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  • FIRST POST
    • Fortune Smiles
    • By Fortune Smiles 19th Jul 17, 10:11 AM
    • 2,636Posts
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    Fortune Smiles
    Tales from The Shire
    • #1
    • 19th Jul 17, 10:11 AM
    Tales from The Shire 19th Jul 17 at 10:11 AM
    Tales from the Shire


    All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.
    J R R Tolkein


    After many happy years in the Garden of England we have started a new adventure in The Shire. Although still reeling from the stress and upheaval of the house move, we can see the potential for a wonderful home and life here. It’s going to be amazing!

    There is much to do and, as with any great journey, company is much appreciated. So I hope my forum friends will join me on the road.

    A new chapter (and diary) has begun.


    Fortune x

    For those who are interested in how we got to be here, my previous diaries can be found at:

    Two Pennies Left - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4068401
    The New Adventures of Fortune - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5605109
    Mortgage: 2.4% paid House Deposit Contribution: 92% Emergency Fund: 58%

    All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us - J R R Tolkein
Page 19
    • Fortune Smiles
    • By Fortune Smiles 4th Jan 18, 1:39 PM
    • 2,636 Posts
    • 21,827 Thanks
    Fortune Smiles
    Happy New Year! Hope you have a great 2018 Fortune - I love reading your updates!
    Originally posted by themadvix
    You too themadvix - hope it bring you lots of good stuff.

    Happy New Year to you, mr F and Fdawg excesses are fine when you can watch rainbows the day after

    Hope the head clears soon I made 3 recipes from g00df00d that made me think of you when we had friends round on Saturday. Summer in winter chicken, black bean chilli and chicken and mushrooms. All were a big hit and very easy. I think at least one of them may have been from a link you posted. If not I definitely refound my love of that site from your inspiration and we’ve eaten better this (2017) year from it, so for that, I thank you
    Originally posted by PurpleFairy26
    It may have been the black bean chilli Purp as we're largely pescatarian in the Fortunate household. G00df00d is my favourite site for recipes - so easy to search around the ingredients you already have in. Glad it's inspiring you.

    Sorry about MrF's cold - but using up the Christmas leftovers for your lunch is a good thing

    Have a wonderful New Year - as they say, health, wealth and happiness
    Originally posted by Karmacat
    I hope it's a great year for you too Karma. Your plans sound fabulous.

    Fortune x
    Mortgage: 2.4% paid House Deposit Contribution: 92% Emergency Fund: 58%

    All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us - J R R Tolkein
    • Fortune Smiles
    • By Fortune Smiles 4th Jan 18, 3:03 PM
    • 2,636 Posts
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    Fortune Smiles
    Gaining Speed
    Well we survived Storm Eleanor unscathed and FDawg only woke me once last night So after a relatively good night's sleep I have been making in-roads into my admin.

    Make and Save Pennies
    • chap came round this morning to quote for field maintenance. The cost is about what I'd anticipated and I'm prepared to pay it for the luxury of having the place all to ourselves. Now I just have to tell the farmer we don't want any more sheep
    • the boiler service is booked for Monday. I think the cost will be about average for what's being charged locally. However, it was really a case of who was available and was prepared to commit to a date and time
    • the grocery shop was delivered and I may not be slightly under budget for this week after all as I ordered an extra bag of potatoes and 8 kitchen rolls by mistake but forgot to order eggs and milk which I'll now have to pick up tomorrow

    Stay Well
    • I rearranged the routine blood test I had to cancel due to snow
    • and ordered my repeat prescription
    • the wind is just picking up to storm force for FDawg's late walk although I suppose it will make for a better work out

    Have Fun
    • we went over to the neighbours for drinks last night and, despite us both being exhausted, had a lovely time. We took a bottle of each colour which had been gifted to us over Christmas so there was no cost. I am a little suspicious of neighbours' motives though as I came away with cat care responsibilities for the last two weeks in January when they are going on holiday It does mean I'm earning quite a lot of dog care points for the future though
    • I booked my truck in for a full valet. Mr F has been giving it a quick exterior wash from time to time but the inside hasn't been cleaned for about 2 years I can't face doing it myself with the weather so awful so I'm going to stump up to have it done at the local car wash. Not MS but it will make me very happy to be able to drive a clean car. I'll meet the cost from my personal spends as it's really a treat for me
    • FDawg will be attending a 'special dog' session on Sunday. It's to kick off his socialisation training. He is becoming a very good boy but needs help to overcome his fear of people and other dogs. I'm not sure whether this one belongs under 'staying well/sane' or 'fun'. I'll reserve judgement until after the class

    I know that not all of the above qualifies as money saving but, as always with me, it's about maintaining some balance. We had an exciting but exhausting year last year and I'd just like to make this one a little easier.

    Book club is on tonight and I'm determined to go having missed the last one. I'll buy this month's book and got to the pub for a glass of wine after but it still makes for a relatively cheap night out.

    But first, FDawg's walk. I hope a house doesn't drop on me

    Fortune x
    Mortgage: 2.4% paid House Deposit Contribution: 92% Emergency Fund: 58%

    All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us - J R R Tolkein
    • Watty1
    • By Watty1 4th Jan 18, 3:31 PM
    • 2,982 Posts
    • 20,808 Thanks
    Watty1
    Used to love training with my last dog. Definitely fun. And had some cheap nights out with the class too! Training with the current WattyDog is a chore I must admit. For me at least. Mr Watty loves him tho....
    Mortgage at start of diary Sept 2013: £132,995 Aug 2015 £0
    Overpaid next mortgage. £79,491 down to £27152
    Knotted hanky fund now in full swing: £3776.40
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 4th Jan 18, 3:38 PM
    • 49,431 Posts
    • 185,855 Thanks
    beanielou
    Balance is always good
    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***
    • Goldiegirl
    • By Goldiegirl 4th Jan 18, 4:19 PM
    • 8,404 Posts
    • 48,170 Thanks
    Goldiegirl
    I hope you don't get blown away on your dog walk. It's a bit windy down here, but, so far this winter, we seem to have escaped most of the extremes
    Early retired - 18th December 2014
    If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough
    • Fortune Smiles
    • By Fortune Smiles 4th Jan 18, 4:31 PM
    • 2,636 Posts
    • 21,827 Thanks
    Fortune Smiles
    Used to love training with my last dog. Definitely fun. And had some cheap nights out with the class too! Training with the current WattyDog is a chore I must admit. For me at least. Mr Watty loves him tho....
    Originally posted by Watty1
    FDawg is very easy to train at home because he is smart, eager to please and would do anything for a cocktail sausage It's not so easy when we are out and about though because he gets very anxious and his thinking brain switches off so that fight or flight can take over. This Sunday is to assess him and work out what training could help.

    Balance is always good
    Originally posted by beanielou
    If only I could achieve it Beanie It's like walking a tightrope for me and I'm always having to adjust one way or another

    I hope you don't get blown away on your dog walk. It's a bit windy down here, but, so far this winter, we seem to have escaped most of the extremes
    Originally posted by Goldiegirl
    Why or why did I every leave Kent Goldie My neighbours have said that this is the worst winter they can remember for a long time but that the Spring and Summer are very beautiful here. We have plans to make life a little easier next winter, now we have experienced this one, but the house has stood up to some disgraceful weather and that's the important thing.

    It was only the cobwebs that got blown away on our dog walk but I have very pink cheeks

    Fortune x
    Mortgage: 2.4% paid House Deposit Contribution: 92% Emergency Fund: 58%

    All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us - J R R Tolkein
    • Fortune Smiles
    • By Fortune Smiles 6th Jan 18, 8:26 PM
    • 2,636 Posts
    • 21,827 Thanks
    Fortune Smiles
    More Cheese Gromit?
    The last couple of days has largely been about tidying away Christmas and researching recipes to use up all the cheese we have in the fridge

    My DSis sent me a cheese hamper for Christmas. I bought a couple to add to this as I know they are favourites with the family - stilton plus wensleydale with cranberries. The 200g wensleydale I ordered wasn't available so was substituted with 500g Then we received a further hamper full of.... cheese So far I have used up some of the wensleydale with cranberries by adding some red onion chutney to it and wrapping it in a puff pastry sheet to make pasties. Then for lunch today we had a rarebit made from smoked cheddar and wensleydale with ginger. I wasn't sure if the combination would work but figured that ginger is sometimes paired with mustard and it did work out ok.

    The Christmas decorations have all been packed away now and it didn't take as long as I thought

    MS progress:

    Make and Save Pennies
    • returned some Christmas purchases which weren't right and used the money to replace some toiletries I'd run out of
    • bought some light fittings for the kitchen to replace ones that were broken. Researched best price and went through TCB
    • ordered supplies for FDawg. Went through TCB

    Stay Well
    • walked FDawg
    • no snacking Mainly because we've decluttered most of the Christmas leftovers

    Have Fun
    • Hmmmm - perhaps I shouldn't have let Mr F choose tonight's film

    Hope you're all having a great weekend.

    Fortune x
    Mortgage: 2.4% paid House Deposit Contribution: 92% Emergency Fund: 58%

    All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us - J R R Tolkein
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 6th Jan 18, 10:08 PM
    • 800 Posts
    • 3,546 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    Oh dear Fortune, what was the film?
    The 100 payment countdown (each payment = £400) 2018 Starts at 13/100 o/s £34,750.
    Term Mortgage free date: October 2029 Current mortgage free date: April 2025 March 2025
    MFW 2018 Challenge Member #162 0/£2,500
    • Fortune Smiles
    • By Fortune Smiles 7th Jan 18, 8:06 PM
    • 2,636 Posts
    • 21,827 Thanks
    Fortune Smiles
    Oh dear Fortune, what was the film?
    Originally posted by wishingthemortgaheaway
    At0mic Bl0nd3. A bit too violent for my taste Wish.

    Fortune x
    Last edited by Fortune Smiles; 07-01-2018 at 8:49 PM.
    Mortgage: 2.4% paid House Deposit Contribution: 92% Emergency Fund: 58%

    All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us - J R R Tolkein
    • Fortune Smiles
    • By Fortune Smiles 7th Jan 18, 8:49 PM
    • 2,636 Posts
    • 21,827 Thanks
    Fortune Smiles
    Special Agent FDawg
    FDawg went to his Special Dog Training Session today. It proved to be very challenging for him but he survived and I think the trainer is a little bit in love with him now (she kept saying how handsome he was). He is a very sweet character and handsome in a lollopy, cartoonish sort of way. Plus he intrigued her because some of his behaviours she hadn't seen before.

    The trainer thought that FDawg was much younger than we had been led to believe and this, combined with a lack of socialisation, is why he is so anxious.

    She gave me lots of information and tips and we have homework to do before we see her again. FDawg is not going to be ready for groups classes for a while yet

    It was an expensive trip though. The trainer suggested changing FDawg's food and the new brand costs twice as much as the old. It does make sense though as FDawg has started losing weight, even though we've increased his portion sizes and it's likely to be because his current brand is too high in carbohydrate and too low in protein. I've also ordered some pet calming plug-ins and sprays on her advice and a bandana that can be sprayed which he can wear when we go out. Apparently the scent works on all mammals and, looking at the website, may cause all the Fortunate household to end up horizontal

    Just to put minds at rest, FDawg is not a quivering wreck all the time. He is very much more relaxed at home now and increasingly interested in toys and games. This is just the next step for him as the more confident he gets the happier he will be. It is costing money but he's our responsibility now and we need to get him whatever he needs.

    I really enjoyed the session and learnt lots so I'm going to put dog training under 'Have Fun' in my updates in future. You were right Watty

    Happy Sunday all

    Fortune x
    Mortgage: 2.4% paid House Deposit Contribution: 92% Emergency Fund: 58%

    All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us - J R R Tolkein
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 8th Jan 18, 2:06 PM
    • 28,322 Posts
    • 157,677 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Oh how lovely! I went out on a council run healthy walk this morning, and the lady by me had the only dog there, a rescue greyhound, which was utterly adorable.
    Retired August 2016
    • Fortune Smiles
    • By Fortune Smiles 10th Jan 18, 9:49 AM
    • 2,636 Posts
    • 21,827 Thanks
    Fortune Smiles
    Oh how lovely! I went out on a council run healthy walk this morning, and the lady by me had the only dog there, a rescue greyhound, which was utterly adorable.
    Originally posted by Karmacat
    Glad you enjoyed the walk Karma. Greyhounds are so sweet.

    Fortune x
    Mortgage: 2.4% paid House Deposit Contribution: 92% Emergency Fund: 58%

    All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us - J R R Tolkein
    • Fortune Smiles
    • By Fortune Smiles 10th Jan 18, 10:08 AM
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    • 21,827 Thanks
    Fortune Smiles
    Out came the sunshine...
    ...and dried up all the rain. Well some of it at least

    A few days without torrential rain and the bottom field is already looking much better. We still have the rams in the top field and they have really contributed to the mud there although it is generally a drier area. Can't wait until they're gone and I can arrange for FDawg to have some play dates.

    Our outbuilding now has a roof and four walls So I think it's just the guttering and doors left to be done. I'll check with Boss Builder today and find out when they are likely to be finished. He's warned me that some things are likely to come in over his estimated but he's also looking at ways of reducing the cost of other things so I'm hoping we can get the books to balance.

    Really, really looking forward to having the place to ourselves now.

    MS efforts:

    Make and Save Pennies
    • came in under budget for this week's grocery shop and saved on the boiler service budget too so I'll offset the savings against the unexpected pet care costs

    Stay Well & Have Fun

    I'm finding it hard to separate these categories as I think a lot of things fall into both so I've just combined them.
    • I'm walking FDawg twice a day now as Mr F is away this week
    • this week's WI meeting involved learning to hula hoop I now can feel tummy muscles I didn't know I had No parking costs this time but £4 spent on a glass of red wine and £1 for a raffle ticket (met from personal spends)
    • went to a new writing group last night. £2.00 for parking and £3.20 spent on a glass of red wine (met from personal spends)

    If I can find some free parking I'll have more money to spend on wine

    What a social butterfly I am - out twice this week already I've also got a dog training session on Thursday evening too - for me this time rather than FDawg There is so much to do here considering it's a small place. Good job really as Mr F is due to be away for work a lot of this year so I need to keep myself occupied.

    Hope you're having a great week folks.

    Fortune x
    Mortgage: 2.4% paid House Deposit Contribution: 92% Emergency Fund: 58%

    All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us - J R R Tolkein
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 10th Jan 18, 5:55 PM
    • 2,357 Posts
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    doingitanyway
    The hula hooping sounds fun
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/December 2017=2,510
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 10th Jan 18, 6:09 PM
    • 28,322 Posts
    • 157,677 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Our outbuilding now has a roof and four walls
    Originally posted by Fortune Smiles
    Brilliant - you don't need much more, do you

    Stay Well & Have Fun

    I'm finding it hard to separate these categories as I think a lot of things fall into both so I've just combined them.
    I think you're dead right, they *do* go together. As per hula hooping, as you say

    went to a new writing group last night. £2.00 for parking and £3.20 spent on a glass of red wine (met from personal spends)
    If I can find some free parking I'll have more money to spend on wine
    Ooh! How did it go? Did you get the sense that it will be good?
    Retired August 2016
    • Fortune Smiles
    • By Fortune Smiles 10th Jan 18, 7:01 PM
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    Fortune Smiles
    The hula hooping sounds fun
    Originally posted by doingitanyway
    It was fun DIA and required a surprising amount of energy

    Brilliant - you don't need much more, do you


    I think you're dead right, they *do* go together. As per hula hooping, as you say


    Ooh! How did it go? Did you get the sense that it will be good?
    Originally posted by Karmacat
    There were some interesting characters there Karma and I heard some great writing. I think this group are a little more cliquey than my other group but I've only been for this one visit so I'll reserve judgement.

    Fortune x
    Mortgage: 2.4% paid House Deposit Contribution: 92% Emergency Fund: 58%

    All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us - J R R Tolkein
    • Fortune Smiles
    • By Fortune Smiles 10th Jan 18, 7:36 PM
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    Fortune Smiles
    What a day
    Things have not gone entirely to plan today - water started gushing out of the bottom of my electric shower unit

    Fortunately, the company I used for the boiler service this week also do plumbing and were able to send someone out to me. Not until 4 o'clock though The builders have had to do without tea all day and FDawg had a cold shower after his late walk.

    The plumbers were great though. They discovered that the shower had been wired wrongly with the live going to the neutral connection and a part had cracked. They checked the main bathroom shower for me and that one was wired properly thank goodness. A new shower is now required to replace the broken one and I've asked them to replace the silicone in both shower trays and fit a mixer shower tap to the bath as it will be cheaper to have these small jobs done at the same time. It's going to be expensive but at least I have some emergency savings even if it is a smaller amount that I'd like. It'll be even smaller now

    The builders have started to fix finishing pieces and guttering and will probably have done all they can do at this point by the end of this week So all the machinery and rubbish could be cleared by the weekend We then have about a three week wait while the doors are being made.

    I bumped into the Farmer today and we had a chat. I dropped some hints about moving the sheep out so we'll see what happens over the next few days.

    The grocery shop arrived and one egg in a tray of six was broken so they are going to refund me the cost which means five free eggs

    I managed to push the hoover around today but, with all the shower drama, I've done very little else.

    In fact, I'm shattered so it'll be an early night tonight. FDawg woke me once last night. He's probably unsettled because Mr F is away and I went out for the evening too. I have started to 'counter-condition' him for blackbird alarm calls as these seem to set off his barking.

    I hope tomorrow is a little less manic.

    Happy hump day all

    Fortune x
    Mortgage: 2.4% paid House Deposit Contribution: 92% Emergency Fund: 58%

    All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us - J R R Tolkein
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 10th Jan 18, 8:43 PM
    • 28,322 Posts
    • 157,677 Thanks
    Karmacat
    What a day! Hope you get some relaxing time and plenty of sleep tonight
    Retired August 2016
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 10th Jan 18, 9:19 PM
    • 49,431 Posts
    • 185,855 Thanks
    beanielou
    What a day! Hope you get some relaxing time and plenty of sleep tonight
    Originally posted by Karmacat
    Ditto from 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***
    • Fortune Smiles
    • By Fortune Smiles 14th Jan 18, 8:45 PM
    • 2,636 Posts
    • 21,827 Thanks
    Fortune Smiles
    Forecast
    In light of the shower drama, I have budgeted ahead to the end of March when our finances are due to improve. Everything is doable with a little juggling

    The builders haven't quite finished so are coming back tomorrow I hope for the last time... well until the doors arrive.

    I have a quote from the plumbers for the bath taps and one shower replacement. I've asked them to quote for the second shower as well as, having had to use it for the last few days, I think that's on it's last legs too

    I've ordered more heating oil. The price has come down quite a bit but not as much as I'd like. However, I'm not used to the tank yet and don't want to risk running out. The forecast is for another bout of cold weather and snow so the price could start going up again anyway. I'll keep an eye on the prices going forward and fill the tank up when I can get a good price.

    I bought a telephone table on the Bay. I've been looking out for one as there's a perfect spot in the guestroom for it as a bedside/dressing table. £20 - met from my personal spends as I don't want a non-essential spend to upset the budget. It's a project so I'll need to get my chalk paint out

    We had a day out today and took FDawg for a walk around a local nature reserve. There were more people and dogs around than we'd expected so it was quite a challenge for him. He did ok but was desperate to get into the house when we got home and, once inside, spent the next half hour with an enormous smile on his face. Nice to know he feels safe here now I expect we'll have some barking for the next few nights though as his stress levels are likely to be high now.

    Time seems to be racing by at the moment and I'm losing track of where I am with everything. A new To Do List is on the cards I think.

    Happy weekend all

    Fortune x
    Mortgage: 2.4% paid House Deposit Contribution: 92% Emergency Fund: 58%

    All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us - J R R Tolkein
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