The best laid plans and all that

It’s been an awkward week. I’ve been struggling for sometime with a couple of health issues and one of them decided to really kick off this week.

I’ve spent quite a lot of time thinking of projects and how feasible each one might be currently, and then yesterday I was late to work. I ended up sitting in the kitchen unable to function, felled by the mother of several migraines. There’s nothing quite like swallowing painkillers, waiting for them to work and then realising that nothing is going to happen because nothing is controlling the pain. I was taken home and spent the next 14 hours mostly sleeping.

When I did finally wake up this morning I seemed to be pain free, so after a gentle start I got dressed, collected my bags and went shopping for glassware for my next two cooking projects, and the bits that got missed off the main shop. Half way through I realised that actually I was not fit for this and had to forget about half of what I’d planned.

When I finally got home and was able to sit still I picked up my knitting. I’m making a shawl. Not a lacy one (I’ve made several of those), this one is a very simple shape and should be ideal for keeping the cold off my throat and chest on the way to work over the next few months. I’ll talk more about it tomorrow, and there should be a picture because it’s almost finished.

For now, good night. More tomorrow!

Categories: Life, observations, Plans, Shopping | Leave a comment

Learning to be thrifty

I’m learning the hard way how to be thrifty these days. My pay is about two-thirds of what it was, and I’m having to learn how to live more thriftily than I ever have. Initially it’s not been fun, I can’t be generous in the way I used to be. Brands that I used to buy routinely are now being replaced for cheaper ones or not bought at all, depending on how important something is to me.

Living thrifty affects everything, but I’m determined to live well with it, so imagination is going to play a large part in this. How to live well and spend as little as possible, how to make cost savings in as many places as possible while still living well and maintaining my hobbies as far as I can.

Walking costs nothing and it’s something I still enjoy doing. I’ll still go on holiday to the campsite I’ve been to before, although I’ll be there a day or two less than usual. I still enjoy knitting and actually I want to resurrect the crochet that I used to do as a little girl. I’ve heard of recycling charity shop knitwear, so as my wool stash goes down I shall be hunting for prizes that are a nice colour and fibre but aren’t necessarily a nice item to wear that I can unravel and reknit or recrochet into something better.

I do fully intend to continue with my real coffee habit; but it’s likely to be the only one I pursue,  most other luxury foods and drinks I have no objection to replacing. I’m already seeing pain ahead with not allowing myself to buy clothing that I don’t need and keeping book shopping as the stuff of treats and celebration. I suspect that this blog is going to become a place where I post what I learn about how to live well for less.

Take care.

Categories: Food, Hope, Life, observations, Plans, Shopping | Leave a comment

Life in a flat

For the first time in my life I’m properly living in a flat, and I have to say I’m enjoying it. I wasn’t totally sure that I would, it seems a cramped way of doing things, that there is someone just upstairs when there wasn’t before. I thought it might be claustrophobic, but it isn’t at all.

Due to the fact that the block is built on a fairly steep hill, I’m actually the only flat on my floor, and I have my own external access that isn’t shared the way everyone else in the block has to.

There’s been a lot to do, I didn’t like the net curtains that were in the windows when I arrived, so I’ve been out and bought my own, I dislike all the curtains, so I’m working my way around the house making new ones (I’m not keen on the ready made ones I’ve seen and they are quite expensive for what you get). The furniture I had was barely serviceable, so I’ve done a combination of IKEA and charity shops and refitted the sitting room out so it works and I like the colours.

That start makes it sound wonderful, but actually it’s been something of a nightmare.I’m still dealing with my surging emotions over losing Dan. I haven’t been to a doctor yet, so no official counselling has been set up.

Only today have I been able to get back online, since my internet provider has not been the best at getting the equipment to me. Originally I would have been offline a week, and then I was going to have cable internet. The day before the install I had a knock on the door and a man for the company was on the doorstep saying that it was going to be physically impossible to get cable to my flat due to it’s location and the difficulty of running the cable to my house. So I had to call the provider and arrange to have a different set-up, which according to them would take 2 weeks to put in place. That brings us to 2 weeks ago. On that day what I actually got was a kind-of working telephone. The actual broadband equipment was coming in the post and would be up to another 7 days. On the 7th day nothing arrived, so I called again. According to the person on the phone, there was no record of my broadband or television equipment being sent out at all, so she would send it right away and it would take 3 – 5 days to arrive. 5 days later is today, and I have the broadband stuff, hence the blog post tonight, but the television is off since the set-top box wasn’t sent out! Less than impressed is something of an understatement, but sums up how I feel right now. I shall be contacting the customer services and making sure they realise just how badly I feel let down by this. It’s hampered my life as I normally live it in a very big way, but more importantly I’m supposed to be doing my job search online and I just couldn’t do that without my computer being on the internet. I couldn’t seem to get them to understand that.

That, I guess, is my big rant. There have been other things happening both good and bad but I really needed to get that off my chest. I’ll post more very soon, and I apologise for both the long wait between posts and the rant as soon as I returned!

Take care

Categories: Beginning, Life, Plans, Rants, Shopping | Leave a comment

Christmas is coming – Stage 3

It really is almost done now. The mincemeat is ready to bake off from this week, the cake is ready to marzipan this week, all my cards are written and most are posted, all the gifts are bought, barring a few that need to wait a few days and just need wrapping up.

My biggy is that I have found my dress for this Christmas. It’s brave and bright red and gorgeous. I’ll put it with silver sandals and some other bits and bobs and it should be great.

I think I’ve already had one of my best Christmas gifts. Last week I was finally invited for consultation with regard to the fact that my position was being made redundant. It may sound odd to be happy to be in this position, but I’ve been waiting 22 months for this meeting and it’s been hard work and quite depressing in all honesty, so yes, I’m happy. I have lots of plans and I can now put them in place within an actual timeline. Continue reading

Categories: Dan, Fun Stuff, Life, Shopping, Travel | 1 Comment

Christmas is coming – stage 2

I’ve been going crazy lately, fighting with crises and migraines, but I can report that six days ago I started the Christmas mincemeat.

I’m almost finished with the shopping. To be totally truthful it’s not hard to finish, my budget is fairly tight and I have a per person price limit, with one or two exceptions.

My decorations went up on Advent Sunday. I suspect a couple of eyebrows went up in the neighbourhood, but who cares; it’s the closest I could get to the first of December and I’m too busy from now on to fit it in any other time! Continue reading

Categories: Food, Fun Stuff, Life, Shopping | Leave a comment

To Odd Experiences

I needed to go shopping today. I actually prefer shopping on a weekday, either fairly early or after work, when most sane people are in bed. Today I was reminded of why.

To put is simply, Tesco was heaving with people. Now you might say that how a supermarket should be, but  I don’t deal hugely well with crowds. I like people, sure, but hundreds of them milling in all directions and coming at me no matter which way I tried to point my trolley? No thanks, I’ll stick to shopping after 10pm and risk the self-serve checkouts thanks!

I’m not sure if it’s the low mood/mild depression, but I felt almost claustrophobic in there, my spatial awareness is pretty strong anyway, and when I’m unwell in any way, shape or form it gets even stronger. I couldn’t help but think that I would actually pay not to work there on a Saturday if I was employed by them. I couldn’t help wondering if it would have been wiser to order online and pay the delivery charge for not that much food. Continue reading

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Was it worth it?

Bedford’s Mayor, Frank Branston, died recently. This sparked the need for an election to find a new mayor.

My question, maybe more of an issue, is this: how can I be sure that the person I just went out and voted for is actually going to deliver on what they’ve said will be their priorty? I can’t stand over them and crack a whip – no one would pay me to and I can’t do it for free.

Maybe it’s just that I’ve got a heightened sense of what I see as wrong or unfair at the moment. I’m not really sure to be honest, but my faith in politics is really being shaken and my general faith in human nature has taken a huge slap lately.

On the bright side, I got some grocery shopping done yesterday and this morning I’ve got some laundry out of the way. This is a pretty good sign, because if I can’t buy food and do laundry it’s next stop – anti depressants. Maybe the fact that the weather is stable is helping, I’m not totally sure.

I do have something proper to look forward to, Dan is coming for a long weekend. My house will get clean and tidy (always does when I’m expecting visitors I care about!) and I’ll actually find the energy to cook proper food again. Anyone else fancy dropping by? You might get met at the door with a duster and a cup of tea though!

Categories: Dan, Life, observations, Rants, Shopping | 1 Comment

Foggy day at Goonhilly

Tuesday dawned foggy and wet and really not the nicest start to our holiday, so we decided to look for an indoor-type attraction where we should be dry and relatively warm. We decided that Goonhilly might be good, so we piled the wheelchair, map, coats, waterbottles and ourselves into the car and set off with great expectations.

It was great rolling up. There’s this almighty satellite dish close to the gates that you can see for miles around. We went in, got our stickers and went off to look around the exhibition.

It was quite interesting, there was a display showing how we progressed from Morse to the telegraph and on to the telephone and international calling and how the world of communication has changed and evolved. There was a display telling the story of undersea cables and how they were laid to carry calls to America and beyond. Continue reading

Categories: Food, Life, observations, Shopping, Travel | Leave a comment

A Very Full Day

Today hasn’t gone at all the way I planned for it to go way back on Friday. I was going to do some batch cooking and freezing, as well as laundry and some cleaning and tidying. I’m going on holiday soon and I want the house clean and tidy, but something prompted me on Friday morning to go onto the Freecycle website and ask if anyone had a breadmaker lying around. Mine died a little while ago and I miss having the fresh bread – and no, I can’t make it by hand, I simply don’t have any space in my wee kitchen to do it!

Well, someone emailed me back that they had one I could have and after a few emails I was all set to cycle out to collect it this morning. Bang went my cleaning and cooking and laundry morning, but I was going on a 10+ mile bike ride on a nice day, so who cared really; there was a whole shiny 3 day weekend that I could fill with that but only Saturday morning that I could go for this breadmaker. Continue reading

Categories: Dan, Food, Fun Stuff, Life, Shopping, Travel | Leave a comment

It was idyllic

I have just had a fantastic weekend. I had the day off on Friday because Dan was coming for the weekend. Because he had work today, having friday off maximised the time we had.

It did start a little bumpy, I had a order due to arrive and Dan and his parents arriving at some stage, and they all arrived at almost the same time – just as it really started to rain hard! Fortunately it was just a shower for about 10 minutes so it didn’t do too much damage to anyone’s day. With a little co-operation the shopping was sorted, Dan’s bags and chair were installed, and Ted and Dee headed out for their own weekend.

We didn’t do a huge amount on Friday afternoon, packed away the shopping, had a bit of lunch, headed to Tesco proper for a few bits I’d forgotten on the main shopping list that couldn’t wait, came back and rested a bit and then had a text from Beckie to say that after not thinking she’d be free, so would be over a bit later. Continue reading

Categories: Dan, Food, Fun Stuff, Life, Shopping, Travel | 2 Comments

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