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  • FIRST POST
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 27th Oct 16, 9:11 AM
    • 4,098Posts
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    Greying Pilgrim
    The Simple Bare Necessities feat. Gratitude & Recipes
    • #1
    • 27th Oct 16, 9:11 AM
    The Simple Bare Necessities feat. Gratitude & Recipes 27th Oct 16 at 9:11 AM
    Hello

    I think that the time may be right to start a new diary. So much has changed since I started my 2nd diary, which can be found HERE and we're a whole lifetime away from my first diary, which can be found HERE

    Whilst my first 2 diaries concentrated on living a simple life, concentrating on debt-avoidance for my (then) DP and I, we had a 'bit' of a tumultuous 2015, which meant that my DP became my DH and we 'Two' became 3, with the safe arrival of Baby Greying

    Our focus has changed dramatically. Far from contemplating 'downsizing' (a bit of a misnomer in terms of our house, honestly, I've been in bigger 'flats'! ) and somehow achieving early retirement; we now have a future focus that needs us to be super fit and active for as long as we can be. Also, as older first time parents, we are both committed to try to be in Baby Greying's life for as long as possible, without being a burden. Because whilst being older does have some distinct advantages when applied to parenting, there is no denying there's a downside too..............

    Also, the economic climate is changing once again. Blame it on whatever you like, but there is always some reason why prices of x, y or z rise. There is always a reason why, when you find a way to combat inflation; someone comes along and changes the rules of the game. A good example of this is our wood burner. When we had it installed, we had access to a goodly amount of free wood, we both had the time and energy to process it and we could live with parts of the house being cold. Forward 10 years; more people have stoves - and are all chasing that 'free' wood, 'purchased' logs are now very expensive around here and we've no time to stack nor chop wood. It's become easier, and 'as expensive' to flick the on switch for the central heating....... a cleaner in-house option, that can keep the whole house a manageable temperature and Baby Greying at a safe and comfortable temperature.

    Now it does matter if our hair-brained money saving wheezes make our teeth fall out or our toes freeze orf, because it impacts on our ability to look after Baby Greying in the now and in the future. Our health and well-being is a priority - but still not at any price. We want to have it all,;but with only a modest budget available, we're gonna have to get creative. I rarely shop in the 'big 4' supermercados. We purchase some things from mrL, some from mrAl. A smattering from mrW, mrT and m&$ (bananas mostly), with h0me bargins and h3ron f00ds being the sources of our regular shopping. We also have access to a food co-operative and I occasionally get to go to the next city along to get bulk purchases of pulses and spices.

    Our focus now (that we've got over the shock of Baby Greying ) is to move on from Greying Towers. The long and short of it boils down to it not being the right environment for us to bring up a child here. There are nicer places. We need to find them. So a move is on the cards. However, some renovation of the towers is necessary, and whilst funding has always been an issue; now we have the added upheaval of trying to do work around a baby. Not impossible, but not ideal. It's also still proving impossible to find reliable tradespeople. We're looking for a plumber, again

    The one thing that I've come to recognise with age is that there is always 'good stuff' in every life. Even when you're really going through the mill. There are good people, who say or do good things to help you. There are the wonders of nature to take in at every turn. There is humour everywhere, even if you have to look under a few rocks to find it. It is important to be thankful, even on the dark days. And I try to do that - and find writing it down, in my online diary a good exercise in stopping. And thinking.

    We like food at Greying Towers. I write about it alot. I take pictures of me tea. We're vegetarian (at present) and so vegetables feature. Alot. When it's gifted HG produce, it's even better

    So, do you fancy climbing aboard for the new adventure. Taking some time out to Fall apart in my backyard with Me, DH and BG?

    Greying X
    Last edited by Greying Pilgrim; 29-10-2016 at 8:24 AM.
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
Page 1
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 27th Oct 16, 9:21 AM
    • 4,098 Posts
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    Greying Pilgrim
    • #2
    • 27th Oct 16, 9:21 AM
    • #2
    • 27th Oct 16, 9:21 AM
    Good Morning

    So here we are at Thursday.

    We've had a good start to the day, long may it continue

    There should be no need for spending today, so I may yet snag a NSD We will go out and about to get some fresh air though - might head in the opposite direction to the High Street though.

    'Buddha Bowl' is on the meal-planner. I don't think I'll make the version that I was going to. You may well just see a distinct resemblance to a deconstructed pumpkin and black bean chilli before your very eyes........

    Right, off to seize the day!

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 27th Oct 16, 9:33 AM
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    Cheery Daff
    • #3
    • 27th Oct 16, 9:33 AM
    • #3
    • 27th Oct 16, 9:33 AM
    Yay, shiny new diary! Looking forward to all your new adventures Greying Hope you don't get involved in a seemingly never ending cycle of renovations-before-we-sell-the-house like we have been stuck in for the last two years I'm sure you're more sensible! Good luck with your quest
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 27th Oct 16, 11:27 AM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    • #4
    • 27th Oct 16, 11:27 AM
    • #4
    • 27th Oct 16, 11:27 AM
    Hope you don't get involved in a seemingly never ending cycle of renovations-before-we-sell-the-house like we have been stuck in for the last two years I'm sure you're more sensible! Good luck with your quest
    Originally posted by Cheery Daff
    Cheery - sensible is not my middle name! Choice of shoes maybe, but not in my dna

    We're most likely going to be reluctant landlords, rather than sellers of a 'perfect home in show house, ready-to-move-into condition' so we've got some structurals to consider (windows and shower) and basic, uniform decorating to carry out. It doesn't sound much written down like that, but involves flaky plaster, moving 'stuff' from pillar to post, switching off water supplies and how the heck do ya paint stairwells (I ain't papering it!!)

    I have cooked the black beans in the PC - YAY! So we will have summat to eat this eve!

    I still can't find that blessed recipe But in looking for it, I came across one of my recipe notebooks, which co-incidentally seems to contain quite a few recipes with autumnal/winter ingredients and flavourings. So I'm minded, for November, to keep on with my basic meal planner system, ie 'Soup' = Tuesday, 'Curry' = Saturday etc, but to put in the recipes from this notebook each week were I can and where seasonality adds to saving the pennies. In addition, if I like recipes and transfer them to my index, the notebook will become redundant and can be put for paper recycling

    Right, best hop to it and do a bit more.

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • mrsinvisible
    • By mrsinvisible 27th Oct 16, 12:06 PM
    • 1,250 Posts
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    mrsinvisible
    • #5
    • 27th Oct 16, 12:06 PM
    • #5
    • 27th Oct 16, 12:06 PM
    New Diary, YAAAY l found you, hope all your plans come to fruition, you have earned it, and have taught me lots of new recipes, including 'scrabble' that DGS loves.
    • Tilly MFW in 6 YRS
    • By Tilly MFW in 6 YRS 27th Oct 16, 12:39 PM
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    Tilly MFW in 6 YRS
    • #6
    • 27th Oct 16, 12:39 PM
    • #6
    • 27th Oct 16, 12:39 PM
    Really looking forward to following your new diary. Interesting chapters lie ahead and although we all know life can be a bit 'snakes and ladders' at times joy is always close by.

    Good luck with your house moving plans.

    Much love Tilly xxx
    2004 £387k 29 years - MF March 2033
    2011 £309k 10 years - MF March 2021.
    Achieved Goal: 28/08/15
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 27th Oct 16, 1:05 PM
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    greenbee
    • #7
    • 27th Oct 16, 1:05 PM
    • #7
    • 27th Oct 16, 1:05 PM
    Be very careful about going down the landlord route GP - have a look on the house buying & renting board for a while. It's not necessarily the easy choice. My DB & SiL rented out their flat for a few years, and it probably cost them more than it made them with repairs, refurbishment, voids etc. They're very relieved to be rid of it finally, although my SiL was very emotionally attached to it.

    Your house doesn't have to be perfect to sell - just presented nicely (clean, tidy, fresh and looking as spacious as possible). You usually find that any 'improvements' don't make you back what you spend on them. A lick of fresh paint is sometimes a good idea but that's it.

    I suggest getting a few EAs round and asking them.

    You could also share the details with us if you're brave and we can help work out what its sensible for you to do and what isn't. Some things do impact value, some impact how quickly it will sell, and some are only worth doing if you're planning on staying. If improvements won't impact on purchase price or speed of sale, don't bother!
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 27th Oct 16, 1:25 PM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    • #8
    • 27th Oct 16, 1:25 PM
    • #8
    • 27th Oct 16, 1:25 PM
    greenbee - I don't want to be a landlord. But the alternative is to 'give' the house away, due to circumstances out of our control. I'm minded to do that, but DH won't hear of it. And quite frankly, if he's going to moan on for the rest of our lives that 'we woz robbed' well then........

    Thankfully we've only 2 windows to contemplate replacing, and although it'll be the whole shower unit, plus some remedial work to the surfaces in the bathroom, it's not a total refit or anything like that. The other 'ware' is functional. May not be to everyones taste (a couple of the pieces are original to the house), but they work.

    We wouldn't make 'more' out of renting than our costs. It certainly won't allow us to live rent free somewhere else. What it may do is enable us to live. This is currently a priority for us.

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 27th Oct 16, 1:33 PM
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    greenbee
    • #9
    • 27th Oct 16, 1:33 PM
    • #9
    • 27th Oct 16, 1:33 PM
    I suspect you're going to have to do those things in order to rent the place out as well, so much as I loathe having work done (which is why downstairs has wires hanging from the ceiling, second-hand vinyl and carpet on the floors and no kitchen), I'd suggest you get the quotes now and start planning the work in.

    Windows (apart from the cost) are relatively painless. And if you're not planning on staying, cheap and cheerful with a FENSA cert will do. For the bathroom, again, as you're not staying, basic and functional (including boring plain white tiles - big rectangular ones may work out cheaper than standard small square ones and look a little more classy) will do and maybe paint the walls a cheerful colour and accessorise with colourful bath toys and nice towels.

    Baby stuff around the place isn't actually a bad way to sell the house - it makes it obvious that there is space, however bijou, for a growing family. When I sold the last place I specifically 'dressed' the spare room as a kids' room, and made sure the high chair, toddler crockery and cutlery and toys were visible but contained. It sold to a couple with a baby on the way

    Tell you what... if you go and get your quotes and start planning, I'll organise my boiler repair and call the builder about coming back and doing the upstairs snagging ...
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 27th Oct 16, 2:43 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    New Diary Dance!

    Welcome to your new home Greying! The subscription has happened!

    We're probably going to be looking at renting our place out as and when the move "North" happens Greying, again not specifically choice, but frankly we'd be mad to sell somewhere in the South in those circumstances - with no mortgage on it it can at least provide us with a modest income from rent. One thing we have categorically agreed is that it will be done through an agent though - thus avoiding those telephone calls at 3 in the morning over something the tenant "thinks" is life or death...

    Buddha Bowl (Ish) for me tonight too - mine will contain a quantity of chickpeas and some 'shrooms!
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    • Verbatim
    • By Verbatim 27th Oct 16, 3:10 PM
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    Verbatim
    And be aware of the new rules for Landlords. If you buy another house you'll be paying an extra 3% purchase tax as a buy to let l/l. It doesn't matter that the new house isn't the one that you'll be letting it's that you'll have two.
    Also the amount of interest on mortgages as an allowable tax deduction is being reduced and I think phased out. Add in regular maintenance, gas and electricity inspections, legal liabilities and the costs of landlord licences, which many councils are introducing, void periods, tenants not looking after the place or subletting and you've got an unpleasant, time consuming extra job. Furthermore if you employ an agent to manage the property and they don't do something required by law it will still be you who is responsible and accountable in law.
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    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 27th Oct 16, 3:50 PM
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    beanielou
    Happy shiny new diary
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    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 27th Oct 16, 4:34 PM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    May I politely request that we don't go any further with the property discussions.

    It breaks my heart everyday that we have to live like we do because of circumstances beyond our control. I shouldn't have to move if I don't want to. I shouldn't have to be a landlord if I don't want to. But should I live a $h1t life? Because do you know what... I don't want to.

    I live in a victorian house, with victorian standard building work to which heathrobinson quackery solutions have been applied since the 1960's. Nothing is straightforward and nothing is simple. Getting tradespeople to return calls is difficult. Getting them to give quotes, near impossible. Getting them to do the work............

    And now the law, which is supposed to protect the innocent is tying the everyman up in knots. Holding them up to a standard to which the unscrupulous are never held accountable. I don't want another mortgage, I probably would be refused one on the grounds of being so damn old! I just want to live my life, enjoy my family and do right and do good.

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • maddiemay
    • By maddiemay 27th Oct 16, 4:56 PM
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    maddiemay
    Huge great bundles of virtual hugs to all at Greying towers.

    Old folk like me have always said "I don't know what the world is coming to" I suppose that when we are young we are often (but not always) too busy trying to earn a living, bring up the youngsters and make the money stretch around as best we can. Perhaps as we get older and slower, don't have the pressures and politics of the workplace to deal with etc we have more time and more awareness of just how $h1t life can be to many who just do not deserve it whilst so often the $h1ters just seem to get away with so much.

    Much x
    MM
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 27th Oct 16, 5:09 PM
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    greenbee
    Hugs and LOTS of problem-resolving vibes heading your way. I have no doubt that you, DH and BG will make the best of your situation and be a happy little family - it's clear you have a capacity for appreciating the things that really matter in life. And we're always here if you need to vent (or bathroom tiles... I have spares in the garage, but it would need to be creative as there aren't enough of any one kind to do anything useful!)

    In the meantime, I'm hoping you find the black bean and pumpkin recipe as I've been looking forward to it ever since you mentioned it...
    • Pippilongstocking
    • By Pippilongstocking 27th Oct 16, 6:23 PM
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    Pippilongstocking
    Happy new diary me dear.

    I hope its a happy dappy place.

    We thought about the land lord thing and it got DH so grumpy we ended up getting tidy enough to sell, not perfect by any stretch. I wish you well in your endeavours me dear.

    As always big hearted lady, you'll be amazingly mindful.

    Seems to be the season of new diaries (equinox?) happiest of diaries to you.

    Tonight its a baked reduced Camembert and reduced bread. Pity my waistline isn't also reduced.

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    • Upsidedown Bear
    • By Upsidedown Bear 27th Oct 16, 7:21 PM
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    Upsidedown Bear
    Happy new diary
    We look forward to your continuing adventures

    • rtandon27
    • By rtandon27 27th Oct 16, 9:14 PM
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    rtandon27
    Happy New Diary GP!

    So glad to be a part of your loving & creative corner of the tiniternet!

    Duly subscribes to you whiney new diary!!!
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    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 27th Oct 16, 9:14 PM
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    EssexHebridean



    Tonight its a baked reduced Camembert and reduced bread. Pity my waistline isn't also reduced.

    Originally posted by Pippilongstocking
    Oh you demon! You've made me want to do that one day over the weekend now!!
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    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 27th Oct 16, 9:18 PM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Good evening

    Thank you so much for supporting my diary v.3. I greatly appreciate it.



    So, today was indeed a nsd we'll gloss over the fact that there ain't nowt in the coffers to spend anyway......... *ahem*.

    Baby Greying and I did get out and about for some fresh air and exercise. Perhaps we should have walked a little further than we did, but no matter, we enjoyed ourselves.

    I have still been unable to track down the actual recipe that prompted me to write 'Pumpkin & black bean chilli' on the planner. I am a numpty. I know that it was a couple of ingredients, that I knew that I had (pumpkin being one of them) that made me think *oooh, I'll make that*. But I am blowed if I can source it now I very nearly gave up on the concept altogether. It is 'lucky' that I bought 2 pumpkins from mrL. I tried preparing the one earlier this afternoon, it was a 'crown prince' type pumpkin. I have actually grown them myself in previous allotment-holding days, and like them very much. However, they can be deceptive in their ripeness. This one wasn't mature enough, and was very green on the inside (the flesh is orange on a mature pumpkin). I tried cooking it (microwave) and tasted it, but it was vile - I'm sure you all know what I mean when I say 'too vegetal'. The pumpkin is now residing on the compost heap Luckily, I had also bought a........ I think they are called harlequin pumpkins - they are the shape of a hazelnut, ribbed and are a splodge of colours - beige, orange green etc. Luckily, this was lovely and ripe, so we were 'on' again for pumpkin 'something'.

    In the end, I plumped for a recipe which I know can't of been the one I originally had in mind, but a) it used yellow pepper - thereby giving me the excuse to use up my 10p barginacious specimen that I got from mrW last week, and b) it is in fact a slow-cooker recipe, and whilst I don't own one, I thought it may be of use to some SC owners on here.

    What I did do though was to intentionally keep the pumpkin out of the chilli - as I didn't find the chilli too liquidy, and I steamed the pumpkin first and then sauted it off in a frying pan - to try to achieve a different texture. It crisped up and some went roasted colour, but I don't think the picture picks that up too well.

    I know it sounds daft to do that ^, but I was after a buddha bowl rather than a bowl of chilli, so.........

    The recipe that I followed (but cooked on the stove top, not in a SC) is HERE, picture here;



    I served it with brown basmati from the freezer, steamed brocolli, an avocado half, a tahini, miso, citrus (lime) & coriander dressing, with dry-roasted pumpkin seeds and chipotle chilli flakes scattered on top. I did also add both smoked paprika and chipotle chilli flakes into the chilli (not in the recipe).

    Was it the best chilli I've ever had? No. would I make it again? Perhaps. I think I would use passata rather than chopped tomatoes - and if I was making it 'as' a chilli, I would incorporate the pumpkin in with the beans, possibly without sauteing it. Also, in line with Cheery's 'full-disclosure', I forgot to put honey in the tahini dressing. To say it was a bit zwingy is an understatement.....

    I wonder how it would fair in the SC. I'm sure that the chilli officianados amongst you would perhaps be looking to add a mole or some worcestershire sauce........

    I have now used the last of the frozen avocados from mrT that greenbee put us all onto. I liked this product. I am miffed that they have discontinued it. It didn't discolour (greenbee said it didn't), tasted OK cooked or 'fresh' and whilst a little pricey at £2.50, was actually worth the money. As, in the time that I have had those in the freezer, I have composted at least 4 'fresh' avocados that have gone rotten from the inside out That is at least £1.25's worth of produce that is inedible I would defiinitely buy a bag again if mrT re-stocked them.


    Today i am grateful for these 3 things;

    that today was indeed another, and a better, day for, and with, Baby Greying

    for listening to, and learning things from, MSE contributors

    for changing to a more appropriate, rightful track....... here's to full-steam ahead

    I will have another look for the 'original' pumpkin chilli recipe. I'm intrigued as to where it has disappeared to and what was in it that sparked my interest! Thank you for taking the time out of your day to support me here. It is appreciated, probably a great deal more than you realise.

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
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