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  • FIRST POST
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 28th Oct 16, 12:08 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    EH - Essex > Hebrides...the next step of the adventure?
    • #1
    • 28th Oct 16, 12:08 PM
    EH - Essex > Hebrides...the next step of the adventure? 28th Oct 16 at 12:08 PM
    Well well - here we are again then, new diary as threatened promised - the previous one can be found HERE - there are others too - if I can be bothered to go find them I'll add in some links, otherwise feel free to go stalking if you should wish to!

    Previous diary to the previous one mentioned above...
    ..and the previous one to that, too...

    So, I've been here a while (since 2008, in fact) and can't ever imagine quite managing to leave entirely now. I've made some seriously good friends thanks to this place (Stripes, Cheery, I'm looking at you ladies!) - and for that reason alone I'll hang about like a bad smell for as long as they'll have me. A brief summary of "me" - too short to reach anything interesting, Londoner (full of resentment due to being forced out when we wanted to buy somewhere to live - damned incomers and property prices!) currently living in Essex with MrEH. The username is Essex = for where we are currently, and Hebridean = representing the fact that the long term plan is to move to the ludicrously far-flung but ridiculously beautiful islands off the west coast of Scotland. (as and when the move happens I shall be requesting a change of name to LondonHebridean so nobody even THINK about taking that one, OK?)

    Started on here with a loan and a tenuous grasp on our money, plus a mortgage. Budgeting happened. Am emergency fund was built. We discovered we liked the challenge of teaching financial institutions a lesson. The loan was kicked into touch first off, and then we started the onslaught on the mortgage. Various adventures along the way including losing half my income practically overnight and a 6 year experiment with being self-employed, all good fun. We waved a cheerful goodbye to the mortgage on 30th September this year - paying it off over 12 years early and according to MrEH's clever spreadsheet saving ourselves around 35k in interest had we left it to run to term. Go us, eh?

    So - this is the next chapter, really. While debt free (and that seems amazing) we want to:

    a) Stay that way
    b) Build a savings pot - firstly to ensure that we can at the least put down a chunky deposit against a future "Islandy" dwelling, and secondly to assist with a lifestyle which is less work and more full when we get there.
    c) Do up our existing flat to make it into a fab place for us to live while we're still here, and a desirable rental for when we're not.
    d) Have fun. Lots of it.

    There will be food, regular lunatic visitors (that's this thread, not at home, although sometimes at home too), a reluctance to wield hairbrushes, some Little Red Jets, and hopefully some laughs along the way. Want to join me for the ride? Well I'd be delighted - grab a chair!!
    Last edited by EssexHebridean; 31-10-2016 at 8:54 PM.
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Page 20
    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 2nd Mar 17, 10:43 PM
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    angelpye
    That sounds great! I am slowly refurbing my house so always interested to hear how people are doing it. I wish there was cash back for IKEA as I will be buying a few things from there. Nice you found someone who's work you like and well done for successfully project managing the bathroom
    Happiness is wanting what you have...
    Debt Jan 2017: 2589.22 DFD: Sept 2022 April 2022 but this Marching Minimalist can beat that!
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    • MistyMountainTop
    • By MistyMountainTop 3rd Mar 17, 10:15 AM
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    MistyMountainTop
    You may have mentioned it before, but I can't remember - what sort of timescale do you have for moving to Scotland?

    It's going to be so nice once your kitchen is done, it will be well worth the hassle!
    Current Weight Loss: 2/ 96
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 4th Mar 17, 10:49 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    You may have mentioned it before, but I can't remember - what sort of timescale do you have for moving to Scotland?

    It's going to be so nice once your kitchen is done, it will be well worth the hassle!
    Originally posted by MistyMountainTop
    Oh it definitely will!! Can't wait now.

    We're not entirely sure on the Scottish thing at the moment - it's all complicated rather by me being an Only child - MrEH is one of 4 so in some ways easier for him. |We're pretty much open from now to keeping our eye out for properties that look like they would suit us - if anything came up at the right time we'd certainly consider looking at it if we were there at the right time. However it could yet be 5 years or more - a lot will depend on the property side of things as we're keen to find the right place for what we want to do with it.

    Made the most of the Al's S6 yesterday - cauli, carrots, parsnips, leeks and swede. A beef stew will be appearing on a meal plan near here very soon indeed! Ditched the onions as they didn't appear to be that great and I'd got the leeks anyway.

    Today has been a mix of productive and lazy - so pretty perfect saturday really. Spent two hours this morning cleaning and polishing my car - first time for ages I've done her from scratch and it was great to see her looking so fab afterwards! Also did my weekly fast walk this afternoon - 1.7 miles at a steady 16min/mile pace. Also found time for a bath, some general tidying, and quite a bit of reading of my book as well as keeping half an eye on my friend's flight to the US - he's deployed over there for 6 weeks. (just on approach to land now - I love Flightradar!)

    Absolutely no plans for tomorrow either - in fact I've not even looked to see what the weather is planned to do. If it's fine we'll probably fit in a walk somewhere, though

    Oh - for anyone doing OnePoll surveys, I've just had somewhere about 1.60 worth of guaranteed surveys all updating personal details. That's taken me to over 9 so pretty chuffed with that. Worth logging in to see if you have them too I would say.
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    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 6th Mar 17, 4:25 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    Rest of the weekend passed in a similar vein. Did get some decluttering done ahead of the kitchen being sorted yesterday which lead to a full bag of assorted toot going to the bin, and a carrier bag full of assorted lightbulbs that we no longer have fittings to suit set aside to take to Mum's/Auntie D's. Some of the stuff that was in the space we cleared out had literally been shoved up there when we moved in so it feels quite refreshing to have sorted things out in that area - and of course in a lot of cases it was as simple as "we've not needed/wanted it for the past 13 years, no need to hang onto it now, then!"

    Cooked a rather delicious lamb breast for dinner last night - kept washing up to a minimum by lobbing veggies in to roast around it for the last hour of its cooking - parsnip, swede, onion. mushrooms and chantenay carrots. Yes there was indeed a healthy (literally) dose of Super 6 in there! A good deal of the REST of the S6 stuff went into a casserole dish with a chunk of beef shin and a handful each of red lentils and pearl barley and that got cooked in the oven with the lamb and came out smelling lovely. The last bit of oven space was used for the remaining stuffing from the other week that I felt would go well enough with the lamb - it needed something at least a bit "carbey" and I'd lobbed the last tatties in the stew!

    I think I'm going to chop the rest of the lamb up and freeze for next week, and the stew will go for tomorrow - tonight will be a nice easy to sort out spag bol - already got the sauce out of the freezer for that.

    Plans for this week aside from getting used to a UK > USA 8 hour time difference and trying NOT to text my pal at a time which will wake him up are kick kitchen things a bit further forwards and hopefully make it to Scampton on Friday for some photographic action. Not so much as seen a LittleRedJet in well over a month and frankly at this time of year that is just not good enough! Might go up Thursday night but not sure yet - I'll touch base with my friend and see what she's got planned - can't remember whether her first rest day is Thursday or Friday.

    Car shared with MrEH today so crammed in a quick walk this morning and a slightly longer but slower one at lunchtime. I'll shove in another one when I come to leave here before picking him up too. According to my app I walked 53 miles of logged walking last month - it would be nice to see if I could up that to 60 in March.
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    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 6th Mar 17, 4:32 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    Out of kilter with this - Weekly update on the survey front:

    Surveys:
    OnePoll 9.45 (Cash-out 40) 40 claimed 8/2/17
    PC 3
    Populus Live 22 (Cash-out 50)
    Opinion Outpost 50 points (previously cashed out on 01/03/17 9.25)
    Power of opinions (Cashes out to vouchers at 1,000 points) 820 points
    YouGov 1,100 points (cashed out 50 at 5,000 points)
    Toluna - totally lost the will to live on that one.
    Valued Opinions : 2.75 but I do seem to have a handful there to do

    TCB: Nothing currently payable
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
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    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 8th Mar 17, 9:51 AM
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    EssexHebridean
    Yay - couple of short OnePoll surveys this morning have taken me past the 10 level.

    MrEH got up yesterday morning to discover that the washing machine had pumped out onto the kitchen floor - drain had blocked up again. So a chunk of last night was spent using ever more potent drain cleaners in order to try to clear it. Did get a bit concerned when the sulphuric acid based one wouldn't shift it, but in the end a plentiful application of bicarb and boiling white vinegar did the trick thank goodness. No water on the floor this morning so fingers crossed it will last this time until it's all ripped out when the kitchen is done.

    Liver & onions for dinner tonight - yum! we'll have it with couscous rather than mash as I've not got any tatties but I have got plenty of couscous.

    Holiday spending money is building up nicely in the CC+ account - and we counted up the roadkill and random change pigs last week and have a touch over 220 from those two which will also form part of our "buying nice stuff to eat while we're away" fund!

    On the negative financial side, my car will need booking in sooner rather than later for it;'s belt-change - I won't be seeing any change from 500 for that job being done but it definitely has to be so need to get it sorted.
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    • boxofpaws
    • By boxofpaws 9th Mar 17, 9:21 PM
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    boxofpaws
    Hello EssexHebridean,

    Just had a look at your diary. I have shied away from subscribing to diaries where people are debt free until now, and stuck with diaries mostly from people just starting out like me. But you've given me some blooming good advice on mine, and it's got me rethinking my strategy. I love reading about how people are tackling debts but who better to learn good habits from than people who've successfully become debt free. So I will be reading from now on. When I have a bit more time I will read through your original DFD too.

    Thank you for posting over on my diary and thank you for being an inspiration

    Paws
    Debt 03/01/17 = 42000
    Debt today = 36933
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 13th Mar 17, 11:50 AM
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    EssexHebridean
    Oh bless you Paws - what a lovely post! (Not sure about the wisdom of reading through the old diaries though - you do realise that is time you will never get back, right?! ). My subscriptions are for all sorts really - newbies who need the support, through to people I've known on here for yonks, and right through to "real life" friends too. Variety being the spice of life and all that, that suits me, and also gives me a selection to dip into depending on what flavour I fancy on any given day!

    Need a list of jobs for the week I think - I'll update my journal at lunchtime and need to make sure that includes working out when the car can get booked in. Must also remember to write my Dad's birthday card tonight so that can go through the door first thing tomorrow.

    Friday was spent photographing those lovely Little Red Jets up at Scampton in FAR better weather than was technically forecast. SO nice to be back to doing what I do on that front again - it's been way too long! Chinese takeaway Friday night paid for by MrEH as he has a budget for one of those a month.
    Saturday we sorted out the shopping in the morning - Al's for S6 leeks, carrots, and onions, and then T's for the rest of the odds and ends. Total came to a bit under 25 I think which I'm perfectly happy with for a weeks shop. Wa fancied a walk i the afternoon and for a change there was neither rugby training OR a match for MrEH so we jumped in the car to Ware, found somewhere to park, and walked along the canal to the head of the navigation at Hertford - stopping there for a rather nice pint in a pub before walking back. That now leaves us just a single stretch of Lea Navigation to walk - hopefully we might manage that in the next little while then that can be fully ticked off. That 5.5 miles along with other walking during the day took my step count to over 20k for the day so I quite happy with that.
    Yesterday I braced myself for the fact that I needed to go clothes shopping so we trundled to Lakeside. Once again I'm reminded how much I dislike the place. Did manage to find a new pair of jeans that fitted though, plus three new tops which will do for work and enable me to get rid of some of my less respectable looking ones. Sadly didn't manage to find any new work trousers though - MandS had some but they were entirely the wrong cut for me and I lost the will to go into Matalan after that. We did treat ourself to lunch at Gourmet Burger Kitchen which was a) from our "fun" budget, b) absolutely freaking delicious and c) the only meal I needed all day - I was stuffed!


    This week will all be about getting various little jobs and odds and ends done and starting to chase things forward on the kitchen too. We've now got an electrician on board as well as our builder, and fingers crossed should be getting started sooner rather than later. I'll also continue with the healthy eating thing, drink lots of water, carry on cramming in walks wherever I can, and if the weather is decent enough will be making another trip to Scampton on Friday. Currently the forecast says "cloudy" though and I think I *may* need a little more than that...
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    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 13th Mar 17, 1:12 PM
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    angelpye
    Hi EH, sounds like you are super busy as usual. Great you got an electrician on board - finding the pros for those types of jobs can be tricky with schedules etc. I was just wondering how you monitor your steps? I see a few people on hear talking about walking and wondered what you use?
    Happiness is wanting what you have...
    Debt Jan 2017: 2589.22 DFD: Sept 2022 April 2022 but this Marching Minimalist can beat that!
    Use it or Loose it gym target: Feb'17 5/6 Mar 4/6
    EF 0/4200
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 14th Mar 17, 11:14 AM
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    EssexHebridean
    Hi EH, sounds like you are super busy as usual. Great you got an electrician on board - finding the pros for those types of jobs can be tricky with schedules etc. I was just wondering how you monitor your steps? I see a few people on hear talking about walking and wondered what you use?
    Originally posted by angelpye
    I'm currently using a combination of a normal pedometer - I was using the one on the iPhone but the SE one is seemingly not as accurate as the one on my old 5S was (I do still manually add the steps into that though as it's a great way of keeping track of weekly/monthly and annual average counts.) - and the MapMyWalk app which is excellent - gives you distances covered and average pace as well which makes interesting reading. That app also links in with MyFitnessPal which I'm finding quite good for tracking food etc. It needs to be easy and straightforward, for me, or I'll very quickly get bored with faffing about with it!
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    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 14th Mar 17, 11:24 AM
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    EssexHebridean
    Update:

    Surveys:
    OnePoll 13.25 (Cash-out 40) 40 claimed 8/2/17
    PC 6 Claimed 13/3/17
    Populus Live 22 (Cash-out 50)
    Opinion Outpost 100 points (previously cashed out on 01/03/17 9.25)
    Power of opinions (Cashes out to vouchers at 1,000 points) 915 points
    YouGov 1,125 points (cashed out 50 at 5,000 points)
    Toluna - totally lost the will to live on that one.
    Valued Opinions : 3.50 - struggling a bit with getting accepted for much on there

    TCB: Nothing currently payable
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
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    • Scott_Weiland
    • By Scott_Weiland 14th Mar 17, 11:39 AM
    • 282 Posts
    • 500 Thanks
    Scott_Weiland
    I am the same with uk toluna i am tending to lose the will to live i am doing canny well with one poll they are putting up more larger payout surveys ie 20-30p ones, luckily power of opinion and opinium research are keeping me ticking over. Opinium research is my bus journey to work entertainment
    Debts 16349.33
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 14th Mar 17, 12:17 PM
    • 7,149 Posts
    • 38,037 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    I am the same with uk toluna i am tending to lose the will to live i am doing canny well with one poll they are putting up more larger payout surveys ie 20-30p ones, luckily power of opinion and opinium research are keeping me ticking over. Opinium research is my bus journey to work entertainment
    Originally posted by Scott_Weiland
    Yes OnePoll have really pulled it out of the bag lately - I've been getting masses of profile builder ones at 20p a time and of course it's guaranteed acceptance so nothing not to like there.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
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    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 14th Mar 17, 3:05 PM
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    angelpye
    MapMyWalk sounds great - I have fitness pal too as trying to shift 9 lbs over the next few months. The problem I have is thinking about what I eat makes me obsess about food! I want to be eating all of the time! I am hoping once I get into a pattern I can ditch the app again and stay on target so I am thinking about it less.

    I need to sign up to a few more survey sites I think. Prolific Academy has really slowed down.
    Happiness is wanting what you have...
    Debt Jan 2017: 2589.22 DFD: Sept 2022 April 2022 but this Marching Minimalist can beat that!
    Use it or Loose it gym target: Feb'17 5/6 Mar 4/6
    EF 0/4200
    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 14th Mar 17, 3:32 PM
    • 995 Posts
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    angelpye
    After saying that I got two surveys - 1.60 made Always the way! Now time for the school run!
    Happiness is wanting what you have...
    Debt Jan 2017: 2589.22 DFD: Sept 2022 April 2022 but this Marching Minimalist can beat that!
    Use it or Loose it gym target: Feb'17 5/6 Mar 4/6
    EF 0/4200
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 14th Mar 17, 3:44 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    Ooh I forgot about them - must remember to log in and refresh a few times during the day to see if I can pick anything more up Angel - thanks for the nudge!

    Had a bit of a "meh" few days here - a very close friend of mine is currently deployed overseas - not for all that long but comms are rubbish and I do miss the regular contact with him when he's away. It's really quite tough going from "speaking" via text several times a week to pretty much nothing. Obviously it's a lot worse for family etc but it's still hard on friends to be honest. Pah! Oh well - I'll keep reminding myself that the time is trotting on and in just a few weeks he'll be back, and hopefully then he's not got any more O/S deployments this year.

    So food tonight will be mushroom & pea risotto - it was going to have chicken in it as well but somewhere along the line I'd obviously used the bag of chicken I thought I had in the freezer. Oopsy. Eye off the ball there EH. Oh well - it'll be just as nice without, I'm sure. I'm tending to bulk things out with lots of veg at the moment and reducing the levels of carbs slightly as a result. Seems to be working OK and MrEH isn't complaining yet.

    Utilised lunchtime to fill in the DD form for the change to the gas supplier - same company but they're partnering with someone different which should see a saving for us on our already ludicrously tiny gas costs. That'll go off to them tonight and I need to make a note of when the change is likely to happen as I'll need to cancel the other DD.

    Other stuff that still needs doing this month:
    Railcard - needs renewing ahead of Easter as we might do a day out by train then
    Gas - There is a balance needing paid on the existing account as they adjusted the DD too low
    Electricity - read meter and put readings onto the account
    Holiday - Cottage needs balance paid
    - Ferries need booking

    There's other odds and ends too but those are the main things I think.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
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    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 14th Mar 17, 4:09 PM
    • 995 Posts
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    angelpye
    That must be difficult with friend being away. I feel it if mine goes on holiday, never mind for any real length of time.
    Happiness is wanting what you have...
    Debt Jan 2017: 2589.22 DFD: Sept 2022 April 2022 but this Marching Minimalist can beat that!
    Use it or Loose it gym target: Feb'17 5/6 Mar 4/6
    EF 0/4200
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 14th Mar 17, 4:52 PM
    • 7,149 Posts
    • 38,037 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Having friends in the RAF is a bit pants sometimes. Oh well - could be worse - his 10 weeks last year was horrible.

    Ultimate facepalm moment. It helps, with Prolific Academic, if you actually do all the pre-screening questions, doesn't it...

    I'm a muppet!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
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    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 14th Mar 17, 5:03 PM
    • 995 Posts
    • 3,627 Thanks
    angelpye
    Ah, yes, it really does

    Exactly and he his home again in a few weeks so a big catch up will be sure to be on the cards! I dated someone in the forces once, it dint work out for other reasons, the separations were awful!
    Happiness is wanting what you have...
    Debt Jan 2017: 2589.22 DFD: Sept 2022 April 2022 but this Marching Minimalist can beat that!
    Use it or Loose it gym target: Feb'17 5/6 Mar 4/6
    EF 0/4200
    • MistyMountainTop
    • By MistyMountainTop 14th Mar 17, 5:16 PM
    • 486 Posts
    • 1,640 Thanks
    MistyMountainTop
    I just cashed out 12.55 with prolific academic, they are one of my favs.

    I'm going to check the mapmywalk app now, it sounds brilliant!

    Sorry you're missing your friend. It's always worse for the one left behind, I've found. I always seem to be the one left behind...
    Current Weight Loss: 2/ 96
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