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  • FIRST POST
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 4th Jan 14, 9:51 AM
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    EssexHebridean
    EH - Keeping on track. (AKA focus Woman! FOCUS!)
    • #1
    • 4th Jan 14, 9:51 AM
    EH - Keeping on track. (AKA focus Woman! FOCUS!) 4th Jan 14 at 9:51 AM
    Ummmm...feels very odd doing this again after a break of, errrr, several years, but I've been musing about it a lot and decided the time is right (and the place even more so) for a new diary.

    Some of you already know me, some know me worryingly well (Mrs Stripes McRG I'm looking at YOU!) and some of you are thinking "who? Never bl**dy heard of her!" so I shall do the polite thing and a brief introduction...

    Been lurking around these 'ere boards for a few years now - Londoner, no longer able to refer to myself as a thirty-something. Living with MrEH in Essex as we decided we wanted to buy somewhere to live and London is full of rich non-natives shoving the house prices up. So - Essex for where I am now, Hebridean for where I aim to be in a few years time - that's the final target. Before that though there is a mortgage to be paid off (yes, I know that's *technically* a MFW thing, but you lot are friendlier and don't whinge if I buy a penny sweet as a treat rather than making a 1p o/p to the mortgage. ) I'm a keen photographer too - purely amateur, but I am about to blow a carefully saved sum of money on a new lens. I've not done it yet because the sum in question is scaring me. got a website and a blog with photos on if anyone's interested - link in my profile I think.

    Currently debt-free thankfully, well, apart from that mortgage of course. We've been overpaying that for a few years now and have already knocked 5 years off the original end date - if we can carry on as we are we're on target for another 5 getting knocked off before we're done. I'll witter more about that another time though.

    Standard second post to follow with aims, targets and goals....

    If you've got this far, well done, feel free to award yourself a gold star.
    Last edited by EssexHebridean; 04-01-2014 at 8:51 PM.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
Page 24
    • Pippilongstocking
    • By Pippilongstocking 11th Oct 16, 4:45 PM
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    Pippilongstocking
    I remember NSD;s they appear to have happened before DS arrived back home.



    Well done on tasty delights.
    Pippi's Debt Free Diary
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 11th Oct 16, 9:39 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    I'm not buying that it's Stripes Junior (1)'s fault Pippi - we KNOW how good he is with dosh!

    Sausage pasta was delicious - and extremely budget friendly too. 2 leftover sausages, last 4 mushrooms, 2 small peppers from a T's "value" bag, 1 leek from the Aldi Super 6 bag. 1 tin of chopped tomatoes, seasoned with dried basil, mild tabasco, and sweet smoked paprika. Oh and pasta, obviously! Nice grating of parmesan over the top - and yummy it was.

    Tomorrow might not be a NSD if I get around to booking some travel I need to sort.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 12th Oct 16, 4:16 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    Bank checked - annoyingly there is a 25p charge for going overdrawn for a day when MrEH's car insurance came out - because for once he arranged it himself, I took my eye off the ball on the bank stuff. Pfft. Oh well - we saved more than 25p (in fact more than £25!) by shopping about for it so I'm going to let that one go. It's the reason why we've not yet switched the Joint account over to the interest paying option to be honest - the combination of the fact that the current one gives us free travel insurance, and only charges on a percentage basis for the odd straggle into the red like that. We'd not earn the equivalent value in interest on it.

    Credit card bill was there so I have transferred the money that went out to Canon for the repair to my lens straight to it. £363 - thankfully for some unknown reason when I bought the lens I paid out for an extended warranty on it (I NEVER do this!) So in the region of £335 has already come back to me on this. Bearing in mind that Canon also did an additional repair to it for me (I managed to crack a bit of plastic on the front end when I first had it) and I was expecting to pay £70 - £80 for that I'm happy enough with the £28 or so I had to pay for the shortfall. (It was a tiny bit short as the funds had to come from the USA by Paypal so there was an exchange rate difference and some fees). That means the rest of the CC bill is still to sort but I'll do that when the actual paper bill lands. Easier that way.

    Had a glum, gloomy sort of day yesterday - in part I think due to the change in the seasons. I hate it when I can feel myself slipping into a mood dip like that - and hate even more that I can do nothing about it. Minor stuff seems to get unmanageable and anxiety takes over. Meh. I'm rubbish at talking about this stuff - tend to just ignore it which doesn't help. It hit me the other day that it will be 10 years next year since I was first officially told that I was suffering from depression though - and that's quite an odd thing. Thankfully that's also the worst it's ever been - and I'm now far better at picking myself up from the edge of the blackness - distractions work for me thank goodness. Last nights "distraction" was a rather stunning drawing that an artist has done from one of my photographs - he's done a beautiful job of it and now tells me that it will be exhibited next year which is rather lovely. Followed that up with a text chat with my brilliant pal (who also happened to be the subject in the photograph!) in which he grumpily informed me that work are trying to send him to a somewhat remote set of Scottish Islands of which I'm rather fond. Wish I could hitch a ride! If he does end up having to go (he's hoping not to!) it's lovely to think of him getting to "see" my Islands at last in more than just photos.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 12th Oct 16, 4:21 PM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Followed that up with a text chat with my brilliant pal (who also happened to be the subject in the photograph!) in which he grumpily informed me that work are trying to send him to a somewhat remote set of Scottish Islands of which I'm rather fond. Wish I could hitch a ride! If he does end up having to go (he's hoping not to!) it's lovely to think of him getting to "see" my Islands at last in more than just photos.
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    *ahem* and there is the excuse potential to "visit" him - for support and friendship sustainance...... natch

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 12th Oct 16, 8:47 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    *ahem* and there is the excuse potential to "visit" him - for support and friendship sustainance...... natch

    Greying X
    Originally posted by Greying Pilgrim
    I wish! No sadly one of the reasons he's grumpy about it is it will be a short visit! Oh well - only two and a half months until we're there ourselves!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 13th Oct 16, 9:34 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    Phew - and there's a working week I'm glad to see the back of - "Madam" in the office has been a flipping nightmare ALL week. Himself is off on holiday in a couple of weeks too so I'm hoping she's improved a bit by then. Honestly, working with someone QUITE so stressy really is a bit of a pain.

    All generally under control elsewhere I think - tomorrow will be a spendy sort of day - no idea how much Dave-The-Builder will be charging us for lining out and re-shelving our airing cupboard but frankly I trust him and know he won't over charge and I just want to have my storage back now! I'm also going to pick his brains about the kitchen, and get him to give us a proper quote for the work that wants doing on the storage shed outside, too. All quite exciting! While he's fiddling about with stuff here I intend to go and sort the shopping out and ideally drop a bag of stuff to the charity shop too - that might wait for Saturday though as the bad seem to be ever increasing in size and weight!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 14th Oct 16, 9:49 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    I have a beautifully lined out airing cupboard! Absolutely lovely job - he's also straightened out a pipe that was at a funny angle, put in an extra bit of shelf that we didn't think would work but he said it would (and it does!) Re-fixed the switch for the immersion heater, fitted the shelves beautifully around pipework, boxed in everywhere that previously stuff would have fallen through and ensured that all our switches and valves etc are accessible. Oh and turned up the thermostat on the immersion too so we now have wonderfully hot water. Very happy with that.

    Elsewhere today's been a decent mix of outgoings and unexpected incomings. Stopped at Sainsbugs this morning to put some diesel in the car - and on paying promptly got handed a "Swipe & Win" voucher for 2,000 Nectar points. Decided due to the risk of forgetting to do it otherwise, I'd change my plans a little to divert to the main store and do some of my shopping there so I could get the points added straight on. Decided as the "entry" for the promotion was a minimum £10 spend I may as well shop to that level to have a crack at winning some more - spent £10.20 and walked away from the checkout with another voucher for ANOTHER 2,000 points! Did a small further spend to get that one added on, too.

    No particular plans for the rest of the weekend - might go to the Farmers Market tomorrow, as it's our local one.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 17th Oct 16, 10:41 AM
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    EssexHebridean
    Didn't go to the Farmers Market - we very sensibly decided that there was nothing we needed, so we'd save our pennies. I did dispatch MrEH off to the nice bakers though from where he came back with not only a nice loaf of Sourdough type bread ( I know Mrs Stripes will appreciate that one!) but also cake. Him going, not me, means I can claim a NSD, and by some amazing fluke I can claim another NSD for yesterday too - go me!

    Three day week for me this week as I'm off to Devon on Thursday. Eek - need to collect my train ticket!

    Meal plan is all done and will be starting off with a rather posh YS'd pie from the freezer for me tonight - almost certainly with a jacket tattie alongside. The pie was one of two that MrEH found for 29p a while back. He has rugby training tonight so will cook himself either an omelette or pasta when he gets home.

    Today will not be a NSD as MrEH's car needs diesel-juice.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 17th Oct 16, 2:39 PM
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    enthusiasticsaver
    Congratulations EH on being mortgage free. Freedom completely from debt and very hard won I dare say. We started to dabble in stocks and shares isas and additional pension contributions once our mortgage was finished (and helped DDs with houses and weddings too) and OH retires in 2 weeks at 58 years old and I finish next December at 57. Is early retirement next on your list of targets or are you too young?

    Enjoy Devon. We live in Cornwall and just taken my one year old grand daughter down the park in this lovely autumn sunshine.
    Debt and mortgage free and saving for early retirement
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 18th Oct 16, 12:17 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    Aww thank you ES! Our next plans now are to get some work done on our flat - we've gradually started doing odds and ends over the last few years but there is still quite a lot to be done. Eventually we have a big move planned - that will most likely involve renting out the flat and using it as income so it certainly makes sense to get it spruced up and ready now - plus then we get the pleasure of living in it all spruced up for the next few years, too! : We're also starting to look into what will be best from here on for savings - we're currently using a combination of Regular saver accounts which pay decent interest, and an ISA which pays less, so ways of maximising our money are on the list to research.

    MASSIVE congratulations on achieving your early retirements too - how fantastic to know that you are set up to enjoy life together from now on!


    Did a sneaky deal with MrEH that he collected my train ticket last night if I put diesel in his car - that's a win all round. Another win was that his usual train route was having issues last night so they let him get the far faster train through to an alternative station on another line - meaning less sitting around waiting, for me. Another win!

    MrEH also reminded me yesterday that he's out with work tonight, so that threw the meal plan out a bit. Except when I came to think about it, it didn't - I switched his share of tonight's beef stew to last night for him - he had it with a couple of slices of leftover posh bread from the weekend. I still had my pie etc as planned. Tonight I will have MY share of the stew only as I have enough time mine will be with dumplings. (Don't tell him, he'll be jealous!). that means the only *theoretical* change from the plan is that the omelette he was going to have last night, he'll now have on thursday, which means the eggs won't get left.

    Trying to plan out the next few weeks now - I'm in Devon this weekend - travelling down by train on Thursday and MrEH will drive down on Friday night so we'll travel home together in the car on Sunday. Then the following weekend we're in Norwich for the beer festival - hoping to catch up with a pal there but need to wait and see if that can be worked out - he's in the RAF and they've helpfully sent him on a fortnight's training course that spans that weekend. He's currently debating whether he'll head home for the weekend or not.

    Next week, regardless, needs to be a "freezer week" - we have Goat curry, Mutton Stew, tomato sauce and assorted other things in there needing used. Also some frozen scallops which I'll almost certainly team up with black pudding to make a "nice" Friday night dinner. (Think alongside a big pile of fluffy, buttery mash, and a whisky & cream sauce...) Yum.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 19th Oct 16, 2:26 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    I have, sitting next to me, the piece of paper from the Land Registry which confirms that there is now no mortgage on the flat.

    VERY exciting and for the first time it's starting to feel real!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 19th Oct 16, 4:58 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Hooray!! bet that is indeed a nice feeling
    Saved for house move: £8570
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 25th Oct 16, 3:32 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    It's a FAB feeling Cheery!

    Well I think this is going to be a l-o-n-g week! Of the two people I work for the one who's half decent to work with is away on holiday for a fortnight leaving me with the one who shall be known as "Madam" (because she is one!). She's a nightmare basically - has a habit of forgetting that while she's legally trained I'm not, and so every time I ask her a question about anything I'm not sure of says in a patronising tone "It's really very simple, just use your common sense..." I shouldn't be massively surprised - MrEH used to work in the same firm as her years ago and she's always struggled to keep secretaries in the past - I reckon I must be setting some sort of record now having been here for 6 years. She's just got NO idea how to deal with staff at all and makes a habit of generally being rude to everyone she speaks to. Anyway so far I've not murdered her - I'm taking this as a win - and in another 1 hour 52 minutes I'll be half way through my week.

    Just cashed out £25.20 on TCB - that'll be heading over to my bank account in the next few days so I need to remember to transfer it over to the VSP account. Also just achieved 45p in survey earnings on OnePoll...I'm just past half way to cashout and once again at the point of saying I'll close the account once I reach it this time...! It really is like pulling teeth on there!

    We were down in Devon in MrEH's hometown for the weekend - their annual food festival and great fun it was too. Fairly spendy (inevitably) but all budgeted for. Away overnight this weekend too - Still no idea if I'll get to see my friend while we're there or not - I'll touch base with him later this week and see how he's fixed.

    Food stuff is all going as planned this week - goat curry last night and mutton stew tonight. To MrEH's disgust though the stew will be without Dumplings as I've not got any Self Raising flour and I'm not going to the supermarket again this week just for that. I'll do quick flatbreads to go with it - I've got plenty of plain flour and some plain yogurt that needs using, too.

    Also got a phone number of a chap who fits windows from my pal last night - she says he's very good and he's got all the right accreditation so we may be able to use him to sort out the windows that need it in the flat. I'll give him a call in the next few days and see if he can come round and quote.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 25th Oct 16, 5:14 PM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Anyway so far I've not murdered her - I'm taking this as a win - and in another 1 hour 52 minutes I'll be half way through my week.
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    *snort* - you always find the silver lining in any situation EH

    To MrEH's disgust though the stew will be without Dumplings as I've not got any Self Raising flour and I'm not going to the supermarket again this week just for that. I'll do quick flatbreads to go with it - I've got plenty of plain flour and some plain yogurt that needs using, too.
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    And I'm assuming (good cook that you are) you know about adding baking powder to plain flour to make dumplings, but perhaps haven't got any? I never keep SR in the house (a la Nigella - she brags...... ) so just use plain flour and baking powder or bicarb or, very very occasionally cream of tartar if I've had it in for scones (v. rare).

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 25th Oct 16, 9:47 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    *snort* - you always find the silver lining in any situation EH



    And I'm assuming (good cook that you are) you know about adding baking powder to plain flour to make dumplings, but perhaps haven't got any? I never keep SR in the house (a la Nigella - she brags...... ) so just use plain flour and baking powder or bicarb or, very very occasionally cream of tartar if I've had it in for scones (v. rare).

    Greying X
    Originally posted by Greying Pilgrim
    I do, but I couldn't be bothered... The flatbreads are currently a real favourite of mine - I might have bought the plain yogurt with them specifically in mind, in fact...
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 26th Oct 16, 12:50 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    40 hours of 56 crossed through...by lunchtime I'll be into the 30's...that has to be good, right?! Oh well - this time tomorrow I'll be reflecting on a nice Friday of pleasing myself... (And today's entertainment is a big heap of boxes which she's decided on the spur of the moment to send to the other office - they weren't aware of them, don't have space, and are now threatening to send them back... It's like tennis sometimes, I tell you!)

    Hospital visiting duties for great Auntie D tonight - she fell last week and is in there for the foreseeable by the sounds of it with what would be a minor fracture in someone 20 years younger, but at 88, is more of an issue... Apparently according to Mum she's "a bit touchy" - so that might be a very short visit! She can be as rude and unpleasant as she likes but I don't have to tolerate it! As a result I've re-jigged the meal plan round so tonight's food will be pasta. Now the meal plan says "With 'shrooms and bacon" - the 'Shroom bit is fine (obviously - when did I not have 'shrooms in?) but the bacon is a mystery to me - clearly I thought I had some but the freezer has swallowed it. It'll be with chicken instead though which is fine, and still ticks the "using stuff up from the freezer" thing.

    Need to remember to get the box of frozen Merguez Chickpeas out tonight as my dinner tomorrow will be a buddha bowl - may also drag out the 2 remaining flour tortillas so I can do something with those at lunchtime on Friday...probably some sort of Quesadilla - definite winter comfort food there!

    Credit card money shuffle got done on Monday night and, as I suspected, we've slipped a bit more than ideal into the habit of "just putting stuff on the CC" that really ought to be dealt with from our own cash. There is only so much in the joint fun account each month, and this last period has gone waaaaay over that! Time to get back on track again I think! I'm edging ever closer to a new diary I think...it feels like the right point for it now.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • Pippilongstocking
    • By Pippilongstocking 26th Oct 16, 5:09 PM
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    Pippilongstocking
    We do like a new diary don't we - I'm thinking of one myself

    x
    Pippi's Debt Free Diary
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 26th Oct 16, 5:48 PM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    I'm edging ever closer to a new diary I think...it feels like the right point for it now.
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    We do like a new diary don't we - I'm thinking of one myself

    x
    Originally posted by Pippilongstocking

    Must be summat in the water - I've said that too today..............

    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 26th Oct 16, 5:50 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Ha, I've been thinking of one too but think I'm going to hold out for a mortgage free wanabee one when we move

    Poor Great Auntie D. Hope the visit is tolerable. Is she always touchy or is she just grumpy at being in pain and in hospital? Hope it's ok
    Saved for house move: £8570
    • rtandon27
    • By rtandon27 26th Oct 16, 6:22 PM
    • 1,749 Posts
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    rtandon27
    Ack! New diaries EH & Pips & GP & Cheery?!?!?

    EH - I've only just 'found' you
    Pips - will you still be having virtual kitchen parties?
    GP - has the thought of fame put you off?
    Cheery - is the move soon then?



    xox RT
    Mine/Hers: May 2011£10835.33May 2016£4709.46Oct 2016£0
    Not Mine/His: June 2016£8175.38Oct 2016£0
    Grand Total£0
    PSST - WE ARE DEBT FREE!!!
    (With heartfelt thanks to those who have gone before us & their indubitable generosity.)
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