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  • FIRST POST
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 11th Mar 18, 7:28 AM
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    Cheery Daff
    Cheery's country living adventure
    • #1
    • 11th Mar 18, 7:28 AM
    Cheery's country living adventure 11th Mar 18 at 7:28 AM
    Hello lovely people

    I'm Cheery, been around these parts a long time now and had several DFW diaries over the years, most recently here.

    We are two - Mr Cheery and I. We've been together over 12 years now, and last week we moved from the middle of the city to the middle of nowhere. We were snowed in within 24 hours and unable to leave for a week Quite an introduction to country living

    I now have a mortgage for the first time in my life Mr Cheery had one before, but as it was near the end when I met him, we never added me, and then it got to the end of its 25 year span a few years ago. Now we have a brand new one, and I would like to pay it off as soon as possible

    It's going to take a while - we've borrowed £215,000 over 25 years A reasonable rate though (1.8%), fixed until Sept 2019. Our monthly payment is £890, and I'd like to overpay by £10 at least - with the aim of on average paying off an extra £110 a month to take it up to a round £1000.

    If we don't pay it off early, it'll run til I'm 62, and Mr Cheery is 80 A good incentive to get on with it

    Sadly our building society doesn't have online banking for mortgages (bloody ridiculous) and only sends annual statements, so it looks like I'll be ringing them up every five minutes for a new balance

    I would love it if you dropped in occasionally for a nice cup of tea, especially if you brought along some cake

    More details in a minute
Page 3
    • edwink
    • By edwink 18th Mar 18, 5:20 PM
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    edwink
    Hello Cheery & Chums

    I would love to hop on board and offer you encouragement along the way with your exciting good life journey. Especially on over paying your mortgage as from personal experience it really is worth all the effort you can put in to doing that. We are now mortgage free because we threw every penny we could at ours and now we are living the good life without that hanging around our necks and life is just so much easier without it. So good on you for tackling that head on.

    Not sure if you would have the time but have you thought of selling some of your bits and bobs you don't want on eBay? I do a little on eBay and the money certainly comes in handy even if it is used to buy a present for someone as that is then another item ticked off of your to buy list that year. Just a thought because I don't think it has been mentioned on here.

    I would thoroughly recommend getting hens one day if you can. Nothing like having your own eggs for breakfast and knowing that the girls are thoroughly looked after properly. I just don't trust shop bought eggs anymore regardless of where it says they come from on the egg box. Anyway if you do decide to get some one day do pop over to our MSE hen thread if you get the time. We are a friendly bunch over there and there is always someone there that will help with any questions or worries you may have over keeping them. The link to thread is here http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5282209 and at the bottom of my signature

    I am loving reading and following your journey. One of your stories I had a good chuckle at was you with your land and going for a walk one day with map in hand trying to identify which pieces of land were yours. I could just image someone like you doing that as it fits your sense of humour really well.

    Keep up the good work Cheery and I hope you have the room for another supporter.

    Edwink x
    3.36 kWp system, 10 x Ultima & 4 x Panasonic solar panels, Solar Edge Inverter
    7 ducks ~ 7 hens ~ 1 handsome Cockerel
    2000ltr Rainwater harvesting system for loo flushing Hybrid Toyota Auris car

    Hens & ducks chat thread
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5282209
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 18th Mar 18, 10:11 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Evening all

    Hi Redo Hadn't realised you had chickens too Not planning to have enough to give ours collective names, but perhaps they'll all look the same and have to have interchangeable names?!

    Edwink, hello lovely to meet you always plenty of room for another one in here, if you're happy enough on the floor (although actually we now have more sofas than people in our house thanks to a recent Freegle acquisition! )

    I hadn't realised there was an MSE chickens thread! I will pop over there forthwith and learn hopefully all I need to know

    Thank you for your mortgage free encouragement I know exactly how it feels as we paid Mr Cheery's previous mortgage off a couple of years ago so have had a good couple of years of throwing over £1000 a month into the savings pot Of course quite a lot of that has now been eaten up with estate agents and solicitor fees amd stamp duties - but it gave us enough of a cushion to have CHOICES, and to do various bigger jobs in the new house (like hopefully getting rid of a wall).

    It'll be a while before we're mortgage free again but I'm looking forward to it immensely!

    We are still stranded at our friend's house Been here sice I finished work on Friday well, technically we're not housebound - weve been to several antique shops, Wickes and Ikea today but we still can't get back to our own house as it is in some kind of arctic wilderness and several roads are still closed

    Poor friend whose house this is is herself stranded in Wales so this has been like an unexpected city break in a homely holiday cottage

    Some spends today

    £7 on lunch for both of us in the Ikea cafe Actually counting this as a bargain as we sat there for nearly two hours plotting and scheming our new garden, and had tree free drinks refills each

    £26 on the cheapest wheelbarrow in Wickes. Mr Cheery has been keeping an eye out for a free/second hand one locally for literally months to no avail, so we bit the bullet. It'll be well used as soon as the snow stops. Annoyingly my sister rang this evening and when I mentioned it she said 'I thought mum was saving her old one for you?' First I'd heard of it but if she's right, i suppose it'll mean we have a spare for when people come to help

    Also stocked up on a bit of food (including a £1.50 pizza for tonight's and tomorrow's tea). Got receipt somewhere but cosy under a blanket right now...

    Oh, and an £8 clothes rail and £2.50 for 4 teatowels from Ikea. Not too bad, amd that should be all our clothes hung up now without the need for an actual wardrobe We'll be using one of the spre bedrooms as a walk in dressing room as soon as the floor is fixed

    Going to ring the building society tomorrow to make first overpayment, and check I'm ok to just transfer over in dribs amd drabs as and when. Will also check whether I can opt for a monthly email statement (suspect unlikely).

    Right, enough waffling - I'm off to check out the chicken thread
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 19th Mar 18, 9:42 AM
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    redofromstart
    Cheery, we had them for a few years, started with 4 lovely hens from the local farm, then after that added standard browns so we went up to 8 which was too many eggs really (probably six a day - March to October) but easier to have a big flock to start with than try to introduce new ones later. The warrens are fairly identikit brown hence the borg name. We were back down to 4 when the blasted fox struck and took the lot one day sadly and I haven't had the heart to get new ones since.

    If I had the land I'd be rescuing pigs - micro pigs that have outgrown their homes. They are just lovely animals. One day I will have enough trees and a stream, and pigs who would be as happy as the proverbial pigs in muck

    Really looking forward to reading about what you do.
    • rtandon27
    • By rtandon27 19th Mar 18, 9:50 AM
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    rtandon27
    Oh Cheery - stranded in the city!!!

    I feel for you - roads here are impassible too - best thing is to stay put, wherever that may be!
    1.5 YEARS DEBT FREE!!! (24 OCT 2016)
    (With heartfelt thanks to those who have gone before us & their indubitable generosity.)
    Still working hard to keep up the good habits!
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 19th Mar 18, 5:12 PM
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    Karmacat
    Stranded doesn't sound good! Stranded in the city ... not too bad I'm very glad you're safe. It does make me think about if you had chickens, and maybe other livestock (even a cat or a dog) its really a different world, isn't it! Very exciting to learn about.
    Retired August 2016
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 19th Mar 18, 5:21 PM
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    greenbee
    I'm very envious of the space Cheery, although realistically I know I couldn't deal with it. Like redo I'd have pigs if I had the space. And maybe a couple of sheep for lawn-mowing purposes.

    Interestingly someone locally found a very friendly black pig on their doorstep the other day, and the RSPCA thing it was a pet that had been dumped. They've taken it in, which is lucky for the pig. So you see, you might be able to get free pigs as well as rehoming battery hens!

    Karma's right though - once you have livestock then being stranded away from home becomes more of a problem, unless you have friendly neighbours who you have a reciprocal deal with.
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 20th Mar 18, 8:13 AM
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    Cheery Daff
    We have arrived home safely

    Redo - must be dreadful when the fox gets all your chickens Going to do as much fox proofing as I can, but I do want them to have the run of all our fields (they'll have about 3 acres each ) so we have to accept they might get got at some point. Still, they'll be rescue chickens, so I want them to live properly free for a while

    You're right though KC - good job we don't have livestock yet On this occasion we did know there was snow forecast - Mr Cheery had to be somewhere else on Saturday so he joined me in the city on Friday and we stayed. If we had livestock, I would have come home from work on Friday, he would have left for the city, and then he would have been stuck there, and I would have been stuck at home... So this time round we could theoretically have managed it, but it would have been more faffing, and I would have been stuck here for several days by myself... Needs a bit of thought...

    I don't know what I'm going to do with the space either Not pigs The previous owner had them apparently, and they've churned up a lot of the ground til it's almost unusable for anything else, big boggy peaks and troughs - although maybe they'll break down in the frost and settle a bit. Hope nobody dumps a pig on our doorstep Mind you, you can't just drive past here so someone would very definitely have to decide they wanted to give it to US, and we'd likely see them coming Can't imagine someone's going to bring one up the footpath, but I'll keep an eye out just in case...

    Popping in to report a very rare NSD yesterday!! I don't have those very often, being a fritterer But yesterday I was working at my friend's house, and then drove home, and didn't go near a shop all day!

    Will try to repeat the experience today - in work for a meeting this afternoon but lunch is provided and I'll take a snack to get me through the afternoon so fingers crossed...
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 20th Mar 18, 10:09 AM
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    Karmacat
    Cheery, won't you be putting the chickens into a henhouse at night?
    Retired August 2016
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 20th Mar 18, 12:38 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    I will indeed! But there are various options related to that. We could just have a hen house for night, and in the day time let them roam completely free. Or we could have a henhouse with a small run giving them some outside space during the day, and then we could let them roam free when we're during the day (although there's still no guarantee the fox won't get them of course).

    I'm planning to build a large aviary style run with a roof and a hen house inside. That way if we're away for a night or two, we can shut them safe in the run and they'll have access to both inside and outside space without us having to open and close everything up, although obviously we will do if we're there.

    But you're already pushing at the limits of my chickeny knowledge so these things may be neither possible nor ideal and of course I will be putting time and effort into chicken research before we get any and not putting our feathered pals in the path of danger if at all possible!

    (But I'd still rather they had some time to roam free rather than being shut in a pen, even if it's a big one. But we'll see how that goes). But I won't be leaving them to completely fend for themselves!

    Just driven to work for a training course (and a free lunch...). Was very tempted to try to park close to the office - I don't normally as it's 4 hours only and I'm normally in for more than 4 hours. However, that would have involved paying about £3, so I've parked down the road and will walk about 15 mins each way instead. Tis my ambition to never pay for parking if I can possibly avoid it!
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 20th Mar 18, 12:56 PM
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    greenbee
    If you don't clip their wings they can fly up into the trees - a friend has a small flock that roams free and they roost in a holly tree. The fox can't get them. Unfortunately she frequently can't find the eggs...
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 21st Mar 18, 7:39 AM
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    Cheery Daff
    That might work then greenbee - no need to clip wings here and we've got a few trees they could escape into... I think experimenting will be the key (and I've joined the MSE chicken keeping thread for advice )

    Didn't manage a NSD day yesterday as Mr Cheery asked me to pick up some wine on the way home from work. Paid at the self service checkout thing so the woman had to come over to verify my age. Took one look at me and pressed the "customer is clearly over 25" button I mean, I'm well past 25 but I think it's the use of the word 'clearly' that made me laugh "customer is quite clearly old"

    Up early again this morning, and could see the sun rising over the hills so made myself a quick cuppa, got into the poncho I dug out yesterday, and headed outside to watch. Gosh it is SO beautiful. Leaned over a gate for a while, then took myself to the top of what's going to be my veg field and crouched down leaning on a dry stone wall (there's still a bit of snow and it was far too frosty and damp to actually sit ) Could have stayed there for ages. House was silhouetted against the sky and I could just imagine the whole field full of cabbages and flowers.

    Ambled about trying to figure out the best place for the greenhouse, and then it started going really misty so I came back inside, started a fire, had some breakfast, and am now sat in the study meant to be getting on with some work, but actually watching the chaffinches and great tits in the tree outside the window

    I bumped into an old neighbour yesterday who asked if I regretted moving away from our lovely old street to the middle of nowhere. I think I can safely say no (although you might want to ask me again in a couple of hours after the buildings regulations guy has been )
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 21st Mar 18, 8:23 AM
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    Karmacat
    Oh wow. Just ... wow. Wonderful!
    Retired August 2016
    • rtandon27
    • By rtandon27 21st Mar 18, 8:47 AM
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    rtandon27
    Oh Cheery - what a beautiful way to start the day!
    1.5 YEARS DEBT FREE!!! (24 OCT 2016)
    (With heartfelt thanks to those who have gone before us & their indubitable generosity.)
    Still working hard to keep up the good habits!
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 21st Mar 18, 9:49 AM
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    Cheery Daff
    We are pretty in love with the place today

    Buildings Regs guy has just been, and it all seems pretty positive Couple of options for what we want to do - both seem doable, one seems to involve rather more disruption upstairs but as we've got to completely replace two floors, taking out the chimney breast too doesn't seem to add too much more disruption to that

    Need to get the builder back and then let him know which option we've gone for.

    Seems like my farmhouse kitchen with a nice big table might actually become a reality, and for not a completely extortionate cost either

    Will just be paying the builder to sort the floors/ceilings and get rid of the chimney (in whichever way we choose out of the options the buildings regs guy has given). All the plastering, decorating, putting the kitchen units back we'll do ourselves, so it won't be the cost of 'a new kitchen' (although it will involve quite a bit more DIY - deep joy ) Still, feels VERY different decorating a house you're going to stay in to one you're trying to leave

    Sun's shining, everything is cheerful, and I've just had the last home made scone from the freezer with a cuppa
    • edwink
    • By edwink 21st Mar 18, 10:11 AM
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    edwink
    Wow Cheery you certainly are embracing the Goodlife, well done you. It is not all about work, work and more work. It is of course about work but also allowing yourself time to chill with a cuppa and just watch the world go by. Cup in one hand and a scone in the other

    Might be nice to put a few nesting boxes up for the wild birds once you are settled in fully.

    Enjoy your new life.

    Edwink
    3.36 kWp system, 10 x Ultima & 4 x Panasonic solar panels, Solar Edge Inverter
    7 ducks ~ 7 hens ~ 1 handsome Cockerel
    2000ltr Rainwater harvesting system for loo flushing Hybrid Toyota Auris car

    Hens & ducks chat thread
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5282209
    • WannabeFree
    • By WannabeFree 21st Mar 18, 11:10 AM
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    WannabeFree
    <delurks>Shiny new diary? don't mind if I do! <relurks>
    Originally posted by fannyadams
    From me too

    x
    “Once you hit rock bottom, that's where you perfectly stand; That's your chance of restarting, but restarting the right way.”
    • emincosi
    • By emincosi 21st Mar 18, 7:19 PM
    • 38 Posts
    • 167 Thanks
    emincosi
    You are living the dream Cheery!

    Moving out of London & having a nice country home is the dream, isn't it? I'll be following along and cheering you on!
    Save £12k in 2018 challenge: £0/20k
    Save 100k by March 31st 2021: £22133/100k
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 21st Mar 18, 9:06 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Welcome lovely lurkers! Don't lurk too long, pop out and say hello!

    Edwink, what a lovely idea We've got the bird table up already We've got a few trees too so nestboxes is perfectly doable. Need to investigate the proximity of chickens to wild birds... got the chicken thread open in another tab so I'll hop over there in a minute

    emincosi Certainly does feel like some kind of strange dream at the minute We weren't in London before, and I'm not sure I ever lusted after the countryside like some folks did, but we've certainly been hankering after this specific place since we first saw it last August

    Well after the excitement of an early morning cuppa in a field and the buildings regs man, the day went a bit downhill. Work was tedious, lots of people wanted a piece of me, and I spent the whole day feeling like I was running just to get further and further behind. Didn't help that I'm still full of cold and felt rotten

    We both had activities this evening, so wouldn't have gotten home til 11.30, but Mr Cheery's was cancelled so I decided to sack mine off too and we were home before 8 Feeling a little more human now

    Oh, and we stopped in a little convenience shop on the way home that had an unlikely and unexpected selection of bargains 4 pints of milk for 19p all kinds of other stuff we didn't buy, and bizarrely, firelighters reduced to 39p a packet so we had 5 There was a whole box left on the floor so we weren't depriving anyone else

    Not really fit for much else tonight, and got to be back in work for 9am so I think it's going to be an early one for me... And I WILL remember my lunch tomorrow, darn it!
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 21st Mar 18, 9:40 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Ooh, forgot to say I got a secret survey payout today Just £5, requested from Paypal Will add to mortgage overpayment account when it arrives

    Also had a run of surveys on prolific over the last few days - just cashed out £21.41, and have another £5.63 pending in there too
    • pinkypig
    • By pinkypig 21st Mar 18, 10:16 PM
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    pinkypig
    Glad you've got home. It sounds idyllic.
    I've had a right tedious work week too, maybe its the weather

    Happy hump day to you.

    PP xx
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