Friday, 31 October 2014

Friday More stuff happens......


  • Kittens are in collars to stop them licking their wounds. They are not happy with me. However total bill for the three kittens, and i bought kg of yummy healthy cat food. Total cost £152. I had budgeted £210. 
  • I have been reading a book about tidying up as recommended by Get Stuff Done Moira. The life changing magic of tidying. Weird but great, so I am attacking my clutter with new enthusiasm. There isn't actually much clutter anymore but I would like even less. So if I follow these instruction all my possessions will fill me with joy! He he, what a lovely idea and not so much about tidying at all but more about getting rid of all the stuff you dont like so that you are left with what you do like. And I am pretty sure this doesnt just apply to physical stuff.
  • £8.22 refund for my return of a German language audio book (must be more observant when ordering)
  • £15 of Amazon vouchers for logging arrivals days of letters.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

THursday - a confusion of admin

So my Greek tax return for the year is done and my property tax is paid.

The 350 euro includes this years property tax which last year was applied through the electric bill, and was much higher, but thanks to the European Court of Human Rights now we must pay direct. Whilst I understand that its good that people who cant afford the random taxes we are currently being charged don't get the electricity cut off it is still a bit of nuisance for me as I now have to pay a Greek accountant, even though I am an accountant, to pay it for me.

After I paid my Greek tax of 350 euro I was looking at some old papers to find details about other things which need paying at some point. I missed that I had a quote for bringing my tax return status up to date in 2012. Apparently I should have completed a tax return every year since 2007. I wouldn't get any personal tax as I have no earnings in the country but I would need to pay a fine for missing the returns.

So 350 includes this years property tax, plus my fine, plus a fee to the accountant and a few to the guy who does the actual work. The quote 2 years ago was 768 euro just for the fine and bringing my returns up to date. I also paid 400e property tax last year and 800e the year before.

I am pretty pleased with my 350e now!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Wednesday - Definitely autumn

Colder and wetter almost overnight but the changing of the seasons is lovely. We wont be putting on any heating for ages yet. So far we haven't even started closing doors and curtains. I have washed all the fluffy blankets though for snuggling up under.

And so


  • Car sharing again - saved £5.20 parking plus fuel. And we get to enter our names on the car sharing spreadsheet at work with a chance to win £100.
  • Remembered the slow cooker. Came home to a lovely ready made dinner of beef stew last night (reduced cost stewing beef, of course!)
  • Kittens to the vets for neutering tomorrow. Half price because we are in the kitten club (which is not as cool as it sounds)
  • Greek tax is paid. Not money saving except that I don't get fined if its paid.
  • Took leftover stew to work for lunch - and not for the first time noticed that my boss also had leftovers. The more people get paid the more likely the are not to buy lunch from the sandwich van. Not a coincidence.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Tuesday - Back in the swing




  • Had my renewal through for the property insurance. Found one for slightly over a quarter of the price, which I bought, and have just cancelled the renewal. Annual saving of £280. 
  • Enquired about replacement lenses for my glasses with Cilliary Blue. One pair for computer work and one for driving. Should be a saving in the hundreds as it reuses existing frames.
  • Arranged a week of car sharing and didn't pay any parking!
  • Went to book for hippobag to be collected and found that the price was the same to buy a bag and have ti collected, so did that and got a free bag for next time £12.95 saved. No excuse not to start on front garden as well now.


Monday, 27 October 2014

Frugal, Moi?

I read my post from yesterday.

I am not frugal at all. Oh dear. But I am not worried because: I want the freedom to do such things and my little flirt with frugality does do that.

  • Short holiday in Crete with whole family An indulgence I know but its also handy to get a lot of finance admin done, which cant be done from overseas.
  • Cruise to the fjords with almost the whole family (mum and dad are not getting any younger, we need to do some things now) Something my mum said she would love but my dad would never agree. So this week we see if that's true. Maybe with me and my big sister on board we get somewhere.
  • Legislation of the Crete House - Unavoidable and also helpful to Faheds pension plan as we could then rent the property out.
  • Big visit to Crete and lots of work including demolition and rebuilding of one have of our restoration property in Crete Helpful to Faheds pension plan as we could then rent the property out.
  • New (but not new) car for Fahed We really do need one, although we are managing successfully without for a short time by cadging lifts everywhere. i don't want to run out of friends!


Yesterday I suggested that we go out for lunch as it was first Sunday of neither of us working. And then I smacked myself for the idea as it is always less tasty and more expensive than I expect. So I suggested popping to the shop to get something nice. Much cheaper option so obviously Fahed would agree. Nope! He told me off for being a fritterer (something I always accuse him of) and defrosted chipolatas, which we had with potato salad. Seems like I have him in hand. Now he just needs to get me in hand.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Extra Hour - Extra Post

The day seems endless!

We are mid way through landscaping the back garden so should not be starting on the front one....but we did it anyway. After the early wisteria trimming it had a bit more of a haircut, the cut cut down a tree which was blocking light from the house. Oh, and accidentally disconnected next doors satellite system. When they came back from their weekend away Fahed ran out to tell them but they were cool about it. The rest of it can wait until after the back garden is done.

We are having some problem with the kittens wanting to be friends with the birds. Well friends or snack, depends who you ask. The cockateils are fine. Any sneaky paw which enters the cage get a nip and then it doesn't happen so often. The small birds are more vulnerable so instead we bought some aviary wire to go over the cage so its nicer for the little guys and no stray paws can accidental enter between the big bars. We started this job but apparently Fahed cant do it with my help (tch!) so it waits until Ahdel is here.

Also thinking about things we need and/or wish to finance in the coming year.


  • Short holiday in Crete with whole family
  • Cruise to the fjords with almost the whole family (mum and dad are not getting any younger, we need to do some things now)
  • Legislation of the Crete House
  • Big visit to Crete and lots of work including demolition and rebuilding of one have of our restoration property in Crete
  • New (but not new) car for Fahed

Sunday - extra hour


Whoop. Lets have an extra hour every day not just for the arrival of Greenwich Mean Time.. I woke up without an alarm as it is Sunday and we have no where that we need to be. So of course I was ready to face the day at 6.30am.

Now it is 7.30 and I have already had breakfast, trimmed the wisteria in the front garden (yes, indeed!), stack the dishwasher, set the last load of laundry going, watched a bit of QI with one eye whilst doing this.........Oh, and started lunch.

Frugally, simple things for the day:


  • Do the money shuffle. One pay day was on Friday and the other will be Tuesday.
  • I am planning to revisit my mortgage arrangements in December and am planning to shorten term but around 7 years if my financial scheming works.
  • If it stays dry by nine then maybe we walk around the car boot sale. We don't buy anything but we like the walk.
  • Mend a puncture and go for a bike ride
  • Maybe do a bit of work in the front garden.
  • PUT THE KITTENS IN A BIG BOX TO STOP THEM WRECKING THE WHOLE HOUSE (ok, not really)

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Thursday - Token gesture


  • Completed my shopping list
  • Decided to do Saturday shop at Lidl
  • Tomorrow I have a free, and some posh, lunch at work. Celebration of completion of successful year end. 
  • Also a pre wedding celebration for a colleague. She has decided to pay for food for all of us, despite all of protestations, at a local Indian restaurant. She got rather cross with us when we insisted on paying so we finally gave in. I am assuming it is something cultural important but i am still not comfy with her paying, but what can we do. So a big present at the very least!
  • Also car sharing to work which saves a little full but does save us £5.20 parking
  • Also lifts in the evening instead of taxis so another fair sized saving.

I might be getting back on track

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Wednesday - 1st week back syndrome

Back into routine at work

Treading water at home. Just lets get through tot he weekend and have time for some serious sorting out.


  • Laundry all complete
  • Pickling and preserving all complete
  • Bedding needs changing (get on with it, lazy girl)
  • Found free online Greek lessons (trying to sound positive in my slothful week)
  • Almost printed off new wodge of shopping lists (i favour the tick the item method of writing lists) for the weekend but found my printer was gone, No broken, gone. We are moving office on Friday.
  • Helped my son fix his malfunctioning laptop, thanks kittens, using the tried and tested methodology of my work IT team - turn it off and on again.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Tuesday - back in the swing

Got to get back on track, we know what can happen otherwise


  • Updated the monthly budget plan
  • Submitted utilities ratings and found my son uses no power at all when we are away!
  • Found a Greek Accountant for us.

Must try harder............

Monday, 20 October 2014

My default position has changed

I came back from my month away:

2 kg lighter
£850 left in the budget


Once upon a time this could not have happened. And I didn't try. I ate, and drank, what I wanted and spent as required. Which to me indicates real deep seated change.

I am a woman in control, and even better, its on auto.

Go Lizzie!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

I am back form the land of no internet!

Well it has internet but at the house we have decided to remain totally free from 21st century intrusions. No landline, no TV/satellite system and no internet.Some wifi at restaurants but seemed a bit antisocial to use it!

No being able to access the news was great though. Life is a lot less depressing when you dont know how mad the world has become.

We brought back 40 kilo of luggage (maximum amount allowed) but of the more unconventional type. Bags of veg from my neighbours. We are in agricultural land. Olive oil, prepared olives (three types) raki. Some many things and all from their land. We had to eat the joint of goat and the the sheeps cheese when we were there but the other gifts came back with us.


Tomorrow we will be pickling peppers, bottling olives and so forth. Lovely

I have 192 blog posts to read, and I only subscribe to about 10 blogs. All good!

Lets talk about something good!

I went to the other house and it was lovely! My dad came with us, with my youngest son, for the first 5 days.  Its his first time since ...