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Blowing in the Winds of Change

edited 29 July 2016 at 1:20PM in Debt Free Diaries
405 replies 42.9K views


  • *Robin**Robin* Forumite
    3.4K posts
    Ninth Anniversary Stoptober Survivor Mortgage-free Glee! Debt-free and Proud!
    Apologies - bad tempered rant post. Feel free to scroll on by.. :cool:

    Am seriously regretting this duck; half is chopped up and back in the freezer for M but am swaying..
    How on Earth am I going to get through my share of the meat - it's about three months' worth of my normal non-veggie consumption. :o
    Can't re-freeze it - wonder if the dour neighbour might be interested (this is the man who preferred a McNasty chicken wrap to joining me on Boxing Day for a delicious organic salmon feast..)?
    Dog is not impressed - waiting patiently for a tasty gobbet to drop into his mouth but now Mum is back in bed until some more energy appears..

    Seemed such a good idea when I was shopping; thought DS2, DS3 and families would come here for a meal sometime over Xmas, but they didn't.
    What really hurt was Xmas Day itself.. not one of the folk I am closest to thought of putting a portion of the big family feast into a plastic pot and bringing it to me because I wasn't well enough to be at the party. My Xmas dinner was a mashed banana, as that was all the prep I could manage!

    No-one said thanks for all the carefully chosen, lovingly wrapped gifts DS4 and I sent up to go under the tree either - think it's time to draw a line under the experience and simply have nowt to do with the Festival of Consumer Consumption in the future.
  • Sun_AddictSun_Addict Forumite
    8.6K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    It's annoying isn't it when you know you'd have gone round to theirs with food if they were ill. Same with the presents, you put a lot of effort in and no one mentions them. Saying thanks costs nothing - I used to have to write thank you letters when I was a child no matter how small the gift. Also disappointing when you buy food in for others and they don't turn up. I don't blame you for feeling hurt.

    Christmas isn't always the wonderful time we're led to believe it is.

    Onwards and upwards Robin, take care xx
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2020 £116.55
    Emergency Fund £3750/£10,000
  • *Robin**Robin* Forumite
    3.4K posts
    Ninth Anniversary Stoptober Survivor Mortgage-free Glee! Debt-free and Proud!
    Thank you for your understanding and sympathy, Sun.A - much appreciated, especially in response to my bad-tempered outburst! :T

    After writing said previous diary entry, M and I went to see what we could find in Abuela's [="Granny" - Lovely Neighbour] garden - don't worry, I have permission to help myself because they can't eat it all now they have to spend most of their time in town.. As we walked I finally looked at the horizon and realised why there was a distinct nip in the air; the rain which woke me the night before had fallen as snow higher up - every mountain top glistening white in the weak sunshine!

    My garlic, chard and duck soup - with much of the liquid provided by Abuela's oranges - was actually quite palatable. Have run out of spuds though so am labouring beneath a carb-deficient headache this morning.

    Thieving-Neighbour is here today. Didn't spot her in time to take another path so was forced to socialise. She said her husband saw six wild piggies in the village last night - bad news; he'll tell the hunters!

    Really want to try and get down to town today - Musketeer is being so well behaved but must need a decent run by now, which means visiting the puppy-park. Also gives me the option of getting a take-away tonight, and being in the right place to re-stock tomorrow. Need to collect M's test results too, and try and catch the gas depot guys to talk about changing van on to Spanish bottles before my last UK one runs out.
    On the way back I have a couple of potential new properties to look at - and really must rendezvous with DS3 to get a lift up to the Nest - can't believe I've been here weeks already but have not yet clapped eyes on the place! Apparently wild boar have been there too; they've knocked over a couple of trees (probably using 'em as scratching-posts). Luckily none of the trees I am particularly attached to have been damaged (according to DS3, anyway).
  • edited 8 January 2018 at 1:40PM
    *Robin**Robin* Forumite
    3.4K posts
    Ninth Anniversary Stoptober Survivor Mortgage-free Glee! Debt-free and Proud!
    edited 8 January 2018 at 1:40PM
    At last the Thinking People are beginning to take ME seriously:


    For those who have [email protected] Pr!me, Unrest is available to rent at a very small :money: cost. Please watch it if you can (Jen is a lovely lady, have spoken to her on-line - and hope her work gets the Oscar! ..Far more deserving than most of the brain-in-reverse Hollywood offerings that are nominated).

    8.1.18. Edited to add:

    The global ME community has been given some terribly sad news; we have lost Anne Ortegren, a severely affected lady I never met but learned many coping strategies from (thanks to her written articles over the past few years). In the end she could not bear any longer her hopeless decline and the lack of care from people who should have been helping at all levels.
    Before she died, Anne wrote one final letter to the World. It's quite long, but everyone who reads it can tell the words are from her heart and they explain a lot about the reality that many PwME have to look forward to.

    I know I am lucky; I can still function - more or less, some of the time at least. I have two patches of the "burning skin" which tortured Anne for so long, but I can mostly ignore them (one between my shoulder blades, the other where I was inoculated with smallpox vaccine as a young child). If I ever lose hope that one day ME will be recognised and properly researched, and my condition deteriorates to the point where I must entirely rely on family for my care, I won't be following Anne to Switzerland. No, I'll find a good home for the dog, then use the last of my strength to crawl to the edge of the cliff - and fly!

    Please read Anne's words, she wanted more people to understand:

  • edited 9 January 2018 at 3:08AM
    *Robin**Robin* Forumite
    3.4K posts
    Ninth Anniversary Stoptober Survivor Mortgage-free Glee! Debt-free and Proud!
    edited 9 January 2018 at 3:08AM
    Hello, :hello:

    Well, Mutt and I still have not ventured off the mountain. It's been raining for most of the time since writing last and road conditions are not great; higher up snow caused a lot of accidents, so all the local builders have been out in their JCBs doing what council gritters and snowploughs do in the UK.

    Good news; can claim another NSD - still to break m' duck for 2018 :D - but perhaps that's just as well given this month's meagre budget. :o
    Rather dreading the bottom line on camper-van's essential gas system exchange - pretty certain the current bottle won't last until February. However, utility bills are covered as is fuel (unless am struck by a sudden irresistible desire to relocate to Portugal, for example. Haha :rotfl:).
    Musketeer's larder & freezer are well stocked, so just need fresh vittals for m'self, a few store-cupboard tins, and to keep us both away from unexpected unpleasant expenses (eg., involving vet, medico, or doing something stupid behind the wheel of the van).
    Will be fine to drive tomorrow; am rested, weather forecast is better, we have A List:
    Organic market, gas depot, puppy-park, vet, beach.
    Pause. 'Phone-calls (no signal in the hills ;)).
    Puppy park, German supermarket, hopefully gas depot again for fitting of appropriate parts - solving problem, then with luck visit the Nest and one of the possible new projects. Back to DH's cottages before the freezer defrosts.
    Sounds do-able, doesn't it? :)

    Just remembered summat - maintenance task - need a new breaker for the mains supply here. The old one is struggling to cope with an unasked-for smart meter installed a few months ago, while there was no-one around to object. Hmm, that really shouldn't wait too long.. :think:

    Haven't got as far as sorting out correspondence re solicitors - both of 'em now[!] nor the dreaded annual submission to HMRC - which is becoming harder every year, even with support from a friendly accountant.
    What have I got to do to retire:question:

    Today's gloomy clouds have given us their bounty and drifted off, leaving behind the heady scent of wet earth and view of a reclining crescent Moon, riding low above silhouetted mountains.. :)
    Away from the municipal street-light's baleful yellow glare; our vast, ink-black sky is studded with cold silver stars. Despite temperature dropping fast now, the beauty of this awesome night is irresistible.. I watch, inhaling the World. :)
    M snuffles happily then stands motionless, tasting the air. His head turns; pricked ears, eyes and nose focused. I hear the noise too - something moving down in the avocado orchard where there are deep layers of crisp, fallen leaves beneath the trees. More than one something.. There followed a slight difference of opinion which I won, discretion being the better part of valour (one dufus dog is no match for a family of wild boar!).
    Must be bed-time. :)
    Goodnight all :lovethoug
  • edited 9 January 2018 at 8:40PM
    *Robin**Robin* Forumite
    3.4K posts
    Ninth Anniversary Stoptober Survivor Mortgage-free Glee! Debt-free and Proud!
    edited 9 January 2018 at 8:40PM
    Best laid plans - haha..
    Thick 'ead, struggling to find sufficient energy to have a wash and dig out clean clobber for appearing in public.
    It's not raining, but grey and chilly. There is a lot of bright snow decorating the horizon though.. :D
    Run outa milk so no second cuppa to help get Robin moving today..
    Ho hum. :o
  • *Robin**Robin* Forumite
    3.4K posts
    Ninth Anniversary Stoptober Survivor Mortgage-free Glee! Debt-free and Proud!
    'Morning All, :hello:

    Yesterday's list changed a bit in the execution:
    1. Organic market - just caught them, packing up. Got some good deals though; a month's supply of Jersey spuds, big bag of greens, tomatoes, mushrooms and peppers and another of fruit all for 25€.
    2. Gas depot. Not a success. Met a bully who insisted I dismantle the van's current system - after he threw my mains lead on the ground and broke the holder. Then told me he wasn't a technician and couldn't help!
    3. Puppy park; definitely a success with Musketeer. Only three other dogs there but all like him - young, long-legged, full of energy. Reckon he must have run a good five miles playing tag with 'em while I hobbled around at the top of the hill, watching.
    4. Vet - M's blood test results are fantastic [= much improved]; Dear Vet is very pleased and intends to research CBD and GP for use with other patients.
    5. Supermarket - a month's supply of bread, milk, my 'go to' fast food - fish fingers lol - all to be frozen until needed, sundries and a ready meal for last night. 60€
    6. Camp-site. Couldn't help re gas. Sent me to:
    7. Another camp-site. Ditto. Sent me to:
    8. Someone else who I found at the second attempt as light was fading. Hooray - he says he can help - going back this morning.
    9. It was raining again by the time we got to the beach which had the appearance of an enormous shallow lake. Eighteen vans were lined up along the road behind it so I tagged on the end. Scoffed m' ready-meal which wasn't too bad, and was almost asleep when a commotion started up outside. Someone banged on the van's door which sent M into a paroxysm of furious barking, growling and snarling.. The police kept well out of range as they explained - politely - that we couldn't spend the night there.
    The big motor-homes were driving around for ages back and forth along the front, looking for somewhere else to park, but I decided to risk the flooded beach. There is an old concrete track across it which I found; we didn't sink. Lesson; don't follow the sheeple! :rotfl:
  • kazwookiekazwookie Forumite
    11.5K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic

    Glad things seem ok at the monet, please dont go driving around at night, near water and sand they are not normally a good mix.

    Safe travels
    :) Sun, Sea :)

  • edited 12 January 2018 at 1:30AM
    *Robin**Robin* Forumite
    3.4K posts
    Ninth Anniversary Stoptober Survivor Mortgage-free Glee! Debt-free and Proud!
    edited 12 January 2018 at 1:30AM
    Kazwookie, please don't worry - as I said, I found the old concrete track and parked on that; it was safe enough. :)
    Last night though, there was a fearsome gusty wind on the sea-front. The van was rocking alarmingly even tucked behind some three-storey houses next to the beach. Took the dog out at midnight just as the one other vehicle still there drove away - so decided we should go as well. Ended up "stealth camping" in town, between blocks of flats where it was lovely and calm if a bit noisy from the traffic on the bypass. Musketeer thought it was a fine spot, just across the road from the puppy-park. He enjoyed no less than three visits there today, so will sleep well tonight after running around with lots of new canine friends. ;)

    Did have a couple of "wins" recently which I forgot to mention; first, when dressing up to go into town I found a well laundered note in m' clean trousers - 50€! :D
    Then, yesterday morning while parked on the shallow lake aka beach I spotted a new - but utterly sodden - pair of shoes. Obviously forgotten then abandoned when someone drove away from the rising water, they were sat neatly together in an expanse of mud. Still there at midday, so I showed them to the lady who runs the beach bar; said I'd clean 'em up and left her my 'phone number in case the rightful owner returns - but if I don't hear anything shall consider them a gift from the Rain Gods, as they just happen to be my size. :)

    More frustrations re gas supply. Bloke I'd been sent to turned out not to be a specialist but a chancer.. saga on-going.

    Was wrong about fuel supplies; had to buy 25lts on m' UK card; suspect I'll regret that when the statement arrives. :o

    We're back at DH's cottages now, plugged into the mains. Mindful of the weak breaker, am swathed in jumpers and blankets rather than enjoying central heating. It's not very cold tonight, despite the snow on the tops.
  • DansmamDansmam Forumite
    570 posts
    Morning Robin - just caught up on your alarms and excursions - sounds like a bit of weather is going on! Meaning shoes are definitely a gift from the weather gods 💦🌨❄️. Lurcher lad is curious to know - what is a puppy park?! He knows about parks (places with lots of things to sniff and pee on) and puppies ( little annoying things that either roll over and make you sniff their tummies, or bounce in your face and need a loud telling off) but the two together is an unknown concept. He wonders if it’s a bit like a beach?!
    Good on vet for looking into the effect of things vets don’t prescribe. No comment on the gas shenanigans- suffice to say dd never sorted her European gas supply having encountered very similar levels of non-support ☹️ Van gas remains on uk connector and water is boiled on a rocket stove. Glad you’re safely back at the cottages hope you and M have a lovely day x
    I have borrowed from my future self
    The banks are not our friends.
    1/3/17 £36775
    Targeting £1k for 1/4/17
    Only work for good people 1/3/18
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