Till next time, bright blessings

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The bluest sky

The weather here has been absolutely glorious with the most bluest sky, the photo doesnt really do it any justice. It is very hot and what a good start to the summer holidays. I'm at home this week with T, beloved and I are alternating the weeks and T has a week in Cornwall and then we will join him the following week. Cant wait for that, I'm making plans already. I am glad for the time off, I needed a break from work. The dog is better, she has had her first blood test since being on the meds and the results were good and showed an improvement. She has to have another test next Monday and then again in a months time. She seemsto be responding well. I'm looking forward to a walk in the woods later in the week, will post more pics then.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

more money out=never enough coming in

Thanks for the kind comments about the dog, she has started on the meds - one tablet a day on the lowest dose. The vet says it will take several weeks to kick in and she has to have regular blood tests to monitor the dose. I've worked out that we will now have to find an extra £70 per month to cover the tablets and blood tests. This will mean another juggling of the budget, she is worth it, but it is sure expensive, I think pets now are becoming a luxury. I dont think we will have another dog for quite some time once Rhonda has gone.

Did anyone see the tv programme the town that never retired. We did and it worried us both, we have worked out that we will both have to work well into our sixties before we get any pensions. What concerns me is the impact on our health that this will have, perhaps the government are hoping that by extending the retirement age, no one will retire as we will have all been killed off!! Beloved has been having problems with his shoulders and has a GP appt. We both think this is an effect of his job and I think he is developing arthritis, how are older people to supposed to carry on working in physically demanding jobs? I am really trying not to let such thoughts worry me, but the programme was concerning. What was sad was the apparent lack of work ethic in several of the young people that were attempting to find work. I wondering what sort of future these young people would have.

Anyway focussing on the here and now and the house move is moving along, the survey has been completed and waiting now to exchange contracts. Fingers crossed. I know I moan about money, but there are a number of reasons we are moving and financially things will change again for us, but there's never a dull moment when you are juggling the finances!! Till next time and take care all.

Monday, 9 July 2012

A better me but a poorly dog


Many thanks for the helpful comments and suggestions on the last post. My cough has disappeared and I havent had to use the inhaler for some time, very pleased about that, although keeping the inhaler just in case the cough returns. Beginning to think that it may have been hayfever or an allergy perhaps. As I get better, the dog is now poorly, she has had a number of tests with the vet who now thinks it could be cushings syndrome. This affects either the adrenal glands or the pituary glands into the overproduction of steroids. Poor thing, she has been quite unwell. The next step will be starting treatment and seeing how she responds. Greyhounds are different to other breeds of dogs and the vet told me that it is very unusual for a greyhound to have cushings. I think the old girl is a bit of a conumdrum.

So aside from a poorly middle-aged dog, we are all ok at the moment, which is just as well. We dont have pet insurance, we did look into it but the premiums were high. Rhonda has a pre-existing issue with her broken hock - the leg was not set properly - a botch job according to our vet, the owner didnt really care, just another racer. Anyway this really bumped the cost up and so we made the decision not to have insurance, you have to pay up front anyway and then claim it back. Pets are indeed a luxury, but worth it. We are just plodding on, trying to live well and live happy on the little we have.

Monday, 25 June 2012

blankets and bleugh

So, i've had the results of the chest x-ray and its clear. My cough is better, but I dont know if it is just getting better or whether it is due to the inhaler. I'm beginning to think it could be either asthma or hay fever. This episode has made me think about how I look after myself, or rather that neither I or beloved really do. So I have a question for my fellow bloggers - can anyone suggest some herbal supplements, multi-vitamins etc that we could take for all round general health. I would prefer as natural a product as possible, bearing in mind I only really have holland and barrett available to me in the city centre. Any suggestions gratefully received.

I thought I would post a photo of the latest crochet blanket
This is a mixture of blues, purples, greys with a bit of black. Its destined for my sister, she doesnt know it yet, but it will go very nicely in her living room.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

catching my breath

Catching my breath in the literal sense and feeling very wheezy and breathless at times. I've not been myself lately, for more than 4 weeks, I've had a persistant cough which has got progressively worse. It has culminated in my attendance at the local hospital today for a chest x ray. The GP told me yesterday that I dont have a chest infection, it could be asthma or could be something else. Yes, I've seen the tv ad about lung cancer. I've been given a ventolin inhaler as a cough suppressant, my coughing has been particularly bad at night and kept both me and beloved awake. Oh and to add to it all, experiencing heart palpitations at times as well, although this could be stress.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the solstice and really want to wake up in time to see and experience the sun rise. Blessings to all those who will also be celebrating the summer solstice.

Monday, 11 June 2012

IOW in the rain

To start, my favourite quote of the day -
" I aint got time to bleed" - Beloved is currently watching Predator on Film 4, a classic!

For that last week we have been on holiday camping on the isle of wight. It was ok, a shame about the weather, which resulted in us coming home a day early and nearly losing the tent several times due to the gales. 82mph was recorded at the needles whilst we were there. We were throughly soaked and struggled to get things dry throughout the week. Having said all that, we did have a good time, didnt make it to the beach, but did have some good adventures.
To start, this is a photo taken at Shanklin chine, it is beautiful here and peaceful.
The IOW has one of the last remaining colonies of red squirrels. I was fortunate and privileged to have a red squirrel run across my path on two separate occasions at the campsite.
IOW is also known for dinosaurs, we went on an organised fossil hunt on the beach at Shanklin. We found fossilised driftwood and various shellfish and molluscs. We also paid a visit to the dinosaur museum.
We also paid a visit to Carisbrooke castle, home to Charles I when he held prisoner here and lived in until 1930's by Queen Victoria's youngest daughter. We all love a visit to a castle and there is always plenty to explore.
Overall we had a good time despite the miserable weather, we are now looking forward to some time in Cornwall in the summer holidays with my family and hopefully better weather.

Monday, 28 May 2012

On the move

The blanket has been on the move, on its way to Campfire, I hope it gives Campfire as much warmth as it gave me pleasure to crochet it. I have several more on the go and anticipate that this will always be the case. I am hoping to be able to donate a blanket to T's school summer fete this year. It's nice to be able to do so. We have had an offer on the house which we have accepted. Its nerve-wracking as well as exciting. We have two houses that we like and have looked at and want to go back for a second look, it could well be that we make an offer on one of these houses. So, its all happening!!

In other news, we are off next week as its half term, cant wait for a week off work! We are going camping to the isle of wight, really looking forward to it. Aside from Cornwall, iow is my next favourite place to be. We are hoping for some beach time and some fossil hunting as well.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Giveaway winner

The winner of the 'shore' blanket is Campfire. Well done and please get in contact and I can get the blanket off to you. The answers to the questions, well this was just for fun
Bletchley is the home of the.............codebreakers! This is with reference to Bletchley Park , a place I love to visit.
The national museum is reference to the national museum of computing which is at Bletchley Park.There you can see the re-built Colussus computer.
Scarlet also commented that there is a museum of badminton here in MK - I didnt know that so thanks for that Scarlet.
If you ever find yourself in MK, dont bother with the city centre shopping, instead get over to Bletchley Park.

Monday, 14 May 2012

House update and a giveaway

Firstly a house update - we have had 3 people round to view the house, all 3 have feedback that they like the house, but its too small! Its a 2 bed terrace, not a 4 bed detached, I dont know just how big people think a 2 bed terrace is, anyway we will keep plodding on. Problem is we have found a house that we like and so we are keen to get things moving. We need to be patient, it will happen in its own good time.

So, the 'shore' blanket, well I think its time to do a giveaway and the blanket needs to find a new home. I will put the measurements up shortly, but it is predominantly a mix of browns, oranges, red, corals with a bit of purple thrown in. Its not perfect, but it will keep you warm. To enter the giveaway, you have to leave a comment on this post. To keep it interesting as well, you need to leave the answer to the following question in your comment - this is just for a bit of fun.
Bletchley is known as: ' Home of the...............................'
I will drawn a name of the hat for the winner next Monday.

I hope people will enter, it is a lovely blanket and would make a great gift.

edit - in case the question is too easy, here's a second question for you all
There is a national museum in MK, but what is the museum about?

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Moving on

Firstly belated Beltane blessings for one and all. We have had some sad news today. We woke to find one of T's pet rats had died in the night, a very sad and upset little boy. Death is never an easy lesson to learn when you are 6.5. Beloved has also been told today that his Uncle has died, he was elderly, but in good health. There are lots of tears and cuddles in this house this weekend. On more positive news, we have been talking and number crunching and finally decided to put the house on the market. We intend to move within MK, probably to Bletchley. You can get a lot more house for your money. We had talked at length about moving to Cornwall, but at the moment, there are a number of reasons that we will not do it, furthermore, we are both cautious about this and not quite ready to just go and see what happens.

Although our jobs can give us a headache and stress at times, we both agree that we still like our jobs and are not ready to leave them. I know that it would be very difficult for me to join the Probation Service elsewhere in the country due to the current situation with the Service and what the government are planning to do to it, I've also just started a new project at work and this has meant a sideways move - its exciting and I've been able to set it up from scratch. There are other reasons as well. We havent given up on Cornwall, just not at the moment. I know it may sound crazy to move with having debt, but we have reached the point that we need to do it. So, plenty of changes afoot, watch this space.
Bright Blessings x

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

This is an old photo but represents one thing I did today - making some homemade soup - potato and onion, not a very exciting combination, but all I had on a day when all I wanted was soup. Yes, I do like a lot of pepper! I have been at home today with T, he has been off school poorly, but will hopefully be better to go back to school tomorrow. There has been much discussion here at dub towers at the moment, we have been mulling over our future here in our little house. We really would like an extra bedroom and a garage, we outgrew this house several years ago. Out of curiosity, we recently had the house valued, the value has increased a little which is good, we then have been talking about the future. One thing is for sure that it is very unlikely that we are going to be able to move to Cornwall any time now. Having done some research, we can not afford anything in the areas we would be interested in and in checking out jobs, we would be looking at anything up to a £10,000 pay cut - with the debt repayments as well, we could not take such a drop, even if there were the jobs, which there does not appear to be.

I'm still getting my head around this and accepting that this can not happen for the foreseeable future, I still live in hope that we can move to Cornwall in the future, probably closer to our retirement, if we ever reach it. For now we are considering, debating and talking about whether we think about moving to a slightly larger property within MK, or stay put. Not probably then best idea with the debt we have, but we think we are reaching the point that we need to move. A big decision for us and not one to be taken lightly. Further discussion needed I think.

I've stopped working on the shore/sea blankets as I need some more orange/coral/blue wool, which I'm keeping a look out for. I'm now working on a blanket for my sister - mainly blues, greys with a little bit of black thrown in. This will tie in well with the colours in my sister's lounge. I've always got something on the go and now I need to also spend some time finishing my cross stitch as well.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

seaside blankets



These are the two blankets that I am currently crocheting. Both are inspired by the shore/sea. The top blanket is the shore/beach theme, with creams, browns, oranges, peaches with a bit of green and purple thrown in. The second is probably my favourite thus far, as it has my favourite colours, a blanket of blues, purples, greens, greys and pinks all inspired by the colours of the sea. I will be keeping this one, but the shore blanket may end up as a gift for someone. I am also going to be making a blanket for my sister as a gift.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

A freebie and life's little luxuries


I was off work last week with T and my parents visited from Cornwall, it was fantastic to see them, I really miss them and only see them several times a year. Regular readers will know that I would love to move to Cornwall to be closer to my family, maybe one day. My mum bought us a number of goodies, including this bag which came from my Aunt. She didnt want it anymore and has enough bags to open a bag shop. Its probably been used maybe once, twice at the most and is virtually new. It is a lovely russet red, not sure if that is clear from the photo and is from Mango, I've never set foot in this shop, but I am assuming that the bag would not have been cheap. I'm using the bag, holds everything I need for work. So onto life's little luxuries, whilst I was off, I enjoyed plenty of what I call 'real' coffee -

To me this is a real treat and you can buy reasonably priced coffee for a cafetiere now. I dont smoke or drink and I can manage a packet of this coffee from time to time. Another little luxury is this -
At the beginning of the year, I made a pledge to only eat fairtrade/ethical chocolate and I have been sticking to it. Each week I buy a bar of green and black and really look forward to snuggling on the sofa scoffing it. As a result, I have been eating a lot less chocolate and this has contributed to my weight loss. In the past 11 weeks I have lost over a stone in weigh - woo hoo really pleased about this, just a couple more stone to go!! For those who asked, I will post photos of the two sea/shore inspired blankets shortly, still working on them, for now take care x

Thursday, 5 April 2012

A well earned break.

I'm at home at the moment, having a well earned break from work and spending time with T. At the beginning of the week, I spent time at the start of the week doing plenty of housework and that has freed me up for more exciting and fun things now. Plenty of relaxing, laughing and hobbies now. I currently have several blankets on the go and will post the photos shortly. Blankets inspired by the colours of the sea and the shore
Happy Easter to those who will be celebrating

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

springtime, a giveaway prize and mothers day

Hi all, lets start with some spring time cheerfulness.
Some half dead daffs that I revived at home and they have gone on to bloom perfectly.

Several weekends ago, we went to the local carboot at the MK bowl, this is large concert venue for those who dont know and every Sunday there is a carboot with a number of market stalls as well. It is supposedly one of the biggest in Europe. This little owl came home with me.
as did this little wooden carved barn owl.
as well as this little fellow. The painted stone I picked up at a craft stall some time ago, I imagine that it is me sitting on the rock looking out to sea!
I also very recently won the giveaway at that Shirl had at her blog ' The white house'. I won this book
A book on the ancient sites in Essex, particularly pertinent for me as I am from Essex - yes an 'Essex' girl! Shirl very kindly also included some wool, a bookmark, a pack of seeds and a postcard. Thank you very much Shirl, very kind and generous. I dont have a photo of my mothers day present - I wasnt expecting anything, but beloved and T had bought me a lovely wicker basket for my bike, I've used it already and I had wanted one for ages.
Till next time
Blessed be x

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Debt management review

Well, I've just completed my yearly review of my debt management plan. I'm pleased to report that I have been able to increase my monthly repayment and at this moment, I will be debt free in 10 years. As I wanted to, I have been able to get the term down to 10 years. This is a real achievement, I'm very happy. There is a chink of light at the end of the tunnel now and there will now be another year of paying off debt with a view to reducing the term again next year. At least, I will be debt free at the latest by the time I'm 51, hopefully a lot sooner. We can then think about savings, the mortgage and of course pensions - yes they still play on my mind, but today was a good result.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

running on empty



Beloved has been paid today and I will be paid tomorrow. All our money is already divided up and organised, ready to pay the mortgage and bills, as well as putting money aside for food and petrol and a few other things we need to pay for this month. Once this is all done, there really wont be much left, but thats ok, at least everything will be paid for. I'm gearing up to do my annual review of the debt management plan and I need to look at my budget and find ways to increase my payment.

I have read a lot of blogs that talk about stockpiling, I think this is a great idea, but how to do so when you are very limited on space.
This photo is of a shelf in a kitchen cupboard, this is the only kitchen space I have for tinned/ non perishable food, the kind you might want to stockpile. As you can see, there is not much in there! I have thought about storing food elsewhere, but there is no room in the wardrobe or under the bed - I have considered it. How do you stockpile when there is no space, perhaps you dont!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

crocheting and calculating

Firstly, I thought we would have some crochet blanket lovin - click on the pics for a better look!
This is the scrap blanket, the first blanket that I have crocheted and thought that I had finished at the beginning in January. This week, I have started extending further, a ring of orange and then more purple. It now cover almost 2/3 of the bed, I will be making it big enough to cover the entire bed. Now for my second blanket -
This is the blighty blanket - red, white and blue. I started it a couple of weeks ago and have now run out of white wool and need to get some more. The market is selling 100g balls of DK wool for £1.30. I've been told that this is good price. This blanket is made up of mostly thrifted or free wool.

Next finances, never far from my mind. We recently recieved our gas and electric bills - we are in credit by £90 on the electric and by £69 on the gas. We pay a fixed monthly amount, I find this the easiest way to budget for the utilities and we will be leaving this credit on the accounts as buffers which will ease the next bills in 6 months time. In recent weeks, when we have had temperatures here reaching -15c to -18c in the night at times, we have had the heating on a bit more than usual and so the gas bill will be bigger. I will shortly be booking my review of the debt management plan with CCCS and I am still very much determined to get the term below 10 years. This will mean increasing our repayment by approximately £70-£100 per month, but I've done the maths and we can do it. We must do it, I am fed up of being a slave to the debt!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Quiet time

It is quiet here at dub towers at the moment, T has been staying at his nan's for a few days this half term week. As much as I miss him, I cant deny that I have enjoyed the last couple of afternoons and the peace and quiet. Life has just been plodding on at the moment with little in the way of news or excitement. I'm sorry it sounds so boring! I did check out how much I would be paying towards a pension and then facted this into our incomings and outgoings. All this has done has made me realise that at the moment we cant afford to pay into a pension. Beloved would be paying about the same each month as me and with losing that much each month, it would hammer us in terms of how much we are repaying towards the debt. I am due to do my yearly review with CCCS for the debt management plan and I was hoping to increase my payments and reduce the time to below 10 years.

If I do that then perhaps after the debt is repaid, we can then start thinking about a pension. We wont have much when we retire, but this is the consequence of the years of spending and wasting money and getting into debt. I have accepted this and we have to deal with it. We have to make tough decisions at time, but I after the review, I think I might be seeing a chink of light at the end of the debt tunnel.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

whiteout

This was the scene on Sunday, around 4 -5 inches of snow believe it or not and there is more forecast. It has pretty much gone now and thankfully didnt cause any real problems and the schools stayed open. Many thanks for the kind comments on the crochet, I have been looking in the charity shops but no luck so far. There is one charity shop that is close by, but no wool. One of the things about MK is that unless you go to either Bletchley, Wolverton, Newport Pagnell or Stony Stratford, there are no high streets as such, which I do miss. All the aforementioned places require a journey by car, out of my way really, so I dont get to the charity shops that are there. It would be an otherwise unecessary journey.

The scrap blanket is now called the lap blanket and I have started on my second one - the supersize blanket - making it big enough to cover a double bed. I have found wool on the market - £1.30 per 100g DK ball - I understand that this is good price. My abscess is gone, but I'm now having to pay out for dental treatment, which will be ongoing for a while. Has anyone been with Denplan, my dentist recommended it given the amount of treatment I need. I would be interested in people's thoughts on this. I have managed to register with a NHS dentist which will obviously cost less. I think it may be worth it.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Endings/Beginnings

So, here we are at the end of January, Imbolc is upon us and is supposed to be the beginning of Spring! Doesnt really feel like that at the moment given the weather. We have not had any snow (so far) here in MK, but tomorrow the temperature is supposed to not rise beyond -2c!! Lets hope Imbolc will stir the beginnings of Spring. The blanket is finished.
I'm really pleased with it, its currently at the end of the bed and will keep my feet warm, think I'm going to need it, getting down to -4/-5c tonight. I've already started on my next blanket, I've started by using the left over wool from the first scrap blanket. I'm also virtually at the end of a dose of antibiotics that I was prescribed for an abscess I had in my armpit, theres been a lot of pus - lovely! The abscess is nearly gone, but as this is not the first I've had in the past year, I am now going to have a blood test - the GP wants to check everything due to the abscess and because of my age (I'm 41). I dont mind, I would rather this than not know if something was wrong. The doctor went on about diabetes, I'll cross that bridge if I get to it.

Monday, 23 January 2012

the end of the month

Firstly thanks for the all the helpful comments from the last post and welcome to my new followers. I must pay a visit to your blogs. Liz asked about the envelope system, there is probably lots on this on line, but this is what I do. The idea is the put money aside in envelopes (or in my case ziplock freezer bags) for things such as food, petrol etc each money. We set a regular amount each month for food and petrol and I will draw this money out when we get paid. This way we know regardless of what else happens we have enough money for these things each month. Others may also set aside money each month in envelopes for other bills such as rent. It works best when you are happy to stick to spending the same amount each week/month on your shopping etc. It works for us. You can also do it by transferring money in different saving pots through your bank.

So the end of the month nearly, we have ( the last time I looked) £2.62 to our name! Beloved is paid on Friday and I will draw the money for the envelopes and go shopping then. We dont need money for anything else at the moment, but still 3 days to go!! We are going to have to probably buy a new car battery and charger - the battery was flat this morning. Cars are just money pits to me. I've been thinking about treats and how to fact them into the budget. We will give it a go and perhaps decide each month what the treat will be, it will be nice to have something to look forward to. What I want and need money for now is more wool, I am truly hooked and cant wait to start the next blanket. dont know what we will do with them, I already have several that are being used all the time. You can never have enough blankets.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

the good, the bad and the ugly

The good - thanks to everyone's comments on the blanket, I'm trying to finish it quickly as I already have plans for the next one, I will start with any wool I have left over from this blanket - well and truly hooked ha ha!! Also had a move around at work and I now have a desk by a window so lots of natural light and hidden around the corner so less distractions = less stress hopefully!

The bad - I've taken my eye of the ball in terms of our money and budget and its gone a bit pear shaped this month. I used to use the 'envelope' system which worked well for our food,petrol money etc, but over the last couple of months I thought I would try to manage without it, well thats just caused more problems, with the end of month approaching and no money!! So, the plan is to return to the 'envelopes' next month and carry on with it. I have come to realise that I have to be extremely controlled with money and I am too easily swayed and distracted into spending money I dont need to and effectively wasting it. I find it a struggle to maintain a grip on money.

The ugly - this leads on nicely to the ugly - my attitude towards money recently has become the 'what the f##K' attitude and this has contributed to a lack of funds now. I have been feeling envious of others when I see them spending in a free way ( I know its probably on plastic) and I start to think that I am somehow entitled to do the same and end up doing so. I know I'm an idiot, I keep telling myself that the soon the debts are gone the better and they wont be gone if I'm wasting money, but there is something about wanting what I see as 'treats'. These are things that I dont really need, but feel I am somehow entitled to them. I need to get a grip and give myself a good talking to. You would think after all this time, I would have got over these feelings and accepted what I need to do. So onwards with the debt busting, I only have myself to blame.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Crochet update

I thought an update on the blanket is needed. Its gradually getting bigger and bigger, not sure yet when to stop, still addicted to crocheting. Sorry its a bad photo, but the colour on the outside is a dark purple, I know the colours dont quiet match, but I dont care. I think T has his eye on this blanket when its finished!!

Monday, 9 January 2012

My new obsession

Yes, I have become hooked on crochet. I love it, how have missed out for so long. At Christmas, I asked Mum to show me as well as a couple of youtube tutorials and I was away. I only know chain, slip and double crochet stitches, but it is enough to do a granny square blanket. I know that colours dont really match, but it is made thus far with entirely spare/scrap bits of wool, which my Mum tells me is how such blankets started. I find it really relaxing and love seeing the blanket grow before my eyes. Its not finished yet, but I'm already thinking of my next project!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

A New Year, a new start

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. We spent Christmas with my family in Cornwall and then returned home to spend New Year with Beloved's family. I saw the new year in with Big Ben, fireworks and several glasses of Baileys! Well Father Christmas spoilt me, I received the following:
a beautiful pair of DMs - they are a very shimmery shade of blue.
Some yummy L'Occitane smellies. This included eau de toilette - Bergamot and several lovely shower gels, the orange blossom is really lovely smell. I've been very fortunate as have beloved and T. Whilst we only buy for the kids in the family, beloved and I do give gifts to each other. So a new year, what will it bring. Whilst I am not one usually for making resolutions as I dont keep to the them, I have made a couple of decisions.

1 - I'm going to only eat chocolate that is fair trade/ethical. I am a big chocolate eater and this is detrimental to my health. To eat only fairtrade means that I will eat a lot less as well as being mindful and it is a lot harder for me to get fairtrade, compared to just trotting off the local shop and buying a bar of galaxy.

2 - Being me - for a long time now I have spent too much time trying to fit into certain 'scenes', follow certain paths, think certain things and now I realise that I must stop this. What I like, think or do is for me and stopping worrying about others. So for starters, I like classical and folk music, when I have told others this before I've been laughed at and made to feel that I'm odd, but now I will no longer care, thats their problem.
So here's to being the authentic me! x