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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 29
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 29th Aug 17, 8:20 PM
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    redofromstart
    Improvising bog sauce - simples if you have lump and onion hating childrens. Mince, garlic powder, onion powder, mixed herbs, passata, beef stock cube, squirt of value katchup. No chopping, just tipping. I use the pressure cooker and give it half an hour.
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 30th Aug 17, 11:06 AM
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    EssexHebridean
    Not just you, I feel the same and just cash out once I am at £10.
    Originally posted by redofromstart
    Yes, it seems like the way forwards to me I must admit!

    I did have a moment of thinking the same about Circle but then I thought of the extra few pence in the house fund and just gave all my details away

    Did come through pretty quickly though
    Originally posted by Cheery Daff
    You need every spare penny you can muster right now with impending shifting of all worldly goods to new palace scenario!

    Best not to let the pennies to build up to much.
    I lost out on the lucky phone draw that way.
    Originally posted by beanielou
    Yep - exactly my thinking about the once a week cashout thing.

    All looking good me dear.

    Opens the diary........:P

    And if you find a way to improvise bog sauce do let me know save me a lot of cooking

    xoxoxo
    Originally posted by Pippilongstocking
    Oopsy - yes, Diary. I'm on it - November. Will WA you later! xxx

    Improvising bog sauce - simples if you have lump and onion hating childrens. Mince, garlic powder, onion powder, mixed herbs, passata, beef stock cube, squirt of value katchup. No chopping, just tipping. I use the pressure cooker and give it half an hour.
    Originally posted by redofromstart
    Ooh sneaky improv there. Mine turned out to be even lazier I'm ashamed to say - unearthed a tub of HM tommy sauce (no mince) from the freezer, and the last 5 meatballs which I'll smash up and cook off as mince. Sure that'll work just fine!
    Last edited by EssexHebridean; 30-08-2017 at 11:18 AM.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
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    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 30th Aug 17, 11:50 AM
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    EssexHebridean
    Tesco done last night - pretty much to list albeit I think a couple of extras snuck in there. Some nectarines - I remember those leaping into the trolley for sure. Sneaky things nectarines. £17.31 spent though so none so bad.

    We've decided that once the ClubCard Plus account closes down in October we're going to set up an additional monthly transfer for the £150 that usually goes there into our existing "foody stuff" account - then all spends can be made either using cash (local shops or farmers market) or on the CC for supermarkety stuff, and the money transferred over. Seems like as good a way as any of dealing with it - we'll miss the extra ClubCard points, but the bright side is definitely not feeling so "tied" to shopping at ThaT supermarkeT any more. During the summer months when it's busiest there is a good chance I still will as there is one of them over the roads to work which is irritatingly convenient - otherwise though there is Al's walkable from home, and Mozza's just a short drive away as alternatives to our town's ludicrous THREE T's stores! Anyway all that ramble was a precursor to saying that I must make a note in my journal that once the September DD comes out for the CC+ I can cancel the payment and notify T-Bank that I've done it.

    I've also reluctantly come to the conclusion that I need to get brutal with my wardrobe. I had to chuck out another top this morning as on honest assessment it just wasn't wearable any more - and even my newer stuff is starting to look a bit on the big side. I know this is a good thing, but as previously mentioned I HATE shopping so it's also a pain in the proverbial! As things stand at the moment I've got two wearable pairs of work trousers (1 that fits properly and the other that's starting to get a bit big but is OK for now). Underwear is OK for the time being (the bras that were a little on the small side now fit!) Suspect I need to get new walking trousers before the winter. definitely need a new winter coat, and jumpers etc - the ones I wear for work are years old anyway and owe me nothing. Can potentially get away with existing shirts etc for work - have a few in the wardrobe that were previously a bit tight that I bet are now OK. I think I need a proper "pull it all out and review" and also to make a list of the stuff I need and when I need to buy it. Meh. This does NOT make me happy. Sigh. Grump.
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    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 31st Aug 17, 10:36 AM
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    EssexHebridean
    OK I definitely need to get brutal with the wardrobe. Put a shirt that I was confident would fit on this morning - said to MrEH "is this OK or does it look too big?" - when he'd finished laughing we agreed that it was heading for the charity shop! Found another which I can get away with but again, on the big side. Hoping the other one hanging up in there will be OK as I seem to remember that being smaller to start with, and I know I have a couple of others waiting on ironing - things wait a LONG while on ironing in my house! Might try to set aside half an hour tomorrow to make a start on sorting clothes though - and start getting a list of what I need too.

    On the MSE front there was 22p pints of skimmed milk in ThaT supermarkeT last night so I grabbed a couple and they're now frozen. Need to remember to save myself the pint bottles so I can freeze the surplus from the bigger bottles too.

    Dinner last night was couscous salad with squeaky cheese. Why don't we eat squeaky cheese more often? It's lush! (I know - all cheese is lush, fact!) Dinner tonight will be the improvised bolognese sauce with baked sweet potatoes - yum!

    PA is quiet again - and I've got stuff waiting to go to confirmed so I don't think I'll manage my cashout today. On the plus side though I got paid yesterday so the money shuffle is done, and MrEH's money should go in today.

    All under control.
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    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 31st Aug 17, 11:58 AM
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    redofromstart
    My OH calls those clothes my 'clown outfits' which was an effective way of making me get rid of them. Its a nice problem to have if its for positive reasons.


    A ruthless clearing out session and then work out what you have and what you actually need? At least then you could do one nasty trip.
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 31st Aug 17, 3:22 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    My OH calls those clothes my 'clown outfits' which was an effective way of making me get rid of them. Its a nice problem to have if its for positive reasons.


    A ruthless clearing out session and then work out what you have and what you actually need? At least then you could do one nasty trip.
    Originally posted by redofromstart
    Ha - have you been reading my bullet(ish) journal?! plan is pretty much exactly that. weed out the wardrobe first - ditch anything that's unwearable in the direction of the charity shop unless it's past that stage in which case > rubbish. Continue with the chest of drawers - same. List what is required and then prioritise. It occurred to me last night I'm undoubtedly going to need a new winter coat. Ugh.

    Clown outfits though - love it!

    30p from OnePoll today but still nothing from PA. Flipping lazy students.
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    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 1st Sep 17, 6:53 AM
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    redofromstart
    Its more likely to be absent academics than lazy students, can't get sign off if your supervisor is away

    Bullet journals are on my mental list of things to look at, but I get put off by the pretty pictures. I need clear instructions!
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 5th Sep 17, 12:14 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    Ahh my Bullet-ish journal doesn't have pretty pictures - I'm not an artistic type in that way at all. I went for pretty colours instead! I think the best bit of information I found about the version I use was to treat the rules with a degree of flexibility. I choose to use a sectioned notebook as my stuff fits under headings - Finances, To-Do's, Plans and lists - I run a weekly sheet with stuff that needs doing, the meal plan and also diary stuff in it. I also start each month with a similar sheet but that only lists the vital stuff to do, and adds in notable dates - birthdays and anniversaries etc. In the planning and financial sections I do follow the "just use the next available page, and number the pages" rule - that's by far the most practical way of doing things I've found. I do use it for noting all sorts of stuff though and have found it incredibly helpful.

    So the Northern Ireland weekend was great fun and not as expensive as I'd feared. I paid for food for me and my pal for Friday night and he bought beers so that worked well. The accommodation on base is amazing - a three bedroom house (basic furnishings but that's military stuff for you!) for £20 a night so that worked brilliantly. Hotel for Saturday was more expensive but that was already planned and budgeted. There was quite a bit of beer on Saturday night but that and the meal in the hotel I covered on cash - and the cash I got out before I went covered my spends fine. I did manage to bring back a Northern Ireland paper fiver though which was rather annoying - I'll either take it back over when we go back in November or I'll post it to my pal.

    Next stop now is Scampton Airshow this weekend - that's just got a bit more expensive than I was hoping as my friend who I normally stay with stuff up there has got chicken pox! I have had it before, but then so has she, and yet she still caught this strain, so I'm not chancing it. Thankfully I've managed to book accommodation that will work well enough for not a horrendous amount of money AND there was enough slack left in my airshow account that the extra will be covered. That's the last one of the season for me, then - amazing how fast it's come round!

    Still nothing on Prolific and just oddments on OnePoll this week so far.

    Food all under control - shopping done yesterday and £23.49 spent so that's fine - there was just under £5 spent at Lidl on Friday too if I remember rightly. I desperately need to get the chance to go through the freezer and sort out what we have there to use as it's looking terribly full...
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
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    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 6th Sep 17, 12:03 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    Woo - little survey on Prolific this morning earned £1.10 and 25p worth done on OnePoll too - it is distinctly slow at the moment though - typical when I've got renewed motivation to crack on with it!

    £5.50 yesterday posting a "cheer up and go away spots" parcel to my friend with the Chicken Pox - honestly the price of postage these days is mad, but I wanted it to get to her ASAP so 1st class it had to be. presents budget will cover it though at least.

    Actually got the chance to cook a recipe last night as well - something I pretty much never get the chance to do midweek as time rarely allows - this one looked straightforward and quick though. ThaT supermarkeT's free magazine - "Spiced chicken and cauliflower traybake" - dead simple and incredibly tasty - and for a change for a "serves 4" recipe it actually did make enough that we will have the other half of it tomorrow night! definitely a keeper and one I will do again - Recipe is HERE if anyone wants a look. The changes I made were to just use coriander in the dressing in place of the parsley as well, to use a mixed pack of chicken thighs and drumsticks, and I threw in a couple of peppers cut into large pieces as well as they needed using up. I used Kashmiri chilli for the "mild chilli powder" and also substitued that for the whole red chilli in the dressing, and the dressing was just mixed together with the coriander finely chopped rather than being blitzed so it was a bit more lumpy. I served it up with couscous and it was utterly delicious!

    Tonight will be frittata I think - I've got a pack of sugarsnap peas to use that I forgot about so those will get blanched and go in, plus mushrooms. Also got the remains of the spinach from that recipe and the last few cherry toms from Monday night's salad too. Yum!
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    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 6th Sep 17, 4:09 PM
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    redofromstart
    I like the look of the chicken and cauliflower thing, have bookmarked it for later. Frittata sounds good too but haven't got enough eggs for that and for cake. mm cake.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 6th Sep 17, 4:33 PM
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    redofromstart
    Also the bullet-ish info helped my head so thanks for that. I've got a couple of pukka project books that might work so will have a look at this tomorrow.
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 7th Sep 17, 9:58 AM
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    EssexHebridean
    Hey Redo thanks for popping by! See I WOULD have had enough eggs for both - thankfully not a regular cake baker though - I'll do something occasionally but generally I'm far more likely to go for something savoury. The chicken & cauli thing was ace - to the extent that I'm REALLY looking forward to a repeat performance tonight with the other half of it. I'm now stuck on the ideaof finding more tasty recipes that would work for midweek - inspired by the success of this one! The frittata was lovely too - must make a mental note of what I threw into it as it was a good one!

    Prolific cashed out as I reached the £10 level - should just be enough to cover the fees and still leave me with over the tenner coming in I think. Half tempted by a TCB cashout too as I've got over £5 in personal, rather than joint, stuff on there. Hmmm. Nothing on OnePoll this morning and nothing in from any of the others either - annoying as Populus is nearly at cashout - 4 more points needed and that'll be £50 winging my way. Hoping it's just the end of the summer lull and things will pick up again.

    Need to stop at the cashpoint later so I have money for the weekend - don't want to be left running about looking for somewhere with money tomorrow. Still can't make up my mind whether to drive up early for the airshow arrivals day tomorrow or whether to leave it until later - the weather looks to be improving a bit though so may wait and see what turns up today and make a last minute decision on it this evening. It's only £5 and I can even pay on the gate so it is quite tempting.
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    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 7th Sep 17, 3:26 PM
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    beanielou
    Enjoy your weekend
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 2 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***
    • MistyMountainTop
    • By MistyMountainTop 7th Sep 17, 3:34 PM
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    MistyMountainTop
    I hope you have a lovely time xx
    Current Weight Loss: 2/ 96
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 7th Sep 17, 7:02 PM
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    Hiddenidenity
    Have a lovely weekend x
    DFW £1313.71/£7348.71 Rent Arrears £466.28/£3381.28

    Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 7th Sep 17, 8:56 PM
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    redofromstart
    Hope the weather sorts itself for you!
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 11th Sep 17, 11:31 AM
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    EssexHebridean
    Thanks all! weather was completely mixed - got utterly soaked on Friday, and a bit damp the other two days, but we still had a brilliant time! SO many friends caught up with, the flying displays were great, and all in all it was a really nice show. Masses of photos to go through now but I've got all winter to sort them out now!

    £10.10 from Prolific arrived over the weekend so I've transferred that to the 0% card this morning. Signature updated to reflect. Hoping the fact that I got a study to do when I logged in first thing this morning means that things are picking up a bit on there too - fingers crossed!

    Ended up sharing my hotel room with a friend on Saturday night as they were stuck without accommodation when another friend who they were meant to be staying with was rushed into hospital. As a result my breakfast was paid for both days at the show - I met the (small) extra cost on the room so all good there! Actually came back still with more than half of the cash I'd withdrawn for the weekend in my purse too.

    Need to sit down at lunchtime and meal plan for the week and also put together a shopping list for this evening. I know we have the rest of the eggs to use, plus there is still beetroot, potatoes and the remainder of the slightly elderly carrots so I think a frittata one day again and some roast veggies as well - will probably do those with a pack of the chicken portions and that will then cover two meals. Got 4 days to cover as we're out on Friday so just one more meal to work out.

    Other than the standard shopping etc no planned spendiness until the weekend now. I do need to sit down and work out the clothes I need to add but it will be a couple of weeks yet before I hit the shops I think so time to plan on that one. After next weekend life gets a lot quieter for a few months so that helps!

    Ooh - forgot - MrEH went into ThaT supermarkeT yesterday to get his paper and checked the yellow stickers - 12 crumpets for 30p. I think he said 10 bagels for 20p. And a big chunk of Jarlsberg cheese for £1.30 as well - excellent work on his part there, he can stay if he's going to find bargains like that. We're still eating our way through the rolls he got for pennies last weekend for lunches!
    Last edited by EssexHebridean; 11-09-2017 at 11:55 AM.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
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    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 11th Sep 17, 8:36 PM
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    beanielou
    Glad that you had a great weekend
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 2 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 11th Sep 17, 9:50 PM
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    rtandon27
    oooo - nice yellow sticker deals from MrEH!

    My OH is wondering why he never finds cheese bargains like that!
    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!!! (24 OCT 2016)
    (With heartfelt thanks to those who have gone before us & their indubitable generosity.)
    • Pippilongstocking
    • By Pippilongstocking 12th Sep 17, 7:34 AM
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    Pippilongstocking
    Loving the bargains and impromptu room sharing - glad you had fun.

    Tell Mr Eh to post that cheese here sweetie.

    XOXOXO
    Overdraft 1 £1000/£100, Overdraft 2 £1000/£0, Credit Card 1 £1044.93/£520, Credit Card 2 £2710.57/£2400
    Total Debt as of 6/8/2017 £5755.40 eek: 30/8 £4820 PAID off £735.40
    :
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