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    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 26th Jan 14, 3:19 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Cheery's buttling diary: tea in one hand, plant pot in the other, running shoes on
    • #1
    • 26th Jan 14, 3:19 PM
    Cheery's buttling diary: tea in one hand, plant pot in the other, running shoes on 26th Jan 14 at 3:19 PM
    <sneaks in hoping nobody will notice>

    Hi all

    Goodness me, it's been ever such a long time since I've been here! It seems I disappeared without a trace almost two whole years ago, and then life got in the way, and you know what it's like when you've been gone for so long, it's quite hard to come back...

    In fact, it's been so long since I went that maybe nobody even remembers I was here in the first place If you feel the need to delve into my history the latest (not-very-up-to-date) version is here, and the one before that is here.

    Anyway, I'm back again now and if I disappear again I promise I shall leave a note explaining myself

    I've decided to come back for two reasons:

    (1) I'm not in debt, but I'm also not-quite-as-much-in-control-as-I'd-like I've FINALLY combined finances with Mr Daffs (after 8 years) and there's lots of messing around related to that to be done

    (2) I've just spent a cheery couple of hours reading back through my old diaries (how very sad ) and remembering JUST HOW CHEERFUL it was in the old days of hanging round here

    I confess I'm a tiny bit daunted about coming back - one of the reasons I vanished was because I was spending FAR too much time on the internet and I'm wary of doing that again... But for now I've decided there's plenty of other things to worry about without bothering my little head about that one

    Ooh, I should probably explain the 'buttling' in my title It's a word I invented (although I suspect other people have invented it before me). It's kind of what butlers do, you see - they buttle - make tea and open doors and tidy up, and generally buttle around getting on with little things

    And while I don't intend to put on a suit and act like Jeeves any time soon (although actually come to think of it, he was a valet, not a butler), i LOVE using the word and spend much of every day buttling around doing all kinds of cheerful activities

    Suppose I'd best do something like talking about money now...
    Saved for house move: £16,000
Page 178
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 18th Nov 17, 7:01 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Aha, I have found what you are referring to Think I'll stick with my version though
    Saved for house move: £16,000
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 21st Nov 17, 7:10 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Evening MSE chums

    Well. No news from our buyers over the weekend, although they do have viewings booked in.

    We've been out to the new house again - it's been completely stripped everything, all the wood and everything from the outbuildings has either been burned or taken - apart from 3 rusty freezers in one of the outbuildings full of rotten food I'm not squeamish, but even I was slightly horrified at the sight of a chest freezer several inches deep in blood and bits of meat

    Needless to say the whole place looks completely shabby and dreadful without furniture There's been NO attempt to clean so floors are filthy (one upstairs was covered with shredded insulation and a dead mouse, which I gave a ceremonial burial in a field ) Downstairs the walls are covered with thick black cobwebs from behind the bookshelves. Mr Cheery also discovered that one of the door frames is too low for his head He's normally pretty on the case with such things but apparently missed this one...

    And the floors upstairs are SO saggy - in one room the beams have sagged so much the floorboards don't touch them until you walk on them and they sink about 2 inches We knew it was bad but the worst bit was under the bed...

    Anyway, the upshot is, we have sent a message to our buyers telling them not to rush to accept an offer they are not happy with - we will happily wait as every month without paying the mortgage is a month we can stash a decent chunk towards fixing the floor

    On the plus side, it was most fun stomping about the fields in my wellies and the view really is most excellent And we took a heating engineer with us who sorted the heating and pronounced it to be an excellent boiler, and the whole place was warm within minutes - much more efficient than our current system and with an actual THERMOSTAT! The luxury!

    Saved for house move: £16,000
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 22nd Nov 17, 12:50 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    Those floors do sound rather terrifiying - you're braver than me!!

    It occurs to me on the cleaning thing, it may be as simple as they've just not got to that bit yet - might be worth asking your solicitor to mention it in a kind of "obviously my clients realise that the property is yet to be cleaned..." sort of way - to make it clear that it IS expected. More ways than one to skin a cat (and leave it in a freezer, presumably!) and all that...
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    • starnac
    • By starnac 22nd Nov 17, 1:21 PM
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    starnac
    Oh Cheery. I can't believe you are still having problems! On the upside though, your buyers house should go pretty quiekly by the sound of it and to be honest I hope it does just to teach their buyers a lesson! How rude to demand a reduction after already agreeing to a price!

    Eek to the freezers! Definitely take EH's advice and ask the solictor to have a polite word!
    I need a new signature!
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 22nd Nov 17, 1:50 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Thanks ladies

    Yes, I asked both solicitor and estate agent to confirm that fridges would be removed (and light fittings replaced where they've been taken. Also asked the solicitor about the definition of leaving the place 'clean and tidy' in the contract - I know they're not local and I dodn't expect pristine but it would be nice to be able to at least lose the mouse bedding

    Anyway, we are slightly daunted by the floors but have decided to investigate whether we can use the oportunity of the upheaval to remove a wall between the kitchen and the snug Snug is essentially a useless room (to us) and kitchen is quite pokey so it would be lovely to have a nice kitchen we could get a table in - that was the major thing this house was lacking from our list. May be prohibitively expensive... or just unworkable (there's a chimney in the wall) but it's keeping us occupied for the time being and makes having to rip the floors up a cheerful thing rather than just a fixing thing...
    Saved for house move: £16,000
    • starnac
    • By starnac 22nd Nov 17, 1:59 PM
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    starnac
    What a great way to look at it. Hopefully there's a silver lining here for you
    I need a new signature!
    • Mudbath
    • By Mudbath 22nd Nov 17, 4:11 PM
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    Mudbath
    Wow, your new house sounds like it is going to be amazing (if a little scary to start off with). Good luck with the move. It does sound like it's going to be heaven!
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 24th Nov 17, 9:42 PM
    • 632 Posts
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    redofromstart
    I do love the sound of that house. Ours is less rural (village conservation area) but was also a bit of an elderly wreck inside. We have the wonky beams problem at one end too, so rather than fix it the previous occupants installed a false floor. You only realise how bad it is outside the room where there is major saggage in the hallway. They also did things like treat the damp stone wall problem by varnishing over the plaster so the house can't breathe, and the classic 60s/70s vandalism covering up the period bits. The bath overflow wasn't plumbed into anything and after a few weeks of my excessive baths the dining room false ceiling fell through when I was at work.

    Ill be interested to know how much upheaval sorting the beams is (and of course the cost) is as we will have to sort ours at some point in the unspecified future.
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 29th Nov 17, 11:01 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Thank you lovely people

    Starnac - we are trying to stay positive

    Mudbath - hello I suspect our new house will reflect your name at first In some ways we're quite grateful to be spending one last winter in the city Moving late winter will at least give us only a short sharp wintery shock before the relief of spring

    Crikey Redofromstart - can't believe your bath wasn't plumbed into anything! Wouldn't even occur to me to check!! I shall definitely report back!

    No house news here. I'll give the estate agent a shout on Friday if I've heard nowt (it'll be a fortnight then since it went back on the market). Kind of feel like there's not much point chasing - he would surely have rung me if they'd actually sold it However, I do feel like I should do *something*, and asking for an update once a fortnight doesn't seem excessive

    YNAB all done and dusted, LOTS of frittering going on and budget fiddling section getting good use I hereby commit to using the app whenever I spend anything from now on
    Saved for house move: £16,000
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 10th Dec 17, 4:44 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Evening MSE chums didn't realise it had been so long since I was in here!

    Well, as it happens, the very day after I last posted our buyers found a new buyer for their house so we are all back on, albeit with zero chance of being in for Christmas as new person still has to get mortgage, have searches done etc. I don't expect we'll even be talking about exchange til mid-late January, and I imagine we won't move til Feb now...

    Not quite what we'd planned, but it does give us extra time to save for the things that need doing, and means we'll move as it starts getting warmer and there's less chance of snow - a nice gentle introduction to our new life out in the sticks...

    Not much MSE to report right now, we are pootling along. Christmas shoppig started - and my list has been shortened today by an impromptu family decision to only buy for children this year. Several family things have happened this year meaning that none of us are remotely organised, and finaces are severely restricted in some quarters (not mine, thank goodness). One person is moving house next week, two of us are planning to move in the new year, several people aren't speaking to each other and we currently have a nephew in hospital with a very worrying rash so it's fair to say having a few less presents is probably a good thing.

    Partly I'm a bit sad - we're never extravagent, but it's nice to have a few small things to open. But i do find present shopping a bit stressful at times

    I'll be donating what we would have spent to various charities dealing with the things that have affected our family this year, and I may well suggest we make that a new family tradition from now on for those who can afford it.

    So lots of thoughtfulness going on here.

    If you have any spare vibes for my nephew they would be very much appreciated - fortunately he's feeling fine but they're keeping him in for the time being to observe him. He's just bored stiff and wants to go home!
    Saved for house move: £16,000
    • rtandon27
    • By rtandon27 10th Dec 17, 9:51 PM
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    rtandon27
    Sending good vibes for your nephew and hugs for you! xox
    ONE YEAR DEBT FREE!!! (24 OCT 2016)
    (With heartfelt thanks to those who have gone before us & their indubitable generosity.)
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 10th Dec 17, 10:11 PM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Definitely sending good vibes for your DN. Hope the medics find out what it is and can reassure the family. In the meantime, I hope your nephew is less bored

    Good idea about the gifting of money (or time?) for those who can and want to. Its daft how I got more satisfaction handing over food for the FB at the event last week, not knowing who would receive it, nor what their situation is (not that I need to know - anonymity is all), than I do gifting to several family members who now would be termed 'young adults' and don't seem to remember where the 'thanks' button is. Frankly, I can't wait until they're 21 and we don't have to do this anymore. We ditched gifting to adults years ago, and have never regretted losing the stress associated with it. People who wish to still gift to us do so - despite protests that we want nothing - sometimes the items are useful, other times less so......

    Good that the house plans are all back on track, despite the set-back in timings. But good for you, seeing the positives and rolling with it.

    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 11th Dec 17, 12:08 AM
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    Cheery Daff
    Thabk you lovely people I am pleased to report that your vibes worked and they all got to go home this evening however poor sister is instructed to check the status of the rash every hour and report back to the hospital at 8am for more antibiotics. Not a good nights sleep ahead for her! :blink:

    Thank you for sharing your experience with gifting Greying We're a small family and have always bought presents for everyone so it's a bit weird. I'm still not quite sure how I feel. We only have one young adult (who will be getting a present - I am sure they will appreciate it, even if it does effectively lump them in with the 'children'!) We always give presents in person so difficult not to say than you (although this one would anyway).

    Anyway, I shall ponder some more. I think I would like to get *something* small for some people but we'll see. And while most of us will get presents from partners etc, my mum is on her own so will effectively get no presents at all and I don't feel comfortable with that. We'll see...

    Anyway, bed!
    Saved for house move: £16,000
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 11th Dec 17, 7:27 AM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Cheery - great news on your nephew! But every hour - tough. I hope all is well though, and actually, your sis has 'nothing' to report and the rash goes away - either because of the treatment, or of its own accord.

    You must do what you feel comfortable with regarding the gifting. To go from thoughtful gifting to nothing is tough. We'd got to the stage where (other) people were just giving novelty 'c*ap' as to be able to say that they had got a gift for so-and-so. The young people we still give to, get money, and have done for many a year, due to logistics and them being given 'everything' by parents (we decided early on, not to try to compete). I would have thought that it wasn't much to say 'ta' pretty quickly for an amount of money (even if they think it 'chicken feed'), as who ever has no need for a bit of extra cash? But that's our family, not yours

    Have a great week!

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 11th Dec 17, 8:43 AM
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    Karmacat
    That's great that your nephew got to go home, Cheery! Less so for your sister's sleep patterns I really hope all's well this morning - they must be at the hospital by now, as it's 8.30 or so ...

    It sounds like it's been a tough year for your family as a whole - now that your Christmas isn't going to be so overwhelmed by packing/unpacking, I hope you can turn *yours* around, at any rate.
    Retired August 2016
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 11th Dec 17, 10:13 AM
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    redofromstart
    I'm glad your chain is back up and running again. Like you say, at least you should move in time for the brightness of early Spring and longer days to get things done.
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 12th Dec 17, 8:59 AM
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    Cheery Daff
    Thank you lovely people Sadly nephew landed up back in hospital just after I posted that - but is now out again (for the time being, at least!) What a palaver for them all. Fingers crossed he stays out this time and nothing new appears!

    It has indeed been a tough year KC, for all of us for various reasons. However, we are trying to remain stoical and cheerful where we can

    I think I may suggest spending no more than £5 each for presents next year if people are still struggling. That'll get a box of biscuits, a pair of socks, a candle etc - something little to open. We'll see. Everything might be back to 'normal' by then, who knows?!

    Just done YNAB for the first time in about 10 days SO MANY RECEIPTS Seems I do all my Christmas shopping and food buying in tiny dribs and drabs here and there

    Hey ho, all balanced, and only a little bit moved from various places into the budget fiddling category I really must get back into the habit of using the app as and when I spend things!

    Right - work!
    Saved for house move: £16,000
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 13th Dec 17, 11:37 AM
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    EssexHebridean
    Fingers crossed that your Nephew remains at home and your sister is able to catch up on at least some of her sleep.

    We have a bit of a mix with family presents - still buy for (and receive from) our parents, but for MrEH's siblings we buy for the children (one brother has 4, the other has 2, and the third has none that we know about!) up to the age of 18 and no more than a "token present" for the adults if that. At £20 per child it gets quite pricey for everyone otherwise. For the children we do "goodie bags" have done since they were small and the younger two are now of an age to start getting the full version too - so a right mix of craft items, small toys and games, noisy things to annoy the parents, the sort of things we used to love when we were little, and random stuff like that. Generally speaking nothing costs more that a couple of £ and the kids LOVE them!

    The £5 gift idea is a lovely one - and might even mean a bit more thought being employed about what would suit people from some avenues, who knows!
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    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 13th Dec 17, 11:35 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Well they have had a whole day and two full nights at home, test results came back clear so canula can be taken out of his hand now and drugs stopped so all good

    Had a chat with my sister earlier, seems we may all be trying to sneak out of the no presents rule...

    Just made these mince pies

    https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2174/unbelievably-easy-mince-pies

    If you look at the time they are coming out of the oven, that might give you an indication of how 'unbelievably easy' they are in fact not My butter was room temperature and I now suspect it should have been in the fridge (recipe doesn't say that though - although I do have a vague memory of my grandma saying it once )

    Anyway, they were an absolute pain to make and took FOREVER - would be looking for a roll out recipe next time. However they are absolutely DELICIOUS All butter pastry, and @ldi's cheapest mincemeat and I am now fighting myself not to eat ALL of them before tomorrow...
    Saved for house move: £16,000
    • PurpleFairy26
    • By PurpleFairy26 14th Dec 17, 2:48 PM
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    PurpleFairy26
    Well they have had a whole day and two full nights at home, test results came back clear so canula can be taken out of his hand now and drugs stopped so all good

    Had a chat with my sister earlier, seems we may all be trying to sneak out of the no presents rule...

    Just made these mince pies

    https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2174/unbelievably-easy-mince-pies

    If you look at the time they are coming out of the oven, that might give you an indication of how 'unbelievably easy' they are in fact not My butter was room temperature and I now suspect it should have been in the fridge (recipe doesn't say that though - although I do have a vague memory of my grandma saying it once )

    Anyway, they were an absolute pain to make and took FOREVER - would be looking for a roll out recipe next time. However they are absolutely DELICIOUS All butter pastry, and @ldi's cheapest mincemeat and I am now fighting myself not to eat ALL of them before tomorrow...
    Originally posted by Cheery Daff
    Iíve made them too Cheery bl00dy lovely if a pain to make. I found this time, cold butter to start but leave for an hour after making to crumbs. Then you could Ďkneadí it in your hands to a pastry. Still didnít roll out but was much easier at pressing in the tins. Had to put mine in the freezer to stop me eating them
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