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    • 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.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£232.22
Page 21
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 15th Mar 17, 9:35 AM
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    EssexHebridean
    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!
    Originally posted by angelpye
    Oh urgh yes - if I was to find myself single again now someone in the Forces would definitely NOT be on my list of possibles!

    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...
    Originally posted by MistyMountainTop
    Awww! I'm really liking MapMyWalk - although the weekly summaries it emails you get a bit addictive with trying to beat the previous week's total!


    £11.00 paid across to the card this morning - SOOOOO close to the £200 level now, when the DD goes out tomorrow that'll take me well over it though so I'm going to resist the temptation to do an added top up today! Other than that, today will largely be "more of the same" with the addition of a trip down to Matalan this evening after work as I HAVE to find some more work trousers now - I'm in imminent danger of these just falling right down!

    Dinner tonight will be a "sort of salad" with the leftover lamb breast from the other week's roast - I by some miracle remembered to get it out of the freezer! - with couscous and assorted veggies and salad bits. It's a bit of a favourite way of using up ends of roasting joints for us, this one. Easy and quick for a work night where we've car shared too!

    Hoping to hear from the builder today confirming start date for the kitchen - but we're well and truly on the same page with "ASAP" being the intention by the sound of it. I'm currently freaking out more than a bit about where on earth everything is going to get stored, though - had a tidy up of the spare room last night which will take a fair bit of it but we're going to have to use that as a temporary kitchen too which might complicate things a bit!

    So tonight's job is to do a bit more space clearing - our storecupboard needs turning out and repacking as hopefully a lot of stuff will go in there - and then getting together a meal plan of easy stuff that will just go in the microwave to re-heat while the work is being done, or need no cooking at all...I'm sensing a LOT of rice and couscous ending up on that plan! Oh and jacket potatoes! I'll buy some more beef mince at the weekend so I can cook up a big pot of bolognese sauce though - that goes with all sorts of things and is a nice easy one!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£232.22
    • MistyMountainTop
    • By MistyMountainTop 15th Mar 17, 10:07 AM
    • 426 Posts
    • 1,388 Thanks
    MistyMountainTop
    I remember weeks of not having a kitchen in our last house - I used the slow cooker quite a bit but we ended up buying a halogen cooker in the end. That was years ago but it worked really well and I ended up using it even after the kitchen was done so I didn't need to heat up the oven for something small.

    Doing the washing up in the bathroom was the most frustrating thing for me, I think our kitchen sink was disconnected for 3 days.

    I hope your kitchen refit goes smoothly and with as little disruption as possible!
    Current Weight Loss: 2/ 96
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 15th Mar 17, 10:38 AM
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    EssexHebridean
    I remember weeks of not having a kitchen in our last house - I used the slow cooker quite a bit but we ended up buying a halogen cooker in the end. That was years ago but it worked really well and I ended up using it even after the kitchen was done so I didn't need to heat up the oven for something small.

    Doing the washing up in the bathroom was the most frustrating thing for me, I think our kitchen sink was disconnected for 3 days.

    I hope your kitchen refit goes smoothly and with as little disruption as possible!
    Originally posted by MistyMountainTop
    Aargh yes it's the lack of a sink I'm dreading...we're covered on the cooking thing to a degree as our microwave is one of the combination/convection/grill ones - REALLY useful in the upcoming circumstance! Dave-The-Builder assures me that he'll leave at least a standpipe in place - he needs to in fairness as the kitchen is our only access to mains water. We've also negotiated for the washing machine to be left in position for as long as possible to minimise the time we're without that, although as we're keeping the machine that does need to be balanced off against the risk of damage.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£232.22
    • MistyMountainTop
    • By MistyMountainTop 16th Mar 17, 9:19 AM
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    MistyMountainTop
    Sorry if you've posted it already, but do you have an estimate as to how long the kitchen will be unusable?
    Current Weight Loss: 2/ 96
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 16th Mar 17, 4:13 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    We're hoping it will be no longer than a fortnight Misty. Any more than that and I think I'll be going mad! It's a multi step process though - his first job is to rip everything out, and do the chasing into walls for the electrics. He's also got to remove a section of double-thickness wall in front of the window and refinish with insulation board etc, and relocate the door a little too. Then electrician comes in and puts all the electricals in place. Then Dave can get cracking on with things like plumbing etc - again probably all chased back into the wall to an extent. then everything needs full plastering or at least skimming - including the ceiling. Then it's floor down, units in and all systems go.

    Having written all that I'm all again!

    Trying to decide what to do tomorrow. Was originally hoping for Scampton but there's no flying apparently so a rethink needed. Might head to Hendon for the RAF Museum - they've a new photographic exhibition opening to the public tomorrow and some friends of mine will have pics in that - including the one that won the "people's Choice" award last year. From there I could head back into central London in time for the Lynx Helicopter Flypast along the Thames in the afternoon....Tempting that as long as the weather isn't REALLY grey. Would be fairly budget friendly too - pretty much just travel and some form of snack for lunch...
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£232.22
    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 17th Mar 17, 2:53 PM
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    angelpye
    I was without a kitchen for 3 months - and a proper cooker for 18 due to unexpected 'developments'in house renovation. Ended up being very expensive on the food side as I just gave up and didn't really prepare for it. Was a nightmare. Sounds like you have fully planned etc though and mine was damp work (almost whole house), re doing all underfloor pipework in a concrete floor and excavating chimney breast plus all the putting back together again and all the drying times in between. Plus having to have the other main rooms done at same time to save money with plasterer etc. Still need to finish it but life took a busy turn. Took longer than should of as contractors kept pulling out, new quotes and lack of motivation on my behalf. Worst 18 months of my life. Well done for fully planning before hand - it will pay dividends in stress levels.
    Last edited by angelpye; 17-03-2017 at 2:57 PM.
    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 2/6
    EF £0/£4200
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 21st Mar 17, 10:57 AM
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    EssexHebridean
    *gulp* well I certainly hope ours doesn't go on that long Angel!

    Batch cooked five and a half tubs of bolognese sauce over the weekend, and 2 double portions of shepherd's pie ('Spy!) mix too - the bol is now in the freezer aside from one which will be eaten tomorrow night and the 'Spy will get topped with mash tonight and then those will get frozen too - thanks to the oh-so-marvellous combi microwave both of those are nice easy ones to prep without a full kitchen. So that's a start anyway. We're already planning to just go away somewhere for the middle weekend - it may well tie in with something we already have planned anyway - and aside from that we'll probably choose to eat out somewhere cheap and cheerful for one night each week and have a takeaway for another. Hoping to keep "washing up in the bathroom" to a minimum!

    Found our new fridge freezer at the weekend we think - annoyingly we are going to have to go with a white one we think as the one we wanted wasn't available in the Stainless steel finish we ideally wanted but that can't be helped. However the advantage to that is that white is over £100 cheaper so every cloud, and all that...

    Cashed out £5.55 from Prolific Academic which arrived today so that's gone against the card. and with the DD as well that now puts me at a sub-1k balance on there so I'm extremely chuffed with that! Prolific is trotting along nicely now I've finally worked out how to use it as well - thanks to those who persuaded me it was worth persevering with!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£232.22
    • Scott_Weiland
    • By Scott_Weiland 21st Mar 17, 11:03 AM
    • 247 Posts
    • 457 Thanks
    Scott_Weiland
    Hmmmmmmm going to have to try P.A. since two of my usual payers are doing my head in.
    Debts 16349.33
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 21st Mar 17, 1:16 PM
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    • 37,527 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Hmmmmmmm going to have to try P.A. since two of my usual payers are doing my head in.
    Originally posted by Scott_Weiland
    Worth it - just make sure you do the prescreening questions otherwise you get pretty much nothing!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£232.22
    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 22nd Mar 17, 1:12 PM
    • 947 Posts
    • 3,358 Thanks
    angelpye
    Hi EH, the food sounds well and truly in hand! Do you get notifications from PA? I don't and so it depends on me refreshing which is tedious. £15 waiting to pay out at the moment though
    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 2/6
    EF £0/£4200
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 23rd Mar 17, 11:46 AM
    • 7,012 Posts
    • 37,527 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Hi EH, the food sounds well and truly in hand! Do you get notifications from PA? I don't and so it depends on me refreshing which is tedious. £15 waiting to pay out at the moment though
    Originally posted by angelpye
    Nope - things come and go so fast I think it is just a case of keeping on refreshing isn't it. As you say tedious but...!

    Heard from the builder this morning confirming his labour costs for the kitchen which we're happy with so it's definitely all systems go now - just need to hammer a start date out of him! I need to sit down and make a full list of all the things I'm going to need to get in hand for it as well I think - that might be a lunchtime job.

    Also need a plan for this evening I think...something along the lines of:
    - Change out of work clothes
    - Get clothes ready for tomorrow
    - Oven on
    - Prep veggies for roasting
    - Veggies in oven
    - Upper body/weights workout to routine devised by Mr EH
    - Collapse in a painful heap until veggies are roasted
    - Finish sorting hi-res helicopter photos and dropbox
    - email dropbox link to the person who needs it
    - Cook sausages, eat dinner
    - Clear memory cards
    - pack camera bag
    - sort out anything else I want for tomorrow and pop in bag by front door.
    - Put clothes into front room and makeup/hairbrush into bathroom - MrEH will NOT want disturbing at 5.30am
    - Throw a load into the washing machine to go through overnight
    - Tidy kitchen

    There's probably more stuff too - eek!

    Scampton for the day tomorrow photographing those lovely Little Red Jets - and fingers crossed for the very first time so far this winter the weather looks like it might actually be properly favourable! About time I got some blue sky I say - bring that on. There is enough diesel in the car to take me there and back easily, and spends other than that will be limited to a sandwich I suspect. All good.

    I'm nearing payout on Power Of Opinions and have to decide whether to cash out at 1,000 points - to a voucher, or wait for the extra 54 points and cash out to paypal. My original thought was vouchers but now I'm leaning more towards cold hard cash to be honest as the voucher options aren't brilliant, and I'm envisaging another £10 coming off the card balance...!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£232.22
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