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  • FIRST POST
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 2nd Jan 18, 2:38 PM
    • 31,910Posts
    • 188,350Thanks
    Karmacat
    Travelling On
    • #1
    • 2nd Jan 18, 2:38 PM
    Travelling On 2nd Jan 18 at 2:38 PM
    2018 really is a “travelling on” year for me: the final push, as far as finances and organisation are concerned. But I still need to look after the rest of me, so here it all is, adapted from the review I did on the last few pages of my previous diary:

    Make good memories.
    Building on last year. Carrying on reconnecting with old friends and new.
    Make new friends, especially locally.
    Our little board games group - we're all retired now!
    Rejoin the local writing group?

    Plus holidays and creative work, see below.

    Holidays
    A UK holiday for all three of us, probably to Hadrian's Wall.
    A cruise: current thinking is a 14 day-er with Tui to Norway; you could really do Norway in that time.

    Creativity
    I wanted to do lots of writing around one blog, and lots of design work around another, and I haven't done either of those things. I've missed it. A second edition of my original kindle book is needed, a new kindle is nearly ready, I can do a novel. There are a couple of options for another factual one.

    And if I'm ever going to design any cat cards or geometric patterns, this is the year.

    Jobs around the house
    The house is definitely my house now, not a work-live space. Replaster the hall, repair the hardstanding and the patio, some electrical work on the ground floor. Lots of other bits that are really little.

    Garden
    Weeding, getting compost, topsoil and bark chippings down, so I can plant edible perennials.
    Frences need weatherproofing. Prunings from hedging plants need burning to add to the soil.

    Health
    I'm carrying on
    getting better – need to get enough sleep. And I need stamina and strength – just enough to have a day out in London for instance.
    Healthy walks run by the local council. Dance classes, by the end of the year?

    Finances.
    MSE wins
    Swagbucks and You Gov right now, but I'll be going for Pinecone Research and Prolific Academic. Anything of that type that I can do from my armchair!
    Pensions
    I haven't done anything – luckily, the Stock Market hasn't collapsed, but I really do need to safeguard it, simply because I don't earn money any more.
    Online Sales
    I've kept some items back from the charity shop, things that will probably net £5 or more. Spread throughout the year, do it or donate it.
    Change current account
    HSBC have irritated me with their crazy fraud software for the last time. When my Regular Saver terminates, I'm moving.
    Insurance
    I just renewed last year, for ease, it was less than a month after the funeral. But I want a cheaper alternative, and I need to get quotes for insurance of all this jewellery I now have.

    Accounts
    2016/17 in the UK, and 2017 in France. I don't know if I'll need to do UK accounts after this year – I might have to, even though I've no UK earnings, because of the French apartment.
    French accountant
    I have the possibility of shifting accountant, people have got a computer programme going for leaseback properties like mine. Do I take the risk of moving? I'll have to decide really soon. Probably not worth it if I'm selling.
    Tackle French mortgage.
    The mortgage ends in September next year! About 630 euros a month goes to capital repayment, and the interest rate is 0.95% p.a.
    Ability to sell the French apartment?
    If I could sell it without penalty (huge VAT payment) I'd love to get rid of it now. I don't care too much what I'd get for it, even.
    My mother's house
    We'll be putting it up for sale in the summer; it was recently rewired, which is good, but it's still a fixer-upper, there's no doubt. Quite a bit of work in it.

    Counting Blessings”,says greent.
    I used to do that all the time. Last year felt short on blessings, to be honest, but even so my brother and sister and I have come together very strongly, we've met up with the Norfolk rellies, a new baby was born, I went catsitting twice, and that's just the big stuff.
    Next year will be more settled in the basics, so that everyday events feel more fun, and there'll be lots more opportunity for fun one-offs: I'm off to London this week and the next for days out. Another baby will be born in summer 2018!

    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
Page 146
    • shangaijimmy
    • By shangaijimmy 10th May 19, 1:13 PM
    • 3,083 Posts
    • 15,632 Thanks
    shangaijimmy
    I was always referred to as "Young Jimmy" is work. Must have been Iike that for 15yrs, but somewhere over the last couple, the word Young has been dropped. Now I'm just "Jimmy", and i wonder how many more years before i will be referred to as "Old Jimmy"!?!?
    MFW: Turning June 2036 into something less...
    52 months - Total Reduction: £55,485.79
    Was: £136,000..........Now: £80,513.92
    MFiT-T5 #8 - 8.79% of £26,000
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 10th May 19, 2:44 PM
    • 64,602 Posts
    • 288,768 Thanks
    beanielou
    I do feel really old sometimes.
    Glad all coming along nicely
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 11 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***
    Out of debt, out of danger. ***Be the difference.***
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 11th May 19, 7:14 AM
    • 31,910 Posts
    • 188,350 Thanks
    Karmacat

    You mention his age like it's a major character flaw!


    I caught myself telling a work friend that once she gets older and has some life perspective, she'd feel differently about her stressful situation!

    I feel sooooooooooo old sometimes!
    Originally posted by rtandon27
    It just feels like a huge responsibility for someone that age - he's well out of his apprenticeship, he's fine, really. The last piece of work was putting an electric plug by the phone socket, so I can plug the router in without a wire trailing under the mat that's by the front door. It was technically really tricky because of some pipes in the way, and he did it *so* neatly
    I was always referred to as "Young Jimmy" is work. Must have been Iike that for 15yrs, but somewhere over the last couple, the word Young has been dropped. Now I'm just "Jimmy", and i wonder how many more years before i will be referred to as "Old Jimmy"!?!?
    Originally posted by shangaijimmy
    Awww, Jimmy! You'll always be Shanghai to us lot and you're young yet

    I do feel really old sometimes.
    Glad all coming along nicely
    Originally posted by beanielou
    Thanks beanie - I feel really old sometimes too, and speaking to these guys makes me realise quite how old I'll in 20 years time, yikes. Never mind. Use what you've got, and bleep the rest
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 11th May 19, 7:20 AM
    • 31,910 Posts
    • 188,350 Thanks
    Karmacat
    So, the head guy stayed till 7pm last night, finishing bits off and clearing up! The tiling is yet to be done - I'll ring when I'm back from t'caravan. It's gorgeous! Really gorgeous. My washing machine and dishwasher fit completely under the worktop now, the inclusion of an "upstand" around the worktop has meant there's no twiddly bit at the window (which is lower than the worksurface by several centimetres, which had previously created problems). Gorgeous new led lights for the worktop, and a temporary central lightbulb until my actual lamp arrives. The guys checked with me about the placement of every plug, and every handle, it was great.

    I confess, I was also thrilled that he suggested I not do any cleaning of anything thats actually fitted, to give the glue, even the superglue of the upstand by the sink and window, to set properly. I was more than happy to comply. In bed by 10!
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
    • SuperSecretSquirrel
    • By SuperSecretSquirrel 11th May 19, 8:29 AM
    • 748 Posts
    • 3,306 Thanks
    SuperSecretSquirrel
    You sound absolutely delighted with the (near) end result KC I'm very pleased for you, and glad it has been well worth the upheaval!
    Mortgage free in 7.5 years (17.5 years early), now aiming for financial independence.
    MFiT-T5: 35.0% (6/36)
    FI (exc SP): 2013 -1%, 2014 3%, 2015 7%, 2016 13%, 2017 18%, 2018 32%, 1/7/19 38.2%
    • Noella
    • By Noella 11th May 19, 9:09 AM
    • 125 Posts
    • 1,069 Thanks
    Noella
    I was always referred to as "Young Jimmy" is work. Must have been Iike that for 15yrs, but somewhere over the last couple, the word Young has been dropped. Now I'm just "Jimmy", and i wonder how many more years before i will be referred to as "Old Jimmy"!?!?
    Originally posted by shangaijimmy
    My Uncle John named his son John (why do people do that, talk about confusing) and they were known as Big John (the Uncle) and Little John. By his teens 'Little' John had grown taller than his Dad by a few inches and continued to grow. It always seemed so comical to me as a child hearing this strapping lad being called Little John and his Dad being referred to as Big John. Better than being called Old John though I suppose.
    When it's raining, look for rainbows.
    When it's dark, look for stars.
    • teapot2
    • By teapot2 11th May 19, 9:46 AM
    • 2,300 Posts
    • 9,609 Thanks
    teapot2
    Aw glad you are so pleased with how the kitchen is coming along.
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 11th May 19, 3:53 PM
    • 31,910 Posts
    • 188,350 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Thanks everyone yes, I'm very chuffed, I can see how lovely it will be when its finished. The range is at the cheap end of what Wickes do, and the builder told me that all the carcasses of all the ranges are exactly the same - it's only the doors that are different. So I'm gladder than ever that I've got the cheapo

    I've had two goes with the washing machine and one with the dishwasher (both were tested by the builder yesterday) and I'm spending today slowly cleaning. All the work surface, the sink, the hob, the front of the wm and dw, and the inside and outside of the larder cupboard (which is 2.2 metres tall) are now cleaned. I expect a bit more dust to settle out of the air, but it's got to be done. I've christened the hob with my go-to lunch of pesto, frozen peas, feta cheese and gluten free fusilli. Kettle and microwave are still upstairs - it's important not to tire myself out, the nuclear power station tour is on Monday
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 11th May 19, 5:18 PM
    • 64,602 Posts
    • 288,768 Thanks
    beanielou
    All coming along so nicely.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 11 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***
    Out of debt, out of danger. ***Be the difference.***
    • rtandon27
    • By rtandon27 11th May 19, 9:35 PM
    • 2,454 Posts
    • 15,861 Thanks
    rtandon27
    Happy New Kitchen!

    So glad to hear you are pleased with the results!
    2.5 YEARS DEBT FREE!!! (24 OCT 2016)
    (With heartfelt thanks to those who have gone before us & their indubitable generosity.)
    Working hard to keep all the balls in the air and juggle the budget!
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 12th May 19, 8:14 AM
    • 31,910 Posts
    • 188,350 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Thanks RT! Yep, still pleased Though today, I have to get my act together, even though I lolled about all evening until disgustingly late I have to pack, I have to clean the insides of another cupboard, put the dishwasher on, basically do as much as I can without tiring myself out.

    Sunny here, after a *very* foggy start, it all looks lovely
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 12th May 19, 10:28 AM
    • 64,602 Posts
    • 288,768 Thanks
    beanielou
    Enjoy your trip tomorrow
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 11 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***
    Out of debt, out of danger. ***Be the difference.***
    • greent
    • By greent 13th May 19, 6:10 AM
    • 8,134 Posts
    • 82,590 Thanks
    greent
    Glad the kitchen sounds like it's going well Hope you have an enjoyable time today!
    xx
    I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul
    Repaid mtge early (orig 11/25) 01/09 £124616 01/10 £104927 01/11 £89873 01/12 £76317 01/13 £52546 01/14 £35356 01/15 £12133 07/15 £NIL
    BTL Mtge 12/16 £69786 12/18 £54829 2019 OPs (#18) £2418.57/£5K
    Net sales 2019 £173.62/£500
    • Noella
    • By Noella 13th May 19, 6:31 AM
    • 125 Posts
    • 1,069 Thanks
    Noella
    Thanks everyone yes, I'm very chuffed, I can see how lovely it will be when its finished. The range is at the cheap end of what Wickes do, and the builder told me that all the carcasses of all the ranges are exactly the same - it's only the doors that are different. So I'm gladder than ever that I've got the cheapo
    Originally posted by Karmacat
    That's great to know about the carcasses. We are in the market for a new kitchen and as we've been shopping around have been amazed at the price differences between the different ranges even within the same brand. We don't want anything jaw-droppingly gorgeous, just something practical and built to last. Sounds like a cheaper range will be ideal. I wonder if that's just Wickes though or if all the suppliers are the same with using the same carcasses over all ranges. We are rather drawn to one of the Wren kitchens at the moment similar to one some friends have which is superb. Not sure if they are nationwide or more northern (like us) so you may not have heard of them. We did a quick Google of them though and saw a LOT of very detrimental info including a BBC Watchdog expose. Looks as if a lot of these adverse comments were from years ago though and the kitchen fitted for our friends last year was done with the nth degree of care and professionalism. The finish of the work and the units is superb so it makes us wonder just who we can believe or trust. I know you've had an excellent experience with Wickes but when we used them for our bathroom we were definitely NOT impressed. I suppose a lot of it is down to the local branch and whoever does the fitting.
    Last edited by Noella; 13-05-2019 at 6:58 AM.
    When it's raining, look for rainbows.
    When it's dark, look for stars.
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 13th May 19, 8:48 AM
    • 31,910 Posts
    • 188,350 Thanks
    Karmacat
    I think people like us need to talk to one another as much as we can, Noella! I do know of Wren, but they were more money than I wanted to pay, so I didn't investigate further. I asked around my few local acquaintances, and four of them came up with Wickes and said everything was wonderful, I'm not kidding, so it made sense to go with them. However, the builders/actual people doing the fitting, are just as important - and mine have been great. The head honcho isn't wonderful at communication, but he's still one of the best I've experienced. And even with Wickes themselves, it depends on the branch, and where they're getting their staff from (staff's prior experience seems to matter a lot). I hope you get something that you're happy with.
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 13th May 19, 8:50 AM
    • 31,910 Posts
    • 188,350 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Thanks beanie, greent I tried to pace myself yesterday, with the result that I left myself too much to do this morning though it's basically all "find camera, hunt out stamp for birthday card", that sort of thing so it's getting done pretty well.

    See you in a few days
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 13th May 19, 9:01 AM
    • 2,461 Posts
    • 13,659 Thanks
    themadvix
    So glad you are happy with your kitchen Karma! Have a lovely time away!

    (On the Wren kitchens thing, a family friend had an absolutely awful time - damaged units delivered/more damaged during fitting, the fitters broke the existing (and not intended to be replaced) front door and compensation/fixing it all was horrendous - I think two years later they finally got it all sorted. Having said that, another friend had them and had no problems. It all depends on customer care really.)
    • Noella
    • By Noella 13th May 19, 9:57 AM
    • 125 Posts
    • 1,069 Thanks
    Noella
    So glad you are happy with your kitchen Karma! Have a lovely time away!

    (On the Wren kitchens thing, a family friend had an absolutely awful time - damaged units delivered/more damaged during fitting, the fitters broke the existing (and not intended to be replaced) front door and compensation/fixing it all was horrendous - I think two years later they finally got it all sorted. Having said that, another friend had them and had no problems. It all depends on customer care really.)
    Originally posted by themadvix
    It sounds as if KC's experience with Wickes was absolutely perfect with great advice given but her own wants and needs fully understood and catered for. I wish her many happy years of enjoying the finished product.

    Your comments about Wren has certainly given me more food for thought, Thank you. There are lots of adverse reports on Wren all over the internet but I often think people are quick to report bad service but very slow or don't even bother to report the good. Maybe I'm mistaken there though. It's good to have first hand experience from someone I 'know' like yourself. Our friends live reasonably near us and I expect the store/depot and fitters will all be the same that they used if we should opt for buying from Wren. They had nothing but praise for the whole process and I absolutely love their resulting kitchen and layout. We're still at the 'thinking about it' stage as we need a bit of work done on the back of the house anyway. We thought our friendly, local and 100% reliable builder could do the kitchen structural work before we consult the kitchen planners. It will probably work out cheaper that way, especially as he will be doing alterations on the adjoining room anyway.
    Last edited by Noella; 13-05-2019 at 9:59 AM.
    When it's raining, look for rainbows.
    When it's dark, look for stars.
    • earthgirl
    • By earthgirl 15th May 19, 7:17 PM
    • 2,705 Posts
    • 28,201 Thanks
    earthgirl
    Hope you are having (or maybe when you read this, have had) a lovely time away Karma!
    15/5/12 Paid off Mortgage 1 (£220k) Bought Dream House Dec 13 - Mortage 2 -£116,508. 15/7/18 Mortgage Free Again

    Progress not Perfection
    • Noella
    • By Noella 16th May 19, 6:36 AM
    • 125 Posts
    • 1,069 Thanks
    Noella
    Hope you are having (or maybe when you read this, have had) a lovely time away Karma!
    Originally posted by earthgirl
    I second that, earhgirl
    When it's raining, look for rainbows.
    When it's dark, look for stars.
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