Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Okay, so now its nearly Thursday

Last day of the year today. Year End equals late nights and all together too much work. So its a really good time to have the enforced break of Easter. I must get some grocery shopping done and plan meals for next week. I sort of semi plan normally but if I am not home until 7pm then I have to be a bit more clever with my habits.

Ahdel's girlfriend, Bonnie, wants to train as a swimming teacher. Fahed has got her on a course during April and got a good discount as well as long as they all go along to help out marshalling at a triathlon event on Friday. Unfortunately the Friday in question is Good Friday, so I actually have a day off work and everyone will be out all day. Never mind, at least I can get some gardening done if the weather is right.

Off to Petersfield to work tomorrow so a nice drive in the country. Staying calm,its year end but its all good.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Is it nearly Thursday yet?

Easter weekend up coming. There is so much to do at work at the moment that I just rush from one weekend to the next and don't even know what day it is for most of the week.
So exciting Easter plans for us include two mystery dines, Friday & Monday, and one mystery shop. A replay of Christmas day on Easter Sunday, complete with Christmas lunch. My dad was ill at Christmas and pretty much slept through everything so we thought, why not do it all again. We also plan to build a shelve unit in the sitting room alcove and a new door frame between sitting room and kitchen.

The only fly in our ointment is that Fahed has been prescribed temazepam for his sleep problems. As far as I can see the main contraindication is that he can't open his eyes at all. Hopefully this will pass. Lucky he works in water to I guess as that should help keep him awake at work.

Sorting and de-cluttering is coming along in the house. Ahdel and friend Tom carried my filing cabinet upstairs to my new office, but decided that emptying the drawers was for girls. I don't now how but somehow they made it. Ahdel room on the ground floor is now a music room and recording studio with bed and cupboard. It suits him though, so thats good.

Now its time to veg out for the evening because its all new 2 1/2men tonight!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Loving it!

Check out the be bop boys, the shorter one on the left by the poolside is Fahed. I like the expression on his face which says something like ' I wasn't expecting this when I came in to work this morning........

Sunday, 14 March 2010

So are we feeling it?

Does anyone else think that us frugal folk are suddenly leading the pack? We suddenly became all fashionable and everyone wants hints and ideas. We are not weird and outlandish at all, we were just ahead of the game.

On top of that we are coping very well with adversity. We were already minimising waste, shopping selectively, gardening where possible, re-using and re-cycling. When my husband lost most of his work last year I made extra effort with costs ( I do understand this isn't possible for everyone, I am paid enough to keep us)and now that he is working a bit more we can save his income. I am not saying this because I am feeling smug about it (although i am a bit pleased with myself, obviously) but just observing that I have cut down, even when I thought there was no more cutting down to be done, and now that we have a little more cash I am trying to stay at the rock bottom level and not let our expenditure sneak back up.

I plan to make a couple more changes planned for money management. I intend to make sure that that my salary goes on costs and any additional income I receive goes into savings. At the moment it is just the old chap main income and my mileage/expenses that we save. Going forward I want to also save the child benefit (although I suspect that it ends soon even though Jamal is in full time education), second inceom fro the old guy, housekeeping form Ahdel, quidco and ebay money.

And whilst we are on the subject of being pleased with myself it is my babies 18th Birthday this Friday. We don't spend a lot on presents in our family and the kids could never be called spoilt but for 18th birthday then it is bit special. Jamal has asked for an I-pod, the new trendy one that looks like and i-phone, and if possible also a leather jacket. We visited TKMaxx yesterday for the jacket. He looks very cute and very grown up in his clearance rail jacket. It is leatherish not leather, which he is happy with, and lined with not fur. His ipod came from ebay and was over half covered by selling the old Sky box and a scanner which had never been used. He is very happy and so am I. Next month will be nice though without any birthday expenses.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Weekend again already

The weeks are passing in a blur. If thats mean I am happy then thats fine but if, as i suspect,it just means I am too busy then its not so good.

I had a two day meeting to attend in Shropshire. I was surprised by how little traffic was on the roads as I drove up and around Birmingham. Either traffic management or use of public transport has come into its on or the credit crunch is crunching very badly in our industrial heartlands. The hotel was just a few miles away from the meeting venue in the Ironbridge Gorge.
The meeting was all useful stuff but getting to stay in Ironbridge was even better. I have always wanted to visit. I had imagined in in the wilds more than it is but still it has the feel of entering a hidden place.
Unusually it was charming and not Disneyfied and overdone. There wasn't an building in the village, or if there was then they hid is very well. Our hotel was reasonably priced and no luxurious but just nice. They had converted old out buildings to rooms and the alleys and court yards were glazed in for a very outside in kind of flavour. And if I wasnt feeling sufficiently in favour of the whole palce we also had a lovely meal in the Hotel Restaurant.

Yesterday was back to reality with a day of fixing things around the house, first the electric car window, then my desk, other bits and bobs and some preparation for some sewing today.

So now it is 10am. I have washed 2/3rd of my laundry, cleaned the kitchen except for the floor, done my shopping and even been to the Asian supermarket on town to stock up on chillies & olives. Time to finish the laundry and start on the cleaning. Tomorrow is mothers day so I am hop for some mummy time!ing

Sunday, 7 March 2010


I have discovered something new about money. If you divide it up and give someone ownership then it doesn't disappear so quickly!

Since Christmas we are trying something different. I am control of my salary, child benefit, the old chaps 2nd salary (which is hugely variable) and house-keeping contribution from Ahdel. From this I must pay all of th bills and any mortgage over-payments that I can. The petrol and other travel expenses, food and groceries.Anything left over goes to the holiday fund. We use a joint account into which everything goes. We don't use jam jars or envelopes, just analyse spend at the end of the month to make sure we haven't strayed and to help re-enforce sensible habits.

The old chap gets control of money from his 1st job. This finances our property investments but also helps out with major car repairs and misc, ad hoc expenses. I don't really have much to do with this area unless he asks for my thoughts so this suits us both. If all goes well we should get income from here eventually to repay the mortgage early.

Other income, quidco, ebay, mileage and expenses goes to the holiday fund.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

What a week!

I am exhausted. Meetings every day and two days out of the office (so add driving in heavy traffic to the list)but all the usual jobs still needing attention. I was away form my computer for two hours yesterday and had 46 emails waiting for my attention when I got back. Next week is looking to be very similar. However my boss looks less like he is going to have a breakdown so hopefully that will happen to me soon as well.

So i have two days to recharge batteries but also do all the laundry, cleaning etc, cook for every one and prepare for another two days away next week (after that I don't have to stay away again until May). Unfortunately I seem to have too much going on in my head to sleep properly but I do feel that work will start to be a bit more manageable soon so i live in hope.

The old man has been given some short term medication to help deal with anxiety. Seems that since so many friends and family died last year he cant relax, jut keeps imagining that if we are late then we aren't coming home at all. He is looking really old with his black rimmed eyes. I hope this will help him but I know he doesn't want it to go on for two long or else he will be worrying about that instead.

Off to start the laundry now (and being grateful I don't have to haul the water first)and whizz around with the vacuum cleaner. Stir fry for lunch. This afternoon will be collapse in front on laptop and catch up with blogs, colour hair ( i look like a scruffy badger)and think about mending some clothes.........

My life

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