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  • FIRST POST
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 28th Dec 14, 5:28 PM
    • 3,097Posts
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Living richly; simply and debt-freely
    • #1
    • 28th Dec 14, 5:28 PM
    Living richly; simply and debt-freely 28th Dec 14 at 5:28 PM
    Good Afternoon

    I've decided to start a new diary, just prior to the New Year. My old diary has been instrumental in helping me through a slight sticky patch 18 months ago, and has really helped me to start to lead the life that I want to live with my DP at Greying Towers. If you want to read the background, here's the link; Living on next to nought is that the key?

    2014 has already seen us declutter whole drawers and rooms of *stuff* (and we don't own much!) and make a start on the redevelopment of Greying Towers And we've remembered to have fun along the way, so have kept up with our preferred method of entertainment, which is cycling, walking, picnicking and visiting Natty Trust places

    2015 and beyond is going to see us hurtling towards retirement - well, if the goalposts didn't constantly shift, we'd be hurtling, but let's just say, that as you get older, the years pass by much more quickly, so we're getting older, quicker We don't necessarily want to be living where we are now, as we get older. We don't need a smaller property, Greying Towers is quite wee, but it's relatively high maintenance, not terribly energy efficient and doesn't fill us with joy to live here.

    Therefore, we have been trying to plan for our futures. I've certainly always been of a frugal, thrifty, self-sufficientish vein. DP is a late starter, but has fully converted, and now often nags encourages me to do better! Therefore, we're used to living within our means. And certainly my previous diary has helped to galvanise our determination to live within our means, and yet lead a *rich* life, full of fun, memorable moments and lots of laughter. Of course, a *rich* life is open to individual interpretation, but I've found that the simpler my life becomes, the *richer* it is. And to this end, I'm determined to live a rich life, of simplicity - enabling us to live within our means and avoid debt. We would like to move house, and I currently have no idea what impact the changes in mortgage rules may or may not have on us. But I do know that we would be wise to have as much money saved as we can, and to avoid any poor credit ratings. So, the important part of our lives now is to remain living a *rich* life - doing all the things that we do now; simplifying our lives only focusing on what is needed or important and remaining, firmly, out of debt.

    As in my previous diary, there are only 2 adults to consider the impact of any crazy schemes we may have to employ - if our teeth fall out or we keel over with malnutrition, then that is our own look out!

    Keeping an eye on budgets is key to simple living, and the one I keep the beadiest eye on, is always the food budget. We are a vegetarian household with a budget for £100 per month for food. Toiletries, alcohol, haircuts etc etc is from a separate budget of £80 total.

    I'm very interested in food, eating and cooking. I talk about it a lot. I even take pics of me tea I hope to continue that strange habit in this diary

    We have a *significant* event in 2015, that we would like to mark. We are currently trying to work out if we could afford to do it, alongside all the work that needs to be done on the house. I haven't got high hopes that we can do it all - but if I've learnt one thing, it is that if you don't have a plan at all, then you definitely fail before you start. In 2013 and 2014 we have definitely achieved much more when we've had a plan, than without - even if we've had to change course, or in fact, had a different outcome to that intended

    So, fancy joining me for the ride?

    Greying




    If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply!
    This Forum tip was included in MoneySavingExpert.com's weekly email!
    Last edited by MSE Jessica; 25-10-2016 at 3:17 PM.
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
Page 89
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 18th Oct 16, 8:31 PM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Good Evening

    Well, tea has been made and scoffed. Not very exciting, but lentil and vegetable, as stipulated I shoved a tub of Harira out of the freezer in too, to bulk out the lentils, and use up a portion that would otherwise have only really served 1. The harira had been made a couple of weeks ago with the kala chana, you can see a couple in the picture. Harira is usually made with meat or meat stock. I have no idea where my veggie version comes from, but the nearest ingredient wise, with the exception of the caramelized lemons, can be found HERE. I also added in a stockpot, along with some chopped carrots and some chopped parsnips that I had bought from mrL. I also threw in some little sweet peppers that Great Uncle 'Topher had given me. And I threw in the last of the merguez spice that I had made additional of for the hummus. The base of the soup was onion, celery and garlic. Served with a dollop of natural yoghurt, a drizzle of pomegranate molasses and some onion seed. So a mish-mash rather than a recipe, but a hearty soup/stew - just right for the weather and no additional purchases needed to put a bowl of good food on the table Picture here;



    Today I am grateful for these 3 things;

    unexpected preloved gifts for Baby Greying - generous and 'green'

    progress with tidying up/decluttering - OK so I've not got out of one room yet, but everything I touched today was ditched/recycled, homed or rehomed

    Baby Greying's giggles - spontaneous, responsive and uninhibited

    Ta for popping in, reading and revelling in me mash

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 19th Oct 16, 8:12 AM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Good Morning

    Happy hump day

    Wot has Wednesday got in store for us?

    The menu planner says 'something' with rice. I'm not too sure whether to dig the brown rice portions out of the freezer and pair it with the spinachy lemon hot-pot that is in there too, or whether to do something different. The difficulty with that is that I would be using up a few key ingredients, and i actually need to keep my options open, as I've invited a mummy chum over for lunch on Friday. And I've no idea what to prepare, yet. She doesn't have any intolerances, and will eat most things, so my scope is pretty wide But i'd like to come up with something yummy, because, well, why not?

    We need to pop out today. To get some fresh air and exercise as as much as anything. Although I am keen to try to carry on tidying. If we could get at least 1 room sorted, well that would be a big boost. If we do go out, then I'll pick up the tv listings mag.

    Right Baby Greying is starting to get fractious, so I'll quit whilst I am ahead.

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 19th Oct 16, 7:57 PM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Good Evening

    Well, I am a doofus.

    What on earth was I wittering on about this morning about taking stuff out of the freezer to use. I actually had a plan as to what I was going to cook for tea this eveing - and it wasn't rice.......... Doh!

    There is a tenuous link to rice..... I intended to make orzotto, which, dear Reader, as you know is the pearl barley/spelt version of risotto which is made with rice! I plumped for PB, partly because the 'recipe' (actually an amalgam I did yonks ago when I had a glut of HG tommies, of 2 recipes in Lindsay Bareham's Tomato cookbook, plus a bit 'o Greyingness chucked in ) called for it, and partly because I had 2 portions worth sitting in the jar in the cupboard. It was also the reason that I purchased the cherry tomatoes from mrL! Lawks, I do make it hard on myself, don't I?

    Anyhoo, it's kinda orzotto, but it's more spicy than perhaps a tomato risotto might be. I didn't roast the tomatoes (hadn't got the oven on for anything else) although I did chop up a couple of sun-dried tommies that I had in a jar, in the fridge. The barley was cooked with a bay leaf - adore bay! and the spices in the dish were; turmeric, allspice, paprika, cayenne and salt & pepper. Oregano and basil completed the seasoning, along with lemon zest and juice. The lemon is essential to lift the dish The orzotto base was, as ever, onion (red on this occasion), celery and garlic and I used a stockpot.

    So, no recipe 'link' i'm afraid, but it looked like this;



    Was tasty, autumnal food, used up stores and didn't cost the earth. Grand Failed on the '------ with rice' element though!

    Today I am grateful for these 3 things;

    for a walk, a breath of fresh air and the sunshine - we'll gloss over getting slightly damp in 3 separate showers on the way home

    saving the pennies - bagged it all up today and took some to the PO; future birthday gifts for the family 'young adults' sorted, bit by bit

    for using up stores - when my mind played catch-up!!!

    Ta for popping by and reading. Very, very much appreciated. By me. As ever.

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 20th Oct 16, 7:34 AM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Good Morning

    mmm, just had a look at the new mrL 'pick 'o t'week' not inspired.

    The mrAl S6 is marginally better - the butternut squash and the satsumas may be worth a punt, but the previous offerings were better.

    I did laugh at mrL labelling the apples 'bobbing' apples. Does anyone do that anymore? Haven't elfin safety-pin top brass clamped down on it yet? Funnily enough, that is all our halloween used to be. None of this consumer-fest, and certainly no trick or treat - aided by the fact we lived in the country, and our nearest neighbour was 100 yards away, beyond that, it was half a mile in either direction, on an unlit road that folks used as a test track for s1lverst0ne. I don't know how we'll manage that one as Baby Greying grows up. It really is something I don't support. It was ironic last year, reading several different US blogs (and the attendant comments), where the parents were paying the kids for their excess candy, in order to prevent them eating it...... say what?

    Today is 'buddha bowl'. I don't know what it'll be, but I know that the protein will be egg, as that's all we have!

    I need to pick a couple of things up from the high street, for lunch tomorrow.

    If I've spare time and inclination, tidying still beckons And I need to finish off the menu-planner for next week, to make sure I'm using up what I have.

    Plenty to keep me out of mischief then?

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 25th Oct 16, 9:46 AM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Good Morning

    Well, tas been a funny few days.

    There have been a series of events around the towers that truly have rocked my belief in the inherent goodness of humankind. One act in particular can at best be described as highly thought-less, at worst, out and out vindictive against our household

    It got to the stage where as each further event happened, you began to question it all as coincidence? connected? or conciously misanthropic.

    Over the weekend I had carefully worked out the budget and got the 'missing' ingredients for the meal-plan this week. This just left enough to get 6L of ss milk for the food bank. The events of the weekend left me to question why was I bothering with kindness, when it wasn't headed in our direction in any great numbers. But luckily, my stubborn streak kicked in and I pressed on with my purchase. As I wandered over to the community hub, I thought how disapproving Great Aunt Maud would still be , As I dropped off the cartons, I was pleased that the receptionist was a little bit more smiley the reception was quiet - perhaps 'anyone' is better than 'no-one' And as I left, folding up my carrier bag, I was relieved..... relieved to feel the blood rushing into my hand and sensation returning

    Someone who has been a great influence in our lives this past year is retiring imminently. They are the sort of person who you want to remain in post 'forever', because they are that good; that dedicated; that vitalising. And yet, they have a 'future plan'. They will continue to transform, influence, improve, support and imbue love and themSELVES into new areas, new spheres, new genres. We took the opportunity to share how much they meant to us, and send them our love and best wishes for their future. It cost nothing, but meant everything.

    Remembering the nice bits of the weekend; the lovely lunch and wonderful company of mummy chum R on Friday; the day trip out to see the changing (tree) colours of autumn; the 'firsts' and the love and support from others, far, far outweighs the petty, the small-mindedness and meaness. By a long chalk.

    It is probably no surprise that I 'came across' (?) a list of Gandhi's 'fundamentals' for changing the world this morning. The thing I like about the list is that actually, it isn't about changing anyone but yourself. But the one that stood out most today was no.4 (on this particular list) - 'without action, you aren't going anywhere'.

    A reminder. In print. To self

    _________________________________________


    Tuesday, so we've soup on the planner. A jolly nice one (made it before) gleaned from a student recipe book and for which I think I only had to buy peas for - but then (if you like them) you should always have frozen peas in your freezer, right?

    Thank you for popping in and reading. It's wonderful to know that you are here.

    Greying X
    Last edited by Greying Pilgrim; 25-10-2016 at 9:49 AM.
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 25th Oct 16, 1:06 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Aw Greying, I'm so sorry you've had your faith in kindness wobbled how very awful I'm on my phone at work so cant stay (and cant think of anything intelligent to say anyway) but just wanted to say you are a good person, the world is mostly full of good people, and if any horridness comes your way it is NOT because you deserve it xxx

    Some people are just (insert rude swearword of choice here)

    Xxx
    Saved for house move: £8420
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 25th Oct 16, 3:56 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    *Diving in quickly to note* OOH! You've been money tipped according to your first post!

    And as for the other stuff - vile when it feels as though everything's against you, but you know it'll pass, don't you. People are in all shapes, sizes and types - some good, some less so. It's about balancing out the less than pleasant with the utterly lovely. I think.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 25th Oct 16, 5:01 PM
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    • 33,538 Thanks
    Greying Pilgrim
    *Diving in quickly to note* OOH! You've been money tipped according to your first post!
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    Lawks! How not to live your life, by Greying Pilgrim, aged *I ain't telling* & 3 quarters

    I don't know what it means, but thank you.........

    I agree about the 'this too shall pass'. I was trying to say as much in my post - but i know that I didn't. What I meant was, that although the one thing was - inadvertently or otherwise - aimed at 'Greying Towers' I think that the other things were actually coincidental. So what I'd meant to say was that i was glad that I'd carried on with my plan regarding donating to the foodbank, because it had no connection with what happened at home; made me feel better and actually kept the *carp* separate in their own little boxes, not adversely affecting things to the point of altering behaviours. And it's given me a kick up the bum to get my act together and get out of here..........

    And Cheery thank you. I have only just recently been able to access the web by mobile. Mmmm, definitely too difficult for a luddite like me to navigate/respond. I'll stick to me steam-driven table coverer for the time being

    Well, Baby Greying and I got out and about to see how far it was, and found it to be just far enough I have inadvertently grasped a NSD today And I've pootled about doing house chores

    I need to go and finish off the washing up, now that I have stopped making a mess. So that I can begin to make tea, dirty dishes and utensils and start the process all over again......

    Right, I'm away to action...........................


    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • rtandon27
    • By rtandon27 25th Oct 16, 6:05 PM
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    rtandon27
    GP - you've been tipped!!! How wonderful - methinks this little corner of t'internet might become grand central station soon! - The more the merrier! Love a good house party - even if it is virtual!!! - 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.)
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 25th Oct 16, 6:23 PM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    GP - you've been tipped!!! How wonderful - methinks this little corner of t'internet might become grand central station soon! - The more the merrier! Love a good house party - even if it is virtual!!! - RT
    Originally posted by rtandon27
    You're not trying to tell me that I've got to be prepared for visitors at all times, have the best china washed and polished and put a brush through me hair every time i log on, are you?

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 25th Oct 16, 6:32 PM
    • 44,843 Posts
    • 155,353 Thanks
    beanielou
    It is very hard when your faith in fellow human kind is rocked to the core.
    Luckily enough I then had a lovely lodger who helped to remind me that there are some lovely people in the world.
    Also through my volunteering with our local foodbank I see the good in many people.
    We all love you~~keep plodding
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 11 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.*** ***Keep plodding***
    • rtandon27
    • By rtandon27 25th Oct 16, 8:06 PM
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    • 10,194 Thanks
    rtandon27
    You're not trying to tell me that I've got to be prepared for visitors at all times, have the best china washed and polished and put a brush through me hair every time i log on, are you?

    Greying X
    Originally posted by Greying Pilgrim


    ...brush through hair is both overrated & highly optional!!!!!
    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.)
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 25th Oct 16, 9:05 PM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Good Evening

    Have I got to say who I'm sponsored by as I sit here? You know, like in them glossy mags?

    Hair - optionalbrush

    Makeup - carbolic soap

    Trousers - walking

    Socks - hiking

    Fleece - rEcycled p0p bottles ....................

    Anyhoo, on to important matters. What we had for us tea

    I made the bean soup that I mentioned. It came from the vegetarian student cookbook. I had forgotten that in the book, they had teamed it with scones. I don't automatically think of doing scones with soup, because I wouldn't have the oven on. But I have done it before - pretty sure i made red pepper/black olive scones to go with Jack's feisty soup one time. Anyway, I decided to do flatbreads (inspired by EssexHebridean), which half way through making I decided to do as 'stuffed' flatbreads, as I had a bit of auld lentil dhal kicking about. Mmmmm. I suspect I could sell the resultant glue to nasa to stick their astronauts to robotic arms when they go a-wandering outside of the capsule As I wasn't following a recipe, I made 2 flatbreads (I'd been ambitiously aiming for 4, but quit whilst I could still hold things and then let them go......) in 2 different ways. I did the first one trying to wrap the dough around the dhal. When it all oozed out everywhere, I just smushed it (tech. term) into the other flatbread and rolled and re-smushed (advanced tech. term) it at every opportunity until it t'were vaguely round. The second one, I rolled out two circles of dough and put a blob of dhal in the middle and rolled them together. The dhal oozed out of the sides, middle and everywhere, so I rolled and re-smushed it until I had a vaguely round bread.

    Possibly my dhal was too wet. Possibly I ought to follow a recipe for stuffed flatbreads, rather than winging it all the while.......... The resultant flatbread was a bit yummy though - quite flaky, from all the smushing I suppose, and I used up some of the remaining oil out of the mrL antipasti that I had in the fridge, to fry them in - which added flavour (I think the jar had had peppers in it).

    The recipe for the soup is HERE the recipe for the flatbreads shall be attributed to no-one, because by rights, the dough should have ended up in the bin! As it is, I shall continue to scrape dough off my countertop and rolling pin for weeks, oh yes I shall Picture (of tea, not dough encrusted countertops) here;



    The cannellini beans were something like 3 for £1 from b&em the other week. The peas and beans were frozen. Veg from stores, veg stockpot from the bargain boxes I got from h3ron the other week (3 for £1), tomato puree from h0me bargins.

    A very nice, very filling tea.

    Today I am grateful for these 3 things;

    this online community

    email

    kindness


    Ta for popping in, reading and supporting me. Mucho, mucho appreciated.

    Greying X - exiting stage left, sashaying in ruby red slippers; wearing scent of this season's garlic; jewellery by flour&water............
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 25th Oct 16, 9:40 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Ooh, never thought to stuff flatbreads before Greying, what an interesting (and messy...) idea! Glad fame hasn't gone to your head yet and you're still letting us know what you had for tea

    In the interests of transparency I had a cheap frozen pizza In my defence, (not that I need one :P ) I didn't get in from work til 7.30 and Mr Cheery has been busy all day so there was no tea... Pizza was pretty tasty actually

    Ooh, I meant to say I bought some spicy potato wedges from the supermarket the other day - they were very tasty actually and FAR more successful than any I've ever managed in this ancient oven or the even-more-ancient oven before it So thanks for the suggestion
    Saved for house move: £8420
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 25th Oct 16, 9:41 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    well my flatbreads are not from any recipe whatsoever - they generally consist of "some" flour and a "dollop of" plain yogurt and a pinch of salt. I can rarely be bothered using a rolling pin either so usually end up just flattening them out by hand to whatever shape they fancy!

    Looking forward to the email now to see what your tip is!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 25th Oct 16, 10:07 PM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Glad fame hasn't gone to your head yet and you're still letting us know what you had for tea
    Originally posted by Cheery Daff
    I can't imagine it will love, think I'm gonna slink back into the periphery. I likes it in the periphery

    In the interests of transparency
    Originally posted by Cheery Daff
    Good gal! Holding up the values and standards of the thread!

    Ooh, I meant to say I bought some spicy potato wedges from the supermarket the other day - they were very tasty actually
    Originally posted by Cheery Daff
    Yep, I must concur, the ones that I got from mrL were pretty good for the money, and certainly the tastiest 'processed' potato I have ever had. The more expensive brands could learn a thing or two..... Although I remain unconvinced about the fish finger-like coating........ EDIT: And of course it was rtandon that put me onto those wedges in the first place I'd not seen them, and I've not tried h3ron's version.


    Looking forward to the email now to see what your tip is!
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    Oh right, I see what you mean now. Oh, me too, me too - I didn't know i ever gave any tips out, I just waffle on a bit........

    Greying X
    Last edited by Greying Pilgrim; 25-10-2016 at 10:16 PM.
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • rtandon27
    • By rtandon27 25th Oct 16, 10:17 PM
    • 1,746 Posts
    • 10,194 Thanks
    rtandon27
    ooooo GP - will you still remember us once yer famous?

    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.)
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 25th Oct 16, 10:23 PM
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    • 33,538 Thanks
    Greying Pilgrim
    ooooo GP - will you still remember us once yer famous?

    Originally posted by rtandon27
    *snort*

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • Upsidedown Bear
    • By Upsidedown Bear 25th Oct 16, 11:17 PM
    • 16,556 Posts
    • 72,993 Thanks
    Upsidedown Bear
    Lawks! How not to live your life, by Greying Pilgrim, aged *I ain't telling* & 3 quarters

    I don't know what it means, but thank you.........
    Originally posted by Greying Pilgrim
    You're in Martin's Money Tips weekly email
    It's just appeared although it's dated tomorrow. Your thread is Debt Free Wannabe Chat of the Week
    The Devil whispered in my ear "You are not strong enough to withstand the storm".
    Today I whispered in the Devil's ear "I am the storm".

    In Solidarity: Andy Woodward - Jeremy Corbyn
    Cheap Coffee Lover

    • in need of direction
    • By in need of direction 26th Oct 16, 8:09 AM
    • 4,063 Posts
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    in need of direction
    And about time too. Worthy recognition.
    Mortgage at 01.01.14 £119,481.83 today £86,391.14 yr1 target met 11.57% cleared
    Current target pay £26,805.30 by 31.12.2016. more than £14660.82 54.69% paid to date

    Emergency fund £3.8k & £200 cash. Mortgage offset fund £6237.54.
    determined to stop defining myself by my mistakes.
    Progress not perfection.
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