Monday, 29 December 2014

10 things I am not going to do

Yes, 1st January approaches. It begins! I will not:


  1. Shop between shops (once a week or less, within budget)
  2. Abandon my lists when I become unhappy with their contents,
  3. Neglect to make proper sensible detailed plans
  4. Skip exercise sessions
  5. Eat 'on auto' so I end up eating a load of stuff I don't need.
  6. Buy ready cooked food unless it is a special occasion - waste of money and a bit pile of disappointment, always
  7. Skip breakfast. Which allows me to get hungry and convinces me that additional lunch is acceptable.

I need another three. Ten is a goodly round number

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Ooooh Hello

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. Rather strangely we were still ill but not seriously, just enough to make us finish the days early and not eat so much! We all have a virus apparently. At least its all of us so we didn't have to avoid all our love ones!

So now I have a week or so to catch up on sleep and activity, then I am full of beans again.

I am getting up an hour later in the morning and then taking it easy. Everyday something done but nothing too much. Ha ha. Its utter mayhem when we get back to work, until the end of February, so I am a major recharge of battery session.

Also taking the opportunity tog et rid of more stuff. I am beginning to notice now that everything I see around me is something which I actually like, so that must mean that the other stuff leaves a space/ My very slobby son has also come around to my way of thinking and plans to do the same. Eldest son has sort of moved out but I still see to have a lot of his stuff here. Ah well, it cant work every time I guess.

So 2015 is approaching fast, time for me to decide what will be different, what new habits to work on. There is a lot going on in my head about health and fitness, some things about organising the place, a few new ideas but mostly fairly typical new year fare.

But before I give up before I even start I have to say I am ten times more active than I was a year ago, more active than i thought I could be. I have a bike! I have classes in my calender, its a miracle! I am 8kg lighter. Not a huge amount but its all in the right direction so all good. Then there is the organisation. I am now mostly car sharing, saving loads in fuel and parking costs. Minimal waste of food and I make yummy healthy meals/

So maybe life should be like a big old steamer crossing the Atlantic, and I can alter course a little and a little and we make big changes over time.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Still whining!

I have a cold. Maybe I was already catching this cold and that's why I was already whiny but anyway I am lounging around in my cold (which I obviously to be something far worse than a cold, which only I know about) and completely surrendering because I know I have a break now and a new beginning. The calender isn't especially relevant but why not take the chance of a new year if it is offered to you?


Leaving behind;

All whingy moaning
General feeling of low level illness (hereby known as bleugh)
Inactivity and its associated boredom
Worrying and a general feeling in my chest of fear and concern. Dont know where it has come from but maybe with my son leaving home? But anyway it is banned from....well, shortly


Starting afresh:

Getting in the best place at home
and at work
Sorting out what work needs doing on houses and cars this year and doing the budgets
Planning in plenty of activity and exercise
Planning out days of sloth and whinge
Some new meal planning as we are likely to be only two of us for most of the time

Christmas plans
All my work and other parties are now behind me (and I did have fun)
My food shopping is complete.
I have a plan for tomorrow nights supper, which is when the family come to me.
Christmas day is at my mama's house and I take along a pudding, some veggies and some pigs in blankets. I don't know why but it was always this way.
On Boxing day we will go for a family walk and then to my sisters house. I don't have an instructions for what to bring but could easily make something.
House is decorated (minimally)
Presents are bought - my good intentions to make all my presents are thwarted again but I spend very little as we have £10 per person limit and we only buy for very close family. We considered to ditch it but we enjoy the challange to get something for the price allowed.
So tomorrow just some vacuuming and cooking, which is fun anyway and we are sorted.
Happy days indeed

So Christmas photss




Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Tired!

I am so grumpy and I feel properly poorly, have done for weeks. I rather think I just need a break. So lucky for me it is almost Christmas and I can have two weeks at home

I am not even documenting all my amazingness (yes, I am sure that is a word) for a few days as I feel so bleugh!

New year, new beginnings, new bundles of enthusiasm to follow soon

Monday, 15 December 2014

What i actually managed to do from Sunday

  • Drop clothes at clothes bank YEP
  • Drop curtains, air purifier and old desktop pc (working fine) at the Salvation Army for them to raise a few extra funds YEP
  • Finish dry and put away laundry ALMOST
  • Birthday card for my little great niece (one tomorrow - time whizzes past) UM, ARRANGED TO GIVE OVER THE GIFT NEXT WEEKEND SO I HAVE EXTRA TIME
  • Empty the bins/sort out the recycling YEP
  • Sort the Christmas decorations. Maybe put up a little more but I suspect a lot of recycling YEP and also found that I did this last year so I didnt have as much junk as I thought.
  • Drop box of glasses to charity shop YEP
  • Make a food plan for Christmas. -  for me this means Christmas eve evening buffet, dessert to supplement Christmas pud at my parents house on Christmas Day, some extra sides for my parents house too (my immediate thought is pigs in blankets and red cabbage), maybe an additional pudding for Boxing day at my sisters house. PARTLY
  • Making a list (and checking it twice!) - presents still to get! We have a ten pound rule on gifts & I only buy for a few people. However I do like to get my kids, not that they are kids, a few extra things to open as they are not materialistic at all, so it s mostly pleasure for me. One needs new underwear and t shirts. One needs nothing much but I also thought to get them an external hard drive each. Especially useful as Jamal will be going away to see for 2 lots of five months this year, so he can rip some movies and games for his down time. They stay at anchorage quite a lot so even when not at sea they are not actually on land so sometimes a bit of entertainment would be nice. YES
  • Tonight we are having Faheds birthday dinner as first chance for us all to be together since his birthday. WE DID AND IT WAS YUM.
This made me feel much better about achieving, and often the lack of achieving.  Maybe I should check back a bit more often

Sunday - and I need a list


  • Drop clothes at clothes bank
  • Drop curtains, air purifier and old desktop pc (working fine) at the Salvation Army for them to raise a few extra funds
  • Finish dry and put away laundry
  • Birthday card for my little great niece (one tomorrow - time whizzes past)
  • Empty the bins/sort out the recycling
  • Sort the Christmas decorations. Maybe put up a little more but I suspect a lot of recycling
  • Drop box of glasses to charity shop
  • Make a food plan for Christmas. -  for me this means Christmas eve evening buffet, dessert to supplement Christmas pud at my parents house on Christmas Day, some extra sides for my parents house too (my immediate thought is pigs in blankets and red cabbage), maybe an additional pudding for Boxing day at my sisters house. 
  • Making a list (and checking it twice!) - presents still to get! We have a ten pound rule on gifts & I only buy for a few people. However I do like to get my kids, not that they are kids, a few extra things to open as they are not materialistic at all, so it s mostly pleasure for me. One needs new underwear and t shirts. One needs nothing much but I also thought to get them an external hard drive each. Especially useful as Jamal will be going away to see for 2 lots of five months this year, so he can rip some movies and games for his down time. They stay at anchorage quite a lot so even when not at sea they are not actually on land so sometimes a bit of entertainment would be nice.
  • Tonight we are having Faheds birthday dinner as first chance for us all to be together since his birthday.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Tuesday - home aloneish

Just me and the cats and birds tonight. Fahed is off (not) winning our future at poker. Its a random night to go but he doesn't work until the afternoon tomorrow and he can play for nothing on a Tuesday night, but with a chance to win something worthwhile. That's to entice people to the casino on a school night. And it works, he has gone and I can watch whatever I like on TV.


  • My eldest son has hardly been here this week, I rather think he is on the edge of leaving home (he is nearly 25 so its not exactly awful - but I will miss him). I rather think that will be a financial saving for me but I will wait and see before I count it.
  • Baby son will be home on Friday (whoop!)
  • Petrol prices are down locally. £1.157 per litre. Still amazingly expensive but better than the all time high of £1.30 which we had not long ago.
  • I had another £10 amazon voucher this week for my postal survey thing, which went towards a winter wet suit for my lovely little great niece.

That's about it!

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Sunday - another week has flashed past

As I was such a muppet with my car insurance I don't feel at all like I have been frugal and sensible this week. I don't think I have finished punishing myself yet. We did manage a few things though and I record them here to get my self back on track.



  • Fixed the boiler. It kept going out and our gas man is too busy until after Christmas. We didn't do anything too exciting, just a bit of disassemble, vacuum and reassemble. For the moment we are up and running
  • I dyed some old curtains to fit in with the current paint job and will be hanging them in the hallway to stop nasty drafts.
  • Home made butternut squash and mushroom soup is currently on the hob, lunch for the first few days of the week
  • We fitted a new hard drive to Fahed's lap top, as we seemed to ahve somehow broken the old one. So far so good. We are up and running!
  • Flushed with success we are going to fix another dead laptop
  • I have ordered a new filter for my Dyson from ebay, The machine is currently in bits, having been seriously cleaned. Not counting any chickens but I may have added a few years to its life.
  • I have found two lamp/lampshades in the attic which are to be recycled in the hall and stair area.
  • I have found a that someone at my work who is happy tpo take any old craft stuff. If she cant use it herself (unlikely - she is a crafting nut) then she also teaches at Brownies. I get to feel virtuous as I de-clutter
  • Our lovely friend Margret made Fahed's favourite cake for his birthday. Schwimbad Torte (eek, spelling). Best cake ever!
So glad I made a list. Feel so much better now!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Tuesday - a much better day

Car is home with me, safe and sound. I kept imagining they would take her and squash her before my insurance papers arrived but we are done. I will ensure I never assume something has been paid, not ever, ever again.

On to happier things, today is Fahed's birthday. A cute and adorable 51. I had the day off so:

First we went to the cop shop (sounds like something from a top cat cartoon) and then collected the car from the impound.

Then off to the hospital for blood tests ( I know how to show a man a good time!)

Then to the Asian supermarket to stop up on chillies and other goodies.

Lastly to the local supermarket for a few treat (popcorn kernels, brie)

He has just cooked for us too. Its his birthday but I am being treated, as he does love to cook.

Now we settle and watch some movies.

No cards, we tell jokes instead. Small presents. No cake.

And yet completely contented. Only thing which could have made it better is if Jamal was home from Uni as well. But that means we have another dinner together to look forward too when terms breaks.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Stuuupiiidd Tax - Don't try this at home!

You know when you insure your car and at the end of the year they write to you to confirm that you want to carry on with your insurance? You don't do anything it just carries on?  Well I have just discovered that this is not the case.

Insurance on my car apparently ended on 2nd November. Luckily I only drove it a couple of times locally before my son was stopped by the police on Saturday night for having no insurance. I raced home to search in my file for the insurance certificate and found I had filed, without reading, the insurance proposal.

Hopefully we get it back tomorrow. £150 for the impound release (plus £20 for each day after the first - so the whole time you are waiting for the new insurance certificate to arrive). £300 fine and 6 points for my son.  Poor lad. Who expects to have to check that their mum has done it right!

Lastly insurance renewal went up by £400 because they had my sons age wrong. So presumably this means the insurance has been invalid all this time.

I don't even want to think about how much this could have cost had we had an accident. I wont be able to sleep properly for days!

Check your insurance certificates are valid. Do it now. Make it worthwhile that i have been such a bozo!

Autumn has arrived

I can tell as we have had rain pretty much non stop for so many days. And its getting colder. Part 1: So obviously thats a great time t...