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  • FIRST POST
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 28th Oct 16, 12:08 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    EH - Essex > Hebrides...facilitating the next step of the adventure?
    • #1
    • 28th Oct 16, 12:08 PM
    EH - Essex > Hebrides...facilitating 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. An 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; 17-11-2017 at 6:58 PM.
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Page 32
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 28th Sep 17, 12:07 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    Hi Scott & Hairy - thanks for popping by! Dinner was lovely - the leftovers of the pork got a bit crispy round the edges and it all tasted amazing - I did forget the Spinach & coriander though - Doh! - so those will get added to the bolognese tonight and my lunch tomorrow. All good.

    Greying I see that the 35p beetroot is a goer - fab news! Might see if I can research some beetroot-specific recipes for next week I think!

    Window man appeared, did preliminary measurements, and will be getting prices back to us so I'll be sitting down ready for that one to land - it's not going to be cheap as it involves another 2 doors to be fitted but on the other hand it will put us right where we want to be in terms of staying on track with getting the work done. He said last night that SO many of our issues with damp are down to the structure of the existing windows and the fact that they've got blown units etc. He's also going to retro-fit a trickle vent in the bathroom window and re-do the seal round it (the builder did that one and it came without the vent - we didn't realise it was needed) as well.

    Got £1 on Prolific this morning and annoyingly just missed out on another 50p one, but that does at least look like it might be picking up a bit - fingers crossed! £7.20 payable and £2.55 pending on there.
    Nothing on OnePoll yet today.
    Small one on Power of Opinions
    Keep getting notifications about Valued Opinions but I find theirs SO time consuming I'm ignoring them at the moment.

    Payday today too which is ace - I'll get the routine shuffling done and sorted I think so I know it's done. Need to work out whether to count this weekend as this month or next though - might count it as next and shuffle the remaining money in my account across to my airshow account I think. In the New Year I'm going to start setting aside a small amount every month for clothing spends I think - there's not a lot of point in me doing it at the moment as I'm in the middle of replacing almost everything!

    The gym was good - very relaxed atmosphere and not too many "muscle men" types about aside from one hilarious weedy looking bloke who made sure that EVERYTHING he did was in front of the mirror and spent more time admiring himself than working out I think! I did a decent mix of cardio and weights and will spend some time tomorrow deciding on a programme that will work for me to start with I think so I have a structure to work to, and also so I can gauge progress.
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    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 28th Sep 17, 7:23 PM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Greying I see that the 35p beetroot is a goer - fab news! Might see if I can research some beetroot-specific recipes for next week I think!
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    Hun, is it 'with tops' on in your store? The beetroot on the website looks 'cooked' and tessie bear on the F & G - mrAl S6 thread has said that it was vac packed in their store. Is that OK? Mind, as I mentioned, the vac pac was british last time I bought it in a S6.

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 28th Sep 17, 8:45 PM
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    beanielou
    Vac packed in my local Aldi
    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***
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 30th Sep 17, 10:25 AM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Vac packed in my local Aldi
    Originally posted by beanielou
    Ours too beanie Although the F & G mrAl S6 contains a post now explaining it is vac-pac beetroot, not fresh. I did think it was a little too cheap for fresh, but hey, anything's possible in a capitalist society......

    DH got some beetroot for us this morning. British produce and still 500g Which is the same as the last time I got some. Pity it looks like the packaging and formula of their dish washing-up liquid has changed..... and not for the better

    Will have to console myself with lashings of cheese & beetroot sangers

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 30th Sep 17, 9:22 PM
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    beanielou
    Nothing to beat beatroom and mayonaise sarnies in my book
    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***
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 2nd Oct 17, 12:46 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    Interesting sarnie suggestions there Beanie & Greying - but Greying is quite right about the beetroot component of the Al's S6 being no good for me as I prefer to buy raw for flexibility. Blast! Oh well, I still have 2 tiddlers from the Sheringham Market 90p bunch lurking so hopefully they will stay solid long enough to do coleslaw again next week - at the first hint of wrinklage appearing the little blighters are being roasted though!

    Mixed weekend of spendiness and frugality with us - ThaT supermarkeT spend got tweaked to over £40 on Friday as I had a £6 off voucher. Had a £1 voucher off the "Stand 'n'Stuff" rang from those Old El Paso folks too so pounced on one of the meal kits from the range on offer at £1.89 - an 89p bargain easy dinner coming up there then!
    Saturday was more clothes shopping for me but as I couldn't get much of what was on my list it ended up at just £50 for a pair of boots from the Clarks Outlet shop. It was annoying to not be able to get my new work trousers as my existing black pair have almost reached the "not wearable" stage now as they're HUGE on me. Oh well - I'd combined the trip to the outlet village with my drive up to Ipswich for speedway as it is on the way. Lovely night up there with great pals but sadly the Witches weren't able to pull the league win out of the bag. £16 admission, £2 raffle tickets and £5.50 fish & chips for my tea!
    Yesterday was definitely the frugal day of the three - only spend was 10p on a YS'd swede in T's in the afternoon - stew will be appearing on our meal planner for next week, methinks!

    Both paydays happened on time, and money shuffling has been done.

    Nothing on Prolific yet today
    A few small bits on OnePoll
    Spotted last night that I have over £5 payable on TCB but might leave that sitting for a bit I think.

    Meals are all planned for the week - the leftover lamb from yesterday will be featuring in a Moroccan style couscous salad, the remaining bacon will be heading for a warm salad with potatoes and hard boiled eggs, some more eggs will feature in a frittata with broccoli & peas, and the rest of the broccoli will be heading for a thai style fish stew. Oh and Friday will be the rest of the curry that got stashed in the freezer from the other weekend. Sounds like a decent week of food, to me!
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    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 2nd Oct 17, 2:04 PM
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    Hiddenidenity
    Sounds like a brilliant menu to me! room for one more

    Sounds like a lovely weekend too x
    • 117pauline
    • By 117pauline 2nd Oct 17, 2:16 PM
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    117pauline
    I love catching up with your diary.

    I thought you might like this link which includes the Hebrides

    http://www.chrisorange.com/Landscapes

    On a day like today it is good to be able to see the best of the world, rather than the worst as we are seeing in the news headlines.

    Our dream is to go south to the Spanish mountains where we have fallen in love with a view and a property with no windows, doors, plumbing, kitchen, bathroom or electric but wow, what a view and the peace is amazing.

    Have a good day
    Pauline
    Don't get it perfect - Get it going
    Better Than Before
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 3rd Oct 17, 12:52 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    Sounds like a brilliant menu to me! room for one more

    Sounds like a lovely weekend too x
    Originally posted by Hiddenidenity
    Thanks Hidden - quite chuffed with the look of the meal plan this week - I do like a week when ingredients roll from one meal to another!

    I love catching up with your diary.

    I thought you might like this link which includes the Hebrides

    http://www.chrisorange.com/Landscapes

    On a day like today it is good to be able to see the best of the world, rather than the worst as we are seeing in the news headlines.

    Our dream is to go south to the Spanish mountains where we have fallen in love with a view and a property with no windows, doors, plumbing, kitchen, bathroom or electric but wow, what a view and the peace is amazing.

    Have a good day
    Pauline
    Originally posted by 117pauline
    Ooh amazing link Pauline - thank you! I see he's got shots of Lundy on there too - another place I love, we're going back there next year with a big group of pals - can't wait!

    Your Spanish property sounds challenging but the views can make it worthwhile - I wish you luck with your dream!
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    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 3rd Oct 17, 1:08 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    Soooo the week has started reasonably. Not car-sharing with MrEH this week as his working hours are a bit uncertain - he's got a lot on - so it works better to travel separately. The good thing on this is that it means I get home earlier most nights - the bad is that I have to motivate myself to get out of the house on time in the mornings! Made it out for a run last night when I got home anyway - I have to motivate myself to get straight out as soon as I get back if I'm going to do this otherwise it simply won't happen!

    Food all to plan last night - the leftover lamb was gorgeous - I dry-fried it off with some extra spices and it just tasted amazing. Need to remember to buy more at the farmers market this month if we go - not sure if we can make it or not. I'll do the bacon, egg 7 potato salad tonight as then I can have mind with the appropriate bits warm and MrEH can just have his cold when he gets in from rugby training.

    Couple of bits on OnePoll this morning
    Couple of studies on Prolific too - now showing £9 payable and £3.49 pending so all being well I'll cash that out on Thursday as long as a couple of the pending bits come through.
    Everything else quiet...

    Got some booking of accommodation for upcoming trips to do - so I'll need to take a good look at that at lunchtime. Noted yesterday that the perfect Premier Inn for our regular Manchester trip in January is available at a within budget price so that can be booked.

    Got the quote for the windows & doors through last night too - I was right, we DID need to be sitting down! It'll definitely be worth it though and MrEH reckons that in fact it was about what he expected given that there are two doors in there - we knew they were going to bump it up a bit, in fairness. I'll be going back to the window-man later on to confirm we want to go with it and to see when he reckons he can do it - we're hoping for this month at some stage though!
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    • Scott_Weiland
    • By Scott_Weiland 3rd Oct 17, 9:28 PM
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    Scott_Weiland
    I think re prolific i need to turn 21 again lol

    I am getting bot all x
    Debts 15981.64 total paid 2078
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    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 4th Oct 17, 11:40 AM
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    EssexHebridean
    Nearly everyone seems to be in the same boat Scott - it's not just you! I guess it's still the summer holidays having an effect - they're not all settled back into Uni yet are they!

    Mine cleared the £10 level yesterday anyway so I will be cashing out tomorrow.
    Couple of small bits on OnePoll so far this morning.
    Not much doing elsewhere - even YouGov has dried up!

    Chased up ThaT supermarkeT on social media this morning to find out what is happening about them issuing new clubcards to those of us who are having our CC+ accounts closed. Apparently they are sending the new ones out "from this week" so they should all be through in the next 10 working days...well it *might* just about make it by the time the account is closed then! In any event I need to make sure that I'm geared up to transfer the money from that account over ahead of the 13th - the balance of this month's food budget will go to the "food" account and anything else over and above will go to the holiday fund. Also need to increase the food account transfer to take account of the CC+ DD amount. Diary note for that one I think. planning to shop at Mozza's this week anyway I think - although need to think that one through yet.

    Gym tonight so I need to check I have £7 in my purse which I think I have. In fact with no specific weekend plans to think about I might not need a visit to the cashpoint this week either which would be handy.

    Bank looks OK - the start of month DD's have all gone now by the look of it so I can see where we're at. it also reminds me that I need to check the electricity account with a view to increasing the DD slightly and also submit a gas reading.
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    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 4th Oct 17, 3:36 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    Yay - £4 study on Prolific! #

    And 15 points on Power of Opinions which hardly seems worthy of notice after that!
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    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 4th Oct 17, 4:40 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    Right - I've decided I need some targets for October - it feels as though things are stagnating a little and I could do with a kick up the proverbial to get things going. I looked at the NST challenge as mentioned by T&K but not sure that level of to-the-penny accountability is for me these days, so I'll just stick some stuff in here and we'll see how it goes.

    Groceries - budget as always is £150 but I'd like to see how much below this I can get it. Need to work through the freezer in any case, which will help, however, we've already made a start on doing so, which won't!
    Meals need to continue in a healthy but filling fashion - but I'll be looking towards more "wintery" foods from here on.
    Diesel - my car was filled up on Saturday when I found fuel at a bargain price. I'd like to keep it to no more than another tankful through the month - and this should be possible. I do have a couple of longer trips planned but should still be OK within that.
    Clothes - I've still got odds and ends on my "needed" list and am holding off until 10th October to buy as that comes into the new CC month. I've got to buy the stuff - there's no question, but as always I will shop about a bit and try to buy "well" as it were.
    Planned spends (Personal) - Gym once a week is £7. If I swim that's about another £5 if I remember rightly. Speedway on the 13th will be £16 admission but I'll probably not eat at the track this time - I'l get a meal deal from the supermarket or something. May well watch MrEH play rugby a couple of times in which case there will be a few drinks afterwards but the club is walkable these days so no extra travel costs. I may buy my social membership for the year this month - if so that will be £20 for the year but will get me 10% off on the prices over the bar. We're at a Beer Festival at the end of the month I think so there will be some cost associated with that.
    Surveys - Hammer OnePoll as hard as I can as I'm less than £9 off cashout now. Similarly grab everything I can on Prolific. I'd like to cash out a good lump this month as I'd still like to get the amount paid off the 0% card by the end of the year to £700. If I see anything come through from Populus I need to jump on it as I'm a whisker away from payout there too.

    Winter prep - The new windows & doors are to fitted as soon as Brian can do them.
    The balcony needs a thorough tidy and sweep - I need to persuade MrEH to be a bit more ruthless with what gets kept, I think!
    Start building slow cooker recipes into the meal plan.
    My car service & MoT need booking for early November (due 29th)

    There may be more to be added here...
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    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 4th Oct 17, 4:44 PM
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    beanielou
    Blimey.You are so organised.
    Shame on me.
    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***
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 5th Oct 17, 10:32 AM
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    EssexHebridean
    Blimey.You are so organised.
    Shame on me.
    Originally posted by beanielou
    Nah Beanie - I just appear that way - in real life it's generally a lurch from one area of chaos to the next!

    Positive start to today on the survey front albeit in a small way - 15p on Prolific as soon as I logged in and a 10p OnePoll as well. I'll hold off on cashing out PA until after lunch in the hope that the £4 study from yesterday might go to payable.

    £7 spent yesterday as I went to the Gym - frankly that's money well spent for me at the moment.
    There will be a groceries spend today as I plan to walk to the Turkish Supermarket at lunchtime - we need Tahini, flatbreads and Pitta breads.

    Need to work on next week's meal-plan ahead of shopping tomorrow and then get my list written. I was tempted to drive to Mozzas for shopping this week but I think I'll keep it local instead and stick to ThaT supermarkeT plus a bit of shopping about. That means that meat-wise I will probably buy one of the packs of FR chicken drumsticks & thighs and do a spanish-style chicken stew with those - that can be slow-cookered.
    I note that Lil's POTW includes mixed peppers and butternut squash so I will call in there tomorrow for those I think. Might actually pop to the farm shop straight from swimming as well - I'm half way there at that stage and seeing what they have on offer might prompt a few more ideas. Sorry - lots of rambling thoughts there - the main bones of the meal plan will stay the same but the associated veg bits might vary!

    This evening is thai-style fish stew - I even remembered to defrost the fish overnight!
    Need to think about lunch for myself tomorrow/saturday. Will probably be soup or something couscous based. Also still got eggs to use.
    Tomorrow night we will have the curry leftovers that were frozen from the other week - might venture into making some form of Onion Bhaji's to go with, we'll see. (Got all the component parts including yogurt and mint for raita).
    Saturday night tea - thinking along the lines of a meze type meal - got frozen falafels bought YS'd last week, got chickpeas so I can make houmous (If I remember the tahini at lunchtime!) and can get some halloumi and maybe make something else as well...
    Sunday: Hmmm....if I was to buy a whole chicken rather than the portions this would do a roast on Sunday and then the remains would turn into Spanish chicken...got potatoes to be used, and also at least one YS'd stuffing mix that needs using as well...might be a plan.
    Sunday tea can either be cheese & crackers or crumpets depending on what we fancy. Personally I'm guessing that cheese will get the nod, but we'll see!

    OK - while we're talking about food, a grumble. Butter. Not that long ago I was paying 98p a block for it. Then T's stopped doing their "Value" option and the price started increasing. Just in the course of the past few weeks I've watched it go from £1.29 a block, to £1.30, and now £1.45 - this is for perfectly standard British Salted Butter. From MySupermarket it looks as though Al's may have a slightly cheaper option - so I may walk there either this evening or tomorrow so see if it's in stock, and if it is I will be buying a few blocks of it to guard against further ludicrous price-increases. Anyone else spotted anything that seems to be increasing in price weekly at the moment? Greying - I know you're good on this stuff? And before anyone suggests "I can't believe it's not butter" or a similar product, thanks, but no - I CAN perfectly well believe it's not butter as it doesn't look, smell, melt or TASTE like butter - plus I want to put butter on my toast, not chemical type ingredients half of which I have NO idea what they are, thanks!

    OK - I'm done...! Have a great day, all!
    Last edited by EssexHebridean; 05-10-2017 at 10:36 AM.
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    • Tea&Kittens
    • By Tea&Kittens 5th Oct 17, 10:48 AM
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    Tea&Kittens
    Oh I'm so with you on the butter!
    October: NSDs 6 / 17 NSDs in a row: 1 / 5
    I started my debtfree journey on 07 September 2017: Total: £20,521 £19847
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    A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. I'm on my way!
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 5th Oct 17, 11:03 AM
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    beanielou
    With you on the butter.
    I bought a cheaper product which was a truely false economy as it is truely dire & will be going in the bin.
    Who would think that butter would be such a luxury
    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***
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 5th Oct 17, 3:34 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    I'll report back on the butter situation from Aldi this evening then!

    £5.36 spent at the Turkish Supermarket - pack of pittas, pack of flatbreads, jar of tahini and chunk of squeaky-cheese!
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    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 5th Oct 17, 6:06 PM
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    redofromstart
    MrL has british butter on the shelf for £1.35 but it went through the till at £1.20
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